I’ve decided that I’m a professional celebrater! Is that actually a thing, I’m not entirely sure, but I know I’m a professional celebrant, and yes I officiate weddings, where two people share their love story and commit to loving each other forever, and then generally celebrate the bejezzus out of the occasion by bringing together their favourite people and kicking up their heels. So I essentially help people celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives.
Yes there are a lot of different big occasions that people celebrate, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, Easter to name a few on the calendar. But why do we wait to celebrate just these occasions? What about the fact that it’s Friday, and so take the kids down to the local cafe, and “hot chocolates, all round!” why not celebrate ‘hump day’ by having Fish and Chips for dinner, or celebrate the fact that it’s May 3 by getting out the fine china and having an afternoon tea party?
Life can whizz past us so quickly, and I swear the older we get the faster it seems to go, and throw in kids, jobs, after school activities, play dates etc and the weeks can fly by before you know it. It can seem so easy to just put your head down and just ‘get’ through the day/week/year, and then relax on the weekend, and do it all again the next week, and before you know it the kids are leaving home and you’re wondering where those 18 years went. Why not bring some surprise and magic and naughtiness and spontaneity to your day/week/year by remembering to have more fun. Life is so serious, but does it have to be all the time? Hells No!
Why are we only saving the celebrations in our life for big events? Weddings, big birthdays, graduations? Why aren’t we celebrating the people in our lives more often, instead of when they die? Why not get your girlfriends together one Saturday morning a month and have a brunch date? Why not grab the mates once a month and have a few beersies down at the pub? We should be celebrating and acknowledging the people in our lives on a regular basis, because it will make you feel great, and make the other person feel amazing too. Where’s the harm in that?
Why do we only celebrate the dates we’re told to celebrate, birthdays, weddings etc? Why don’t we celebrate the day we moved into our first home together, or when we bought that new car? Yes, you may be looking at me a bit sideways now, thinking this lady is a nutbar, but is there anything wrong with creating our own traditions and rituals and customs, as well as celebrating the more well known ones that society tells us to celebrate, why not create some of your own?
If you really want to fully embrace the idea of celebrating, then there are a multitude of things that you can celebrate, take a look at days of the year who have a huge list of reasons to celebrate each day of the year. It’s also a good idea to come up with some of your own, things that are important to you and your family. Ask the kids what things they want to celebrate, and how. You may be surprised by what they think are reasons to celebrate. They don’t have to be elaborate or cost millions of dollars, one family I know choose every Wednesday night dinner to have a different accent to accompany dinner, so if it’s Italian night, everyone has to speak in an Italian accent, huge fun, and doesn’t cost a thing. Or choose a different day each week to add a wee note into one family member’s lunch box, once again free!
Let’s face it life can sometimes be monotonous and boring, but wouldn’t you rather look back on your life and think about all the fun you had?
All you need is love. That’s it, that’s all you need.
So we’ve followed the journey of Sharmain and Jeremy as they went through the process of planning their wedding day. We saw what went well, and what was more challenging, and finally we get to share the last installment, The Wedding Day! Here Sharmain and Jeremy share how that final week was, and of course the day itself.
What was the week before the wedding like? The week before the wedding was a very busy one. Luckily, we had both taken that week off work, so that helped a lot! It was very stressful for me as our reception venue was still far from finished and by Wednesday I was nearly in panic mode no matter how much Jeremy tried to assure me it would all work out. Thankfully, the place was finished enough for use by Thursday night and on Friday we were able to set up for the reception. There were a lot of last minute jobs that needed done in that last week, and I’d definitely recommend to anybody to take that week off, if possible.
What surprised you the most about the wedding planning process? Overall i did find the wedding planning enjoyable. There were a lot of hiccups along the way and many stresses that came with it, but I think knowing that in the end, after it all, I’d be marrying the man of my dreams, made all those little glitches worth it. I honestly can’t describe the excited feeling I’d get every time I thought of a new idea or something for our wedding.
How did you feel the day before the wedding? The day before the wedding I’ll admit, I think I was a mess. My Mum took me out to get my nails done for the wedding and all I could think about was how the venue was going to look and why wouldn’t it stop raining. When we returned to the venue and I say how everything looked I broke down in tears. Jeremy’s family and my litte brother had spend the last few hours placing everything exactly where I’d wanted them to and how I’d wanted it and I was so overwhelmed with how everything looked that I couldn’t hold back my emotions. Everything was perfect. Later at the rehearsal I saw how badly the rain had affected our ceremony venue and almost broke down again, for a different reason. There were puddles everywhere and I went in to a panic about how it would be the next day. Thankfully it, somehow all dried out overnight and was perfect.
Did things go well on the wedding morning? On the wedding morning I swear there as just a blanket of calm over the both of us. I was up early making breakfast for the bridesmaids and Jeremy fed the dog and checked into our hotel for that night. There were no hitches and I just couldn’t wait to see my soon to be husband. Our photographer commented that he’d never had a couple, or wedding party in general, be so calm on the morning of their wedding. We were too excited and too happy to be nervous.
Do you remember what you were thinking as you walked down the aisle? As I walked down the aisle everything was a blur, all my focus was on Jeremy waiting for me at the end. There were people at the ceremony that I didn’t even realise were there until looking at photos weeks later. The world felt like it stood still and he was the only thing that mattered in that moment. All Jeremy could think was simply ‘wow’
What were some of the highlights of the wedding day? Jeremy’s biggest highlight of the day was seeing me walk down the aisle. I think my biggest highlight was seeing his face once I reached the end. I swear I’ve never seen that man so happy. Overall though, I think the entire day was amazing, the best day of our lives so far.
Any thing you would have done differently? I think if I could’ve done anything differently it would be to practice our first dance before performing it, preferably in similar clothing to what would be worn on the day. As we found out, on the night it wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be, as I couldn’t step backwards in my dress because of the train, which was not something I’d thought about until I stood on it.
Advice to other brides/couples? Our advice to other couples would be to try not to stress. As difficult as that sounds at the end of the day all that matters is that you’re marrying the love of your life. Throughout our entire planning process and wedding day and everything Jeremy was very laid back and easy going, it was me who stressed over every little thing and at the end of it I look back and just wonder why I ever let some things get to me. Also remember, it’s your day, so have it the way you want it, not everyone else.
Would you recommend your vendors on the day? We were very happy with all of our vendors for the day.
Michelle and her team from Just Essence Catering did an amazing job, and were more than happy to work with every requirement we threw at them. Including setting up a children’s buffet table to keep their meals separate for the adults food.
Kate and the team at The Dessert Room were amazing too and worked with us very well. Plus they were far more reasonably priced than we expected.
Hirepool was one we didn’t expect to use but ended up needing to hire the tables and chairs for the reception from, they were very easy to work with, and allow 3 day hire which was definitely easier than trying to set up and clean up all in the same day.
Our photographer Chris Garden, was great! We had a lot of communication with him leading up to the day and he was happy to do whatever we asked of him, and his photos are amazing.
And of course our amazing celebrant Angela Port. She worked with us so well, and helped out with everywhere we needed it. She was happy to give us any advice we needed and help with vow writing, and we both love her ceremony and working with her.
What was your biggest surprise on the wedding day? Our biggest surprise on our wedding day has to have been the weather. For the days leading up, it was absolutely pouring with rain, right up until 2am that morning (yes I was still awake) and then on the Sunday it again was pouring down. But you couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day on the Saturday, it was absolutely stunning.
What is your favourite memory of your wedding day? I don’t think we’ll ever forget our wedding day, but I think my most favourite memory would be learning Jeremy’s reaction as I walked down the aisle, more happy tears were shed then. Jeremy’s favourite memory is seeing me, at the end of the night walking around cradling my baby cousin in my arms. I absolutely adore babies and Jeremy says I looked so peaceful and happy in that moment.
Anyone you would like to especially mention for their help? So many people helped us out in so many ways. Friends giving advice and support, family giving advice and helping us out financially. I don’t think we could really thank one person in particular without listing many, many names.
How did you feel the next day, once it was all over? The day after the wedding, we had to go clean up the reception venue and start returning hired things back to the companies. It was a very busy day and felt like we’d just had a great big party, but we didn’t feel any different. However it was a very stress free day, like a great weight had been lifted from our shoulders. And I know I saw Jeremy playing with his ring, just as much as I played with mine.
At the end of the day I believe just do what makes you happy. We were both so happy with how everything turned out for us, we couldn’t have asked for it to be better. The day definitely does fly by though and I think the best piece of advice I could give to any couple is to try take a moment for themselves out of their wedding day, away from the guests, and just enjoy each other. It’s something we didn’t do and in the end we didn’t really see a lot of each other once we got to the reception.
I wish you a life time of happiness together, and thank you for allowing me to share a part of your special day with me – Angela Port
All you need is love and … a ‘all you need is love’ t-shirt.
Help me spread the message that I live by. I have teamed up with the very clever Peg and Pencil Design Studio to come up with a very exciting project.
These gorgeous T-shirts are now for sale for a limited period. Black, because everything is better in black, with white lettering “all you need is love” on the front, and “🖤 to the max” on the right sleeve.
$35 NZD each which includes $1 donation to the NZ Heart Foundation (because hearts are fairly important) and postage anywhere in NZ.
Check out below for sizing.
MAPLE TEE – 4001
Mid weight, 180 GSM, 28-singles
100% combed cotton (marles 15% polyester)
Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
Pre-sales are for 2 weeks and then delivery up to 2 weeks after that.