Latest news….

I didn’t realise it’s been 3 months since the last update, until I got a comment from Tim today that wished us well finding the perfect venue. (Thanks Tim!) That tells you, I guess, how much has happened since the engagement party. NOT MUCH AT ALL!

But that’s perfectly alright, ’cause we planned it that way. We gave ourselves a year and a half to organise this wedding. Last week, Thursday, we had a look at a particular venue for the second time, to see what it was like set up for a wedding. We were satisfied that it suited our needs perfectly, so we made a tentative booking.

It’s the Kaitoke Country Gardens, a place which has been visited by me quite frequently over the years. They’ve got a fantastic garden setting, which is huge, with small hills, creeks, ponds and a waterfall. Trees too. Which is important, since we’re now planning an outdoor wedding in front of the waterfall, but under some trees. This is so I don’t have to wear sunglasses, which I normally do on a sunny day. I’ve got light-sensitive eyes, so having a wedding outdoors was going to be a problem unless I had something shading my eyes from the sun. Problem solved.

So we organised that, and were satisfied we had our venue. Costs were good, services were good, and the setting was good. Done deal.


While we’re still settled on the venue, the type of wedding is no longer a done deal. Let me explain…

Both Deidre and I are into emotional growth and spiritual ways of thinking and living. For myself, I had always been convinced that I would never get married. But then I started to change that attitude in 2003, when I started to realise that if I wanted to be with the woman of my dreams, I might just have to accept that getting married would be part of the package. It wasn’t until early last year, when I was exploring Taoism, that I realised holding onto a desire not to get married was simply preventing me from moving forward in my life. So a combination of things resulted in me being open to the idea of marriage.

Then I met Deidre, who has been completely focused on marriage for most of her life, always wanting to get married to her Prince Charming, whoever he might be. It turned out to be me, and so we got engaged and moved forward with plans to get married.

That’s the summary, of course.

Over the past week, Deidre’s own growth has led her to question some of the beliefs she’s held onto for most of her life. Beliefs around marriage, obligation, duty, etc. Many people get married due to pressure from religious leaders, parents and family, and from society and friends. They get married because they’re taught to believe that’s what they must do, and so they do. They believe that love is about commitment, and commitment is about marriage, and if you love someone then you should get married. They believe that without marriage, there is no love and commitment.

This is something Deidre felt was true, but which I never did. I always felt that love didn’t need a piece of paper to make it real, and commitment was in the actions of those who were in love, rather than in a marriage ceremony. The reality is, marriage is meaningless in today’s world. Just look at all the divorces!

So Deidre has started to expand her mental horizons, realising that she’s been wanting to get married only because of mental and emotional programming that she’s been taught over the years. She’s now questioning what marriage means, and how it’s going to be done.

This has resulted in her cropping over 30% of the people from the guest list we had. It went from almost 90 down to just over 50. We’re also reconsidering how we’re going to have the marriage, and whether it’s even going to be a marriage at all! We’re thinking maybe just a ‘party of celebration’, or something like that.

One of the fears she has is that everyone she’s known who’s gotten married has ended up divorced. Marriage = divorce. So naturally, to break that mental conditioning, if we don’t get married, then we won’t get divorced. So we’ll do something else, something other than marriage but will be as IF we’re married.

We’ll have only the closest of our friends and family, instead of those who were originally invited due to (Deidre’s) family politics and obligations. We’ll have it as far away from a religious ceremony as we can get, but have it as a ceremony of our own making. We’ll probably still have it at the venue we’ve settled upon, but it’ll obviously be a bit smaller than we originally planned.

And then today…..

Deidre joined me for lunch and during it she suggested we move the wedding forward, so it’s not so far away. I suggested this weekend… We laughed. She knows I don’t need the hordes of people or elaborate ceremonies for my love to be meaningful. She suggested April next year, a full 5 months earlier than planned.

I know why she did this, although we haven’t had a chance to talk about it. April is when we got engaged. It’s also when her father’s birthday is, and I know she would like to honour him by getting married on his birthday.

It was hugely significant that I coincidentally chose the exact day of his birthday to ask Dedire to marry me, which was something I didn’t know at the time!

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous….

I told her that if we get married in April, which we certainly can do, then we’ll probably have less people, and we won’t be able to afford as much as what we originally planned. However, if push comes to shove, we can get a personal loan to cover the difference between our savings and the actual costs.

So now we enter a new stage of planning, getting down into the nitty-gritty of exactly what we’re going to do. Personally, I’m very happy that it’s moving forward in a way that makes it about us, instead of about what other people want or expect us to do.

More updates will come…


Latest venue news

Since I last wrote about having a look at the Wellesley, we’ve also looked at the Duxton Hotel. As of this writing, the Duxton is our preferred venue. It’s also where we got engaged, so it has a special significance for us. That’s not the reason it’s prefferred though. It’s just got more value for money, and it’s probably the best venue we’ve found.

Our next step with the venue planning is creating a spreadsheet and putting all the information together to compare venues, and then we’ll make our final decision.

Searching for venues

Last night we looked at Wellesley Hotel in the heart of the city that is, or used to be, a ‘Gentlemen’s Club‘. It’s quite nice. Very warm and cosy, with dark wooden walls, and the bedroom suites are pretty cool too. Until last night, we were inclined to go with Wilton House, but this one’s leading the pack so far. We just have to see a few more and then work out which packages and venues come out on top.

The things people will do…

One of our friends has decided that they would love to be our marriage celebrant, so he's decided to do a course, or whatever it is that they do, so that he can marry us. 

We asked him a few weeks ago if he was a JP, as we felt he would be the best person we knew to marry us.  He wasn't, but he told us that someone else thought he should be a celebrant as well, so since it's something he'd like to do as well, he decided he'd go ahead and do what he needed to do to become one.

We think that's just very cool, and are honoured that he would do that for us (as well as himself, of course).  We're looking forward to that time when he'll be our celebrant. 

Wedding Venue

Last weekend we started looking around for a wedding venue.  We had a look at a place that overlooked one of the bays on the southern part of Wellington, with a great view of the ocean towards the south island.  It was nice…

This weekend we looked at a placed called Skyline Restaurant, which is really nice.  But we don't think it's appropriate for our wedding, as we felt the wedding area was too small, and overlooked the restaurant area, allowing people on the outside to look in.  

Today we had a look at Wilton House, which is in the bushland close to where we live.  So far, we like what we've found with that place.  It has the cosy atmosphere, with warmth and comfort, that we're looking for.  It has a fireplace, buffet area, seating area, piano area, dance area….  It also has a pretty cool garden area, which can be where the ceremony is, followed by everyone moving inside for the reception while we get photos taken outside.  That's if it's a nice day, of course.

Anyway, I think we're going with this place so far, but we're still going to look at other venues, and see what we can find.

Engagement Invitation

Last week we got the engagement invitation finalised and sent out. Here's a copy of it for you to see.


Engagement venue

We've spent probably about 6 weeks trying to work out where we'd have our engagement party. Not completely full-on though, but talking, considering, checking out, enquiring from friends, etc. Eventually we short-listed to a few potential places in the middle of the city.

Last weekend we went to check 'em out. One was closed, but I don't think we were inspired by the external appearance to follow up with a phone call. The other was too expensive. The third one (Scorpio's Welsh Dragon Bar) was closed, but because it was where I had my birthday party (photos) last year, it was an 'essential' part of the short list. I phoned them on Monday and spoke to someone about booking an engagement party with them. Their terms sounded quite reasonable, and included live music and a warm, relaxed environment.

On Wednesday night, Deidre and I went there to discuss the arrangements with the bar manager. Right from the beginning, he took us to where the setting would be, sat us down, and asked us what we'd like to drink – they were on the house. Then, over our free drinks, we discussed everything that they'd do for our engagement party. As a venue, they were free. For them, the money was in the food and drinks that would be bought by all the guests that we'd be having at the party.

So we were there for over half an hour, talking to the manager, discussing arrangements, and enjoying our free drinks. The booking is going ahead at this place, on the evening of the 10th June. It should be fun and relaxing!

The way it's going to work is that we'll be having an 'open party', which means people can come and go during the evening as they please. We're paying for the food throughout the evening, while the guests will be paying for their own drinks. Except for the bottles of wine we'll be supplying, scattered around the room.

I'll take photos, of course, and put them on my photo blog. I'll link to them, don't worry. 🙂

The great journey begins

I've set up this wedding blog to record the adventures of mine and Deidre's wedding plans. As we move forward towards the big day of 15th September 2007, we're going to have plenty of planning to do. Along the way, there's going to be some interesting stories to tell. This blog is where they'll be told.

We've managed to book a venue for the engagement party. It's going to be at Scorpio's Welsh Dragon Bar, in the centre of Wellington, on the evening of 10th June 2006. I'm going to be doing up an engagement invitation as a blog post, and the link to that page will be sent out by email to everyone we're inviting. Those who don't have email will have a printed engagement invitation that we'll send or hand to them.

May as well use this blog for everything to do with the engagement and wedding!

This is what we've done so far with our plans for the wedding:








Ok, 'nothing' is not quite true… We've had lots of discussions, and we're getting an idea of what we DON'T want. Which obviously means we're getting closer to working out what we DO want! That's pretty exciting….