We still haven't received the big expensive album from our professional photographer (not sure if that is her fault or ours), so I've been sifting through the photos that the rest of us took that weekend and singling out the ones that seem to have great swathes of memory attached. Rather than the pre-arranged photo ops - cutting the cake, making the toasts etc; I'm far too self-conscious to enjoy all that attention - these were really the mini highlights of that time. Kicking my way through a sea of balloons made me feel more like this was my party than any fairytale long white gown, and I'm very glad I've got this photo to remember the moment by.
Before we got married there, our wedding venue - a former convent converted into a guest house - was already one of our favourite places for a weekend away. When Hayden and I arrived there on the Friday afternoon it was eerily quiet, and it was hard to believe that this was the start of our big event and not just another 'reconnaissance' trip. It all felt a bit unreal when we heard cars arriving out the front, and went out to greet my family who all happened to arrive around the same time.
And it was slightly strange to see all these familiar people in a place so far away. I suppose it shows that we do feel isolated up here in Queensland, and it doesn't help that it could be a lot worse. I mean, it's not like we're in different hemispheres or time zones, it's just a two-hour flight. But we never get to just invite them round to our place for a homey dinner or an afternoon chat.
While we were greeting our guests, I was also attempting to achieve the one urgent thing I had to do that afternoon: arrange the flowers. They were the only part of the wedding preparation that I had left somewhat to chance, and if you have ever been to Townsville you might understand why. It is not generally a flower-friendly place. Most of the year it's too hot and humid for delicate flowers and they just wilt while you're looking at them, and consequently our local florists tend to be ... well let's just say that there's not much around that's to my taste.
It was my mum who suggested we might find flowers closer to our wedding venue. So about three weeks before the wedding we ordered a couple of bunches from a local rose farm: I told the lady what colours I wanted: ivory, champagney beige, and pale green. And with typical North Queensland candor she told me she couldn't promise anything. Strangely, that didn't worry me at all. I just had a feeling that it would all work out.
And it did! we got the colours we wanted (for just $10 a bunch!) and my sister Louisa effortlessly transformed them into beautiful bouquets.
When I saw them completed, they took my breath away. They were one of my favourite things from the wedding, and in fact I kept them. They're all dried up and hanging up beside me as I type. They are not looking anywhere near as good as on that day.
Yes, but I'm getting a bit ahead of the story with that photo.
To be continued ...