April the 8th, 2006 is a day I’m not going to forget too quickly. I would say that it’s the most important date of my life thus far and the decision I made was not entered into lightly.
Until I met my husband, I never thought I would find someone so perfect for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not living in some fantasy world where things never go wrong for us. We have our ups and downs like most couples, but we sort through them and we know we will always be there for each other. Before Jeremy, I didn’t think I was capable of making that kind of commitment.
We had been long awaiting our wedding day for a good eight months. Most people would probably think that eight months is not a long enough engagement period, though I’m sure that many people who know Jeremy and me would disagree that it should have applied to us. I was far more nervous about arriving to the church late than thinking I might be marrying the wrong man (which I wasn’t thinking, by the way).
The day started with me waking up at 6:30am, after only four hours sleep the night before (I had been catching up with friends from Melbourne and Canada the previous day). My dad, sister and myself left the house at about 9:15am to pick up the bouquets, button holes, and flowers for my hair, then arrived at my Godmother’s house for 10am, where we were to get ready for the day. Banjup is a bit closer to Shenton Park than Safety Bay is.
My hair took a good two hours to do, which I totally wasn’t expecting. Especially considering it only cost me $50, including the trial run! As Maria was starting on my makeup, she was called to attend to my dad’s suit. So I decided to save time by starting to put on my wedding under garments. As I was done, I went to leave the room only to find I couldn’t, as Jeremy and Matthew T had arrived with the wedding car. I was not permitted to leave the room until an appropriate moment.
Our videographer had arrived at just the moment to film my makeup and other preparations. We didn’t even need to stage me getting ready, as only my hair was nearly finished by that point.
We weren’t all ready to leave the house until 1:30pm. This probably would’ve been fine if we took the freeway to the church, but no one really asked me despite being the one to probably have most frequently make similar trips in the last year. I left my complaints with my dad only as we were driving, and I was panicking that Jeremy would think I’d changed my mind. I always get a little worked up when I know I’m going to be late, especially if it’s something I feel is important to be on time for.
As fate would have it, we arrived nearly half an hour late to the church. We were greeted by two photographers and our videographer, amongst a few of the guests I was expecting to be inside. I distinctly remember seeing Moira and Marcia, but I’m sure there were others. Of course Matthew M was also outside, being the minister and all, and having to announce my arrival. I apologised to him for my lateness, even though I didn’t feel it was my fault. It did make me happy to see him though, as I am so glad that I get along as well as I do with Jeremy’s family, and he is now my new brother-in-law.
After all the standard arrival photos and shots, and the rest of the outdoor guests had entered the church and taken their seats, I was ready to make my entrance. I could hear Matthew announcing to our family and friends that I had arrived. I was so incredibly nervous, but mostly because I was afraid of stuffing something up. I think everything went by too quickly for that to happen. I remember telling my sister when to go down the aisle, then making my entrance at what I hoped was the right moment, which it was, and seeing my friend Cameron and his wife Jennifer at the back of the room just as I entered, but pretty much everything else was a blur until I made it to the front of the church.
Then there were some words from Matthew and Jeremy went to sit down, so I thought I had to as well, and Matthew told him to stop and stay. There was a laugh from the audience. I think our first hymn came shortly after, and in not too much more time, we exchanged our vows, rings, and were married. I’d expected a bit more time to have passed before all that! There was probably then another hymn. Everything went so quickly that I don’t remember when Jeremy’s dad Ian read I Corinthians 13, nor when Jeremy’s mum Kaye prayed for us. But I do remember Matthew’s sermon, and how much I really enjoyed it. I had already thought Matthew was a good minister from having visited his Bedford church, but I think it made it all the more special simply because he’s family. He made our friends and family laugh with little jokes here and there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he mentioned Wedding Crashers because he knows I’m an Owen Wilson fan.
The signing of the register took place in just about the same amount of time it took Jo to sing Candle on the Water for us, and she was lovely, though I was too distracted by all the signatures to pay too much attention to her. Luckily we had tested her at the rehearsal and I know she was great then.
Finally, Matthew announced Jeremy and I as husband and wife, and we left the church to the 2005 Doctor Who theme song. It was perfect.
The afternoon tea went far too quickly for my liking. We both had a glass of lime punch and that was about it. We didn’t get any food bar the profiterole Jeremy took off the top, and Cameron’s toast to us was great, even if a small part of it sounded like we had previously dated (which we hadn’t). We’d just stood around for far too long at the beginning, shaking people’s hands, receiving hugs and kisses, and of course compliments about my dress and congratulatory remarks.
Family photos followed, including photos with our Arena Theatre family (and there was certainly a large number of Arenites there that I can remember – Siobhan, Kelly, Jill, Lee, Johan, Jo, Michael, Simon, Francesca, and Andrew Shugg). Then Jeremy, Matthew T, Elyse and myself left to have the bridal party photos taken in King’s Park and Matilda Bay. I was really pleased with the photographers Jason and Nathan, and also the videographer. She kept complimenting me throughout the day, which made me feel really good about myself. I think she also appreciated that I understood exactly what she was doing, because I’m a director myself. They all made it really easy on us, or I thought so anyway. We finally arrived at the boat after 6pm, but they were all still happy to stay long enough to get the final few photos we wanted. I would highly recommend these people to anyone else getting married, any time.
So the bridal party headed off while the guests boarded the boat. And then we made our arrival to the wrong song because the DJ got it wrong. We’re sure no one noticed, though we did. But fortunately that was really the only semi-bad thing about the evening. The four hours passed way too quickly for my liking, though my feet were quite sore from standing while videoing the speeches on the boat. We even had dolphins follow us to the mouth of the river in Fremantle. It must’ve been a good omen, as dolphins are my favourite animals. Even the bubble blowers at the church had dolphins on them.
The only other thing I really want to say about the reception is that I absolutely adored the speeches. My sister’s speech made me cry, while Matthew’s speech made me laugh. Both father speeches were lovely, and Jeremy’s made everyone realise how lucky I am, if they didn’t already. I am so glad I got the speeches on tape because I’d really love to watch them again.
At the end of the night, Sam caught my garter, and Kelly caught my bouquet. Then Jeremy and I drove off into the night for our last ride in the BMW before settling into our Hyatt Executive Spa Suite. It was by far the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in and the best start to our honeymoon.
The following day saw Jeremy’s parents come by with the majority of our wedding presents, which we made a list of as we were opening. I don’t want to suggest that gifts are the best thing about weddings, but we certainly scored. And we barely got any duplicate items, which was really cool. We did figure out that some guests had not brought their gifts to the wedding, and therefore I suppose there will be more to open when we get home.
Yes, home. I am typing this in Singapore, on Jeremy’s iBook. Our first full day (April 10th) in Singapore was spent wandering around the east of Singapore, tasting as many of the delicacies as we could. One of my favourite drinks that I’d like to highly recommend was Bandung, which I drank for lunch. I didn’t eat anything for lunch as I was still full from the Nasi Lemak breakfast with Lime Juice and Teh Tarik to drink. The Teh Tarik was probably my favourite drink, and even nicer than Chai. They should bring it to Australia. My dinner consisted of Won Ton Spinach Noodles, followed by Strawberry Ice Kachang. I couldn’t believe it when I managed to use chopsticks like a pro for the first time ever after always being afraid of doing it wrong.
We spent most of the day in shopping malls and centres close to our hotel, The Grand Mecure Roxy, which is in suburban Singapore. I admired all the electrical appliances in the morning, deciding I would have to live in Singapore for a year just so I can enjoy them, at some point, and also discovered that VCDs aren’t just pirated movies and TV shows because you can buy them in stores. We have been very tempted by a few titles, but at this stage have resisted any immediate urges to spend money. I personally am wanting to make sure we get the best deal before I seriously decide to spend money. The only things we’ve bought so far is a gift for my father-in-law, and some CDs in a language we don’t understand. There was a CD stall near our hotel selling CDs for only S$7 each, and the CD they were playing at the time sounded really nice so I wanted to get it.
In the evening, we relaxed by having a swim in the hotel pool at around 9:30pm. The temperature doesn’t really change here and it’s actually quite a nice time of the day for a swim.
April 11th was spent exploring the tourist shopping district, Orchard Road, a little. We figured out how to use the public transport system, which is very reasonably priced, in order to get there. And whereas we only saw a total of about three Westerners on our first day in Singapore, I lost track of how many we saw in all the shopping malls and centres we saw today.
For breakfast, we had Kaya (Coconut Jam) on bread (though a different type of bread than we’re used to), which was actually quite nice, and sugar cane juice, also lovely. Lunch consisted of Roti Prata (a flaky fried pastry) and watermelon juice, and for dinner we had satay. I don’t think I’m ever going to get over how delicious the food and drink is here, it’s quite amazing really. I don’t know if even a week is long enough to try it all.
They have TVs on the buses here in Singapore, and we saw an ad for a Japanese horror film called Reincarnation, which I think we’re going to have to catch while we’re here if we can. Jeremy wants us also to go see Firewall so he can possibly win a MacBook Pro. As much as I’d love a MacBook Pro, I’m afraid the competition may only be open to Singapore residents, of which we are not.
After we bought a charger that we think works for our camera for S$60 (I kept bargaining them down because I wanted to go to the official Sony Gallery to check if I could find the exact model I wanted, rather than an older model that isn’t technically supposed to be for our batteries), and I got some really spiffy green thongs, Jeremy said we couldn’t spend any more money. But I have decided on the DVDs (or VCDs) I want to buy while we’re here. He’s willing to possibly make an exception to our non-buying-DVD rule, because I really want to see these two 3D animated films not available in Australia as far as I know. I guess I’ll see what happens the next time we go to a shop. I know where’s a decent place to get them from now, and it’s only near to our hotel at a shopping centre called Parkway Parade.
April 12th was a very busy day indeed. Jeremy had planned the whole day himself on some notepaper so it’ll be easy for me to recount what we did.
We left our hotel at 8:30am, despite the fact that most of Singapore doesn’t open until at least 10:30am. We ventured towards the Malay Village, which wasn’t open, and then crossed the street for breakfast. On the way to the Malay Village, we picked up a rainbow coloured cake called kueh lapis. For breakfast, I had Bubur Ayam (Chicken Porridge) and to drink I had a Milo Dinosaur, which is just like milo but it had ice in it. Breakfast was very filling, so we didn’t eat for the rest of the day until dinner.
After breakfast, we figured out how to use the MRT and headed into Bugis St to look at the largest street shopping in Singapore. Most of the shops were still closed, so we headed on to Little India. On the way, we saw a funeral proceeding. When we arrived in Little India, we looked at Sri Krishnan Temple, and I got a T-shirt with a unique print only available from the store we got it from, plus a couple of pairs of very pretty Indian earrings.
By this time, we were already an hour behind Jeremy’s schedule. So we hopped on the SIA Hop-on-hop-off bus for $3 a day (each) and headed to our next destination, Merlion Park. There were two Merlion statues, a big one and a little one, and they were both spouting water from their mouths. We picked up a present for our niece Cara here.
We then walked past the Supreme Court and Parliament House, on our way to the Funan DigitaLife Mall. And oh did we spend money there! Jeremy picked up a USB VoIP phone for $30, I got one of the DVDs I wanted (a Singaporean 3D animated film called Zodiac), and we also got some good noise reduction headphones for use with the video camera. As I’m typing this, I’m using them and listening to the music from our wedding. I was also very tempted to pick up a USB SIM card reader, but as we were getting the headphones, I didn’t think I could justify spending $19 on that as well, even though I thought it would be really cool.
We next caught the SIA bus to Chinatown where we spent even more money. Now we’re down to getting gifts for four more people, but I’m not going to list names. And I made Jeremy spend even more money on me here because I really, really wanted this Chinese outfit that looked quite stunning. We also had dinner here at Chinatown, despite Jeremy’s plan on the schedule to have lunch there. This is where we guiltily admit we ate McDonald’s – however, it wasn’t just any type of McDonald’s. We had two uniquely Asian, I guess sandwiches (oh, well, that’s what they called them when I was working at Burger King). One was free, and it was called a Chicken Fan-tastic, and instead of a bread bun, it had rice patties. The other was a different sort of a chicken wrap, which I thought was nicer and it was a fair bit healthier than the Fun-tastic (even the Big Mac was healthier than it!)
Having spent so much time at Funan, we almost missed the last SIA bus to the Botanic Gardens, and even then we only had half an hour there before we had to catch the last SIA bus to get us back to Bugis. The Gardens were lovely, though, from what we saw of them. We even got to see squirrels and turtles and fish!
So from Bugis, we took the same route home. My back and feet were so sore from walking all day, and I know Jeremy was also sore. So we went for a swim in the pool to cool down and relax. Then we came back upstairs, got dressed in some nice clothes (I wore my Chinese outfit), and went to the Beads restaurant and lounge in our hotel to try the chocolate fondue that we’ve seen advertised. It was really quite nice, though a lot more expensive than any dessert you can get from just down the street. But we thought, we’re on our honeymoon, we can spoil ourselves just a little bit. We thought it was something Jeremy’s sister Annie would’ve really enjoyed. And that’s pretty much the end of the 12th.