Sunday, March 7, 2010

Melissa and Nat's Wedding

The third wedding is of my x-housemate, Melissa who is now married to Nathaniel- also known as Nat. Their wedding was held in a small town called Nimmitabel, 2 and a half hour drive South of Canberra.

Having to live with Mel for one year, I get to know her well more or less. She’s got some habits that people would think of as strange. For example, she likes to bring empty yogurt buckets from the cafĂ© she works everyday. She doesn’t want to waste them so she brought them home to be used as pot plants to grow herbs. Though… she had collected so many of them that our house verandah have got stacks of bucket from floor to ceiling. She loves the earth and in return hates wasting resources, and will go with whatever is green and organic. She studied rocks at university, but came out not wanting anything more than to be a mom with lots of kids. She also thinks systematically. Her arguments are usually verbally numbered. She’s also very quiet at home. Coming back home from work she would go straight to her computer and stayed silent… and I guess that’s how she met Nat on a facebook game.

It wasn’t until I went to the place that Nat grew up in, I realize how Nat, and the rest of his family is everything that Mel had ever dreamed of. Nat’s parents bought thousands acres of forest where they brougt up their kids. I quite enjoy visiting their property. Their living space is a combination of a house that they've buit themselves, a junkyard, Bianca the guard dog, chickens, ducks, vegetable garden, a green house, a half-made mud house and a dam. Nat is the oldest of 8 siblings and his youngest sibling is still a baby. For some reason he also likes to verbally numbered his argument….

The following are some photos from the Walker's property, This is their organic garden:

The half made mud house with the glorious forest background:

And the dam with the tilted sign that vaguely translates to, "Do not jump in":

Mel had asked me to make her and her bridesmaids jewelry as well as their bouquets. I finished making all the jewelry at home, but I was quite nervous in making her wedding bouquet as this is my first time, and it’s for real! Argh! Mel might not care so much about the flowers, but I still think she’s got a lot of trust in me.

I was lucky enough to get the flowers that I need from the wholesaler since the wedding is on the valentines day weekend. I got pink and yellow lilies from the supermarket as a backup, purple lisianthus and irises from the wholesaler.

On Friday when we arrived at nimmitabel, I had to go on a quest to pick some wild flowers to put in the bouquet. We went to Nat’s parent’s property to look for them. I end up picking some wild purple clovers and brackens for the bouquet.

I also took this advantage to have a little tour of the is so, sooo beautiful in there. No wonder Mel and Nat wanted to get married there.

That night there was a bushdance held in the Nimmitabel townhall. The band was excellent, there were little kids running around everywhere and delicious home made food being served, it was a great! I get to dance with tall men that I swear nearly catapaulted me flat on the wall. I don't know how the little kids cope...

While the bushdance is still going, I decided to duck out early to the hall’s kitchen to start arranging my flowers. I was a little nervous as I have no idea of what I was trying to do, but I was so fortunate that I had so many friends and strangers to came over to say hi and watch what I was doing. They also offered me help which made everything a lot faster and fun!

I realized as I was doing my flowers, there were about 50 times where I thought my bouquet looked so bad and I have to start again. If I was working by myself, I think I would, but people who saw me or watched me arrange them would sincerely say that it looked nice. Some even asked me if I've had training before because it looked like I knew what I was doing. I'm surprised, but I take it anyway, because I can't go on without those kind words and I can't handle the pressure of Mel not having her wedding bouquet looking great. It made me realize how important encouragement are.

I finished arranging the flowers at 3am and didn’t get to sleep until around 5 am on the floor in the townhall without a mattress… and yes, It was a stupid idea but at least my bouquet is done. My friend Caroline stayed up with me until 3 am. She's so funny she made time flies. I was arranging my flowers in the same room as where the girls were all sleeping, so both of our stomach hurts from trying to hold too much of our laughter.

I'm particularly proud of Melissa's bouquet. The pink lilies look so sweet againts the purple lisianthus. I was a bit worried that the Iris's didn't bloom in time, but I used that as 'spikes' coming out of the bouquet, and the purple clover helped toning it down. I would like another florist come up with this arrangement... I can't imagine anyone else using clovers and closed iris in a wedding bouquet :p

The next day, I woke up at 8 am to the sound of chairs being moved around inside the townhall. Everyone who slept in the room had disappeared. I peeked out of my sleeping bag and there he is again, Mr. helpful and cheerful (aka:John) is happily sweeping the floor away. “It’s Fionna!” like I just popped out of my cocoon or something.

“What? What’s going on? Where’s everyone? What’s with all the noise?!”

“They’re moving the wedding to the townhall. It’s still raining and this morning the wedding venue is covered in a layer of mud.”

“For a split second I thought about the prayers I whispered to God asking Him for a better weather today so that we can have the wedding in that beautiful forest. I was rather disappointed that it wouldn’t go as planned. But since yesterday the venue was covered in a layer of mud and the pizza oven is sufferring from the rain, I guess the townhall will have to do.

So the ceremony and reception happened spontaneously inside the townhall. Not just that, but it also functioned as a bushdance hall, kitchen, dining room, flower arranging table, and a sleeping hall. It feels like a thousand memories are jammed into that one building. Like any good country town, everybody is more than willing to help out. Everything seem to go in place as they move along. All the food are from their contribution and even though it was a buffet style sort of eating, some of the food there are just amazing! Especially the pizza! Unless I go to Italy and have the real deal, I will taste a better pizza. The townhall was packed with 200 or more people in it. That made me realize the fun of not having a 'seated' reception.

One of the wedding's highlight was when Melissa gets to cut Nat’s hair that he’s been growing for awhile. Story is, he made a deal with someone that he won’t cut his hair until he gets married… that was 6 years ago. The crowd got so involved they went mad! They even went all the way and got his head shaved.

The other highlight is… well… they’ve got a cookie monster cake topper.

So there it is, another country wedding. I spoke to yet again so many friendly and helpful strangers. Speaking of helpful, Caroline was amazing that day! She didn't just stayed up till 3 am helping me, she also helped out in the kitchen during the reception while everyone else was busy eating. She also brought cups of tea to people who really need it. She's like a superwoman, I wish I could be as sensitive as her.

I left early to Canberra because I was exhausted, and needed a timeout with Greg. Later I found out that Melissa did a bouquet throw, and guess where it landed? Carolineeeee.... !!!

Ehm... and so... a new adventure had begun for the new Mr and Mrs Walker... and where are they heading? Into the mysterious land fully populated by a 4 legged creature called a 'married couple'- congratulations you two! :D

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