Married Musings

It is the end of a very long week, and I realised “to update blog” has been sitting on my to-do list for over a month. I have been writing bits as the weeks have passed, but I’ve decided not to post my messy musings.

To be completely honest, I am not in a great space at the moment. I started this blog in a period of change, to update everyone, and to have an avenue to process my thoughts. However it’s not easy being in such a vulnerable position, especially when you are not coping well. So I thought I’d channel this blog post into something positive, and I will update you on coming to terms with a new diagnosis, and living my crazy life another time!

Even though I have been struggling recently, I am SO blessed to have my amazing husband by my side (sorry for the lack of puke alert guys!) He is the only person who can calm me down, who can hold me until I stop shaking, and can help me see the big picture again. Not only does he literally have the patience of a saint, he’s always there to listen, to laugh and cry with me, and to make me smile with his ridiculous Dad jokes. Marrying him was the best decision I’ve ever made – so much so that we enjoyed the celebration of marriage on multiple occasions!

The Wedding Season

As most of you are aware, I suck at making decisions, so you can imagine wedding planning was an insane task for me. I remember when we first got engaged, everyone’s first question is “when are you getting married?” We hadn’t even thought about it, but we soon learned we needed to have everything planned out. Put it this way, at least I was marrying a planner – or I think an actual wedding would not have happened!!

There are multiple things you need to organise when you first get engaged, where and when you are having your wedding, and who you’re going to invite. We quickly realised we needed answers for people, especially for family in the UK, and we needed to keep everyone in mind (in Elliot’s words, although a wedding is about the couple, the couple need to keep everyone else happy!) Unlike many of our friends with 3 month engagements, we decided to have 18 months, and get married in the UK school christmas holidays so that the family in the UK could make it over to NZ. Unfortunately, our UK family decided they wouldn’t be able to make the NZ wedding, so we changed the date to January, which gave us an extra month for planning, and more flexibility on dates!

All of the other decisions then fell into place. We wanted to get married at the Chateau, which is where Elliot first told me he loved me. It is also one of the most stunning places in the world, here’s a picture for all of those who don’t know it.

Keira + Elliot Radice-Skinner / Rachel Walker

Chateau Tongariro // Rachel Walker

This decision automatically reduced our wedding list significantly, as if we’d had it in Auckland/Gisborne I probably would have wanted to invite 400 or so guests (I don’t like leaving anyone out!)

A Bride on a budget

Anyone who has had a wedding, will know that the costs soon rake in… save the dates, invites, dresses, shoes, suits, cake, food, decorations, DJ, drinks etc… but it is all worth it in the end. Our New Zealand wedding was definitely on the higher end of what I’d ever imagine to spend, but I am blessed with the most supportive parents who made our day absolutely superb.

If you don’t know me – I am definitely stingey when it comes to how much money I like to spend on myself. Because our location made our budget increase ten-fold, I made sure I got the best bargains for the rest of the wedding. My dress was on sale from BHS (a department store in the UK)… and was the product of an impulse buy whilst on the phone to Lily in NZ. I’d never seen it in person, or tried it on, and it was smaller than my normal size… but hey it was a good bargain!! As soon as the dress arrived I fell in love, and it was a perfect fit!

My Mum spent months, trailing many op shops and stores to buy the most amazing decorations – while I have no idea how much this stayed within budget, everything looked amazing and we couldn’t have asked for any better!! She also found my head piece for less than $20 and organised all the behind the scene important things.

To be honest, all our other savings came about as we have so many wonderful friends. My shoes, were $10 from Kmart, and one of my bridesmaids, Nicole, decorated them to give it a special touch. They were beyond amazing – it is great to have best friends with amazing talents!  Nicole also designed our Passport programmes which were amazing and fitted into out travel theme!

My oldest bestie Danielle and my gorgeous niece Poppy flew over from Perth to spend the wedding with us. The week before the wedding, I was feeling quite pleased with myself with how well the planning was going (mainly kudos to my Mum and Ana, but hey ho I was relaxed). However, Danni almost passed out when she realised how laid-back I was. She then saved the day by making the wedding signs, helping Sammy and I do all the table decorations, choosing favours, sorting out colours, wedding day logistics, making a cake topper, painting my nails and so much more… again, I can’t believe how blessed I am to have such talented besties!

Keira + Elliot Radice-Skinner / Rachel Walker

Clever cake toppers by Danni // Rachel Walker

And then there was my sister Ana, who not only did all of the wedding invites and helped my Mum, she also did all the bridesmaids hair and make-up on the day! It was great to have a no-stress morning of the wedding, laughing with my 5 closest friends and having some bubbles to calm my nerves! I wasn’t worried about getting married to Elliot (besides, we’d already done the legal side in the UK), I was more worried that I’d fall over or stutter/swear whilst saying my vows (and again, for those that know me well know that the probability of this is extremely high!)

On the boys side, Elliots best man hand sewed all the ties to match the dresses and the pocket squares, as well as giving a stellar speech! Bobbie and Danni also made me cry again during the speeches and all 3 of them did extremely well at talking us up without embarrassing us… too much 😉 We had our good friend Gracie play the piano, Mathilde take communion, Pastor Jim take the ceremony and many people travel from overseas to join us! An absolute stellar of a day!

And time for round two

So our NZ wedding day was amazing, but as I don’t like leaving anyone out, we decided to host a UK blessing service. This meant our family could attend here, and my cousins could be bridesmaids! As our wedding had just happened in NZ, we had literally no money left – and again, without our family and friends, it wouldn’t have gone ahead! Our aunty Sharon first placed the idea of the second service in our heads, and offered to generously pay for half of the costs. But again, I did everything I could on the super cheap!

If any of you are ever in a situation where you want to get married on a budget – come and talk to me! The grand total for the blessing service, including all the dresses and suit, came to under 1k! Again, this wouldn’t have been made possible if my Aunty Jane hadn’t made all the cakes, Amy hadn’t made the decorations, and without the loan of other bits and pieces from newly married Ava and Valerie!

So, all in all we really got the best of both worlds when celebrating our marriage. Nearly all our favourite people were able to make one of the two events, and it was amazing to see how many friends we have, and how everyone pitched in to come and celebrate our love. In NZ, I cried the entire wedding day (sorry to all of those who subsequently had their makeup ruined too!)… I was definitely overwhelmed (in a good way) with the amount of love shown to us. A massive THANK YOU to all who came, especially those who travelled from far and wide, those who gave us gifts, helped organise, and continue to love and encourage us as a couple. Elliot and I are so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

YAY! you made it to the end of the post!!

Until next time,

Keira xo


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