In my last post, I left you idling in my vintage car as it’s time for us to leave for my mid-afternoon ceremony in the most beautiful place I could have ever imagined on earth.
It was an interesting drive to the chapel.
For when we had left our little townhouse, several cars containing the bridal party and family members had left with us at the same time. However, somewhere between our accommodation and chapel, we lost everyone.
Whilst we were doing laps of the roundabout, in hopes of everyone catching up before discovering we were the ones lagging behind; Lois and I spent those few minutes hysterically giggling as we waved hello and goodbye to those waiting ever-so patiently. All the while, staring and tooting their horns.
It truly made the drive a rather spectacular drive as Red got to speak about the good ol’ days of driving his parents vehicle as a teenager and Murray (a beloved family member and chauffeur for my wedding) spoke of the engine power and future dreams and aspirations.
Meanwhile for our loved ones and guests, the countdown was on and pre-celebrations were in full swing in and outside the chapel.
Having had photos with his fellow die-hard surfing brothers, the groom and his merry men began making their way into the chapel as news had arrived of the bride was on her way.
It also meant that it would be the perfect time for Mr. Darcy to practice his wedding vows with Suzanne.
Before residing to his spot at the end of the aisle.
All the while, the littlest of O’Chunky clan waited for the fashionably late bride to walk down the aisle.
It would also serve for the perfect opportunity to remind loved ones and guests that the bride and groom had requested for everyone to turn off their phones and cameras and simply be immersed in the moment.
The remaining guests who were running late for the wedding arrived and found their seats on either side of the aisle, with only moments to spare. It allowed ample time for the groom to nervously shift on his spot.
Only then, did the bride and her entourage finally arrive at AnnaBella Chapel.
I cannot begin to tell you, Dearest Reader, how excited I was to get there.
My original thought was of being nervous and having that swarming of butterflies intensify. But instead, I was completely and utterly overcome with joy, excitement and had to resist my urge to race down the aisle.
Just so I could kiss Mr. Darcy for the final time as a fiancee.
Murray and Red stepping out of the car, leaving Lois and I behind for a few minutes to ourselves.
It would be in this moment, Lois gave me some incredibly wise words of wisdom and told me how utterly proud and thrilled she was of me. Not only for having found the man of my dreams, growing and raising a son. But, she was also proud of the woman I had become and would continue being.
With a final hug, clasping of our hands and a wiping of a tear, Lois was escorted out of the car by a rather handsome looking Red.
As my passenger side door was opened, my Best Woman helped me out of the car while Murray made sure the veil was in tip-top condition.
Feeling as if my garter was venturing down my leg, Yang checked to make sure everything was in orderly fashion.
I held onto both our bouquets and giggled about this being a whole new definition to our friendship and how blessed Yang was as an Registered Nurse.
The sound of murmuring voices and a faint cough or two could be heard, I looked over for the final time and made sure that Tara and Murray were okay.
Having initially wished for the day to be somewhat wet with rain as it’d brought luck to my parents wedding day and marriage, I noticed the sky erupt into a beautiful shade of aquamarine blue as I began to make my way to the alter.
With the girls taking their places and the signal was given, the last and very final moments of being an O’Chunky had arrived.
Etta James began crooning, ‘At Last’ and the girls took their first steps down the aisle.
I asked Kaffy a series of very important questions.
Kaffy was asked if she would accept my proposal to be my Best Woman. But also, would she consider escorting Lois down the aisle.
With months of planning and formulating the perfect strategy, the biggest moment had arrived for the Best Woman, Mother of the Bride and gorgeous little addition of the next O’Chunky generation.
As the biggest Cheshire grin graced their faces and they glided down the aisle, Kaffy and Lois made a grand entry.
Whilst, Baby O stole the show with his good looks and cheeky grin, he simply left those in his path a melton pot of gasps and sighs.
As Etta finished her performance, Red and I lingered behind for a few seconds.
It was in this moment, my Daddy told me how incredibly proud he was of me and what a beautiful bride I was.
The emotions that’d been building and I had fought to hold onto, suddenly erupted.
I dabbed my tears away with a hanky carried by Red.
While Judy, the truly amazing woman and owner of AnnaBella Chapel, fluffed and zhuzh-ed my wedding veil.
After the tears had been dabbed and I had been informed Mr. Darcy was in fact standing at the end of the aisle and in the perfect position, I clasped Red’s arm and waited patiently for my bridal song to play.
Having dreamt of my quirky personality and nature coming out at my wedding, my first few steps towards my marriage and married life were taken in complete and utter silence.
It was a nod to the life I was leaving behind.
It acknowledged my single girl dreams and goals that I had either accomplished on my own or hadn’t accomplished because something bigger and grander in a tuxedo was waiting for me.
When I got to the archway of the chapel doors, my love for ABBA began to serenade those staring at me.
I walked down to the aisle while singing under my breath, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do’.
Only then was Mr. Darcy told he could turn around and take his first look at the blushing bride by his Best Man and older brother.
Red reminded me to walk slowly and enjoy the moment, I walked through a vast collection of my closest loved ones, friends and those who would become my outlaws.
There were those who stood out the most as I began those first few steps as a bride.
They were the ones who beamed with an abundance of happiness, gasped in awe and whispered hellos as I walked past.
I clasped my Father’s arm as he extended a hand out to Lois.
There as Suzanne extended a warm welcome to those who were attending our wedding, all four of us shared a look between us and Suzanne asked the question I’d been anxiously waiting for.
Suzanne asked my parents if they would be the ones to allow Mr. Darcy to marry their daughter and they blessed our wedding.
By agreeing to allow our wedding to continue after we had stated our intention of wishing to get married.
With a kiss on the cheek and a firm but loving handshake, alongside the whispered words of congratulations and hearty wishes, my parents took their seat.
Our guests and closely adored loved ones got comfortable in their rescued wooden pews from a little church in Ipswich.
While the groom and I took the opportunity to whisper hellos to one another, compliments about how breathtaking the other looked and how much we’d missed one another.
Before ultimately, stealing one of the few last kisses as fiancee and fiancé as the crowd hooted in merriment.
Having fallen in love with everything that encompassed Suzanne Riley and her philosophy on marriage and life, I watched in utter amazement as she welcomed our guests to the wedding of Lord and Lady Darcy.
Suzanne, our fabulous and one of a kind marriage guru and celebrant, did us the great honour of marrying us.
Suzanne managed the complicated and tricky balance of meaningful and deep, solemn and a terrific abundance of light heartedness.
She had this tenacity that made people laugh in glee and merriment.
All the while, highlighting the years of knowledge that comes with being married to the same person. Which my parents and future outlaws would discover as Suzanne highlighted there was over 70 years combined of knowledge shared between the two marriages.
She also managed to provoke an endless amount of tears when mentioning a conversation we’d had one afternoon.
She’d asked me who would be walking me down the aisle and when mentioning it would be Red; Suzanne asked me how I would define Red in three words.
Immediately, I started crying when trying to think of the words to describe him.
Even when hearing about how emotional I was, I burst into tears when remembering of our conversation and how I had told her that Red was not only a gorgeous dad. But, he was an equally besotted Poppy to his grandson, Baby O.
As a young girl growing up and as a woman planning her wedding, I always thought a wedding should be about loved ones as it is about the groom and bride.
Whether it be lots of good food and drink and endless amount of fun on the dance floor; I equally wanted everyone to be able to look back upon our ceremony and take something from it.
I am a firm believer of weddings that result in couples squeezing one another’s hands, those deeply in love with each other are nestling into their loved one a little bit further and leaving the wedding ceremony, feeling renewed and excited about their commitment to each other and themselves.
This was reflected in the words of wisdom that were to come.
As the elder of my family and my tipuna wahine, Queenie spoke of what it takes to be married 50 years.
By reading “The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson
Happiness in marriage in not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage, the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
These words didn’t leave Lois dry eyed or snuggling further into Red.
Wanting a spiritual moment that acknowledged our faith, I asked Yang to bless Mr. Darcy and I with a prayer.
Called The Wedding Prayer.
With love we gather today to celebrate Eliza and Mr. Darcy’s commitment and love to one another.
They come before you to pledge their lives and hearts to each other.
Lord we pray that every precious vow is remembered and acts asa reminder of the one who holds all things and who makes all things good.
We thank you for bringing these two people together and joining them today.
We pray that you will bless Mr. Darcy as a protector and provider, that you will guide and strengthen him as a husband and father.
We pray that you bless also Eliza, in tenderness and grace, that you will guide and strengthen her as a wife and mother.
lovingly teach them your heart in marriage, in your action on the cross, in your self-sacrificing and enduring love for us. We pray that upon troubled times and arguments that forgiveness is their first action and that humble spirits will prevail. We pray that each will put the other first, and be stubborn about it, so that both may know the depth of love and commitment they hold for each other.
we pray that you will never leave their side, being their vision, strength and constant companion. From today until the end of day.
Having been asked if Mr. Darcy would take me as his lawful wedded wife and I, in return, were asked if I’d take Mr. Darcy to be my lawful wedded husband; the best man presented us with our wedding rings.
Finally, it was time to our vows.
Mr. Darcy’s vows were truly touching.
I call upon all present to witness that, I, Mr. Darcy,
take you, Eliza O’Chunky, as my lawful wedding wife and my love for life.
I felt a connection with you, before I even met you.
After our first meeting, a coffee and a chat which lasted more than 9 hours,
I thought to myself… Eliza could be The One.
As time passed, I came to know you so well.
Falling in love with you, evolved into loving you completely and,
I know with my whole heart,
that it is you,
I want to spend the rest of my life with.
By your side, loving you, laughing with you, living our lives together.
And, making sure that all of the cupboards and fridge is set out to your OCD standards.
So today and everyday of my life,
I give you my vow to love and protect you always,
I will care for you and cherish you and all that we have.
I will be patient with our love and our life,
through the ups and down,
the crazy and weird times.
I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you and our young family.
I choose ‘us’ today and I will choose ‘us’ every day of my life.
I, Eliza O’Chunky, before all here present,
take thee, Mr. Darcy, to be my wedded husband.
I promised from this day forth, to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer and for poorer. In sickness and in health.
I will continue loving and cherishing you from the depths of my very heart and soul till death do us part.
As your wife, your friend and as your lover, I ask you to hold my hand and we shall begin this journey together as a couple and partnership, in marriage.
I promise you that I will love you, listen to you, acknowledge and support you on a daily basis. I also promise to comfort and encourage you to catch a wave when your feet become land locked.
My darling, Mr. Darcy, my sassy pants, in front of our family; I promise and pledge with my heart and every beat of my heart, I will always love you until infinity and beyond. Be calm, love me today.
Love me yesterday and continue to love me tomorrow. Will you do me the honour and marry me today and become my husband?
Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.
After waiting twenty-nine years for this moment, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy kissed his bride and became my husband.
As those escaped the chapel for refreshments and each others company, I seeked out one of the greatest joys of my life.
For a snuggle and lick in this case.
Guests and loved ones began to leisurely stroll through AnnaBella’s manicured grasslands before enviably falling down the rabbits hole over the gorgeous wild flowers in the paddocks.
All the while, the immediate family of O’Chunky’s posed happily for their photo.
Before the rest of the O’Chunky family joined in on the celebrations.
And, some of the sisters as well.
Eventually, Mr. Darcy and I snuck away to have some personal and touching photos.
We left our guests and loved ones trailing along the garden pathways, exploring the metal statues placed beautifully in the manicured gardens and children screaming with glee as they rode a wooden horse.
Having only been married for less than hour, Mr. Darcy and I decided marriage wouldn’t be complete without dipping our oars into murky waters.
Thankfully, it went smoothly and only experienced a few hiccups along the way.
Although, it cannot be said for the lily pads that survived the brutal bashing of Mr. Darcy trying to stroke his way through the greenery.
However, when docking our little love boat back onto drylands, we found the perfect spot to practice our first dance as a couple.
All under the watchful eye of Tara.
Having almost danced our feet off, we thought it would be best to join the rest of our guests and loved ones at our wedding reception.
And, the final chapter to our wedding.