Today was the day, and I was up early feeling excited. Everyone got up and there was a flurry of activity. Cas, Jenny and myself showered and washed our hair first. Cas, did our hair for us, and then we did make-up while the boys showered. Our clothes all needed ironing, so out came the iron – you would think ironing board would be the next logical step – we hunted high and low, no ironing board. Matthew got creative, cleaned the kitchen bench and put some towels down. Matt and I took it in turns to iron, when they all decided to go to the shops to get our lunch sorted, Mike and Sean casually put their clothes in the to be ironed pile as they ran out the door – cheeky buggers.
The ceremony was booked for 10.30, when they got back the boys made sushi (have I mentioned I have incredibly talented, creative kids), while Cas and Jen got dressed and then helped me into my dress.
Iain had not seen my dress at all, so had no idea what to expect. When I was dressed he was finally allowed to come upstairs to see what I had created.
Iain and Matt left to go to the church first to set up the camera’s, and let the priest know we were on our way. Cassy wouldn’t let me near the Land Rover, too much red dirt! We arrived at the little church, made from shell bricks.
The kids all went in ahead of me, as I got to the door the priest had the traditional wedding anthem playing for me to walk in.
It was a beautiful ceremony, Fr Rodillas had put in so much effort, we didn’t have any music with us, so he had organised it. He chose love songs instead of hymns, and the surprise came when before renewing our vows he sang ‘ Love Me With All Your Heart’ by Engelbert Humperdinck to us. He had a very strong Filipino accent, and it was very karaoke, but the effort he went to and the sentiment he put into it, brought tears to our eyes, truly a very special moment.
Ceremony over, we did photos and then headed off to Monkey Mia for our rendezvous with the Shotover. We got an awful lot of stares and congratulations as we all walked into the resort, and down the beach to the jetty. We were having so much fun, and as the crew promised, the boat was ready and waiting for us to do photos on.
We raced back to the cars and grabbed our bags and quickly got changed for the boat. The wind was still blowing and it was overcast, it didn’t bode well for wildlife sightings, but we didn’t care, we were having a great time. As we thought not much was seen, but the trip was just wonderful, most of the other people on the boat were pretty subdued, but the kids kept the crew entertained the whole way. Iain and I sat and watched them, and we felt so proud of the amazing adults they have all become. They are fun, happy, social and curious and we are so proud to call them ours. It was wonderful to watch Matt and Jenny too, they are such a beautiful couple and Jenny an integral part of our family.
When the trip was over, the skipper offered everyone another trip as we had not seen much. Cassy took him at his word and went over to the ticket office to book another day – bonus! We all went back to the house exhausted and relaxed for a while.
We had booked dinner at the Old Pearler Restaurant, built like the church, from shell bricks.
I had invited Fr Rodillas to join us, and he was waiting when we got there. He seemed a little nervous at first, but soon started to relax. It was so wonderful chatting to him, priests from my childhood were very different. We found out that he had only come from the Phillipines 3 years ago, his Parish is huge in area, but very small in numbers. Most of his parishioners were in their 80’s or 90’s, so as he said a lot of funerals. The last time he did a wedding was 2 years previously, and he said he felt honoured that we would choose him and his church for our renewal. Very humbling. He told us how lonely he was, he didn’t have any friends and no-one to play games with, I think we will definitely have to keep in touch with him, such a lovely man.
We had an amazing dinner, their speciality was fish. After dessert we were all falling asleep, so we said our goodbyes to Fr Rodillas, went to the house and fell into bed. What an amazing day.