Before the wedding was the proposal – read the story here.
Host: Blina Station
Written by Constance Wood – Manager, Blina Station.
I’ve never been one of those girls who dreamed about their wedding. To be honest, I thought that getting married and living happily ever after was one of those things that happened to everyone else. I was too complex, too torn between two worlds to ever find someone who matched me, or would accept my special kind of weird. My vision of myself was being the loose old single spinster at everyone else’s wedding, getting drunk off free wine, pinching young blokes on the bum, dancing like an old stud, and falling in the wedding cake. Pretty good 2nd prize I thought, at least I would be having a good time.
But, when that tall dark and handsome man got down on one knee, I thought – geeze – this is it – this is where my happily ever after starts. This is how it feels.
What the hell do I do now?!
True to form, Matt had a plan, he’s always got a plan. We would get married before the cattle season starts again – before Easter. Pretty tight deadline, but perhaps he was as worried as I, that the other party would change their mind and decide – nar, actually, my happily ever after doesn’t end with you.
So, this is mid August 2014 – we wanted to get married in March 2015. I count – September, October, November, December, January, Febuary, March – seven months. We agreed, challenge accepted – the date would be March 28th 2015, we would be married in Broome.
Amongst juggling my job as a HR advisor at a mine on Ellendale and my duties at Blina, I started the mammoth job of planning our wedding. Big ticket items first – bridesmaids, venue, celebrant, invitations, caterer, don’t be a bride-zilla.
I kept the bridezilla moments to a minimum, and there are a multitude of stories I could share about planning a wedding in the bush but in particular, but I wanted to share one of the more trivial arguments we had during the lead up to the wedding.
Matt’s idea of a great wedding was vastly different to mine. I remember driving across the Erskine range and we had our first of many, wedding arguments. Matt didn’t care about details like having pretty chairs or fairy lights. He wanted a huge sit down affair, with lots of rum and a pig on the spit. I could see my Pinterest board of rustic, country themed wedding ideas going up in smoke, and fast. Matt was the one with the gerry can of petrol and a match.
I tried to reason with him – “What about hessian and lace, pretty fairy lights, just a few people, but do it really nicely?”
“NAR, stuff that, forget about all that, we’ll just have a few balloons and homebrew rum and everyone can grab a roll and serve themselves.”
I could feel my gut tightening; I was not going to get married at a god-damned BnS Ball!! I might not have dreamed about this for years, but now it was finally here, I wanted a touch of class! I gripped the steering wheel tight, trying to hold back the tears I could feel fighting their way forward – breathe Connie, just breathe – I was not going to cry over decorations and chairs. I was not going to be that girl. I am not a bridezilla.
Oh god, yep, it’s happening, I was being that girl – I felt my face go hot, and the tears spill out and down my cheeks. I sobbed, my fiancé was being a brute! Matt stopped mid sentence – he was going on again about home brew rum and saving money.
“What, Connie what’s wrong? – are you crying? Why are you crying?”
The home brew idea was too much and I wailed “I DON’T WANT A BNS WEDDING, I JUST WANT NICE CHAIRS AND PRETTY THINGS”. Matt laughed at me, how dare he laugh? This was serious stuff!!
He frowned at me, “Connie, get a grip” he told me off sternly. As he always does when I become melodramatic or start feeling sorry for myself.
“NOOO” I cried, (getting melodramatic and starting to feel sorry for myself, wondering how I could possibly marry a man who didn’t care about the pretty chairs I saw on Pinterest) you don’t understand, it’s important, I don’t want it to be feral, everything we do is feral, I just want something pretty for once”.
He laughed at me again, his tone softening, “Connie, do you remember the chairs at Alysha and Blair’s wedding? What about Kate and AJ’s?”. My mind ticked over, digging into my memory bank, desperate to prove him wrong – I came up with big duck eggs. No, I could not remember the chairs, or the decorations for that matter. I sniffed. “No, I can’t remember, but I bet they were nice” Matt laughed again, sensing he was going to talk me around on this one (he usually does) “Connie, do you know what goes on chairs?”
“What goes on chairs Matt?” I snapped.
“Arseholes, Connie, arseholes go on chairs. Nobody leaves a wedding, saying ‘Oh, wow, did you see those chairs?’. Forget about the great time we had – all the free grog and dancing, how happy the couple looked, Connie – nobody cares about the chairs – arseholes go on chairs.”
Despite myself, I knew he had a point. I stifled a laugh, and wiped the stupid tears away, I’d just had my first (of very few) bridezilla moments. It really didn’t matter about the chairs, all that mattered is that we got to marry one another in front of our friends and family. After that argument, I promised myself, every time you get caught up in something trivial and superficial – just think – Connie – arseholes go on chairs. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Think of the big picture.
As a result of this mantra Matt and I ended up role reversing – Matt is a naturally organised person and has very set ideas about the order of things. I often joke that my job is to ‘manage the manager’, and I often had to remind my over zealous fiancé to butt out of it and let me organise this – it was the natural order of things, he wasn’t supposed to manage the wedding like a cattle station. Did he butt out? – HELL NO!
At meetings with caterers, party hire planners, and the like – I would sit back, and take a few notes, putting my trust in the fact that these people were professionals – while Matt had a list of questions written in his Elders notebook that he would fire at a million miles an hour. Scrutinising every detail, to the point that sometimes it was uncomfortable.
This is how he got the nickname with our family and friends of “Groomzilla”. After my first teary outburst driving over the Erskine range, I was determined to be relaxed about this wedding. I wanted to enjoy the experience. Matt, wanted to manage the wedding, the best way he knew how. In the same way he scrutinised lick consumption in Blina’s weaner paddocks, he scrutinised quotes for the meat and alcohol, with the same keen eye he uses to draft keeper heifers, he drafted through suits and shirts in the formal hire place. He even tried to have a say about the bridesmaid’s dresses.
He left a lot to me, like getting a wedding dress, and all of the boring girly stuff like invitations and decorations. But I had to laugh, when he would stick his nose in and start making phone calls about items I had already sorted. When I would tease Matt about being a groomzilla – he would retort – “Well, I’d rather be a Groom-zilla than be a bride-DOE-BANGER like you big monkey!!” I still laugh at that term, who calls their fiance a bride-doebanger?!
Matt and I ended up with a wedding celebration, which was the perfect compromise, just as it should be. No, I didn’t get nice, chairs – but I yes, I had a beautiful dress, my bridesmaids were stunning, and some pretty decorations, Matt got his roast pork and homebrew rum and a full sit down meal. But most importantly, we were privileged enough to marry one another, as best friends and partners in this life, in front of people who we love and hold dear. It truly was my dream wedding and I wouldn’t want it to have been any other way.