Sunday, 31 January 2016

New Zealand wedding celebration

Becks and I in the Christchurch Botanic gardens
The main reason for our visit to New Zealand was to hold a wedding celebration with all of our southern hemisphere friends who weren't able to make it to London when we got married back in May.

As anyone who has got married will know there is a lot of expectation and pressure that comes with a wedding. Even if you are as laid back and not particularly beholden to convention as we were, there is still a lot of pressure. The final three weeks before our wedding in May were, frankly, pretty horrendous.

Luckily I've found the answer, have a second celebration. With the same person of course!
The Ilex centre
Becks had scoped out the Ilex centre on her previous trip to New Zealand last March, a post earthquake construction, near to the centre of the Botanic Gardens. It's a beautifully designed building and on a sunny day, with the nearby rose garden in full bloom, it was a near perfect setting.

Having already had one big day we were able to glide into our second wedding care free and, for me at least, it was a delight to be able to enjoy it so much.
Speech giving
We kept the lunch time event pretty informal. Having not met many of the guests before I decided to stand by the door to welcome everyone on their arrival and to make sure that I met everyone. I was pleased that I did, as the rest of the afternoon didn't give me opportunity to speak to everyone.

As people were finishing up dessert it was into the speeches. Rather than repeating my speech from London, I decided that I'd recap the day we had in May as I thought everyone would like to see pictures of the church and our English reception venue.

The speech went down well, but in hindsight I realised that it I could have pitched it differently. As Becks and I hadn't travelled to NZ together before, most people hadn't met me and there was quite a lot of curiosity about the English guy who was marrying a Christchurch girl. Who is he and is he good enough for her? I hadn't even countenanced speech about myself thinking it far too vain. However, a tongue in cheek This is your life style speech would have gone down well.
With the Unwins
After lunch we spent some time mingling with our guests. Once the event had finished we headed out into the rose garden to take a few photos. We'd visited the rose garden the previous weekend when around half the roses were out, but a week had made a huge difference and now nearly all the roses were in bloom. It made a beautiful setting.
With the Elliots

Later in the afternoon Becks' mum received a text from one of the guests saying she thought I was "mischievous". A proud moment, but I couldn't work out how her they'd realised so quickly!

With many thanks to both sets of parents for generously hosting everyone.

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