So I’ve been putting off writing these blog posts because it makes me so sad it’s all over! Seriously girls if you’re currently engaged, enjoy every moment, it’s seriously such a special time of your life.
Now if you’re ready for a comedy of disasters, this should keep you entertained for the next 5 minutes.
So leading up to the wedding, I was fully organised, no last minute decisions (except for my wedding dress freakout – blog post to come), I was officially ready to go and excited for a holiday in Bali.
We land in Bali and fully relax. Initially we were nervous about the weather as there was a lot of intermittent rain, but in the grand scheme of things this was a laughable worry now looking back on the events that took place.
Our wedding planner had been extremely unwell in the lead up to the wedding and had been stuck in Australia (she is normally based in Bali), and a few days into our holiday she confirmed she wasn’t going to be able to make it over for our wedding. I had been semi preparing for this moment so I was relatively calm, but for me it was really important I met whoever was going to take over because for us, the whole point of having and paying for a wedding planner was so that we could enjoy every moment of our wedding day. Our wedding planner was extremely helpful and had organised for someone else to step in, and her replacement, Kira from Hitch’d was absolutely amazing. So first disaster semi avoided.
For those of you who know me personally (Instagram: @sophiemaxwell) you’ll know Bill came second on my love list. My darling boy, Harvey (golden retriever) was honestly the love of my life. So leading up to the wedding he had been unwell and while we were in Bali had had an operation to see if we could fix him. Sadly, post this operation the vets said they couldn’t do anything more and he was in so much pain we would have to put him down. Being stuck in Bali and not being able to look after him and give him one last cuddle was beyond devastating. We cried for days and I was so far from being wedding excited. I remember at this point saying to one another “well at least that’s our bad luck done, it can only go up from here” – ha! You wish kids.
Bill had hit the reef day 1 or day 2 of our trip. He’s a seasoned surfer so this was not a worry. However one day when we’d decided to go for a hike, he’d taken his top off to cool off, only to reveal these awful red, dresses inflamed and infected streaks all leading down to his lymph glands. He had blood poisoning. Especially being in Bali where health care is far from ideal, we got onto the antibiotics right away as we had read that the next stage was vomiting and sweating and would require immediate hospitalisation, in Australia. F%#!
Those who know us personally will also be fully aware of Bills knee dramas. He’s had 1 knee reconstruction and 1 arthroscope in recent years – what he gets for having little chicken legs that are skinnier and longer than mine (the bastard). So a few days after the news of our beloved Harvey, Bill returns from his surf limping. At first I assumed he was joking (because how on earth could this holiday get worse). And of course he’s not, and he’s required to spend the next week resting so that he can enjoy his wedding day.
The official disaster
So Bali is renowned for its beautiful climate, amazing food and darling people. It’s also now known (in recent years) for its unpredictable natural disasters, earthquakes and…. volcanos! So my sister was on her way over with 80 of our guests to also fly in the days following, and we were getting sooooooo excited. We were out for dinner with Bills mum and sisters when one of his sisters who had wifi gasped and said “Shari’s (my sister) plane has been turned around, the volcanos blown again and flights are interrupted indefinitely”. Safe to say this was our worst nightmare. We had been previously disrupted by the volcano in past holidays and knew how much havoc it created, and to my organised self’s horror, was completely uncontrollable. For the next 2 days we cried, prayed and recharged our phones multiple times so we could have a minute by minute play of the flight statuses. We had friends stuck in airports all across the country, waiting to hear their destiny. The other issue is that with having our wedding in school holidays, flights were booked out for 2 weeks so if their flights got cancelled it was near impossible and VERY expensive to jump on a new flight. And sadly, because this has happened soooo many times now all airlines with the exception of Garuda (who we always recommend to Bali holidayers) were purely cancelling flights rather than rescheduling. As I said, it was our worst nightmare. The morning after my sisters flight was turned around, the most beautiful Balinese said to me, “we have this saying in Bali, ‘if you think, it will happen’”. So for the next 2 days I was completely distracted from relaxing and keeping my diet on track. EVERYTHING was put into perspective. Who gave a rats about how I looked, my dress – everything. Our guests were everything and without them, we wouldn’t have our special day. It was as simple as that. And at that stage we had 20/100 guests in Bali, with a total of 1 groomsman and 3 bridesmaids.
And then all of a sudden, our wishing and praying worked. After hours of sitting at airports, waiting on tarmacs, (my sisters plane was turned around on the tarmac (for a 2nd time) and then just as quickly told to “go, go, go – we’re flying”), they started to arrive. I’m actually crying as I write this because it was one of the most happiest moments of my life. Each and every guest was a gift and we made an effort to act as a welcome wagon and give each one a much deserved cuddle. It’s all about perspective, I certainly have things I wish I’d done differently (future blog post to come), but our wedding was perfect, and the moment the majority got in, I was stress free and so bloody excited. Out of 80, we had 6 who couldn’t make their way over, and that was honestly devastating, I shiver at the thought of how we would have felt if all 80 got stuck. It makes me feel a little ill to be honest.
That’s enough for part 1, I need a moment to compose myself before jumping into the fun stuff. But, I hope for all future bride to be’s reading this can learn just one thing. Shit will go wrong, it doesn’t matter how organised you are, how much money you’ve spent and how perfect your venue is. Sorry to break it to you, but something will happen, but don’t let it ruin your day, and if you’re having a moment, think of me, and remind yourself that as long as your guests arrive your wedding will be perfect. Rain, hail or shine.
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