Memories of 43 years ago

The 4th November 1978 seems such a long long time ago.
43 years ago today in another lifetime I married the love of my life.
I was young, not quite 22yrs old & Tim was 29, but we’d known each other for over 7 years and I was absolutely sure this was what I wanted.
I was blissfully innocent & ignorant to what the years ahead would hold.
Thank goodness we are not given that insight!

Tim & I were married in the cute wee Anglican Church in Renwick New Zealand.
The Church of the Annunciation was consecrated on March 5th 1896, and was sadly destroyed by arson in 2002.

It was a beautiful service with Tim’s Uncle Ian & my Uncle George conducting the service. My friend Cynthia and old family friend Mrs Cecily Gee playing the guitar & organ. I had chosen the music and it was venturing to the more modern side of Anglican at that time as I used the ‘modern’ Songs of Praise books as reference 😉

I have a few memories of the day

I rode to the church in a horse & cart with my parents and sister. Driven by local identity & motelier Rod Eatwell. The cart was decorated with climbing roses from the trees next door to us.
But on returning I rode in the cart with Tim to have our photos taken by neighbour Graham – leaving my parents stranded with no ride home – oops!

This is my favourite photo from the whole day – taken by friend & guest Les Sparrow

We walked over to my parents house via a visit with an elderly neighbour who was delighted to see us in our wedding finery.
The photos look serious but there was a lot of hilarity going on behind the scenes 🙂

Everything was done locally
My parents didn’t have a lot of money so the wedding was not extravagant but my memories are fairly positive of a wonderful day.
I only recall one negative upset and that was a difficult aunt who decided to make an issue about attending but it all worked out in the end and who cares now!
Oh yes – there was a major near disaster on the day!!
I’d done a very radical thing and had a perm only a few days before – shock! horror! why oh why? – it was awful.
My cousin Clare thankfully came to the rescue and did my hair for me
She put all to rights and made everything all perfect
I will always love her for that – plus the fact she’s my big cuz and I’ve always loved her 🙂

My friend Cynthia and I sewed all our clothes over the weeks prior – my dress, Tim’s 3 piece suit, shirt AND tie, and my sister’s skirt & top.
Our clothing styles weren’t appreciated by Tim’s father as the colours were a tad non traditional LOL
I am definitely a non conformist from early days 😉
I remember we were also amused that his Mum wore black to our wedding too – just as well she and I got along well or I’d have thought there was more to it lol!

The food was catered by the local tavern using produce we had all supplied. Including fresh fish we netted, and fresh mussels Tim & I had harvested off the rocks on Te Ekeatekonganui / Reef Point at the back of our farm.
Note that this was the only Maori word that Tim could successfully pronounce and he was most proud of that fact – which is saying a lot as it was 43 years ago when pronunciation was perceived as difficult & unimportant and not pursued by many.
This was also several years before mussel farming was a thing – who knew what was ahead!

The flowers from local sources but my specific memory fails at this point.
I remember my grandmother carefully nursing her neighbours lily of the valley bulbs to last long enough to be picked for my hair
The photos were taken by our friend Graham at the beginning of a long illustrious career for him.
No such thing as videoing but there is a tape recording packed away somewhere in my treasure boxes.
The cakes were baked by my mother and iced beautifully by a neighbour from across the paddocks.

We had a weeping elm in our front garden so a huge marquee was erected over the top of it extending over the front door decking
This caused many questions during the evening of how exactly did the tree get inside the tent??
We had to carry the cakes outside for a mock up of the cake cutting due to lighting. Our bestman, also Tim, tripped on the guy rope but thankfully the cakes were saved – whew!
The top tier of the cake was saved as per tradition for cutting at the christening of our eldest child just a year later
The All Blacks were playing Ireland with a final winning score of 10-6 that same night so most of the guests ended up inside watching on our old box shaped B&W TV which balanced precariously on top of the roll top desk in our living room.
Funnily enough on the night of my 2nd wedding there was also a rugby game playing in Nelson of major importance – Crusaders vs Warratahs
Thankfully there was no TV at our venue to interrupt our celebrations 😉

I did find out later that one of our guests choked on a bone during the celebrations but thankfully help was on hand and she survived – whew!
The weather turned rather cold that night and unfortunately my health suffered as I got very chilled and I had a relapse of glandular fever during our honeymoon.

We spent our wedding night at what is now the Scenic Hotel Marlborough in Blenheim, and much to my grandmother’s surprise we turned up late the next morning so Tim could eat leftovers as he wasn’t going to pay for food at the hotel
He was used to living very frugally and if he couldn’t pay cash he didn’t buy.
A good principle to live by which wisdom many would benefit from today.

We headed off south westwards on our honeymoon that day but that’s another story for another time…