Monday, 20 September 2010


Something that used to drive my mother crazy was that I would never do anything the way it was supposed to be done. I had to be different, be difficut, and I would never take advice, preferring to make my own (many) mistakes.
Which was why she was surprised as we were planning this wedding. A church service? A nice reception? White dress? Flower girls? It all sounded very beige.
But I knew that a wedding isn't just your and your husband's special's also a big party for lots of people who have all travelled a long way to get there, and they don't want to be subjected to medieval costumes or beach front horseback weddings. They just want a nice normal wedding with lots of booze. So we went traditional, but added our own twists to mix it up a bit.
One thing that surprised a lot of people was my choice of a guy for one of my bridesmaids. I had heard of a few bridesmates, and as my friend Cameron is a bestie, it seemed a logical choice. He's the one I go to for big life advice moments....he tells me like it is - much more than a girl ever would - and we have the same stupid sense of humour. I wanted to include him in the wedding.
However there are a fair bit of politics when you have a bridesmate. It pays, of course, to check with your husband-to-be. Richard of course was totally happy about it. (As an aside, if Richard had wanted a girl to be one of his groomsman, would I have been happy about that? I highly doubt it, and therein lies the difference between men and women). It also pays to check with the wife of the bridesmate. I asked Sarah before I'd even mentioned it to Cam. She also was fine with it and was also happy to be our M.C. - what - a WOMAN MC? Surely not! So with blessings given, I remembered to check with Cam that he would be happy with it all. He had two conditions - 1) he didn't want to come to the Hen's and 2) he didn't want to walk down the aisle. Fair enough.
But what to wear? Being a McDonald, and being the last McDonald of this line - I have no cousins nor brothers and my grandfather had only sisters, the McDonald's who settled in Granity on the West Coast in 1880-something have dwindled out- I wanted to celebrate my Scottish heritage, and where better than a nice kilt.
After calling around the entire country - I kid you not -I finally found a guy in Hamilton who stocked one. I drove out there on a beautiful Autumn day and was subjected to a two hour history lecture on Scotland and its pagan roots. No matter - the kilt was perfect and they would sort out delivery and the like. Cross that off the list.
Cameron emailed and called me most weeks to talk about wedding plans. I think because I had been with him and Sarah as they planned their wedding - Cam would restrict us to five minutes which never worked - he felt I had to get my fair share. It was very sweet, especially as they had a brand new baby Tom (now my Godson!).
On the wedding day itself, Cameron turned up just as I was getting into my dress and starting to freak out. He brought me a brandy (see below) and put his hands on my shoulders and said "take a moment to look around. It goes so quickly." Everyone had told me this, but from Cam, it was sincere. I did take a few mental pictures and they are clear as a bell.
After the ceremony Cam drove our wedding car, and had organised some glasses of champagne for us. It was a surreal moment - my new husband, people staring at our fancy car, a cloud of bride in the backseat - but Cam sorted it out by putting on some AC/DC on the radio and driving really fucking fast.
I have to say that while I definitely got some raised eyebrows over having a bridesmate - I think people thought I had an ulterior motive and that Richard must have been jealous/mad, I'm really glad I did it. Cam really is just a friend who happens to be a boy, and why shouldn't we use our boy-friends in our wedding parties?

Doesn't he look brilliant? Och aye!

Monday, 13 September 2010

The leprechaun told me to BURN THINGS!

I have a long and abiding passion for the Simpsons, and have done since I sat down in our friends bach in Taupo in 1989 and watched the first ever episode screened in New Zealand - "Some Enchanted Evening".
The Simpsons never fails to crack my shit up. I will watch any episode - even the Treehouse of Horror ones - over and over again. I even watched it in South America when it was dubbed into Spanish (I knew the plot anyway). In NZ, on Sunday mornings, they will play back to back Simpsons for about 4 hours. It is the best hangover cure in the world.
Richard rubbishes me all the time about how we have to watch the Simpsons, even if I know all the dialogue and say it before the character does. We should be watching grown-up current affairs programmes instead. But, this one time, I came into the lounge and he was already watching the Simpsons and I wasn't even there! From then on, no grumbles allowed.

Anyhoo, there is a point to all this. In my wedding speech, I was telling the guests about the nice things Rich has done for me and lots of cheesy things like that (I love a bit of cheese). So I said the following:

".........he also puts up with my Simpsons obsession. If there's a Simpsons episode on, we have to watch it. In fact, I love the Simpsons so much, that Richard - can you please take off your wedding ring and tell everyone what I've had engraved on it?"

At this point Rich looks surprised - I've been notoriously cagey about looking after the rings myself and giving them to his best man as soon as possible. He takes it off - and after holding it up to a lamp, starts to laugh.

"That's right - it says "I choo-choo-choose you" - what Lisa's Valentine's card said to Ralph Wiggum."

He loved it. "....and there's a picture of a train on it!"

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Read all about it....

My grandmother passed away a few months ago, and among her possessions was a cuttings book of articles that interested her over the years, from around 1935 - 1960. It's all there, baby notices, death notices, war articles, odd goings-on in Wellington society, anything to do with the Royal family.
My favourite articles are the wedding ones. Here's the one for her own wedding to my Grandfather on 9th of August 1940, I'm guessing from the Dominion Post.

The wedding took place recently in the Taranaki Street Methodist Church, Wellington, of Grace Evelyn, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. AF Morrison, Island Bay, and Alister Falla, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot McDonald, Granity. The Rev. R.B. Gosnell officiated.
The bride, who was escorted by her father, wore a long-sleeved trained gown of cream embossed crepe. Her embroidered lace veil fell from a halo of orange-blossom ahd she carried a shower bouquet of cream hyacinths and freesias. The bridesmaids, Misses Audrey Martin (Auckland) and Barbara Barnitt (New Plymouth), were dressed alike in powder-blue and mauve shot taffeta and wore mauve topknots and carried bouquets of sweet peas and carnations to tone.
Mr. Eric Newton was best man and Mr. Cecil Morrison was groomsman.
Mrs. Morrison received the guests at the Empire Hotel, wearing a flowered black georgette frock. Mrs. McDonald wore a wine lace gown. For travelling the bride wore a heather-pink suit with navy accessories.
Isn't it just divine? I wish they still did these. I'm going to pretend they still do, and write my own.
The wedding took place recently in the St. John's Anglican Cathedral, Napier, of Amy Louise, youngest daughter of Mr. B. McDonald , Mount Maunganui, and D., Napier, and Richard Simon, eldest son of Albert and Edwina, Papamoa. The Rev. Helen Jacobi officiated.
Church music was by Mr. G. Bowler on the organ, Eddie Vedder, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Graham Blank played a lusty Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes.
The bride, who was escorted by her father and mother, wore a strapless off-white satin A-line gown, with heavy detailing on the bodice and a lace train. Her spanish-style veil was floor-length and she carried a shower bouquet of red roses and some other things she doesn't know the name of. The bridesmaids, Miss E, Mrs B and Mrs H, were dressed alike in strapless sweetheart necklined French Navy chiffon with satin lining and nude shoes, and carried cream roses with winter berries. The Bridesmate, Mr W, wore a McDonald tartan kilt with aplomb.
Mr J was best man, and Messrs B, W and W were groomsmen.
Mrs. D received the guests at Ormlie Lodge, Taradale, wearing a soft pink frock with matching fitted wool coat. Mrs B wore an oyster silk ensemble. Both wore a cream rose shoulder spray to tone with the bridesmaids.
For travelling the bride wore leggings.

Monday, 6 September 2010


In a somewhat surreal moment, I am back in front of the computer in my PJ's, $4 slippers and 20 year old homespun wool jersey after 3 weeks of truly memorable days.

In an effort to make them even more memorable, over the next few days/weeks I'll be posting instalments describing our wedding, the planning, the honeymoon, musings from a wise married-for-ten-days-and-counting woman, plus my thoughts on the baffling popularity of the book Eat, Pray, Love, Be Narcisstic, seen around the pool at Bali in plague proportions.

Until I write this scintillating information, I'll leave you with a pic of me all gussied up as a bride, something I doubted I'd ever get to be for a while there. This pic was taken about 10 minutes before we left for the church, which was the most terrifying/exciting/anxiety-ridden/delirious ten minutes of my life. A most incredible few weeks and I can't wait to share them with you.

Mrs. B xx