How we got married in 5 days

Wedding Planning? Pft. Easy. 
Whoa, Jokes, jokes, jokes!! I wouldn’t dare say this for fear of being publicly stoned by all women of the world who have ever been married or are currently (being a bridezilla) planning a wedding as we speak. BUT... we did get married in 5 days. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, actually I probably wouldn't recommend it at all. But this is our story, and for us? Well quite simply, it worked.

Setting the date, it aint' no Vegas
When we finally came to the (searingly obvious) conclusion that we loved each other and didn't want to be apart, we figured there was nothing left to do, but do it - get married that is. The one thing that had been holding us back (from planning a wedding and having a more reasonable time frame) was that my 'free to marry certificate' hadn't arrived from New Zealand; it should have arrived a month prior but was nowhere to be seen. Now with the looming date of my visa soon to expire, we decided to bite the bullet and go to the town office to find out whether they could do something for us. "Technically", this very kind lady said, "we need the original paperwork, BUT, in this case we will do it" (God Bless Croatia). Not only would she marry us but she could do it in 5 days - it's no Vegas, but 5 days aint' bad... My soon-to-be husband and I looked at each other, turned back to this very obliging lady in unison, and replied a heartfelt... OK.

So it was set, in 5 days we would be husband and wife. With this action, it was like we stood bravely before life and the Universe and said: “ok, here we are, we are in love and we wanna do this”, and the Universe was like: “well duh, about fricken time,  let me help you out a little then” and no word of a lie, the elusive marriage papers that should have arrived a month earlier, turned up, as if from thin air. It was almost like the Universe had been holding onto it as a guarantee, to see whether we were truly serious about this decision (and that it wasn't some drunken whim in Vegas); considering I had just had a week long debate over whether the papers not turning up was a sign or a test, I guess I had my answer. 

No time for Save the Dates...
With such little notice (and time to let this news sink in) I needed to contact my family ASAP to let them know what was going on. This was the heart-breaking part. I knew that by making the decision (with little-to-no warning) to get married on the other side of the world, I was forgoing the chance to have my family and friends here. If we had the money, I would have flown them myself, but we didn’t and there was absolutely no way I wanted to put such a burden on my family - without even mentioning family and work commitments, financially, it was far too big an ask. So when I talked to everyone I played it down as much as I possibly could (I can be pretty humble for the most part, but this definitely takes the cake), saying “it will be fine, it is no big deal, we are just signing the papers, so we will celebrate when we are all together”, all the while mentally preparing myself to be quite upset at some stage during the day (most likely more emotional than the everyday bride). My entire family were so loving and supportive of my decision, which was amazing, but also made it all the more harder knowing that they wouldn't be there to share this special day with me.

Wedding planning (or lack thereof)..
After telling my closest family and friends the news, we only had one afternoon together before my man had to get back to his gulet and back on tour (no escaping the responsibilities of a Captain) - so what do you do when you have a day to get organised? Go shopping of course!! Now I need to mention here that while it is probably true that every woman has been planning her wedding day in her head for many years (possibly even before she has met her future husband), I can honestly say this was never me. I have loved and admired all
of the beautiful weddings of my friends’, but I have never actually planned the details of my own wedding day. Even when I was engaged previously, I didn't think about or plan a single detail of our wedding (in hindsight perhaps this was a tell-tale sign that we weren’t going to end up getting married). Of course I would have loved a beautiful white gown, friends and family around, wine, music, dancing… But I can only think now, that not having any expectations actually worked in my favour and made it easier to deal with the fact that I would probably have none of the above.

The Dress, the ring and matching tattoos...
Initially when we found out we would be married in 5 days, my first reaction was: we will just sign the papers and celebrate later when everyone is together. I was adamant that there would be no white dress, bouquet etc, because it just wouldn't feel right without my family and friends there. But quite subtly my soon-to-be husband convinced me to at least buy a new dress because “hey, you like buying new dresses”… (good logic my love, and one of the many reasons I am marrying you). So off we went to go shopping, again I had nothing
in mind, just a simple summer dress. I tried on a handful of dresses, but in the end my love actually chose the one I would wear on our wedding day, at the time I wasn’t convinced, but now looking at photos, it was absolutely perfect - someone described my dress as a summer day... We found a shirt and trousers for him, very casual style. We even found my ring – and coincidentally enough it was the design that we were looking at getting made (if we had had more time), but thought there was no way we could find it in a shop. We didn’t find a ring for him, but I still had 4 days, so figured I could find something. So in less than 2 hours we found everything we needed, and then we were off to the tattoo parlour (as one does) to get a symbol of our love permanently imprinted on us for life (because getting married in 5 days wasn’t enough of a statement…) Now that we had a dress, ring and matching tattoos, it was time for my love to jump on a bus and leave me to organise any other details.

The Venue, almost like home...
Seeing as how  I now had a very pretty new dress, I decided : “hey, we shouldn’t just sign the papers and that’s it, I mean your family are here, so we can at least celebrate with them over a small lunch…” So it was agreed that we would have a small lunch after the ceremony with his close family (a clear example of how things can escalate in a wedding, I can only imagine what it must be like when you have a year to plan it!) Together with the aid of my wonderful sister-in-law we went looking at restaurants to find a nice location to have lunch after the ceremony. We very quickly decided on a beautiful restaurant which sat just outside the town of Omis on the river Cetina. The restaurant manager was so welcoming and the environment was perfect; in fact, bizarrely enough, the setting reminded me very much of New Zealand. With its lush greenery, canyon like rocks and crystal clear river we could have been anywhere around Queenstown – another comforting thought, and made this decision very easy.

The Flowers
Around the world, weddings in general are a pretty big deal and Croatia is no exception;  even though we were about to have an extremely low-key wedding, I didn't want to deprive anyone of being involved if they wanted. So when my mother-in-law arrived from Germany and suggested we go shopping for flowers together, of course I agreed. I have never really had a favourite flower, or envisioned flowers I would have on my wedding day, but as my dress was yellow, I decided very naturally that yellow roses, and wild ‘baby’s breath’ flowers would be a nice touch to put in my hair; so technically so far I had stayed true to my original statement that there would be no bouquet and no white dress...

"I'm a real boy" I mean woman...
After choosing flowers, it was time for a facial, mani and pedi. Now I have a criminal confession: I am almost 30 and have NEVER done this before… I have never been a very girly-girl, and growing up with my Dad was amazing, but it hardly lent itself to spa days… So there you go, in a matter of 5 days, I was not only going to be a wife, but had become a real woman in the process!! 

My husband's ring
Now that flowers and nails were done, it was time to go for a stroll to try and find a wedding ring for my love. I walked in and out of jewellery shops to no avail. I just couldn’t find something I genuinely loved, and actually I lied before when  I said that I had not thought of any details of my future wedding; when we found out we would be married, I had envisioned one little detail, his ring. I wanted a ring with korus' (maori symbol for new life, growth,
strength and peace) engraved into it, and considering I was in Croatia, I had resigned myself to the fact that this was an impossible detail and dream.  I had been in and out of shops all day, and just when I was about to give up, I was drawn to a small inconspicuous stall in the Split Markets... and there it was, EXACTLY as I had imagined, my husband's ring.

The Guests
During the week Mirko contacted his family and Best man about the small lunch and celebration we would have after the ceremony and I contacted a very dear friend of mine, who happened to be working in another part of Croatia at the time - I mentioned that we were going to get married in a few days and that I would love her to be there if she could get off work... she of course said YES, well actually I think it was, OMG, OMG, OMG, I will be there!! This did a great deal towards lightening my burden, knowing that someone was going to be there for me. And there you have it, now we even had wedding guests!

A real wedding!!
So in a matter of days we had gone from “just signing the papers” to the makings of a real wedding!
Pampered Bride-to-be
Wedding Guests

It all happened so naturally. It was what gave me strength that this was absolutely the right decision. I have always known that when you are on the right path, and truly offer your life up to the Universe, with no expectations, wonderful things happen. I also have to say a HUGE message of thanks here to Josipa, my new sister. She was with me the week I finally gave way to my heart and said “This is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with”, she was an understanding ear, a peaceful guide, a translator and her calm and grounded way gave me strength in one of the most emotional weeks of my life (weddings are a beautiful thing, but when you decide to get married in 5 days, you have a hell of a lot of emotions to deal with in one go) and I don’t know how I would have done it without her (it is also how she was the obvious choice to be my 'Best woman'). Hvala Josipa.

This is definitely not the ideal scenario most people envision for when they get married, and as much as I would have liked the big wedding with all the trimmings - and more importantly ALL my friends and family to be there; it is so undeniably fitting with my life and with our love story thus far that I really don't think anything else would make sense in this space. So there you have it, this is how  we got married in 5 days!! (It is also a cautionary tale of be careful what you wish for, because when you constantly state with gusto: “I want to live EVERY ounce of my life and splash as much colour on my canvas as possible”, be prepared for EXACTLY that!!!)

The day before we were to get married I was feeling so incredibly blessed and grateful towards my loved ones and the Universe for the week that had just unfolded (no matter what anyone else thinks or believes, when I look at this week, there is simply no denying divine intervention). It was a mere four days later and I was truly at peace with myself and ready to marry the love of my life. Little did I know that life still had one wedding surprise in store...

You may also like

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.
There was an error in this gadget