5 months?

We hit the 5 month countdown last week and it prompted me to get my butt in gear. So far my planning has mostly been inspiration boards, venue-ing, and more inspiration boards, but this week I’ve been a veggie with a mission (like a secular version of one of those Veggie-Tales characters).

Actually, in all honesty, it wasn’t the 5 month mark that prompted me into action, it was my first visit to an anonymous wedding site that offers a “wedding checklist”. After 8 months of wedding planning I had heard much about this site, but never logged on. As a total wedding novice, the idea of someone giving me a wedding to-do list sounded great, so I entered my email address and wedding date and was promptly greeted with about 100 red alarm clocks smacking me in the face. Really? Whoah!

Being “fashionably late” doesn’t really faze me that much… “on-time” is not a phrase that most people would generally associate with Miss Veggie. But usually I at least have an idea that I’m running behind schedule. This time, no clue. Really. Plus, as previously mentioned, this wedding is supposed to be a way to show off the grown-up more organized me.

I have to say “The Wedding Checklist” was not a boost to my wedding self-esteem. Not only were there about one-hundred-thousand things that we haven’t done yet, there were also a wealth of not-yet-even-thought-about things to do on that list. Feeling a little overwhelmed. 

Where to start? Any other August Brides out there? How far along are you in your planning?

Dress Dilemma: Over

I bought a dress today. (Insert girly shriek here. OK- I’m done now. No I’m not. eeeee!).

The story starts in December:
After drawing out the dress saga for many months I turned to the wedding bee for help. I had settled on buying used and even had an idea of the specific dress I was looking for. After dwelling on the Nicole Miller HG0013 for a few weeks I found the IK0004 online and just kept coming back to it. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s just so pretty without being too formal, and comes pre-wrinkled! I looked online at the pre-owned websites, but even a used IK0004 was well out of our budget. It also seemed to be a pretty in-demand dress, only a few out there and many brides wanting it. I thought I’d throw it out there to the hive to see if anyone had any ideas.

So, my pre-bee self posted a question to the boards. “Anyone have a used IK0004?”. I didn’t have high hopes.

But a few days later, this:

After a few emails it turns out that she had gotten the dress from another bee (who also maybe got it used?). Wait pre-pre-used? That’s even better than pre-used. And since this dress is in it’s third (or is it fourth) generation as a gown, she offered it to me for a great deal. A hmm..-I-can-actually-afford-this-dress-now deal. Yes, yes, yes.

All I had to do was wait until she got married at the end of February.

Fast Forward to March 1:She said she was getting married at the end of February, would it be too early to email her? I better wait a bit.

March 2:
Um, hi. Is my dress (I mean your dress), ready yet? Oh it is? Hooray! Oh you have pictures from your wedding? Do share!

Without further ado, OUR dress, as worn by the beautiful Adriana in her February wedding. It was shipped out last Thursday and is making its way across the Pacific as we speak. I suspect it could be here as early as Monday. (eeeeek!)

OK, enough of the girliness, lets get down to business. Because, for me, more important than getting a specific dress, was getting an ethical dress with a small eco footprint. So how does mine stack up?

– Sweatshop free? Yes. Nicole Miller is an advocate of fair labor practices.
– Eco-fabric? No. Metal taffeta does not sound even remotely eco, but I feel better because…
-Re-used? Yes. In at least 2 other weddings. Hooray!
-Low price? Eh. Low for a designer wedding dress, yes. But still way more money than I’ve ever spent on a single piece of clothing before. But the price is within our budget, and is a number I feel comfortable with. Plus, since the dress is in demand, I think I’ll be able to resell it and pass it onto yet another bride (Assuming I don’t spill red wine down the front ).


Mr. Veggie and I are in that weird place where we’re not quite sure what to call each other in public. “Boyfriend”/”girlfriend” sounds like he just asked me to the eighth grade dance. And I certainly can’t use our pet names in public. (Immigration: Why are you applying for this visa. Me: My um… lovey… is a full-time student?)

But “fiance” has just never sounded right to us. Plus, if I introduce myself as Mr. Veg’s fiance it inevitably leads to long conversations about wedding planning and proposals and sometimes I just don’t want to get into all that with strangers (that’s why I have the hive, right?).

Luckily here in New Zealand the use of the word “partner” is fairly common, and we’ve taken to using that pretty often. But it does sound pretty formal, and since I have a boyish name can lead to some mild, yet entertaining, confusion.

So, we don’t really have this problem solved, but occasionally if I’m talking to a stranger, who I’ll likely never see again, and Mr. Veggie is out of earshot, and it just seems convenient, I’ll label Mr. Veggie as my “husband”.

I don’t do it very often, but when I do it always makes me smile. I get a little giddy. I feel mischievous. It’s like shaking your Christmas presents to try to figure out what’s inside (which I never do) or skipping ahead to the last page of a novel to find out the ending (which sometimes I do). I get a little embarrassed and look around to see if anyone we know might have overheard my white lie.

But yesterday, when we got to the check-out at the supermarket, each struggling with our overloaded baskets because we definitely weren’t going to buy enough to justify a full shopping cart, I, of course, decided I needed to go back to grab one more thing. Mr. Veg started to unload his 50 kg basket onto the conveyor belt and a woman stepped behind him in the line. I was coming back up the aisle and overheard this tidbit.

Mr. Veggie: “Um excuse me, but my wife just ran to grab one more thing, she’ll be right back”.

Be still my heart. He does it too! I melted.

Kiwi-Chilean Wedding

Who doesn’t love some real-wedding inspiration? I certainly do. Here’s a southern-
hemisphere shindig that we went to last week celebrating the marriage of our friends
Matt and Claudia (how gorgeous are they?).

They got married at a venue called “The Red Barn” in Matamata. Take note all you kiwi brides. If we were getting married in New Zealand, this is where I would go. It was amazing. A huge outdoor fireplace, and beautiful indoor/outdoor reception area.

Claudia’s parents rode a bus 22 hours to get to Buenos Aires from their home town of Barriloche and then had to board a plane for 13 hours. Matt worked hard to practice his vows en español and all of the speeches were translated so that her parents didn’t miss a beat.

The ceremony was outside under a huge beautiful oak tree.

Late night party hats, masks, boas, and whistles.

It was such a fun and beautiful wedding. And, an added bonus was that seeing a wedding unfold suddenly inspired Mr. Veggie to have a wealth of wedding ideas. He’s been all wedding talk for the past three days. He’s made unprompted suggestions about favors, table settings, and center-pieces. I’m starting to worry about him.

Another bonus: The wedding was in Matamata, a.k.a. Hobbiton, where the Lord of The Rings Hobbit Village was located during filming. No, we didn’t go on a tour. Who needs to with photo opportunities like this right in the center of town?

*All photos by me.

Adventures in Babysitting

For the past three days we have had our first overnight house guest. Her name is Piri and she’s 2 1/2. Piri stayed with us while her mom went to Taupo to load the moving truck and bring all of their belongings back to Raglan. We’re exhausted.

Honestly I don’t know how single moms do it. There were two of us. And she had us beat. Easily.

We climbed up into our “up high” bed (all three of us) and slept hard, both nights. And at 9:30 I’m just barely hanging on tonight.

Before I go to bed, top three moments of the weekend:

#3: Bath in a bucket. (Piri, not me)

#2: The scientific experiment of testing the diameter of a dried pea vs. the diameter of a toddler nostril. No harm done. After a few tears and a bit of firm pressure above the pea, all is well.

#1: Me coming out of the house and seeing Piri running over. “Dani, Uncle Melsom needs help. He’s stuck.” Turns out that the latch on the outside of the door of our outdoor shower is not childproof. It is in fact child friendly. And a good way to trap an unexpecting adult.

She was clever and beautiful and funny and fun, but I think we’ll hold off for a while.

I’m a bee!

First off, apologies. I know I haven’t been posting much lately. But we’ve had a lot going on, least of which was a parasite that decided to take up residence in my gastrointestinal system. There also been a timber fram workshop that Nelson ran a few weeks back, and an exciting recycled raft race that I took part in this morning.

But really, the most blog-distracting of all events has been my acceptance as a bee. From now on, in addition to posting here, I’ll also be posting on Wedding Bee as Ms. Veggie. I know, who would’ve thought that there would be a Ms. Veggie icon ready for me to snatch up? I’ll be writing about our wedding planning process as we attempt to throw together an eco-fun-budget extravanagza.

Posts about the timber frame workshop and recycled raft race coming soon. Cross my heart!