Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Mrs Owen Has Arrived

25 Nov 2011***Click on this link to see a sneek peak of my wedding day, courtesy of two lovely ladies who are filming a documentary about me: http ***

I am back in one piece, and with a new name! Introducing Mrs Jodie Owen... As you, my loyal, regular blog followers would know, I got married on the 11th November, for those who aren't as familiar with my page, now you know.

Everyone tells you how fast your wedding day flies by, and until you experience it for yourself, you have no idea. Todd and I look back on our big day as such a beautiful, magical time, but my gosh it is a blur! But that's what photographs and video cameras are for!

The whole week leading up to the wedding, I hardly slept, and was going to bed around 1am, then waking up at a ridiculous 6am, it was terrible! But I swear, I was running on adrenaline, so I hardly noticed it at all, despite everything that was going on around me...

Todd and I went to a friend's wedding the week before ours, which was so much fun, but unfortunately, it didn't end very well. Todd broke his hand, which required surgery! It was so ironic, that for the past 18 months, I had been secretly worrying about myself breaking something and ruining our wedding day by ending up in hospital, but it was my fiancé that ended up broken!

I went with him to his specialist appointment, where the doctor unsympathetically told him that he needed surgery right away to fix the break. I stepped in quite quickly, being the loving partner that I am, and said that he would have to wait until after the wedding and our honeymoon, until he has surgery. That might sound mean, but he was being silly when it happened, and it was his own fault, but I still love him of course! He completely agreed with me, as he didn't want his stupidity to ruin what we had been planning for the last year and a half. The doctor wasn't very impressed, but couldn't force him into surgery...

Luckily, for us, he broke his right hand, so his wedding ring would still fit, but unlucky for Todd, he uses his right hand for everything, so life has become a bit difficult for him as of late.

I started to get sick with a cold the week before the wedding, and I almost lost my voice. I was so sick for our engagement party that I lost my voice and ended up with bronchitis, so I was terrified that it could happen again. Thanks to all of my friends and families advice, I packed in heaps of Echinacea tablets and drank lots of hot water, lemon and honey, and although my voice made me sound a bit like a drag queen, it was still present for my wedding day.

We all went down to Wollongong the night before, and stayed in the same hotel, but the boys stayed on the lower floor and we were on the top, and we both had beautiful suites, which was great. From the afternoon before the wedding, I wasn't allowed to talk to or see Todd until walking (or rolling) towards him down the aisle. I went out for dinner with some of my bridesmaids, my cousins, my brother and his girlfriend, and our mum, and my tiredness really started catching up to me. Now I know why they call it bridezilla!

I was off to sleep considerably early, and woke up at about 5:30am because I couldn't sleep, but dozed off again and got up properly at about 7am. My mum and I dropped my car off at the Bed and Breakfast that Todd and I were going to be staying at that night, and then we raced back to the hotel for a quick breakfast. The weather was beautiful, which I was very happy about.

I hired my cousin to do all of our hair, which turned out beautiful. Mine took about an hour then I did my own make-up, and some of the bridesmaid's make-up, which also turned out perfect (if I do say so myself).

Because I was releasing butterflies at the ceremony, we had to nurture them before their big entrance. The instructions were to keep them in a coolish, dark place in the box that they were delivered in, with an ice brick on top of them. I was so nervous about opening up the individual boxes the morning of the wedding, in case any were injured or dead, but when we opened them up to place them in their birdcage, they were all so gorgeous, and were fluttering and perfect.

Whilst getting ready, we got a call from the best man, to tell us that despite us being promised a late check-out at 1pm, they were being kicked out of their room at 10:30am! Nothing could be done and the hotel was being quite difficult, so the boys had their showers and got out by 11am, then had to get dressed in the woman's bathroom in the foyer, because it was the only place with a large mirror and big enough space to move around.

The ladies who are doing a documentary on me arrived to my room to film me getting ready. When my photographer arrived, we had some ‘getting dressed' photos and then some group photos with my half of the bridal party and my parents.

The whole morning felt so surreal like I was just practicing for my wedding day, or like I was in a movie, it just didn't feel real. We all headed down to the lobby to get in my white stretch Jaguar, I had a quick scull of some Vokda and orange juice to calm my nerves, and headed into our limo. We were early, so the driver just drove around for us until it was time to head to the ceremony.

Whilst on our way, I checked my phone, which started ringing; it was the best man, that's never a good sign that close to a ceremony. He was calling to tell us that the chairs and white carpet that I ordered hadn't arrived! I panicked and called South Coast Party Hire, the hire place we used, who I would NEVER recommend using, the lady I spoke to, had no idea what colour the sky was, let alone where my chairs and carpet were. She kept telling her she'd call me back when she heard something, but I sternly told her that I was meant to be at my ceremony NOW and we didn't have time to ‘wait' for her to call back.

Thanks to our lovely groomsmen and one of Todd's best mates, who swiftly jumped into action and saved the day. They went and hired some chairs and a carpet from a nearby reception venue. So we got the call to come down in five minutes, once everything was set up.

My dress was quite long and big and the ceremony was on grass, down a bit of a hill, so I wasn't too keen on wheeling along the grass for the whole way, but the lovely driver we had agreed to drive up the gutter and as close to the start of the aisle as possible, so I didn't have far to go.

My mum went first, and met up with my brother, who walked her down the aisle, then my bridesmaid and friend, Michelle, then my second bridesmaid and friend, Rachel, then my cousin and Maid of Honour, Chloe, then, it was my turn.

I was so nervous, my dad was there to push me, and we met my grandpa, who held my hand while we went down the aisle. Just as we got to the top of the aisle, my dress got caught under my wheels and ripped slightly, and we had to reverse to get off it, and make sure it wasn't going to get caught again, which thankfully it didn't!

Coming down the aisle, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, I always imagined myself crying on my wedding day, but I didn't, I was just so happy and excited. Todd had tears in his eyes when he saw me, and after my dad and Nonno (grandfather in Italian) kissed me and went to sit down, I couldn't help but kiss Todd, I was just so excited to see him!

The ceremony went beautifully, our celebrant, Kathy, who is an old family friend of mine, made a mention to Todd's mum, which brought tears to our eyes, then after our vows, Kathy read out a poem about butterfly's that Todd and I had picked, and we opened the birdcage to release the butterfly's. They were a bit sleepy, so we had to actually pick them up and let them fly off us. A couple were on my dress, one went on Todd's shoulder, and then crawled to his cheek and refused to leave for a while, which was quite funny. They were just beautiful though, and everyone loved them.

We had some family photos and everyone went off to do their own thing until the reception, while we went to have photos of Todd and I, and the bridal party.

Firstly, we went to a beautiful park near Wollongong, which is across the road from a beach, and has big grass and sandstone steps coming down from a hill, (I know, totally wheelchair accessible) there are big trees all around, which enveloped the setting sun, and with the mist from the ocean and the beautiful light between the trees, it just looks magical. So, wheelchair, or no wheelchair, we had to have photos there.

After that, we headed off to our next location at the botanic gardens in Wollongong, which is a spectacular place, but as we drove into the car park, to our disappointment, we saw that they had just closed, so we decided to head straight to the reception venue before our arrival as husband and wife.

My cousin came out and did a quick touch up on my hair and we all had some drinks and canapés, which were beautiful. Todd and I were announced in as Mr and Mrs Owen and we entered our wedding reception.

The night went by so quickly, and I barely had time to eat or drink. I don't know if I got around to talking to everyone, but all of our guests seemed to be having a great time regardless.

After speeches, it was time for us to go out on to the balcony and watch the fireworks. That's right, we had fireworks! Well, the couple from the room next to ours did, but they invited us to watch them if we wanted, so we arranged our night around them, which were spectacular, and just added to the magical feeling of our wedding. We couldn't even see the other couple or their guests, so it felt like they were our fireworks.

After the fireworks show, it was time for Todd and I to cut our cake, with his broken hand, he couldn't cut very well, so I had to do most of the cutting, which I didn't mind. Then it was time for our first dance... We were a bit nervous about how it would go, because of Todd's hand, but we practiced him picking me up a special way so it didn't hurt him, so we were pretty confident, and it all went off without a hitch! Well, almost..... My dress must've gotten caught in my chair, and it ripped (again), as Todd picked me up. There was a piece of material dangling down the whole time we were dancing, and apparently Todd's best man Damian, ripped it off, but Todd and I were completely unaware the whole time, so it didn't make an ounce of difference to us! All of our guests didn't seem to care either, with barely a dry eye in the house by the time our song finished.

We partied some more, and boogied on the dance floor for a bit, before it was time for me to throw the bouquet and Todd to toss the garter. I don't even remember who caught what. Then it was time for us to go, we had a circle formed by our family, friends and loved ones, which involved many hugs, kisses and tears, but was beautiful.

As Todd and I were leaving, we saw everyone forming an arch for us to walk through, so Todd and I stopped and refused to go through it, and we made them move, as we both agreed that we most certainly didn't want any stupid, cliché arch to walk through, (no offence to anyone who's had one!) And off we went, into the night, in our stretch limo, to our beautiful Bed and Breakfast for a much deserved rest.

I don't have any of our professional photos yet, so I've put up a few from some of our guests, but as soon as I get the rest, I will post them as well. Next week I'll tell you all about the amazing things we did on our honeymoon! G-rated things, of course....

After the ceremony, the butterflies, saying our vows and our cake

Me just before heading to the ceremony, one of my birdcages and the ceremony

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