Written by Cherise
Photos by Fiona
My name was Cherise Butt, and boy was I happy to get rid of my surname after 38 years!
David and I had been together for five-and-a-half years prior to our wedding.
David has two girls, Chelsea aged ten and Melissa aged eight, from a previous marriage. I have a son, Ashley, who is now 11 years old. We've been very lucky as all our children just 'linked' with each other!
Since we met we have had two daughters, Davina, two on the 29th of March, and Nadia who turned eight months on the day of our wedding.
Every Valentines Day David would bring me yellow and white roses and we'd go fishing in Russell - both our interests!
David had an out-of-town job in Queenstown, and I missed him. I remembered him saying, after a few beers, Feb 14th! So I took it literally and we haven't looked back! That was in November 2000 and, yes, things moved pretty quickly to be ready by Valentines Day.
We are both into the beach and the sea so we thought we would have a nautical theme to our wedding.
Like most people, we didn't have a lot to spend, so we cut costs where we could.
We decided to have the ceremony on Mt Victoria because it has 360 degree views of Devonport, ships on the harbour, the Skytower, and beyond. We were very lucky as the weather was great, although a bit windy. A wonderful background for photos though, and friends that haven't been there before were overcome by the view!
For the reception we decided on the Devonport Yacht Club as David was a Leader and I was Secretary for the Sea cub den next door. The Yacht club was awesome - it has a deck that sits on the harbour with views of Auckland city and cruise ships as they pass by.
My Mother couldn't make it because my Dad needed a brain scan - they moved to Melbourne 15 years ago and my brother joined them. David's Mum (his Dad died when he was 12) and his three sisters live in Brisbane. So, without family here we were dependent on our friends - and they were wonderful!
Our Cake! We made the most of Christmas and bought five Christmas cakes and icing from the local supermarket.
We decorated them with seashell chocolates painted with edible gold paint given to me by a kind cakeshop.
My friend Karen made the place cards - she used a decorative paper cutter to cut the edges, glued seashells etc. on the corners and wrote our guests names in gold pen.
My friend and neighbour Tania collected seashells, strung them together on gold thread and arranged them by little pots with gold lace and gold candles to set the mood. I went to Ike's Emporium to purchase the gold placemats they were sitting on. I found it cheaper to buy a roll of rose glossed white fabric, which Tania cut to size on the tables!
My friend Karen had a roll of paper to put on the children's tables with crayons to keep them busy. We had 20 children and a Karaoke machine we hired! We fed the kids first (saved the adults table).
My dress was from Bossanova in Devonport - I happened to walk past and saw it displayed for $59. The flowers were difficult - being Valentines day and needing yellow and white roses. However, we had a flower shop that gave us an okay deal under the circumstances.
We had 35 adults and 20 children. The children really made it for us by the karaoke!
Honeymoon? Our nearly two-year-old had the Wedding Virus! Sick the day before the wedding and well the day after the honeymoon! She also managed to spill a large (childproof of course) bottle of Pamol all over her Portacot!
Our fanbelt broke on the way home. We left at 9:30am, were stranded at a lovely rural couple's place for two hours while they fixed one we bought that was too big, ended up buying another one too big, and got home after 8pm on Budget Pantihose!
After all that we can't complain. Friends have phoned to say it was the most enjoyable, informal, wedding they've been to! I think they enjoyed that cruise ship passing by us while my son was singing the Elvis song 'All shook up' on karaoke!