When the Marriage Amendment Act passed in August, Amanda Betts, former co-owner of model and talent agency Red 11, and partner Richenda dived head-first into planning the day of their dreams. Here, she shares her wedding-eve thoughts.
It was the day before the wedding and I was having a my fair share of mad almost-married moments. On one hand, I was questioning the joys of doing this a mere five days after Christmas and the day before New Year’s Eve (more time to celebrate...for days and days in a row!). On the other hand, I was juggling the various challenges brought on by hosting more than 30 family and friends who'd descended upon us from overseas during the Christmas period. They all deserved our time, gratitude and attention for making the massive and expensive trek to enjoy our special day with us – it meant constantly taking care of other people's needs. Hello? It's meant to be all about us!
Then there were the flowers for the cake, my flowers, the table settings, the nails that needed to look fabulous, making sure people who were doing their bit really did feel confident in what they were doing and so on and so forth and blah blah blah! The most important thing of all, though? We needed to stay calm and enjoy this last day as fiancés.
I realised it's really easy to spin of control out at such a time of pressure when you want everything to go as you've planned. There's a lot of effort that goes into a wedding, and once you start the countdown in the final two weeks, the days fly by quicker than you'd like. You've had all this time to prep, yet little douses of doubt sneak in causing you to question if you really have covered everything off. I'm sure we're all guilty of spending too much time being somewhere else instead of where we actually are right now. Our wedding was descending upon us quickly enough without any of us worrying about things that hadn't even happened.
The days leading up to the big day were a blur – there was a bit of waiting 'til people actually finished their sentences before I launched into a panic, a few moments of 'respond don't react' and one moment when I wanted to tell someone to stop bloody-well asking me questions. And even though we were excited to be a gaggle of women at Lucy & the Powder Room getting primped and preened, tanned and waxed, I admit I was teetering on the edge of done-making-decisions when the simple question of what colour I wanted on my finger and toenails was put to me.
At 2pm on Wedding Eve, Richenda and I decided to go to The Sofitel. Yeah, yeah I know, tradition. But this was not a traditional wedding. This was about sanity, some alone time and thinking about dinner for just us. Our darling Willy (Richenda's 'brother to another mother') who had come home from Dubai to be with 'his girls' dropped in to gift us a bottle of champagne. We invited him to share it with us and reminisced with lots of laughs about how we got to where we got to, the value we each placed on strong and healthy relationships and what it was that made our relationship successful. We also celebrated how lucky we each are to be where we are and in a fabulous hotel, a glass of Lanson's White Label champagne in hand and a wedding being surrounded with people who really love us to attend the next day. It was a lovely way to finish this chapter in our lives – tomorrow was a new day, a new chapter and we were 100 per cent ready for it.