This morning I received a call from a close friend whose daughter is being married shortly. My girlfriend wanted someone to listen to her because she felt she was going completely crazy over the wedding plans. We chatted for a while and she mentioned I seldom mention my wedding or for that matter, she had never heard about my honeymoon.There are good reasons for that!!!!!!!!!!
In the months leading up to our wedding, I had been seriously ill in hospital, had several surgeries and was only discharged from hospital about 3 days prior to the wedding. We had always wanted a small, intimate affair but gave in to the wishes of my parents and so it became a full scale event, just on 400 guests.! A far cry from the 20-30 we had originally planned. I suppose when you come from a very large family/extended family, that is to be expected.
I won’t go into the specifics too much and although the food, ambiance and ceremony were lovely, it was marred by my mother -in-law, doing a head count at the reception dinner and making it her business to inform us that there was a marked discrepancy between guests and gifts received. Who cared?? It was a day to relax with friends and celebrate.As the night wore on, there was problem after problem and the final straw was being locked out of our wedding night accommodation for most of the night( due to our late arrival).
Unknown to me until the wedding day, my new husband had booked a Pacific cruise for our honeymoon. We had organised to go up the coast for a few days and take a flat but he wanted to spoil me and give me a trip to remember and recuperate from the months in hospital. Such a lovely and very expensive gesture $6000.00 for 14 days and that was 1979!The brochures looked wonderful; romantic stateroom, en-suite, living area , etc.he had initially wanted to book our trip on P&O but the next cruise was a full week after the wedding, so he booked on a supposedly luxury Russian ship, which departed the day after the wedding.
We were typical newly weds, full of excitement and eager to leave for the honeymoon. We flew to Sydney and took a cab to the dock address provided. Was that it, the ship of our dreams? I have mention that we did not embark from the regular embarkation point( Circular Quay) but a tin shed, more like a large cattle enclosure. Seated at a ‘card table’ on the dock, were two women who took our tickets and directed us to the small, old and rusty ship, desperately in need of a good paint job! We looked at each other in disbelief as we were taken to our cabin, then my husband lost it. I had never see him so angry and he stormed out of the cabin to find someone in charge. After ten minutes or so, an officer arrived and asked that I accompany him to restrain my husband as he was furious and arguing with one of the executive officers about our cabin( not the queen size bed and luxurious amenities but two tiny single beds and a lavatory with a shower over head- that was it, no storage , mirror , etc). Finally to end the spectacle, the officer relinquished his own cabin and we installed ourselves there. At least it was larger than a shoe box!
I will summarise the rest of the honeymoon from hell.Two days out of Sydney, the ship ran out of fresh food, we went through not one but two cyclones, once in the middle of the night, a submarine pulled up aside and crew from the ship went on board and people from the submarine boarded the ship, the hi tech cinema(as per brochures) was a cushion thrown on the floor of the dining room and and old super 8 movie projector and just when we thought it could not get worse, the ship was quarantined in Sydney Harbour on our return due to an outbreak of gastro on board.
Unfortunately, we could not have any of our money refunded or the matters addressed as Austalia had ceased to trade with Russia because of the invasion on Afganistan while we were at sea. If it were not so bad, it would have been comical..
My friend was laughing so hard as I told her all this and said that in comparison, her wedding woes were nothing. I would be interested to hear about others’ wedding and honeymoon experiences- good and not so good and I will share them here!