Josh and I both agree that we want to have a small intimate wedding ceremony but between us we have a lot of friends and extended family, and then of course once you add in all their partners and kids it suddenly turns into quite the invite list! So while we really want to celebrate with all our friends and family we knew we wouldn’t be able to invite everyone and still have an intimate wedding. Our solution to this problem . . . we decided throw a big engagement celebration and invite everyone, and hope no one feels left out when we do actually have our small wedding.
I am a bit of craft junky so for a month leading up to the picnic I commandeered the lounge room for crafting and DIY. We had chosen to have a relaxed riverside picnic full of colourful games and silliness and wanted to have as much as possible handmade either by ourselves or friends. We chose JH Abrahams Reserve in Crawley as our location because we thought that it would be great to be by the river and have a light breeze on a sunny February afternoon.
On the day itself our ‘light breeze’ turned into the windiest day of the month and our quiet riverside park was overtake with windsurfers and none of our guests could park anywhere nearby! But luckily the wind eased off and the sun came out just in time, but the down side was that a lot of the DIY we had made wasn’t suitable to set up on such a windy day. Luckily we were still able to set set up picnic blankets, baskets full of snacks, punch, homebrew, bunting, chalkboard signs and any of the games that weren’t likely to get blown away. All our guests were given name badges (we had a friend draw them and then we hired a badge press from HB Displays to press them all), it was a great way for all of our friends and family who hadn’t met each other to be able to break the ice.
We bullied our guests into running 3-legged races, sack races, backwards running races (not such a good choice with a few people ending upside down), and ended it all with an Amazing Race style game. This involved teams of two (adorned in sports bibs with cut outs of our favourite things sewed on), going through a series of challenges that represented things we do together as a couple. These were; crafting a silly hat (because I like to craft and Josh puts up with my craziness); decorating and eating a cupcake (because I bake and Josh eats my baking); untangling a cord from a box of tangled cords (because Josh has a ridiculous box of electrical cords he’s saving for a ‘rainy day’); drinking a cup of chilli homebrew (I make special extra spicy chilli beer for Josh); and then piggyback racing to the finish line (one of the first gifts Josh ever gave me was a voucher for unlimited piggy back rides).
It was so much fun watching our friends and family getting involved in the games and we even roped one of my best friends into being our sports commentator for the day!
At the end of the afternoon we had prizes for all the winners and to finish it off we had Mexican ice treats from La Paleta delivered for everyone to pig out on. It was a a great day, albeit exhausting, busy and with a lot of preparation, but I am so glad we were able to have such a big celebration with everyone…. it has made me look forward to a small wedding even more!
Special thanks to our photographer Monica Defendi and friend Ayesha Lapinski for capturing these amazing pics.
Ms Gingham says: This post makes me wish I was there. What a great day and organized so well! Crazy hats off to Rafeena and Josh!
Rafeena says: “During the day I am writing/researching/stressing about my PhD (Science) and at night I look for any creative outlet I can find to make up for the lack of work the right side of my brain gets. I have a grand love of anything old and vintagey, a compulsion to organise and an ability to do crafty stuff, but my handwriting is comparable to a 6 year olds and I always mix up song lyrics when I sing in the shower.”