Once Upon a Time by, Mermaid Tracks

Once upon a time there was a girl who went to New Zealand to find herself. And on the second day she met the man that she would later marry. They built a life in New Zealand and lived happily ever after.

Love in Queenstown
{Love in New Zealand}

So yeah… That girl is me. I’m Nicole.

I’m a musician, I’m a yoga girl, I’m the Paper Mama’s sister, and I am planning my Portland wedding from New Zealand.

At first I thought ‘no big deal. This will be fun. There’s no way I’ll get stressed or wrapped up on little insignificant details. Sure I’m planning this wedding from another country, but it will be fine!’ Today I am 4 months away from the date and thinking ‘What exactly was keeping me from Vegas?’

Fact is that weddings can be stressful, and why would you expect anything less? It is a life changing experience fraught with choices on name changes, emotional transitions into marriage, and the constant influence of other people’s opinions. The element of international planning is just adding another layer to the whole thing.

I mean, the original plan has long since faded away. If you’ve gone through the process then you know what I mean. You think you will have a sweet little wedding and your biggest decision will be choosing your wedding colors. Never did it cross your mind that you might need to come up with a plan for you trash to be taken away at 1 am because your venue and caterer won’t let you leave it for them. Or that even if you spend the money on a coordinator, that it is in their contract that they don’t touch your cake… Who gets rid of the cake at the end of the night when you are on your 10th glass of bubbles and already heading off to your hotel with your new husband?

Planning a wedding from New Zealand to be held in America has added a dimension of stress to the entire scenario. I feel like my entire wedding exists as a construct of my imagination. I have nothing physical to show for it. I can’t drive to my caterer, or lurk outside of my wedding venue day dreaming of the magic day. Instead, I sit in my living room with my computer firmly planted on my lap, and use the creative imagination I was born with, to make up every detail, so that I can move on to the next task. It is quite a strange thing to plan a party that no one, and nothing around you will be at… Well, aside from my future husband. And really, he is the only thing I have. Which also helps to keep things in perspective. I have him, and the wedding is something we will do, but it is not everything. We are here, and it is there. It is part of a long vacation we are taking in America.

I end up relying more on my family now than I ever could have expected. I email my sister all the time asking her silly questions like “do you think my shoes are too bright?” And she’s a busy girl. She takes the time to calm me down while dealing with her own stuff. Even though I didn’t want to rely on my family, I am lucky to have their help. Turns out I really needed it.

I have yet to find the balance of ‘perfect bride Nicole’ and ‘sane bride Nicole,’ but I think that it is all part of the process of becoming ‘married Nicole.’ It is a necessary emotional change, which might not always make sense at times. But in the end we get the result we want. To be married, and to be ready for it. Well, hopefully to be ready for it.


Thank you so much to my wonderful sister for writing up a guest post for me while I’m hanging out with my family. <3 If you have a moment, go say hello to her on her blog, The Mermaid Tracks.

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Categories: family


  • leah @maritalbless on said:

    I meet with wedding clients frequently and am practically bubbling over with how exciting and fun it is to be planning a wedding, what I've forgotten in my 5 1/2 years of marriage is that wedding planning isn't exactly fun, it's much more stress. Hang in there! And no, I doubt your shoes are too bright. 😀

  • Roxana on said:

    You do have a wonderful sissy! and if I can help let me know! it will be an beautiful day. 🙂

  • kamana on said:

    planning a wedding is stressful enough without the added dimension of distance!

  • sadiedear on said:

    That is an amazing love story! I am sure the wedding will be spectacular… and the distance will make the surprise of the big day that much sweeter!

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