Jackies minimalist wedding in Gore

By: Jackie Norman, Photography by: Gareth Scurr and Amy Ritchie

Gore Public Gardens is a great place for photos Gore Public Gardens is a great place for photos Gore Public Gardens is a great place for photos
Wedding gifts including Christmas decorations Wedding gifts including Christmas decorations Wedding gifts including Christmas decorations
Minnie was a bemused but very well behaved bridesmaid Minnie was a bemused but very well behaved bridesmaid! Minnie was a bemused but very well behaved bridesmaid
Us with our witnesses Bevin the campground caretaker and wife Amy Us with our witnesses, Bevin the campground caretaker and wife Amy Us with our witnesses Bevin the campground caretaker and wife Amy
Happily married at last Happily married at last! Happily married at last
The bride and a big fish The bride and a big fish! The bride and a big fish
Me in my 30 medieval gown from the Hospice Shop Me in my $30 medieval gown from the Hospice Shop! Me in my 30 medieval gown from the Hospice Shop

After months of keeping it under their hats, Jackie and her partner marked the first day of summer by getting married on 1 December in their favourite motorhome friendly town - Gore.

When it came to planning the wedding, Gareth only had one condition – it HAD to be in our favourite motorhome- friendly town, Gore. I didn’t need any persuading.

The sun shone and the temperature outside hit 30 degrees as we said our vows, before heading to some of the many striking locations and landmarks in the area – the Public Gardens, the Eastern Southland Gallery – for photos. We also visited the impossibly grand Thomas Green Public House and Dining Rooms for a celebratory drink.

Special place, special people

In -front -of -the -rose -garden -with -some -of -our -guests

From here we went on to our reception, which was held at our favourite campground, the A & P Showgrounds in Bury Street. This is no ordinary campground. With over 40 acres of rural, park-like setting, surrounded by colourful gardens. It provided the perfect venue. The roses were all out in full bloom and in every variety and colour.

As the temperature continued to climb, we were all grateful for the shady trees. We catered almost all the food ourselves and had an informal barbecue. As with any special occasion however, it was the company who made it the most memorable and our wedding guests were every bit as unconventional as ourselves; the guest list comprised of people we had met from all over the world.

Plenty -of -food ,-drink -and -shade -at -the -A-&-P-Showgrounds

When you live on the road, other motorhomers can quickly come to feel like family. From the outset you see each other at your worst; first thing in the morning, shuffling to the bathroom in PJ’s and slippers with hair standing on end. We all live it, we all get it, and we all love it. As a lovely chap called Ron, who was 78 years young, told me just the other day; "I don’t know what it is, but I feel as though I’ve known you for 10 years." That’s how it is on the road.

Celebrate without breaking the bank

'Is -there -room -for -me '-asks -Inca

The total cost of our campground wedding was under $800. This included the ceremony, hair and make-up, food and drink, our wedding outfits and shoes, decorations and all the tableware. We provided our own music, made our own decorations and table centrepieces; even my headdress was made from scratch. Minnie the dog had her own bridesmaid outfit too.

We enjoyed every moment of our special day and it just goes to show, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on creating a truly memorable occasion.

What's next? A campground christmas!

Gore -is -ready -for -Christmas

Now the wedding celebrations are over, we have a couple of weeks to get into gear for Christmas. We’re really looking forward to spending it at a campground amongst other travellers. This will be our first Christmas away from our home town and family and we will miss them, but we’re looking forward to starting some new traditions of our own and cooking a campground festive feast.

We were worried initially that we may be a little lonely, however we have already received several kind offers from people to come and spend it with them, so far from being lonely we will be spoilt for choice. A lovely, thoughtful friend sent us some beautiful Christmas decorations for our camper van as a wedding gift, so we will be getting into the spirit of things, even in such a small space.

Merry Christmas to all our fellow travellers

We all know how fast Christmas comes around and one thing I’ve noticed already is that for the first time in many years I actually have time for it. Before now, it’s always been one more thing to try and fit in to an already hectic life; but not this year.

Now we really have time to prepare and enjoy it. I have time to put some proper thought into Christmas gifts and can browse the shops at my leisure. This afternoon I have a lovely pile of Christmas cards to write out and send, which I’m really excited about, as I haven’t had time to do that in 15 years.

To all MCD readers everywhere, thank you for following our journey all year. To the many of you we have had the pleasure to meet on the road this past year, we wish you a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are. Who knows, we may well bump into you again along the way.

Have yourself a merry camping Christmas with these simple reminders:

  • Find your happy place. When choosing a camping spot for Christmas and New Year, go wherever you will be comfortable and happy.
  • If all you want for Christmas is good company and peace and quiet, go somewhere you will find it.
  • Have a Plan B. There’s nothing worse than driving for hours only to find when you get there that something’s changed, or the camp is already full, 
  • or it’s just not ‘you’ any more. Better to have a back-up plan and not use it, then to not have a plan at all. 
  • Give yourself at least one day off. Just because we’re travellers, doesn’t mean you have to be travelling all the time. If possible, arrive at your destination at least one day before you need to, so that you can truly relax and do nothing but enjoy your surroundings, rather than be in transit or setting up/packing down. 
  • Make sure everything is in order. Don’t forget the important basics in your eagerness to hit the road for holiday season. Is your WOF and rego up to date? Are your tyres up to scratch? Now is the time to make sure everything is safe and travel ready. 
  • Rest if you need to. If you feel your energy flagging on a long drive and you need to stop, STOP! Your destination will still be there for you half an hour later than planned, or even the next day. As I always tell my kids when they’re driving, "Better to be six minutes late than six feet under!"

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