We stopped talking about our wedding. We stopped blogging. We stopped dreaming. What about the invites we had sent out? How would we explain it? What could we do? We went to a bank for help – they literally told us to change careers.
I was working on a musical at the time and one of the dancers I was working with sent me a message one night saying that she would like to buy us our first drink when we got to New York and did I have a bank account that she could put money into? I remember sobbing when I received that message and thanked her profusely for the offer.
Then I got a message from another dancer. And an actor. Then a costume designer asked if we needed help with our wedding outfits.
Another actor asked if we had a registry. A singer asked what shows we were going to see. What were we going to do about flowers? Had we bought our shoes yet? Had we planned a hens’ party? What could they do? How could they help?
It was humbling and devastating. We were always the helpers and the tables had turned on us. As hard as it was for our pride we accepted the offers. We thanked everyone profusely.
We had the beautiful souls at the NZ Opera wardrobe department design and create Theresa’s suit. They deconstructed one of my Nana’s dresses that I had worn once as a costume and recreated it as a beautiful dress.
They found deals on the material; they wouldn’t let us see receipts and refused to let us pay for their time. We will never be able to thank them enough for their kindness, love, and enthusiasm.
After a push from some colleagues, we started an online gift registry of shows that we wanted to see in New York.
Feeling a bit foolish, we posted it on our blog that we had been sharing on Facebook and promised to share reviews of the shows. The response was overwhelming.
We had people from all walks of life come out of the woodwork – people that we had worked on school productions with; studied with; crew we had worked with; professional actors who had talked with us about our passion for musicals; community theatre performers who had been impacted when we helped their productions; our close friends; people who wished to stay anonymous… in the end it resulted in nearly $3000 USD and we could breathe… the little money we had put aside for show tickets could pay off the last few things for our trip. We were off thanks to a group of generous souls.
The Big Apple. The place. The dream. We stayed in a shoe box apartment with no room.
We got married in Central Park and we had discounts with every vendor for getting married on a Thursday. We had our closest friends – our chosen family – around us and we had the perfect wedding. Perfect. It was everything we wanted: easy; stress-free; fun.
While we were there we were incredibly fortunate and saw 30 Broadway shows in 30 days due to the generosity of others. We reviewed every show and included an official video of our favourite number, a photo of the programme, which theatre, where we sat, a selfie under the marquee, all of our thoughts and who we had to thank for the experience.
We were blogging into the early hours nearly every day but we owed it to those who helped us.
We loved Matildas and Pippinses and Mormonses. We cried with Christopher in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time; we cheered for the French Revolution with the cast of Les Miserables; we mourned the broken dreams of Hedwig and her angry inch. We stood at every chance for an ovation and we enjoyed tearing apart the shows that we hated.
We had the budget for one meal a day. We kept half-time pop tarts in our bags, trail mix in our pockets and drank only water. We did everything we could possibly do for free. Our mementoes are playbills, photos, and memories.
It was nothing like we thought it was going to be. It was so, so much better and we had so many people living with us and through us along the way. The very same people who helped to make it happen.