toeThere was no money for small luxuries like presents so we agreed that to celebrate we would make presents that were homemade, specifically ‘macaroni and glitter’ home made. Theresa made a kickass cake and I made her a website with a list of potential vendors. No way was being broke standing in the way of our New York dreams.
We slowly started sharing the idea with our closest friends. When you say something like that to friends who are in the same dire financial state as you are, you can see instant disappointment cloud their eyes. We would never afford that, they would never afford it, but hey, they could be happy for our plans. We started telling some family and their responses varied from disbelief to patronizing to openly laughing at our plans.
The theatre industry in New Zealand is tiny. The arts funding was halved, then quartered; every year the funding became smaller and smaller with the (slightly) right (of centre) party in charge.
There was bugger-all work and little pay. We were building our careers on being dedicated hard-working good people. We were fledglings with big dreams and empty pockets.
That didn’t stop us planning! We decided on a celebrant, a photographer, and a venue and we contacted each of them to book, only to be told that 3 years out was too early. Every year we checked in saying yes, we still wanted them, could we book? No? Okay! We will wait another year.
We sold our possessions; downsized to living in a small bungalow in the woods (which I hated at the time but very fondly miss now); together we set budgets of $20 for Birthday and Christmas presents; we collected American notes and coins; we studied maps of Manhattan; we read Broadway reviews; and we dreamed and we talked.
In addition, every person on every production we worked on knew that we were going to get married in New York and it became so apparent that people were rooting for us to succeed so we had to!
Fortunately, in 2013, our careers boomed. We paid off debt. We set a date. I made invitations and we sent them out a year in advance.
We bought modest wedding bands. We planned our adventure. We booked flights. We saved and saved and saved.
Suddenly we realized that it still wasn’t enough. We were on the best contracts we could be on in the industry and it still wasn’t enough. We hit a wall and it wasn’t going to work. We couldn’t afford it. Okay. What now?