White Wedding! A few weeks ago we received an email asking if we would like to donate a castle for a deserving cause. We actually receive a lot of these sorts of emails, and sadly we can't always do it. Often we are just at full stretch elsewhere and simply do not have the manpower or vehicle power to be able to do it. We also have to balance business and charity work - we'd love to do everything for free, but apparently the rent still needs paying!
The email pointed to a give-a-little page for Litisha and Riki. Sadly, Litisha had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and her last wish was to marry Riki. Friends and family hadn't much time to put together a wedding and were looking for as much crowd-sourcing as possible. The venue was Amberley House. The question asked was, would we be able to donate a bouncy castle?
I'd like to say we said yes immediately without thinking, but thinking is what we did! We checked the date and venue. We're north of the Waimakariri River, in Mandeville, so Amberley wasn't too far away. It is Winter so we are relatively free and at the time had no bookings for that day. So we said yes!
Of course, more bookings came in as time went by, so Saturday was quite challenging getting from Mandeville to Rolleston to Amberley to Pioneer Stadium...
The next challenge was when, on the day, we got a call from the venue manager. "Have you got a generator"? Well we do, but as it's Winter we don't use them often so I wasn't sure they would be up and working. Quick out to the barn, pull out the gen and get it fired up (needed a bit of coaxing, but the trusty AEG gen kicked-in after a while).
Then there was set up. Tom (see the last news post) was sent to Amberley. I had decided to send our new White Wedding Castle. We recently purchased this for these special occassions. It makes a great backdrop for bride&groom pictures. Also it is quite light and easily manageable for one person. Usually a medium size bouncy castle takes between ten and twenty minutes to set up, if we can drive right to the point of inflation. What usually takes time is negotiating with the client as to the best place, getting access to power etc. After that we are usually pretty fast. I got a text from Tom..."Might take an hour to set up"
The set up point was inaccessible with a standard van (4WD ute would have been fine...ish). The walk to the set-up point was approx 150m, partly down a very steep muddy drive. So Tom had to carry/wheel:
A Castle (on sackbarrow)
Cleaning kit and vacuum cleaner
That took about 6 trips. Each trip 300m there and back! He did well. All was set up and ready in time for the wedding. See the picture above
Packing up, two of us went. Good move!
In the end, it all went well. The above isn't a moan, we laughed and I'm glad we were able to help in some small way. The event wasn't about us, but about the couple, their children, their families and their friends. We wish them all the very best of happiness together for as long as they have.