7.15pm INTRODUCTION AND HOUSEKEEPING
For those of you who - unlike all of my uncles – have shown some restraint and held off on getting started on the charcuterie, please feel free to hop in. You are meant to begin.
I think now is an opportune moment to give you an overview of the proceedings is evening: in brief, until about 9pm we will be eating with some speeches between courses and then, after a cutting of the cake and what I am sure will be an incredible bridal waltz display from Hamish (and Isabelle), there is going to be dancing and drinks until 11 when the liquor license expires. That’s the very short version of how this evening is going to run. It would surprise none of you to learn that Isabelle and Hamish have actually planned everything to a much higher level of detail than that, and if any of you would like to understand any aspect to the minutest level please see me and I can walk you through the multiple spreadsheets (version 1 through to 6), programs and timetables generated over the past 6 months. You may need to be a certified project manager to understand it all.
Anyway, I see from the timetable that I am already 27 seconds over time, and the next item is a very important one. If you would all please stand. Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the bride and groom……
[Isabelle and Hamish enter]
Our first speech this evening comes from Claire. Claire and her husband, Jim, became very close friends with Hamish and Isabelle when they moved to Sydney about 5 years ago. Claire also worked at XXXX with Isabelle. I think it is a testament to the strength of the friendship that developed between them that, when Jim and Claire eloped to get married a few years ago, they asked Hamish and Isabelle along as their sole witnesses. I think eloping is tremendously romantic. It did occur to me however that some people elope because they can’t bear the idea of having to do wedding speeches. I do very much hope Claire isn’t one of those people.
7.55pm (after entrée) SPEECHES - BEST MAN
Our next speaker this evening is Harry, Hamish’ brother. Harry is speaking in his capacity both as best man and on behalf of Hamish’ family. So he’s doubly special.
Like Hamish, Isabelle and my brothers and my Dad, Harry is a hockey player – though I must say that among males in my family that really just involves intermittent appearances in the “mean streets” of the lowest grade suburban hockey while for Harry and [GRROM] it meant state representative teams and national indoor sides.
Harry also shares the characteristic of some Smith males – and I’m thinking about both my brothers – of not being quite so concerned or worried about organisation as the bride and groom. I wasn’t able to attend the bux day last weekend but was delighted to learn that – despite arranging the day – Harry managed to be an hour late. And to go to the wrong venue. I think that this is good news for Isabelle and Hamish though - in my limited experience, shared frustrations about your broader family is one of the secret keys to a healthy relationship – nothing promotes more communication like a common complaint - so I’m delighted that Isabelle and Hamish have years of complaining their pedantic hearts out to each other to look forward to.
Anyway, without further ado, the very best man, Harry….
8.30pm (after mains) SPEECHES - PARENTS OF THE BRIDE
The next speakers are my parents, Chris and Peter.
I know that sometimes parents have reservations about the people that their children choose to marry. I can assure you that is not the case with Hamish. My father in fact was so keen to bring Hamish into our family fold that – more than 15 years ago – he actually paid a young teenage Hamish to give him one-on-one hockey lessons at Hawthorn hockey ground. At least I think he paid him for the hockey lessons – perhaps it was an early dowry. Mum and Dad are very, very happy with Hamish.
As many of you know, Isabelle is, by a number of years, the youngest in the Smith family. Dad often corrects the misconception that she was a late mistake by telling people that she was his only planned child. I think that because she was a fair bit younger than the rest of us, Isabelle developed a very special bond with Mum and Dad when she was little. And, on a serious note, I know that this is a very emotional and happy day from Mum and Dad. But I’ll hand over to them now…
8.40pm SPEECHES - BRIDE AND GROOM
So, we come to the final speeches, the bride and groom. I won’t delay too much but I do want to want to say just add couple of things about these two.
The first is that it feels a little odd to be welcoming Hamish into our family as he’s been an important part of it for quite a while now. You heard from Freya earlier about how much he and Isabelle are part of the lives of my children and those of my nieces and nephew. He has taught my children to snorkel, to juggle and even from the earliest days he has thrown himself into family celebrations: when he and Isabelle had just started seeing each other he came dressed to a fairy-themed 4th birthday party as an extremely convincing green elf and - only two nights ago - he was at our house helping stain and burn the edges of birthday invitations to a Harry Potter themed 10th birthday party.
And I think this shows that, despite high successful, busy people, Isabelle and Hamish share a wonderful ability to throw out all the pressure and stresses of day to day living and focus on the really important things in life: their relationship with each other and the people they love. I am enormously proud of my little sister’s kindness, compassion and capacity to love. I’m delighted that she has found in Hamish such a wonderful friend and partner. I wish them all the best in their lives together.
Anyway, nothing more from me. Ladies and gentlemen….the bride and groom.
9.00pm Cutting of the cake and bridal waltz
10.45pm Announce license expires at 11pm / last drinks/ Isabelle and Hamish leaving shortly
11.15pm Announce bus departure