I wanted to begin by saying how absolutely beautiful Karla looks today. Simon is a very lucky man. And I guess he doesn’t look too bad either.
Now for anyone who doesn’t know who I am, I used to be Karla’s younger sister. But, since Karla now absolutely refuses to move past the age of 29 that means that I am now the older sister, which actually means I am officially the boss of her.
Our brother David is here tonight as well, but as he would rather be poked in the eye with a burning stick than stand up in front of a group and give a speech the duty of giving a speech has fallen to me.
I have to say that when Karla first told me she was going to go on a date with her old flame Simon S- I thought the whole thing was pretty hilarious. The last time I saw Simon before I met him again recently was on the day he was breaking up with Karla when she was 14. She was in her room crying and Simon was very distressed at being the cause of her tears so he kept coming out to my prime eavesdropping position on the verandah and saying, “What should I do?” Given that Karla and I spent our entire adolescence pretty much hating each others guts I responded with a very caring, “Don’t worry about it, she is always crying. She’ll get over it.” So I didn’t really offer him much help.
The fact that we have ended up here tonight means that they have, in my opinion, one of the best marriage stories ever to tell their kids.
I could stand here and say a lot of lovely things about Karla. I could tell you how amazing she is and how many obstacles she has overcome in her life. I could tell you all about her incredible capacity for care and love, about the strength of loyalty and commitment to her family and friends, about her capacity to be the life of the party and bring joy and laughter into people’s lives, but anyone who knows Karla will know these things without having to be told.
But one thing I did want to talk about, and the thing that as most delighted me in recent years, is Karla’s newfound willingness to move outside of her comfort zone and into the unknown. She initially started this journeying within the relatively safe confines of a Contiki Tour. Though she panicked about every detail and tossed and turned through many sleepless nights stressing prior to her departure, she came back a new woman. From a scared traveller who focused on what could go wrong to “I think next time I will go by myself and just hire a car.” Her growth and courage has been very impressive to witness.
She has been on many trips since that first Contiki tour and the travel she has done to the far corners of the globe has also been accompanied by some internal journeying as well. But the biggest change she has undergone is evidenced in what we are here today to celebrate.
She has finally attracted a wonderful man into her life. As I have gotten to know Simon I found him to be genuine, down-to-earth, kind, caring, humble and always ready to have a laugh. Exactly the kind of guy you hope your sister ends up with and someone I am very much looking forward to getting to know better over the next few decades. Since she has been with Simon I have never seen Karla so happy, with the possible exception of Brisbane Lions winning the grand final.
It is so obvious that they are meant to be together and I feel absolutely sure that they are going to be sitting in rocking chairs together one day reminiscing about what a great speech Ruth did at their wedding.
As with any partnership they have a great yin and yang of qualities that will keep them growing together for a very long time:
- Karla likes to make decisions quickly, Simon not so much
- Simon is a talented musician, Kerstin wishes the ground would swallow her up if she is asked to so much as hum a tune
- Simon is gunning to be the next masterchef, Karla’s interest in cooking often involves tinned spaghetti on toast
- Karla loves the Brisbane Lions, Stephen loves Essendon – actually maybe we shouldn’t bring that one up…
As someone who has been married for all of 5 years, I was looking for words of wisdom that I could impart to you on your wedding night and I found a quote, really it’s more for Simon than for Karla, that I thought might be helpful
“I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it.’
But finally, I just wanted to end with a wedding wish for you both.
May you always feel as close as you do this day.
May your lives be graced with good health.
May you always find happiness in your home,
and may it be a refuge from the storms of life.
May your love grow ever stronger as you share
your lives together, and may your future be even
more wonderful than you ever dreamed possible.
I am so happy for the both of you and I would like us all to raise our glasses and toast to a future full of happiness for Karla and Simon
To Karla and Simon