5 December 2015, Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria
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
5 April, 2014, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia
Ladies and gentleman it’s my great pleasure to welcome you here to Portrush for the wedding of Hamish Brooks and Charlotte Molesworth.
My name’s Tony Wilson, I like to think I’m many things to the bride and groom, but for the purposes of today, you mainly need to know that I introduced them to Klop.
What a wonderful occasion.
This place is so special to the bride and groom,Most of you know that they’ve lived here, ghost and Mrs Muir style for nearly four years. Hamish paddling on the Barwon and returning to his beloved every night with a haul of fish. Charlotte polishing the old silver and taking notes from this book I found upstairs ‘Great Hostesses of the mid twentieth century’.
Portrush is a place that is so special to all of us. It became part of the Hay family in 1922, and here we are, nearly a century later, bracing ourselves for the very difficult task of saying goodbye. I remember Mr Hay, Char’s beloved grandpa, who might be an equal contender for the absence that looms largest over today, I remember Mr Hay telling me that when he was a kid, Portrush’s phone number was ‘8’. I said, what do you mean 8, and he said, 8. That was the phone number here. There were a couple of dozen houses on the barwon heads exchange, and we were number 8.’
It’s been the venue of many historic occasions. Christina, Char’s aunt, tied the knot on this very riverbank 30 odd years ago, on a hot blustery Saturday that tempted partygoers to rip off dresses and suits and plunge into the Barwon. As an avid reader of ‘Great Hostesses of the Mid Twentieth century’ — char will be having none of that ...
Who am I kidding ... Char is the most infamous winter swimmer in the room. I doubt that she’ll hold off until 8pm.
As MC, I have a few administrative tasks:
First, phones to silent. Hamish has a very important fantasy football game this weekend, so naturally he is allowed to stare at his phone, but to the rest of you - try to show some discipline.
Caroline Molesworth - mother of the bride
I want to start by welcoming the wonderful mother of the bride, Caroline Molesworth. I’ve noticed that Hamish already calls Caroline by the family nickname of ‘Canny’, which I find surprising because when I asked her if I could, she told me, ‘actually I’d probably prefer Caroline’. This suggests that Caroline already likes Hamish quite a bit more than me, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he gets the nicer David Jones shirt this Christmas.
When I told my daughter Polly I was MC today, she said, ‘Dad dad, can you tell a knock knock joke?’
And I said, oh, well, I don’t know that many ... and she said, pleeeeease ... and I said .. okay. I’ll try and tell one. So here it goes ...
Knock Knock, who’s there, the bride, the bride who,
No in this case I think it’s ‘the bride whom ... ‘
Please welcome a woman who knows her whos from her whoms, her 6 letter words from her 7s, and who is a wonderful generous hostess, at least worthy of half a page in the new edition of Great Hostess of the Mid 20th century ... Caroline ... or should just say ‘Canny’ Molesworth ...
Ben Hunter - best man
Our first speaker tonight is Ben Hunter ... Ben secured the role of best man after a strong white- anting performance, in which he spread false rumours about other leading candidates while employing a leading PR firm to pump up his own credentials. Not that they needed any pumping up. Ben is an old schoolmate of Hamish’s, and as best mates, they’ve shared a passion for music, art, literature and football. Hamish barracks for Melbourne, and Ben barracks for St Kilda, which is kind of like barracking for the same team - called ‘Heartache and Misery’.
Ben loves Latin America and spent a year living in Buenos Aries, a mad, vibrant city where they don’t even call the cleaning product Jif, ‘Jif’. They call it ‘Cif’.
Please welcome an architect, and a philosopher and a best man, Ben Hunter.
Peter Brooks - father of the groom
I remember, when I first met Peter, I said to him, ‘do you mind if I call you Brooksy’ and he said, ‘yes’. I once thought Hamish was the calmest person I’d ever met. Fly fishing, reading, writing, beard growing, Klop, smiling, philosophising. As a pair of panickers Tamsin and I have always found it extremely reassuring to be near him, just breathing in the zen calm. But recently, I met an even calmer person. He’s into fly fishing, flowers, writing, beard shaving, smiling and philosophising, and, for a living, Mr Miagi style, he catches flies with chopsticks (for his fishing) and paints houses (including ours). He’s now a Tasmanian B & B operator who only returns to the mainland to see his kids and win medals at hte World Masters games. Please welcome a calm man with calm genes ... Peter Brooks.
Hamish Brooks - groom
And now, the groom himself.
It was suggested on the invitation that Hamish took a while to get around to the wonderful business of marrying my sister in law, and to some extent this is true. My own view is that he committed much earlier than was officially recognised. Two years ago this month he was invited to join my fantasy football league, the CFL, with his suitably mysteriously badged franchise, The Dark Horse. I explained to Hamish that once you join the CFL, you don’t get to leave ... that with all the awkwardness of having to maintain strong relationships with both my sister in law and The Dark Horse, he had to be sure. Hamish took about 90 seconds to decide, and I took this as a marriage proposal which I very nearly passed on to Char. In the end, I didn’t, which gave Hamish another 19 months to get the wording perfectly right, and choose the right Barwon sunrise for the champagne breakfast.
Please welcome the wonderful, handsome, erudite, elegant man of the hour, Hamish Brooks.
Charlotte Molesworth - bride
Char, you are always stylish, always kind and always vivacious. You have incredible gifts, and have rocketed through your science degree with amazing marks. In fact you’re better at stats than anyone I know, which makes me wonder why we asked Hamish to play dreamteam, and not you.
I’ve now known the bride for nearly half of her life, which is quite scary, and she really is like a sister. Please welcome, the beautiful Charlotte Molesworth.
Ashcombe Maze, Shoreham
Hello, I’m Tony Wilson, and I’ve been requested by the Tim and Naomi to act as MC this evening. Welcome to everyone - friends, family, and of course partners of friends who were lucky to cop the handbag invite here tonight. Welcome. You are all ‘crew’ (as people from the Peninsula are so fond of putting it). One of the conditions for my appointment was to agree to act as ‘heckle fodder’ for the more unruly amongst you, so if you do over the course of the next few hours feel inclined to hurl a little abuse at any of the speakers, or perhaps even a bit of food, please ladies and gentlemen, direct it at me. It’s my job.
It's now time to welcome the bridal party. I’ll try not to make it sound like one of those mounting yard reports you hear on 3UZ ...
INTRODUCTIONS FOR SPEECHES
John D - father of the bride
For just good old fashioned, bawl for half an hour romance, you can’t go past the night Tim proposed to Naomi. They’d been together 5 years to the day, and Tim took Naomi to the beautiful ‘Arthur’s’ restaurant at Arthur’s Seat, bought a ridiculously expensive bottle of red wine, took Naomi back to the maze, sat her in the middle of the maze, dosed her up on a ridiculously expensive bottle of champagne, and then dropped a diamond ring in her glass. As great as that story is, one wonders how different the night might have been without John and Sally D who:
(a) Constructed the maze; and
(b) Lent Tim the money to buy dinner, wine and champagne because Tim had left his wallet in another woman’s handbag the night before.
Introducing the father of the bride, John Daly.
Robert McGregor - father of the groom
One of the interesting things about the name McGregor, is that if you take the little c and put it at the end, then swap the M with the first ‘g’, and then switch the places of the vowels, you get ‘Ggrogerm’
Fans of the Muppet Show will remember Dr Bob, the insane awful gagging doctor on ‘Pigs in Space’. We have our own Dr Bob here tonight, the man who did his done his bit for the lineage of the clan McGregor, introducing Tim’s father, Dr Robert McGregor.
James E - best man
The first time I ever saw James Eadie he was on my front lawn at my parents' beach house at Merricks Beach, sitting on his haunches, wearing a Stackhat, and preparing to smash his head into Tim, who was also sitting on his haunches wearing a Stackhat. I’d now like to introduce the best man, Jammo.
Louise M - bridesmaid
Why is it that every northern Victorian town has to be the capital of something? Shepparton is the grape capital. Swan Hill the riverboat capital. Wangaratta is the peach capital. Perhaps the most startling is poor old Mooroopna, which tagged itself with the unfortunate title, ‘fruit salad capital of Australia’. This mishap occurred after the town elders discovered that the highly sought after ‘orange’ capital had gone to Mildura. For those of you wondering why on earth this is relevant, the simple answer is that it isn’t, except to say that our next speaker hails from that fruit belt up north. Please welcome Louise M.
Tim McGregor - groom
[Tell the Preston sting. Read the letter.]
Tim you’re a sonofabitch, and one of the greatest people I will ever meet. Ladies and gentlemen, the groom, Tim McGregor.
Naomi D - bride
The night wouldn’t be complete without a maxim at Maxims. Always leave the best (and most beautiful) to last. At home I have a book on the origin of names, and against ‘Naomi’ it’s just written ‘Biblical’.
I was a bit disappointed about the lack of material this provided, but undeterred, I looked further afield for the origin of the shortened version of the name –Nay - and found that it comes from an English word meaning the ‘prolonged natural cry or call of a horse’.
Given Naomi’s love for horses, especially the much-loved horse of her life, that seemed strangely appropriate. Please welcome the most beautiful, most married woman of the moment, Mrs Naomi D.