Well after writing a number of speeches in my quest to find just the right words to say on the day, my actual speech was something I had not already posted. To be perfectly honest, it was never actually going to be but I liked the idea of being able to write the things that I wouldn't get a chance to say otherwise. I also liked the idea that no one on the night would already have heard what I was going to say. Thats not to say however that no one else had seen the speech before I gave it.
Although it was the unfortunate case that two of my close friends were too far away to actually make it to Sydney (one because she was living in South Africa and its a rather expensive commute and the other because she was so pregnant the airlines would not let her on a domestic flight), this did make them the perfect candidates to vet my speech. My two girlfriends therefore read through the speech, giving it the talk test to ensure that it wasn't so long it was going to bore people. They also reported back as a general consensus that the speech itself was tear inducing and should be well received. So as I have already posted the other speeches I wrote, these are the words that I actually said to our guests and to my new husband upon the occasion of our wedding:
"Well I know its been said before but I wanted to add my thanks to you all for coming here this evening to celebrate with us. I can honestly say that it wouldn’t have been the same without you. An awful lot cheaper perhaps but definitely not the same! We’ve had an awesome time so far today and its nice to finally join the marrieds amongst our friends and family tonight cause it seems we’ve been halfway there for so long. And just a bit of trivia for you as well, in this room we have over 150 years of marriage which I think means we’re in good company. As for my speech though...
I was really excited when I sat down to start working on my wedding speech. I was looking forward to being able to say a lot of words tonight (because I knew I’d never be able to stop at a few) and I had three main goals that I wanted to accomplish. The first was, perversely perhaps, to make my new husband cry, the second was to be funny and the third, to be truly memorable. And these goals were all well and good until I realised that there were actually three major flaws with my overall plan. The first was that anything likely to make The Boy cry was even more likely to make me cry which was not a good thing at all. The second flaw was I couldn’t actually think of anything funny to say. Well, at least not anything that I can repeat in public and the third was that by the time I would be giving my speech, as is the case tonight, you would have all started drinking already. And since some of you are now looking at me oddly, I am assuming that the whole ‘truly memorable’ thing is totally out the window right from the start. Which may just be a blessing in disguise but anyway, when I had another think about what I was actually going to write for my speech, I decided to talk a little about my journey to get here.
If you’d asked me 20 years ago what I wanted in a husband, I probably would have said tall, dark and handsome. And now, I have to say that two out of three ain’t bad. I also have to say however that over the years in between I have learnt a few more things like you can’t base a marriage purely on physical characteristics such as those. There are a lot of other important attributes that are involved in making a relationship work and this is something that I’ve put a lot of thought into. For those of you who have known me for a while or have gone back through the entries that are featured on our wedding website, you will know that before I wrote about being engaged, I used to write about being single. I would write about all the fad ideas I tried in order to meet people such as speed dating and Sydney Morning Herald’s Kiss and Tell. And I have to say here that it amuses me no end that I actually met The Boy inside the house that I was living in at the time and we got together after I asked him to move in! Anyway, when I wasn’t doing weird activities to meet people I would look for dating related things to write about and thats why I ended up reading The Marriage Plan.
It sounds a bit melodramatic to say that this book changed my life although I believe it did have an impact on me that I only realised much later. To be perfectly honest, I actually thought the book was a bit of a joke at the time. Written by a motivational speaker, the author claimed that if you were serious about wanting to be married and really set your mind to it, then you could be married to your soul mate within a year. Whether you happened to have met them already or not! She had a thirteen step plan which started out with setting your goal and setting a deadline. As I started reading through the steps though, I thought why not just give it a go? Now my deadline at the time was the 9th of March 2006 so obviously I wasn’t taking the whole thing terribly seriously since I am almost three and a half years behind schedule but I did manage to complete step three which was to draw up a profile.
In order to complete this process, you had to identify what your deal breakers were in a relationship. You were required to list which core values you expected your partner to hold. You needed to answer questions about what you wanted by the way of appearance, background, education and beliefs and finally, you had to write down what your position was on topics such as families and careers. So all in all, this was a pretty big list. For starters I wanted an employed friendly taller non-smoker with integrity, loyalty, generosity, ambition, intelligence, honesty and compassion who was around my age, enjoyed intimacy and eventually wanted kids. And then there was the detail. After you’d completed the profile though, the next step was to go and sit under a tree or something and send your wish out into the cosmos which is where the book probably lost me but the reason I am telling you all this is because about four months after The Boy and I got engaged and moved house, I actually found that list I wrote all those years ago. And I’ll be damned if my husband isn’t that person.
It may have taken me a while to recognise that this was what I wanted for the rest of my life but I did get there eventually.
My parents on the other hand did not take half as long to make up their minds. When The Boy asked my father for his permission, Dad had the very good sense to say yes immediately. Although I don’t think it was much of decision really. After years of having me as his daughter he knows that I wouldn’t spend a minute longer than I had to doing something that I didn’t want to do and since The Boy knows how to pour a good scotch when he’s told I think my father was more than happy to give away my hand in marriage if I said yes. Especially if it was the hand thats been spending time in his wallet for the past 29 years. Isn’t that right Dad?
So I want to say thank you here to my parents for all their help and support over the years. And to my sister too. You have put up with a lot of whining, moaning and tantrums in the past so this is the pay-off. Now its The Boy's job to put up with it.
I also want to thank both Father-in-law and Mother-in-law and the rest of The Boy's family for welcoming me right from day one. I know that you have helped make him the man he is today and since that is one who cleans and cooks and irons, I totally scored!
And lastly, I couldn’t stand up here tonight without thanking the man who totally planned a fantastic wedding when I said I didn’t want to do any of it and who let me come in at the eleventh hour and change some of his ideas cause I’d just thought of a new one.
A man who is generous, supportive, sensitive and selfless. Who is the heart to my head and the one who can sing my song when I forget the words. He helps me walk with grace which is another reason, apart from Pastor Mate's awesome sermon earlier today (thank you too Pastor Mate) that I wanted to have the word “grace” engraved in my wedding ring. I am very lucky to be standing here today and I would like you to raise your glasses in a toast: To The Boy."