The Speeches


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Thank you to you all for your very kind and thoughtful words.

First of all, I'd like to thank you all for coming. Shel and I are so happy to have here on this great day and in my parents backyard... it's not the Medici's di Boboli Gardens in Florence but it's a very special place to me.

It's the place of 1335 consecutive runs scored by Mr Mark Jones over 3 painful summer days... declaration was not in is vocabulary. It's the place where my brother and I would re-enact Monkey Magic episodes by bashing each other with our black-dyed and gold tipped curtain rods. Somehow, I always ended up as Pigsy with the rake. It's the place where my sister rehearsed her musicals and where I spent years of my life wrestling with each of our family labs, McDougal, Robinson, McLachlan and the latest addition to our family... McGilvray.

Shel and I have been so excited about today and we're so moved to see you all gathered here in one place. Relationships cannot begin and flourish in a vacuum and it's important to realise that you all embody the context of our relationship - you're the backdrop upon which it is painted...

... so grab another glass of Cloudy Bay - it goes well with cheese and there's going to be more of it from here.

The backdrop also consists of the people here today that Shel and I have not actually met. I haven't met you Kim, Elizabeth and Michael but you have been threads in our daily conversations over breakfast, coffee and the papers. Shel hasn't met Dave, Amanda, Sam and Salwah, but I've spent so much time talking about you to Shel that I think she might know you better than I.

I'd also like to thank a few people who travelled a long way to be here today. Lara has come up from Melbourne and it's just great to have you here. We're also over the moon that Chris Deal arranged to be home from the UK in time for today... we don't have to miss you anymore mate 'cause you're here. But there was a while when we weren't sure if Chris was going to make it... until we started receiving a series of bizarre RSVP's from the website...

Emails from Chris

OK, to Tina and Michelle Rae. You two have been a source of comfort for Shel during the staging of this event and I'd personally like to thank you for your enthusiasm for today. You're both very close to Shel and it's great to know you guys believe in our relationship.

I'd like to move onto our families and I'd like to start with our Leichhardt family. Not since I moved from this house and Terrey Hills have I felt part of a community. Shel and I often remark that we have found the pot of gold at the end of the flight-path and we feel so lucky to part of your everyday lives and close enough to just pop in and grab a cup of sugar... or more likely with me these days your wireless connection.

We'd like to thank our bus conductor for today - Greg Mclaren - make sure you all have your tickets stamped for the ride home.

I'm not sure if you've noticed the masterpiece on the table over yonder - but the extremely talented and generous Julieanne has left all other creations in her wake with her magnificent cake. It looks really quote magical. Perhaps we should all keep a wee piece to place under our pillows tonight and maybe tomorrow we'll wake to a brand new state government (neither Labor nor Liberal) full of visionary ministers who will immediately solve all of NSW problems, make public transport free, remove all tolls from Sydney roads and maybe even add some cycle lanes. The cycle lanes may be asking a bit much but it really is a magnificent cake and thank you Julieanne for your mammoth effort.

I'd also like to thank my cousins and especially my Auntie Kim for all her excitement for today and support for Mum during the planning of this wedding... you really are one of a kind. If any of you haven't met my cousins I'm sure you've heard me rabbiting on about them - they're wonderful and you should stop them and ask them about sharing wardrobes, hairdressers in Beecroft and sandwiches in baskets.

Now to you crazy Websters. You're are a wonderful family and from the get-go you've made Shel feel like a part of that family - which I always took as a good sign. Thank you to my ring bearing brother (and brand new brother-in law) and to my poetry-reading sister.

And oh yeah - just as a small aside... all three of you guys better start getting busy with your wonderful partners 'cause it's not fair for you to pass on all this pressure for grandchildren onto a pair of newlyweds just starting out in life.

To my Mum and Dad. Firstly, thank you for letting us take over your house and for all the help in putting on this spread. I think over time you've come to terms with the nest being empty and during the past week we've just taken over a little and you've been so generous and helpful.

I really can't imagine how you guys must be feeling today to have your youngest one married... and 30 to boot. It's an old cliche that you can't choose your family and I'm glad that it's true and that it's led to this point in time and space. Look at what you did - all 3 of us here not only with all our fingers, toes and limbs intact but with lives full of these wonderful people.

And the same goes for Peter, Fleur, Hans, David and Jacqui. I thank you all for each and every thing you have done, big and small to create the wonderful girl I married today. Fleur and Peter, you've been tireless in helping put today together and it's been such a relief for Shel and I to have you there to think of all the things we would have missed along the way.

I'd also like you thank you Hans, Fleur and Peter for making me feel so at home in your homes. I'm not very good at hiding things and from very early on I think you could all see how I felt about Shel and I'm just thankful that you thought that was a good thing! I love you all very much.

Well - sheesh. Hope there aren't too many lactose intolerant people out there!

I really don't think I could ever encapsulate how I feel about Shel into... one... hour... long... speech. So I'm not going to even try. All I will say to you is that with every day we seem to grow closer. And just when I feel like it can't get any better... it does. I've thought about it - at length - and there's no way to demystify what's going on in this process and I don't want to ruin a good thing so I've stopped thinking about it. And every day it still just gets better. It's uncanny.

You may know Shel really well, or just a little... but there's more and it's all good.

Shel had some time off work in December and we got to spend almost everyday of it together. When she started working again at the beginning of this year I missed her like crazy. We've been living together for over 5 years now and when she's not there I still feel it in my bones. Anyway - I wasn't even going to try and if I do get started we'll still be here for the next election in another 4 years.

But as some of you may have expected and guessed (that means you Shel), I have compiled for you listening pleasure a song for today. It's only a wee tune that I finished on Tuesday and I haven't had much chance to practice this week 'cause I've been trying to keep it a secret from Shel. So...

Just a small disclaimer to this song - for those of you (like me) under 40 who weren't taught grammar at school... there are a few grammatical terms in this song and I had to look them up on Wikipedia to make sure I was using them correctly - so just bear with me and ask me about Pronouns later.

The song is called "We" (this is where I played the song)

Everyone Drink and be Merry!