Feb 6 1999

Mike, my sister Sues’s husband, drove Mum to the church in Bren’s old patched-up VW Beetle. Our bridesmaids followed closely behind in three more — they were vintage white and so cute in their pretty pale blue ribbons. Dad and I were last in a gorgeous little duck egg blue cabriolet. Andy had gone ahead to catch it all on video as we pulled up outside the quaint little wooden church Mum and Dad had married in decades before. We were welcomed by a small crowd of locals waving and shouting congratulations.

Mike beeped the horn of Bren’s old car as we pulled into the curb. I have it on good authority the groom cried when he heard his old beetle pull up outside the church.

Our two little flower girls hopped out of their car – holding little bouquets of rainbow-coloured summer blooms like their lives depended on it. Resplendent; in sky blue satin, tulle and silk organza dresses, our nieces Jordi and Tor Tor were very serious about their job as flower girls and looked every bit the little angels they were. Circlets of white rose buds crowned their perfectly swished hair as beautifully as any halo could.

I could see the gathered crowd sigh collectively as they watched all the girls step out of their cars one by one. Our older nieces and big sisters to the flower girls Kahli and Teagan were jounior bridesmaids. Sue and Deb were our senior bridesmaids. The four older girls were stunning in sky blue sheaths made of fabric so fluid it looked like water, all beaming beautiful, big smiles as bright as the blue-skied sunny day.

My bridal party were breathtaking, and my heart was bursting. Watching them all being fussed over by mum, stunning in navy, from her gorgeous oversized hat to her heels, is something I will never forget.

Dad helped me out of the car. He was beaming, too and looked handsome in his new suit. Bren and I tried not to laugh one night, several weeks before, when he walked out in the old black suit – he might have even worn it to Sues and Mike’s wedding 19 years beforehand. Suffice it to say it had been in his cupboard a long time. Dogged in his efforts to fasten the jacket buttons, they came together but looked like they were about to pop one by one any second.
“See love, I told you I wouldn’t need a new suit,” Dad said, looking at Mum, proud of himself.
“Yes, you do,” she said, as she looked at Bren and mouthed the words – told you so, winking with a smile so wide it almost had us rolling on the floor laughing.

Dad, tall and handsome in his brand-new suit, took my arm and asked if I was ready. Although I had forgotten to put my earrings on, the simplicity of my silk and chiffon gown needed only the elbow-length veil and gloves I wore to make me feel beautiful. I nodded, I was ready, and we followed the girls up the little path to the church door. Jodi, our soloist, sang, ‘Looks like we made it,’ by Shania Twain. And then the wedding march played.

I was nervous as I walked up the aisle. I don’t know why. It could have been that all eyes were now on me, and I had never felt comfortable with that. Or maybe the enormity of the commitment we were about to make to each other had just fallen square on my slim brown shoulders. The weight of which lifted the minute my eyes met Brens. Like mine, his were full of tears. As soon as I saw him, I knew everything would be all right.

We walked into the reception to Wannadies You and Me song. And that’s when the party started. Bren held the crowd in his hands with a heartfelt and funny speech. And the fact that he meant every word was evident in how he looked at me.

Then it was my dad’s turn. A man of few words, especially in public, I knew he was nervous. He stood, raised his glass and said, ‘Callie and Brendan, the sun shone on you both today. I hope it shines on you together for the rest of your lives.’ Bren and I cried. It was the perfect speech. One my husband and I would reminisce about many times in the years that followed.

We laughed and danced the night away, and at one stage, my brother-in-law Mike, stripped naked and ran across the stage to a look of bemusement from the DJ and loud applause from the guests. Jordi, one of the little flower girls and daughter of the stripper, gathered up his clothes and gave them back to him, telling him ‘matter of factly’ to put them back on, to even more applause. Bren and I left sometime after midnight — the honeymoon had begun.

You & Me song; our song, according to Deb, she suggested it as our reception song. It played as we joined our family and friends for the first time as a married couple.


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