I love a wedding.


I love the declarations of love and devotion. I love watching the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle. I love what their choice of music says about their quiet moments together. And I love the details.

We winged our way to Sydney for the wedding of a very special woman.

I’ll quote directly from the speech I made before entree;

‘I’ve known her for a third of my life. She’s shown me New York, Edinburgh, Cornwall and London. We’ve shared a 35 course meal together and seen more terrible films than either of us would willingly admit in public. All of which leads me to think, how much better off would I have been if I’d met her earlier?’

It was  the most beautiful of days. We all assumed that it was  her much loved and recently departed Nan smiling down the sunshine that glinted off the nearby sea.

From 4.30 pm we drank champagne in the back garden of her mother’s house. We watched them exchange vows and rings in front of a white canopy of trailing paper that buffeted towards them with the breeze. It was like the air was keen to hug them too.

There was champagne and canapes further down the garden. When it comes to canapes, I’m fairly certain sure you can ever go past a ribbon sandwich of roasted chicken, bound with aioli, shallot and celery and cut the crusts off.  Though The Hungry One did make a fair fist of the peking duck rolls and tempura prawns.

As the sun started to dip we made our further down the lawn, its perimeter decorated with over a kilometer of fairy lights.

In a marquee made glorious with bursts of colour  we passed around platters of veal meatballs, crispy zucchini flowers, caprese salad and figs that were bursting with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.

There were speeches.

There was red wine.

There was a main course of lamb racks with asparagus, roast potatoes and bursting cherry tomatoes.

There was more red wine and a few happy tears.

And then – by god – there was dancing. On the grass, with shoes kicked off to the corner , under a multitude of moons- the gentle light of dozens of paper lanterns.

The dessert buffet, spilling with macarons, passionfruit bavois, chocolate wedding cake, berries and mini pavlovas was waiting for us at the rear of the marquee.  Though it was the memories of sipping from shot glasses of mango sorbet and with soft grass prickling my toes and dancing  to ‘love shack’ (with all of the gestures) that stays with me.

At 1.30 am I found my way to the kitchen and stood eating left over potato salad from one of the caterer’s bowls with the siblings of the bride. It was there The Hungry One found me and gently  prised me home.  I could have stood there forever.

But beyond the details, the sentiments and the tableau’s of love, here’s what I love best about a wedding.

In ceremony, each one of the traditions; the vows, the cake, the speeches, the cake-  carry with them happy memories of weddings prior. And in each of that night’s paper lanterns I saw reflected back a multitude of happy days we’ve born witness to; at the Botanical Gardens, Pittwater, the Rocks, Terry Hills, the Blue Mountains and the beaches of Avoca and Wailea.  People in love, surrounded by love.

And best of all, I saw my own– nearly four years ago now.

It was the happiest of nights.