A year ago today, my beautiful niece, Diana, married the man who was absolutely without question made for her: Stuart, and our family and friends looked on with such joy and pride. Which makes it time for me to wish them the happiest of First Anniversaries, and also give thanks that my life didn't end in a fiery car crash on the way home from that wonderful wedding - not that I was in a crash at all, but as you will see when we relive our post wedding wrap up - it could have happened.....
On a beautiful day in late Autumn, nearly Winter, the weather was gloriously kind for an outdoor wedding in the gorgeous parklands at Araluen with a light buffet and beverages provided by bride and groom - and transported by family friend Mick, and me, proud aunt, not without some hijinks and cursing.
When Mick arrived to pick me up for the drive to the park, he was sweating, cursing, and basically freaking out - the catering trays didn't fit in his car fridge and when he opened the door at least one tray of sandwiches and wraps fell onto my driveway. Luckily he came to the right place. Operation Esky came into play. We got an extra esky out of my garage, and filled it with these 2 litre juice bottles that are filled with frozen water and kept in our freezer for emergencies just such as this (only kidding, they are for when we defrost the freezer) the platter trays wouldn't fit in the eskies Mick and I had, so we got all the largest tuppawares in the house and filled them manually with food knowing we had to keep them as neat and tidy as possible and later transfer them back onto serving platters in the park before the guests arrived. Mick literally thanked me a hundred times and said "don't tell Diana until after" and I said "absolutely!"
I hadn't even had time to get my hair and makeup done.... this was me on the day waiting to get picked up... it wasn't exactly what I had in mind but I was stoked to be able to do anything for my niece on her wedding day!
We left in the height of haste with grated carrot, lettuce, and all kinds of scraps littering my driveway in what was surely going to become a carnival for the local birds and dogs, and tried to relax with some light conversation on the way. The definition of light conversation: embarrassing stories about my family and a lot of walking down memory lane.
Mick and I made it to the park in time, and I can't tell you how magical that first sight of the wedding area was with the little white chairs, the arbour, the flowers, the welcome sign... just gorgeous and as every new guest arrived it was all building up the excitement waiting to see, or hear that the bride had arrived and we could witness what we were all just dying to see happen.
This day would not have been complete without the little prince - my great nephew Owen in his suit being carried down the aisle ahead of Diana and her mum, Cheryl (my sister with all of my heart) and for some reason the bridal party were absolutely hysterical with laughter.... its not out of character for them to be laughing, especially if a little nervous or over excited but what, what could possibly be so devastatingly hilarious? Turns out right before they were entering the wedding my sis in law said "I look like a drag queen" the poor love had submitted to having her makeup done as part of the bridal party and the result was incredibly heavy handed and comedic. We couldn't help agree that my bombshell sister was looking, well, like a dehydrated transvestite.
More hilarity ensued in the ceremony which included heartfelt speeches by bride and groom, with Diana regaling us with the story of how Stuart used to carry the dog poop bag for her when they took her dogs to the beach. And we all felt he was even more perfect than we already did.
We laughed, we cried, we celebrated love, we watched as a young mother, father, and baby became formally and for all time forged into a family, and the day is etched into my heart forever as one of the best days in our family ever.
We talked about it for days, and weeks making sure we all filled each other in on all the little things we couldn't possibly have all been party to, but made our memory and experience of the day stronger, brighter, and more complete. And so we get to the part where I informed Diana of my car ride home with the gallant Mick and thank him for not veering off the road or into oncoming traffic when this all transpired....
It is out there, I warn you that, but it absolutely fits into the gloriously awkward realm in which we live, and I've gone all the way back through a year's worth of messages to find it for you.
Still with me? Cool... so without further ado, I'd like to wish Diana and Stuart the happiest of wedding anniversaries. It is no secret how much I love my family, and I want to make it absolutely clear how much I admire Stuart and include him in that love I feel towards the most wonderful bunch of weirdos you could ever meet... my family.