A kookaburra wedding crasher.
Could a bride look lovelier?
Could a groom look more comely?
I like to think every bride and groom does but then again I am a rank sentimentalist with a streak of the hopeless romantic. The venue was the "Melbourne Club" (no qualification required) at which Lat's father is one of roughly 1,000 invitation only members. The sumptuous marble, tile and mahogany (even in the head) was made second rate only by the 113 year old English Live Oak whose branches stretched in regal manner above the courtyard and below the shadows the sky scrapers in this exclusive downtown setting. Lord knows the cost of a square foot; however, I have a hunch that this venerable Victorian building is in absolutely no danger of ever being bought. It was an intimate setting below the oak. A few lines of chairs faced the old trunk for family as the rest of the friends stood closely by. I could not have been happier to say yes to Lat’s and Elka’s wedding only six days before.
I love a wedding. I think love and the optimism of a wedding are well worth celebrating and thus I am only slightly ashamed that even in my most callused moments I get teary. When/ if I ever get married I reckon I’ll leak like a first semester cordon bleu student cutting onions.
The ceremony was non-denominational with a "celebrant" instead of a priest. She was kind faced and wore her hair in such a way that reminded me of a Victorian schoolmistress minus the implied emotional abuse. The readings made by several friends were worth sharing. I have transcribed them below.
In order to complete the setting of a perfect Australian wedding a professional kookaburra was hired to sit at the wrought iron bench next to the wedding party, interrupting only at the most opportune moments. The cerimony was short and sweet and the chairs were moved making way for the reception to commence immediately amoung the columns and oak tree.
Peter Latreille in his deep booming voice (that judging by Lat’s similar deep booming voice is genetic) told Elks father, in a voice heard round the coutyard "we did it" and there was a gerneral shaking of hands and clapping of backs. In the resplendant dining room with its two story ceiling the meal was served. Christopher Watkins "Watty" was master of ceremonies and with the professorial voice of a Phd in history, conducted the evning of speaches and toasts. Lat's and Elka danced into the room, absolutly radiant, a most becoming center of attention. The food was excellent, complementing the oppulence of the dinning room. I enjoyed a cigar and some man time in the coutyard befor heading back in to enjoy some of Peter's home made muscat from the seemingly inexaustable Latreille cellar. The band began to play "Proud Mary" and it seemed an appropriate note to start my dancing for the evening. Lats and Elka had left the building, and it was clear our lease on the Melbourne Club was running out and it was time to find a late night venue. This was the Champagne room a block away. They were checking Ids at the door, they just ask us if we were from the Melbourne Club and let us in. Oh, what a night.
Some readings from the wedding:
By Michael Leunig
A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle
A man needs a sushi when a woman is an icicle
A man needs a car to zip across town
To order a tuna and gobble it down.
The tuna needs cars to be partially banned
And bicycles reintroduced to the land;
To pedal for miles in the rain for a sushi;
Better to stay at home with noodles for dinner;
The man and the tuna would both be a winner
The world needs to get it self out of a pickle
A woman needs a man like a fish needs bicycle.
This is pretty unothodox for a reading but one has to understand that Elka is clearly an independent woman, althought they do share the same profession (architects). Lat’s is also a cycle phile and is the owner of eight or nine bikes, much to Elka's increasing chagrin, but I think she still loves him.
How to Get There
By Michael Leunig
Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.
Go through the gate and head straight out
Towards the horizon
Keep going towards the horizon
Sit down and have a rest every now and again
But keep on going.
Just keep with it.
Keep on going as far as you can
That's how you get there.
I don't really feel like I have to explain why I like this.