Apparently its not tradition for the bride to speak at
her own wedding. But for something different we’ll break
with tradition. I may as well get started as I intend to
carry on for eternity – with the last word! I have however
promised a number of people that this speech will not go for
I’m quite amazed as I look around at how many people have
travelled such distances to be here today. I’d love to name
everyone, but please know that James and I were genuinely
surprised and incredibly grateful when the rsvp’s starting
coming in at how many of you were prepared to come such a
long way. This is particularly so of James’ extended family
from NSW and our friends in Canberra and Melbourne. Thank
you so much.
I will draw attention to one of our guests however. Cindy
has come from Tasmania to be here, but once upon a time she
lived in Canberra and worked with James at the CPSU. Cindy
and I used to drink beer after ALP meetings. Cindy is! a big
fan of empire building, as an ‘organiser’ she likes to make
sure that everyone who wants a particular job can have one
and everyone who wants a particular partner can have one.
She particularly excelled herself one freezing evening in
Canberra because neither James nor I was actually looking
for a partner! Cindy, thank you for seeing something that
nobody else would have, we wouldn’t be here without you.
When James and I decided to get married, I had this naïve
notion that getting married meant standing up in front of
the people we love the most and saying “I pick him. I want
to have children with him. I want to grow old and drive
around Australia in a campervan – with him”. Little did I
know that saying those things had little or nothing to do
with having a wedding!
Getting today together has been fairly challenging for a
girl and her mother who both hate shopping, hairdressers,
beauty salons and formal events. And it wouldn’t have
happened at all without the help of a great number of
people. I can’t name them all but some deserve a special
mention. The first is Erica, in amongst a whole list of
things, thank you for coming to all those scary dress shops
and fighting off the old ladies who wanted to add beads to
everything. Doz thank you for not being surprised at any
change of event and getting so many people to little old
Adelaide for our big day. There is a card here for you from
I was raised in a family of strong women. And standing here
today with me is my mum, my nanna and my three wonderful
sisters. It is because of these five women that I am who I
am. Its kind of remarkable that these five bolshie women
could produce anything resembling marriage material really.
But they have, and they’ve welcomed James with the good
humour, grace and love that they do everything else with.
Nanna and Mum, thank you so much for being there through the
wedding process and the 25 years that preceded it.
Thanks also to Monique, Gabby and Rachel for wearing flat
shoes. I really appreciated it! You all look gorgeous today
and you are STILL taller than me.
I’d like to thank Hugh and Doz, Christiaan and Viv and Ben
and Bec for welcoming me so warmly into their family. I may
not be a McComb in name but I am in spirit.
One of my favourite sayings when I meet a man who knows how
to put his plate in the sink or brings something with him
when he comes for dinner is, “I’d love to meet your mother”.
As the youngest boy in the family, James could have turned
out a lot differently than he did. It is a testament to all
of you that he is such a loving, gentle and selfless human
I never thought I’d be standing here today. I wasn’t the
kind of little girl who dreamt of her wedding. I certainly
dreamt of giving speeches, but not usually in a big white
dress. Until the day I met James I didn’t think I would get
Which makes today all the more special for me. Until I met !
James, I didn’t see the point of getting married. Marriage
only gained meaning when I met and fell in love with him.
Instantly I understood why people commit to their lives to
one other person.
I’m not here because its about time I got married, or
because I wanted this wonderful party. I’m here because I
met the most incredibly generous and kind hearted man, and I
wanted to share that with you all.
Like those of you who know me well, I never thought I’d be
proud to be a wife. And I’m not proud to be a wife, I’m
proud to be JAMES’ wife. Which is kind of a pity because he
hates the word wife and has assured me he intends to call me
his partner forever!
I couldn’t be happier being here with you all today, sharing
the great love that James and I share.