This is a story of love. And I have tears in my eyes as I write it.
I met Rod in January this year. He was Johnny's Best Man and entertained Johnny and I with some rather hilarious pre ceremony banter. I remember joking with him about the heat of Sandbar Beach Cafe's gas flame he was required to stand beside.
Rod called me in early July to ask me to officiate at his and Kath's wedding. He and Kath had become engaged four days prior and hoped to be married as soon as possible. Rod's mother, Eleanor, was battling cancer.
And so we immediately set about writing a ceremony that would celebrate their happy three year relationship, their joy in having found each other and the strong bonds they have with their family and friends. It would recount the story of their childhoods in East Gippsland and their random meeting over a decade later at the Mentone Hotel. It would celebrate family - notably the important roles their parents' had played in their lives - and honour the friendships they hold so dear.
Kath and Rod shared with me the qualities they had come to admire in each other. I kept their responses secret, as they wanted to hear them for the first time during their ceremony. And so, in the backyard of Rod's parent's home, before an intimate gathering of family and friends, I spoke of Kath's admiration of Rod’s intelligence, wisdom and his creative mind. I told of her love for his affectionate and protective nature ..and his risottos. I then spoke of Rod's love of the sound of Kath's laugh, her beautiful eyes and her loyalty to her family and his. Her ability on the dance floor also warranted a mention, as did her karaoke skills.
Kath and Rod then declared their unwavering desire to continue to share each other's dreams, encourage each other's passions and be supportive through times of need. To a tremendous cheer, we declared Kath and Rod to be married. Celebratory champagne was dispensed, long, emotional hugs were shared and heartfelt tears were shed. It was truly a celebration of love and life in its purest form.
Two days later, Eleanor lost her fight.
This morning Kath and Rod kindly sent me this movie of their ceremony. It demonstrates just how precious and beautiful life is and how, as they put it, "you don't need a lot to have your special day".
I share this footage with you, with Kath and Rod's permission, so very humbled and so very grateful to have been able to share this moment in their lives with them. Thank you Kath and Rod.
Celebrant - Sally Hughes
Videography - The White Tree