A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky/privileged enough to be involved in a wedding in Melbourne. I think I'll write a bit about that now.

As previously mentioned on jasonbstanding.com, the night of Friday Sept 30th was a rehearsal for the wedding at the St Vincent de Paul church… already there was a good feel for the organisation/coordination of what was going on and the ever-present attention to small detail that Jules & Pat excel at. About the only aspects of the night that were not *as* well composed were my driving & direction sense in getting between our hotel and the church – after not having driven for about 6 months, it's a little unusual to be put in a big automatic hoonmobile like my brother's VL Commodore. There was a _teeny_ little bit of wheel screech around some of the corners… what can ya do ?

Following the rehearsal we went back to Matt's ultra-sharp pad for some of the best burgers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Even rivalling the GBK, I would say. It did mean at one point having to grit my teeth and graciously drink a VB, but these are the things you've got to endure sometimes.

Back to the hotel room with Alex, Leanne and Photoboy for a bit of last minute pre-wedding preparation, such as ironing our wild new shirts that we had for wearing in the bridal party. It was a job that almost went pear shaped, as it turned out the iron in the hotel room was about the most backward example of the technology one could possibly find – and we're talking about an appliance which is a piece of metal that heats up. Photoboy (sensing Alex & my clinical inability to iron) had about 15 shots at Alex's shirt, and every time he held it vertically it was as if the creases were magically reappearing !

Another lacking aspect of our hotel was in the curtain department, as we discovered at around 6am when the sun came streaming in the glass-block wall that served as a window in our rooms. Probably a good thing however, as if there's one thing we didn't want to be late for, it was being at this wedding !

We shot over to Matt's place to get ready (bypassing the opportunity for a last-minute yiros at Mr Funny), and Photoboy snapped a few shots of just the lads together.

I've been to a few weddings recently, including being involved in a couple now, and I've gotta say – Pat was as cool as a cucumber! I don't know whether he was just completely comfortable with what was about to happen, whether it hadn't hit him yet, or whether he'd spent so much time talking about it in the last year that he'd zoned out a bit… but never have I seen a more collected groom ! And everything went smoothly for us – nobody dropped vegemite toast on their white shirts, or ripped their trousers, or anything like that. About the only slight hiccup was that the florist didn't roll up with the buttonhole flowers until we were just getting in the cab to go to the church.

Ceremony-wise, it was a pretty long stretch, but really nice & enjoyable. I don't think I've ever been to one with a full Catholic Mass in it before, but was surprised at how much I remembered from last time I was in one of them – back at St Joseph's in grade 2 !!

As people were turning up before the ceremony, it was great to see some of the old Aesir crowd that I haven't seen in so long – like Andrew & Sarah, Kip, Katherine, Kirrily… but back to the actual wedding. The priest was a bit of a crackup, and they had organised Jules' family priest to be involved too. I didn't get eny pictures of the 2 of them, but I thought they looked a bit like The Two Ronnies when stood next to each other.

ANYWAY, after the ceremony we pretty much shot straight into the photography process. Photoboy was working his camera magic, and I was in charge of crowd control & ensuring the right relatives were in the right place at the right time. I reckon on the wedding day, the groom covers the least amount of ground (he arrives at the church and waits up the front, mainly). The bride comes in second, cos she's got that massive aisle to hoof it down. But surely the best man takes the mileage blue ribbon – zipping back and forth all the time, collecting people, dashing off to call the cab to retrieve the wedding rings out of it (kidding).

After the happy snaps it was then off to take more happy snaps, so we all piled into the fairly funky wedding cars, and went into one of Melbourne's excellent parks (Fitzroy Gardens, I believe it was). Excellent weather, excellent setting, great people, and an extremely happy occasion to be celebrating.

Following the photos (and a rather nice bottle of champagne) we once again got into the cars and then headed into the reception, at The Treasury restaurant. If you didn't think a day could get better, you'd be wrong – it was an awesome venue!

If there's one thing I could've strangled Pat for it was surprising us all when we got inside – the bridal party were announced and made their way in, then Pat & Jules entered the room. The people had formed a sort of corridor up the middle of the marble floor, and Pat & Jules walked up to the center of the clearing, then stopped. People closed in the circle, and for about a hlaf a second it was just people standing around goggling at the bride & groom. I was thinking “OK, so now what happens ?”, when the music started up, and Pat & Jules proceeded to execute a True Lies style tango ! Perfectly done, too. Sneaky buggers… they hadn't let that one slip.

Don't really know what else to say without going into details about what everyone was wearing, and the wedding photos illustrate that far better than I could describe.

The food at The Treasury was just excellent – amazingly, for someone who's not a seafood fanatic, I managed to wind up with both seafood courses. I was thinking of saving a couple of the prawns and posting them back to Mum, who is a complete prawn junkie.

Overall, an excellent day – a really good feel about it, and lots of love and support shown for a really top couple of people.

Bit of a shame the day had to end, really.

(Incidentally, well-deserved credit whjere it's due: all photos from wedding by photographic genius Michael Rudolph)

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