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Danielle's Speech

Submitted: 6 Jan 2005

Apparently its not tradition for the bride to speak at her own wedding. But for something different weíll break with tradition. I may as well get started as I intend to carry on for eternity Ė with the last word! I have however promised a number of people that this speech will not go for hours!

Iím quite amazed as I look around at how many people have travelled such distances to be here today. Iíd love to name everyone, but please know that James and I were genuinely surprised and incredibly grateful when the rsvpís starting coming in at how many of you were prepared to come such a long way. This is particularly so of Jamesí 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 Ďorganiserí 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 wouldnít be here without you.

When James and I decided to get married, I had this naÔve notion that getting married meant standing up in front of the people we love the most and saying ďI pick him. I want to have children with him. I want to grow old and drive around Australia in a campervan Ė with himĒ. 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 wouldnít have happened at all without the help of a great number of people. I canít 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 SA Tourism.

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 theyíve 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.

Iíd 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, ďIíd love to meet your motherĒ. 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 being.

I never thought Iíd be standing here today. I wasnít 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 didnít think I would get married.

Which makes today all the more special for me. Until I met ! James, I didnít 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.

Iím not here because its about time I got married, or because I wanted this wonderful party. Iím 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 Iíd be proud to be a wife. And Iím not proud to be a wife, Iím proud to be JAMESí 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 couldnít be happier being here with you all today, sharing the great love that James and I share.

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