“Love isn’t perfect; it is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define and impossible to live without.”
Last weekend, as the sun shone high in the sky and a gentle breeze blew across the paddocks at Yandina Station, I watched as my best friend, Marysia, tied the knot with her long-time love, Liam.
It was a wedding that had been 11 months in the planning and 11 years in the making. It brought a tear to my eye and melted my somewhat commitment-phobic heart.
My two friends—who I often still picture as their 20 year-old selves—took the ultimate step when it comes to love; they made their vows in front of 140 family and friends on a perfect Saturday in spring and sealed it with a kiss.
As one of Marysia’s closest friends, I have been lucky enough to watch her and Liam grow from newly-dating uni students juggling study and part-time jobs, to loved-up grown-ups juggling demanding careers with busy social lives.
And while our lives aren’t as carefree as they used to be (it’s been a long time since we crammed 10 people into a freezing cold inflatable pool on the deck of a rental property in Toowong) the strength of our friendship hasn’t changed; it has simply grown and evolved.
Rish and Liam aren’t just friends, they are family.
I thought writing my Maid of Honour speech would be a piece of cake, but I quickly realised that when you’re a ‘writer’, everyone expects you to produce the speech to end all speeches (myself included).
And when the topic you’re writing about is your best friend well, it can be a little bit hard to find the right words.
Instead my speech was more of a little love note from me to Rish and Liam, because they both know there are not enough words to convey how wonderful my life is because they’re in it.
I’m going to keep this somewhat short because Socrates made long speeches and his friends killed him.
They say good things happen to good people. Well, today is one of those days and Marysia and Liam are two of those people.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting me, I am Brooke and I have had the privilege of knowing both the bride and the groom for more than a decade.
I met Marysia in the underground car park of a Surfers Paradise hotel. Murder on the Dancefloor was playing on the radio. It was clearly a very classy moment.
I don’t think either of us knew we’d met a kindred spirit until I pulled out my overnight bag and Marysia fell in love … with my wardrobe and my insurmountable need to over pack for every occasion.
What followed included tequila shots, a game of Never Ever and an unforgettable trip to the McDonald’s bathroom.
As many of you know, what happens on tour stays on tour, so I can’t go in to any more details, suffice to say that Surfers Paradise has never been the same. And neither have I.
Marysia is without doubt one of the most amazing people I know; she is kind and loving, funny and fierce. Her warmth and generous nature draw people to her. She is generous, brave and full of love. And hell hath no fury like Marysia Hacon if you’ve messed with one of her girls.
I was lucky enough to know Marysia before she met Liam and I am more than a little embarrassed to admit I don’t actually remember meeting our groom.
I just remember him suddenly becoming a permanent and most welcome fixture in our lives.
And while I may not recall his first appearance, I most certainly remember the first time I heard his name.
For this story, like so many of the good love stories, began in a dusty paddock in north-west Queensland.
She was a young English aristocrat, he was cattle drover. Oh, hold on … that’s the plotline to the movie ‘Australia’.
No, our newlywed’s story began at the Saxby Roundup; they were both country kids who loved nothing more than the smell of cattle in the air. And on the barbecue.
After a drink or ‘two’, our blushing bride took matters into her own hands and—I’ll revert to using her own words here—gave an unsuspecting Liam the ‘hack’ of his life.
For the city folk among us, that’s a kiss to which she so eloquently referred and after many drinks in the dusty paddocks of country Queensland, it’s safe to assume it was a beauty. I believe she had more contact with his chin than she did his lips.
But with that one kiss, Liam was entranced or so we can assume because not even the vision of a dusty, un-showered and hungover Rish scoffing a pie the following morning could turn him off.
As they say, the rest is history. They had found their balance; Marysia had found her calm and Liam had found his fire.
That’s not to say there haven’t been battles; there was the night Liam all but carried Rish out of the Caxton at 3am because she had work the next day and was refusing to leave.
Or the night our brazen bride tried to slip into Liam’s bed while we were all on holidays and he thought she was a robber and attacked her in his sleep!
And yet here we are, celebrating a love that has survived drunk and disorderly conduct, overseas vacations, co-habitation with family members and a best friend that just won’t bugger off.
My darling Marysia, I want to note how beautiful you look today and to tell you that this has truly been a special day for me.
Liam, I want to thank you for loving my girl. There is no one who can do it as well as you.
I have seen the joy you both bring, not only to each other, but to the friends and family you choose to surround yourselves with. I know I speak on behalf of the whole bridal party when I say what an amazing privilege it was to stand beside you as you vowed to spend your lives together.
As someone who is yet to be married, I struggled to know what words of wisdom to impart on this special day.
Pinterest taught me that love isn’t perfect; it is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define and impossible to live without. It isn’t a fairytale and it doesn’t always come easy. It is about overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go.
But most of all—and this I’ve stolen from the movie Shall We Dance—love, and in particular marriage, is about having someone to bear witness to your life.
There are seven billion people on the planet so what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage you are promising to care about everything; the good things, the bad things, the terrible things and the mundane things. All of it. All of the time. Every day.
You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”.
And on that note, I ask you all to raise a toast to my best friends. To Marysia and Liam.