Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Wedding

We're now on the train from Philly to Boston and have a 6 hour trip in front of us. We expertly managed the regional train service into Philly from Paoli and are now enjoying the comforts of Amtrak.

We had our first hotel brakfast yesterday and then I spent the morning coaching and assisting Terry to set up his own Blog (Teltales). Setting up the Blog was easy, but we spent quite a few hours customising it, posting blogs, downloading a counter and then setting up a Flickr account, uploading photos and then blogging from that site.

Terry is chuffed with himself and his new learnings so please visit his site (http://Teltales.blogspot.com) because he wants his counter to start ticking over so he can catch up to my 5000 visitors!

Wer went for a brief walk to refresh for thewedding. Scotty and Faith had presented me with a kiwiana shirt that the groomsmen had to wear. Faith picked us up from the lobby and we headed to the venue.

The outside service was stunning. Bridesmaids were balling and Chris and I, as The Groomsman, proudly stood there in our kiwiana shirts and dark glasses and ensured everyone did what they were supposed to.

The highlight for me was Faith's neice singing Brook Fraser's Arithmetic. The Kiwis sang Pokarekareana, but cut it short after two verses!

While the photos were being taken those of us who were part of the official party were looked after in an air conditioned caboose. We were then introduced to the waiting throng to muisic and fanfare and the feast began. Terry and I were at the Telfer whanau table which was the rowdiest table of all. We quickly connected with our waitress who loved us and looked after us all night.

When the cake was cut I took over the proceedings to mc the speeches; something which is not done in weddings over here. After a mihi I made a brilliantly witty speech about Faith and Scotty – yes, I had to mention the 40th birthday party – and I got away with a risque joke about Kiwis, mainly because nobody could understand my accent.

Bestman, Richie Telfer, then made a great speech and mihi, followed by Bevan Telfer, Erin and then Bev, Scotty's Mum. She was outstanding and won the crowd with her reference to a serviceman who was in the crowd. The Kiwis then sang Tutira Mai.

Fellow groomsman, Chris, then made a speech and toast which showed that he would be right at home in New Zealand – he was almost as witty and intelligent as me. Bridesmaid Linda replied with an emotional speech in which she expressed her relief that after meeting Scotty she no longer felt he was a stalker.

A number of other McCracken whanau and friends made neat speeches ending with Faith's Dad, Charlie, who spoke well and from the heart.

Faith spoke next of the journey she had made in her life from Blue Bell, Philadelphia to Opotiki, Waitara and back to Blue Bell. Scott then finished and confessed that he was a stalker and concluded his speech with a poem that he had written. He was given a standing ovation led by the Kiwis.

It was then dancing time and Terry and I made a fine couple. The DJ, who would normally MC such events, only had an hour left for dancing so he had an easy night. The hour and a half of speeches was something new for everyone. I rtang home for Leigh to talk with Scotty and Faith. It was great to talk with her and Lucy, both of whom I am missing very much.

Afterwards us Kiwis received countless thanks and congratulations for our influence on the event. They were blown away with our combination of fun, taking the piss and respect.

At 9.30 we were shut down and headed back to our hotel where the final round of partying continued in the bar until about 1.00am. I really enjoyed talking with Richie, a principal of a school in Nelson for troubled girls, who is into MTBing and Kayaking. Faith's sisters were great and kept thanking us for our influence on the proceedings.

It was finally time to fall over.

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