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Happily Ever Gardiner ⋆ Part Three

I was being badgered by my brother to finish my wedding blog and made a special promise to get it done! So here it is, the final instalment of my ‘Happily Ever Gardiner’ series.

At the end of the last post, we had walked into the marquee after being introduced as the new Mr and Mrs Gardiner and sat down ready for speeches and meals.

My Dad was the first to give his wedding toast. You could tell he was nervous because his hands were shaking like a leaf. I really look up to my Daddy because he always has the answers and nothing seems to rattle him, so to see him nervous was rare but also quite endearing. He made us laugh, he made us cry, he said how proud he was of me and how happy he was to invite Karne into the family. It was a really beautiful speech.

Next, Karne stood up next to deliver his thanks to everyone that was able to attend the wedding on such short notice. It had been really hard work pulling it all together but the vendors, staff and guests are all that made it possible. He paid homage to me as his rock through his difficult times and how happy he was to have married me. I cried again, of course.

Finally it was my brother’s turn, the best man. The funny thing about this speech was that I had already seen it. Adam had sent it to my Dad to check over and make sure it was ok and had ended up accidentally sending it to me (our email addresses were very similar). It was perfect and very sweet. But it didn’t stop me bursting into tears when he read it. It went something like this…

Best Man Speech

First of all, if we could all lower our expectations that would suit me perfectly. You are about to embark on the finest Google can offer. To honour the groom I will keep this short and not particularly funny. In all seriousness, I would like to say a huge well done to you all for being invited. If you know Karne at all well he has a low tolerance for other human beings, so consider yourself in the “they will do” category – or Laura has invited you.

Some of you may not know but my name’s Adam, I’m the best man but also the bride’s brother. I’ve known the groom for a good few years now and it’s been quite a ride. Strangely, when I first met him it was at Hayley and Lee’s wedding. For those of you are don’t know, that’s one of my other sister’s wedding where I had one of those “this guy’s okay” moments. He had however just bought a round of tequilas. Despite the alcoholic bribe to get us on side all of our family got to know him more and more throughout the weeks and learnt more about this guys character. When it comes to family, this man would do anything for any of us from minute one. It felt natural to consider him one of us from the very beginning. Those that know him well will know he’s strong-willed, intelligent bloke with an impeccable set of values.

From watching these two, what impressed me was the dedication he had to my sister and seeing them both grow together as people. Seeing how fantastic these are together as a couple has, and continues to be, a privilege. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest we are all here celebrating today. Despite all this though, there was one thing that wasn’t quite right about him. He was a rugby man. To cure him of this nonsense we broke a tradition that stretches back 10yrs. My Dad, my Nephew and I made our annual football trip of 3 into a foursome. Apologies, that doesn’t sound quite right. Anyway off to Berlin we went and never have I made a better decision to invite this man. It’s a testament to him that for something that hadn’t changed in years felt like we have never had one without him. A weekend of beer; currywurst and football. But stubborn to the end, not even the mighty Hertha Berlin would sway this man’s love for his sport. But that’s how I know my sister is in safe hands.

I stand here now feeling like I know the groom pretty well. We have many things in common, a huge appetite, the love of a good debate, video games and a select few superheroes. There was one time on a random Saturday; he showed me a different superhero I had never even heard of before. This character was fearless, strong and showed no weaknesses. No matter what the situation, whatever is thrown at him he carries on like nothing happened. Karne really is living proof that not all heroes wear capes.
For most here, we all know the circumstances on which we are in this gorgeous venue just a few days before Santa comes to visit. I have watched in awe of his attitude and positivity towards a time which would have affected lesser men. They say “don’t meet your heroes”. I simply disagree. I am lucky enough to call him my brother-in-law. My title is best man today but I will happily concede. I am not even the best man at this table. On that note, I would like to wrap this up as I know the bar is calling. If you want a round of tequila I know the man you need to speak to.

To the beautiful bride and groom, please raise a glass to Mr and Mrs Gardiner.

Just reading it back gets me choked up and Karne was tearful when he heard it. Hearing my family speak so fondly of the man I had just married made my heart burst with happiness. My family aren’t the type to share their feelings and we’re quite reserved in that respect, so for my brother to say he considered him his hero was music to my ears. I don’t think there was a dry eye left in the room. We all raised our glasses to round it off and many of us headed to the bar for drinks while we were waiting for the wedding breakfast.

Wedding ‘Breakfast’

This is the only thing Karne wanted control over. He’s a man that loves his food and wanted to be the one to choose it. I wasn’t that fussed, after all, I’m vegetarian so it made sense for him to take over and cater for the guests. Most of which don’t share my dietary preference.

We knew the food would be fantastic anyway – we had been to a taster evening and the stuff they put out to try was all ridiculously good. I think my sister nearly cried when she tried a mini-burger because it was the best thing she’d ever eaten. So I was confident no matter what he chose, it would be amazing. And it was! Everyone said it was incredible. There were even members of the top table scavenging for leftovers on other plates because they wanted more. The Chopping Block had really outdone themselves!

The guests all started to mingle and the drinks were flowing, the atmosphere was really joyful and fun. It was exactly what I wanted! Everyone seemed to get along really well and there was no wedding brawl (that I know of!), so I like to think it was a success and everyone enjoyed themselves!

Sparklers, Photobooths & Cake!

Around 7ish we all scurried outside for “sparkler send-off”. We weren’t going anywhere, but Hannah was due to leave us soon and we wanted to get some fun pictures in the right light before we went our separate ways. We got some really fun shots too. So all the time I spent putting together sparklers and tags paid off. After that, we cut our beautiful cake and it was taken away to be dished out for everyone. Broke my heart a little to cut into something so pretty – but that’s what a cake is for, to be eaten! So it was dished out to everyone and I think it’s fair to say no one was disappointed. It. Was. Gooood!

It was around this time when our friends and the evening guests started to arrive. I saw my friend Brady and realised they were all there and my face lit up. I practically ran to greet and thank everyone for coming. We had also invited Karne’s consultant too (Dr Mark Kwan) as we felt it was the least we could do, so it was a lovely surprise when he actually came to share it with us. He even got into the photo booth!

This is when Jack from ‘Oh, Photobooth!’ arrived to set up the “booth” we had booked. He was so sweet and really helped us out when we were in a tight spot for entertainment, but it couldn’t have been any more perfect! Everyone commented on how great he was and how the booth was more fun because it was an open backdrop, so you could fit tonnes of people in.

First Dance

Not gonna lie, I was bricking it for the first dance because everyone really is staring at you! Our dance floor was hidden for most of the day behind a curtain that blends with the marquee, so no-one actually knew it was there. We had already been ushered around the back, so it was like a big reveal type thing for our guests. Everyone was gathered for a surprise and the curtain was pulled back for them to find the DJ and a big open dancefloor with pretty night sky lights in the ceiling and us in the middle.

Our song started and as we danced I forgot everyone was there. It was just me and Karne swaying back and forth to a song that sums us up perfectly. As we were dancing he started singing the lyrics to me in my ear. My own little serenade and the song words seemed even more fitting as he whispered them to me. I shed a few more happy tears and held onto him tightly. It was a moment I’ll never forget…

From this point on it gets very hazy. Everyone had a lot to drink but I know there were a lot of heartfelt words and hugs. Many laughs and tears. An abundance of joy and happiness. I clearly enjoyed myself a little toooo much because I had the hangover to prove it and was apparently so drunk I tripped over myself at the end of the night. It left me with a brutal graze on my chin the next day! Nevermind, the pictures were over and done with by then so who cares 😆

Some photobooth piccies!

It looks like everyone had a good time, right? Haha. These really make me smile to look back on. There’s a hilarious one of my parents, but I won’t embarrass them on the internet like that. 😅

To make things even sweeter than they already were… our amazing photographer surprised us with something a few weeks later. She had been a sneaky camera ninja and had actually recorded the whole day! So not only did we have the beautiful photos but she put it together in a film as her gift to us. To say I was grateful is an understatement. I was dying for a videographer but we were limited with our budget and I was a little sad I wouldn’t have that. There’s something about a film that brings it all back to life for you. So for her to do this for us was just completely and utterly amazing. I am forever thankful for this amazing gesture and can’t put into words how much it meant to us.

Here it is for all you lovely lot to see!

From Hannah Walker on Vimeo.

That about rounds things up ladies and gentlefolk! Thank you for coming back for Part Three. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little wedding blog series. Funnily enough, yesterday was our ‘would be wedding day’. Even though the weather was quite nice I don’t regret our decision to change it. Everything went and was completely perfect and I will be forever grateful to everyone involved! It truly was the best and most magical day of my life and I will treasure the memories forever.

Until next time ♡

☆ Photos by Casey Avenue Photography and Oh, Photobooth ☆