So I got a call one afternoon from my boyfriends best friend Moose. This was a little strange, as we really only knew each other through Ben, and had never had any contact outside of Ben before. Moose’s actual name is Gavin, the origin of his strange nickname is unclear, I’ve never had a straight answer, but somehow it seems to suit him.
So Moose has been with his partner Ania for years, and way back in the day they got engaged. But then not long after they fell pregnant, and one thing after another seemed to happen and delay them, to the point where it seemed decided that they would never get married. After the second baby, everyone soon stopped asking when they would get married. They were doing their own thing, and everyone agreed it suited them. “We like not being married” they would say.
So everyone had long since stopped asking when it was going to happen, and everything seemed right in the world, when I got a call from Moose.
Moose had been offered a job in Poland. He had accepted, and he and Anja were amidst plans to move the family half way around the world, and they decided that the time might just be right for them to tie the knot.
Now the catch of corse, they decided it would be a secret, if they were going to get married then they were damn sure gonna do their own thing and just spring it on everyone. So I got the call, and I was the only one to know of what was to come.
Secret keeping is tricky business, particularly when it involves not telling your boyfriend, that his best friend is planning on getting married, and that you his girlfriend not only know about it, but are going to perform the ceremony with your awesome legal power. It was hard work indeed not to tell.
Over the next few weeks secret meetings and conversations happened behind Ben’s back, and the big day loomed. The plan was a farewell picnic party. The actual date of the secret ceremony ended up being scheduled for a sunday, the sunday that Ben & I were to be flying back from Byron Bay from another friends engagement do. There was no other day, it had to be that one.
On the morning of the Sunday Ben and I awoke incredibly hungover from the party the night before. Tired and cranky we made our way to the airport, complaining of head aches and lack of sleep. “If we don’t make the picnic then oh well babe” Ben reasoned. “We are making that picnic” I said between barely contained gritted teeth.
We made it of corse. The picnic was in full swing, kids and babies and dogs and cakes. The water was shimmering on the edge of the park and the sun was shinning, it was perfect. I was feeling rough in the guts and nervous by this stage, so fell into the background of conversations while I waited for the cue from Moose.
They broke out several bottles of champagne, and everyone got passed a flute as Moose announced that he was going to make a speech. We all gathered around, me nervously trying to hide my Celebrant Registrar book (which is massive and does not fit in a handbag.) I had taken a flute to be polite and was now wondering what I would do with it when I had to go up and speak.
So Moose spoke, and it was lovely, and he started to get a bit choked up. “There’s another reason we wanted you all here today. We wanted you to be a part of our wedding….which is happening right now”
Gasps and shrieks from the crowd. Ben next to me was exclaiming and squealing with surprise stammering “wh wh what?!”
“Where is Sophie?” Moose asks. Ben turns to look at me gaping. “Can you hold this babe” I say handing him my champagne flute, I then pull out my book, and made my way to the front of the crowd to join Moose & Ania. Ben told me afterwards he was so nervous he drank both glasses cos he didn’t know what to do with his hands.
The ceremony was simple, they didn’t want any bows or frills, or any of the formality of a big wedding. We kept it short and sweet, and their two children Preston and Finn stood beside their parents for the whole thing. Ben was called up by Moose to be his witness, and so had to pull it together enough to sign the paperwork with a steady hand.
The whole thing was just perfect, so simple and sweet, everyone just couldn’t stop smiling. Except for Shane who showed up to the party about 15 mins after the ceremony when we were all passing around cake. He was pretty dark.
And I got a new nickname; the vault. Cos I’m the best secret keeper ever.