Thursday, March 24, 2011

A SUMMER WEDDING



A SUMMER WEDDING

The Marriage Of Our Daughter Charlotte Smith To Nathan Hawkins At Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand - March 2011

"I would like to begin by welcoming everyone and thanking you all for coming to Whangarei to celebrate this very happy and special occasion with us – Welcome to you all – both those who live relatively close by, and those who have travelled from the other side of the world to be here.

.

As well I would like to also begin by thanking everyone who has been involved in the wedding preparations for making this such a beautiful and successful day – your help is noted and much appreciated. I would also like to give a special thank you to Christine for all her organization, common sense and the planning that she has put into our daughters wedding.

.

This is indeed a special occasion. Charlotte is our only daughter and I have to say how proud I am and how full my heart is to see her look so stunningly beautiful and radiant as she travels through one of life’s great transitions and embarks on one of life’s great voyages.

.

Charlotte has of course been ably assisted by her bridesmaids, who are today a picture of beauty and sophistication. All these lovely bridesmaids are cherished friends who have been steadfast in their support of Charlotte – they all spent last night together at the marriage venue in one of the visitors Chalets and I know that Charlotte was very appreciative of their support.

.

As for the blokes? They look as though they have scrubbed up quite well too.

.

Let me tell you a little bit about our daughter.

Charlotte has come a long way from that little Tomboy with the pudding bowl haircut wearing her older brothers track pants who had to be on occasion bribed by her mother to wear a dress – What a metamorphosis! From a ragamuffin tearaway on a trike to a beautiful, poised, elegant young woman wearing a couture wedding gown – Charlotte – Christine and I are so very, very, proud of you.

.

When I think of Charlotte I am aware of three golden threads that shine within the tapestry of her life.

The first is her sociability. She has a gift for making friends and being involved with people. Charlotte has always been a popular girl with a great circle of good friends, old and new.

I remember how Christine once told me with pride that one of Charlotte's Whangarei Girls High School teachers told of how when situations got out of hand with cattiness or relationship issues with the girls, Charlotte was always a voice of reason and common sense – Charlotte was valued for usually being able to hold herself above these situations, see the bigger context, thus using wisdom and leadership.

.

The second thread is her love of performing.

This love developed early at primary school where there were opportunities for her to develop her love of singing and performing – Many a time I remember her telling us breathlessly that she had to go early to school because the stars within the singing troupe – the much lauded microphone singers were having a special practise – Many a time I remember Charlotte closeted with her CD or DVD player singing along with great gusto to Celine Dion or Mariah Carey – the walls of the bedroom quaking to the beat - Charlotte took to all this singing and performing like a duck to water – It definitely was her forte and she loved it – and she went on to perform and sing on stage publicly, including in later years leading the worship of her church for a number of years.

.

The third thread in this tapestry is the spiritual walk she embarked on long ago. Her love of her faith and her church involvement have been constants in her life. They have provided a context for her sociability and musical gifts. It is something that has shaped her and from which she draws great strength. Most importantly it is within its values that she finds meaning for her life.

.

It was through this involvement with her church that she met Nathan.

Charlotte and Nathan have known each other for about 5 years.

During that time they have flatted together, been overseas together and run a business together.

I think that from the very beginning Nathan was convinced that Charlotte was the one for him. He has been pretty steadfast and faithful in that view.

.

I know that Charlotte has been a little more circumspect in all this. She has wisely exercised that wonderful shaper of human civilization called “A woman’s prerogative” and has wisely watched carefully for signs of whatever women demand signs of.

The result has been that Nathan has had to slay a large number of metaphorical dragons, had to crawl on his hands and knees through ice and snow with dozens of red roses clenched in his teeth and has had on occasion had to rescue Charlotte from various castles throughout the land.

.

Moreover he has had to endure deep theological, political and worldview debates with his prospective father in law and has shown damn good common sense by agreeing with me.

.

Nathan, you have shown great tenacity and great love. You bring your own gifts and talents to this partnership. We entrust our daughter to you with our love. Love her, treasure her and cherish her, as she will you – that is as it should be.

.

Charlotte and Nathan, as this days exciting journey ends – you begin another, bigger journey together. You are now embarking on a life together. We wish you both every success, every happiness and much love.

Would you please charge your glasses and stand and drink a toast to Charlotte and Nathan."


..... so said the father of the Bride.






4 comments:

Ben said...

Congratulations with your daughter’s wedding. A great speech you made. Large parts I would like to quote (If you allow me ) when my daughter makes the great step.
Charlotte looks stunningly beautiful indeed. Can use the old joke again: knowing you and looking at your daughters picture I am wondering how beautiful her mother must be.

Alden Smith said...

Thankyou Ben. I am flattered to think that you would want to use material from my speech and its quite ok to do so.

Yes that's a good joke and in most cases the joke is mostly said against us men (usually because its true!)

Charlotte Hawkins said...

Thanks for this Dad, I am so glad to have a recored of the amazing speech that you gave :)

Alden Smith said...

Charlotte, it was one of the best speeches I ever made - and very special : > )