Engagement Party Pt2 (Party edition)


This is Jess and James being awesome. I forgot to upload this bad-boy and then I remembered but our computer broke and it took ages of bullshit to get it firing again. So this has just given me time to refine things.


I know it’s a bit boring to rake over this stuff but it seems to have dominated my life for a while, not just before, but after too. See, some people didn’t really appreciate what I had to say that evening and they told me thus on the night — which was a bit confronting. All I wanted was to make people happy, but if I didn’t succeed in that, I guess I expected everyone to at least be on their best behaviour, despite any grievances they might have had.

That being being said — here is a bit more of my clinical advice just on the process.

So I have had just a tiny bit of practise at public speaking of late. And it is no secret that it is fucking scary and just like Jerry Seinfeld describes it.

But I am getting more confident about it. However — I was thrown a little at the engagement party by the audience participation. There were lots of interruptions — which is fine — but I just forgot to expect that. My rhythm was a bit knocked about consequently — but all this is good and some of the jokes coming from the floor shat all over my material! Conan’s quip “We’re not gonna sit in silence” when Dee declared there would be no John Farnham on our playlist that night was inspired. (You had to be there).

So this is what happened after:


Shirts, Dee’s mum Mary-Anne and “Singlettes” (real name Red or Brendan if you wanna be totally formal)! Good to see so many gingers in the audience and it was pretty funny how well Mary-Anne and Shirts got on.

ImageNick and Dee

ImageAli and Scott

ImageI think Tegan did this drawing

ImageTegan (a different “Tegan”, not pictured) made our awsm cake — Bake Even

ImageDee’s Grandpa from Finland — Ismo

ImageIsmo, me, Ilka (younger brother of Ismo), and Dee’s dad Terry. I look tall, but I am not.

ImageBec and Ann try and fight over who loves Dee the most.

ImageTHUMBS UP! This is perhaps my favourite shot of the night.

So then there was the “Cake-cutting” and I suck worse than Campbell Newman at staged kissing.

ImageMe being a dickhead but I like Jennifer’s pose in the background

ImageJane giving Dee the re-gifted doves* (*in-joke)

ImageMary-Anne and Kristian (Dee’s bro). Judd in the BG!


Mark and Alicia (Dee’s aunty)

ImagePeter was a bit overwhelmed by the occasion. Don’t blame him.

ImageLinda, Luke and Erin looking beautiful.

ImageRyan, Marty and Shirts.

ImageFi and Tom. Gorgeous!

ImageAleisha (Archaeologist — NO SHIT!) and Jess

ImageBec and Libby

ImageMrs Picton and Mary-Anne — I’m just guessing but I assume that are saying, “yay for party-timez!”

ImageJudd and Jennifer being like dinosaurs, or tigers, or something.


Jess and Conan and Dee. I like how only Conan is in focus cause — VOICE OF REASON


Ash (who looks like the guy from Bush) and Joel.


ImageClaire (our awsm photographamer) and Dee and Jess

ImageKay and Dee

ImageJennifer and Jeffro!


ImageJeffro and Julian



ImageBree and Jess Jardine

Engagement Party PT 1

Here we go:

It was an entirely surreal experience having an entire party of 120+ people at this very space and time there specifically for us, and dragged there at our impetus. I felt equally grand and equally humble and (crucially) equally so worried that everything would go wrong.

In these occasions you can’t really have any meaningful discussions. You literally spend (if you’re lucky) 2 minutes with each person saying “hello” and maybe another 2 minutes saying “goodbye”.

The whole event proceeds like a hurricane. It is over before you realise it.

And knowing that our guests would be giving us gifts of cold hard cash — I wanted to make this experience worth their while. So I prepared a speech.

Before “the speech” I was a mess. A FUCKING MESS. I went around the room willing people to feel my ears — they were burning up. I was running a temperature at least 101. I went to the toilet about 3 times in 1 hour. But then it was time.

And my speech was ALL JOKES. That was all it was. It was an “anti-speech”. It was designed to be at first quite ordinary and mundane. But at every point where it just might descend into gushing sentimentality — it veered in a new direction. And when it looked like being real or pedestrian, I tried to transform it into a quasi-farce.

I just wanted to get laughs and make everyone happy and feel that they had got their money’s worth. I felt so guilty having all these people here on our account and giving us presents as well.

So in the lead-up I laboured over this speech and rehearsed and rehearsed but I didn’t expect to get any laughs. Bizarrely I got the laughs and the biggest laugh came from an ad-lib which was amazing. Fucking amazing. Thanks to all those who got my jokes. I was especially glad that Conan (and Wintah) appreciated it.

After it all I got a few pats on the back which was equally amazing. Totally.






Us with the Spinks.Image

The Hannahs. (Sorta.)Image

Jess, Dee, JessImage

Jess, Dee, JessImage




Jess, Dee, Jess, TeganImage


Judd, Aleisha, Kay and ArthurImage


Judy, Steve and Jess Kearney (and a little bit Jackson)Image

John, Rell (my mum) and AnnaImage


Tammy and Luke and Pat Elliot!Image

Liss and MichaelImage



Brendan and LouiseImage

Shirts and Ryan and Dan



Tracey and BriImage



Annie, Jane and SkyeImage


Tim, Conan, Pattus, Big Jim and Jon.Image




These are the randoms that came inside our party. I was like — “Um, I don’t think you’re meant to be here.” And then Claire came upon us and wanted a picture. Surreal.

ImageThis is the beautiful Mel Tickle, Luke, and Wintah looking so fatherly.



Nicole and Jess and MitchyImage


Jeremy and Kerrie!Image


ImageDuring my speech.





ImageMitch, Leah and Ritchie

ImageMe and Peter Vaitkus





Mary-Anne and Dee and Terry


And Shirts and Mary-Anne (and Dan)