My mini-speech at my little brother’s wedding, held on 25th November 2017 at City of Perth Library.
“I hope by now everyone has had a chance to have an oyster or six! What a moving ceremony that was – let’s have another round of applause for the gorgeous couple – Sofi and David!
For those of you who don’t know, I’m David’s older sister Jill and I’ll be your MC this evening. I’m going to wax lyrical for a couple of minutes and then run through some housekeeping for tonight.
Besides the lovely Kate, who I now have the honour of sharing big sister duties with, can I get a show of hands for how many older siblings we have in the party tonight? Okay…quite a few…great! So you’ll understand that when David and Sofi said “Can you come to our wedding and be the Master of Ceremonies,” what I heard was “Can you come to our wedding and boss everyone around?” “Of course, YES,” I said, after I’d stopped crying, “I can definitely do that.” In all seriousness, David didn’t have much of a choice about me ordering him about when we were kids, but I’m incredibly moved (and surprised!) that David has actively chosen this today. So thank you.
Now, this library has a special significance in our family, in that David’s and my Dad – Stephen – used to bring us here on the weekends. That was long, long before it was renovated. Although the building looks different, the memories are still here, and I know that those memories form an integral part of David’s essential makeup as a human being. Just as the library has been re-shaped from a solid foundation, so too have Sofi and David built upon their histories and the strength they share as a couple to form their lives together.
This is what they do! And they do it so well. Both of them build, create, design, beautify and dream, safe within the stability and love their connection provides. Both of them have the practicality and creativity to take things and together, make them better. You only have to look at David’s boat he built that wasn’t complete until Sofi sailed in it, their shared adventures in Brisbane, Sofi’s gorgeous art and design that David celebrates and supports, or the beautiful home they’ve made for themselves in Osborne Park. I think this building is a perfect symbol for how Sofi has helped shape David into the excellent man he is today. Not only for that, but I speak for all the Brennans when I say it represents the dynamic effect she’s had on our entire family. So thank you Sofi.
We’ll hear more about the wonderful couple when we have the speeches at 7pm. At 8pm Sofi and David will cut the cake and have their first dance. At 10.30pm I’m going to start bossing you around and telling you to leave the building. We absolutely have to be out of the library by 11pm, and as anyone who’s ever irritated a librarian knows, that is REAL.”
Thank you lil bro (and now lil sis!). Love you both xxx
On April 15th 2017 I gave a speech at my brother from another mother’s wedding at Tower Bridge. By popular demand, and because love is lovely, here it is:
“For those of you who don’t know me, I am Jill and I have been Matt Spicer’s friend since we were born only a month apart. We grew up in Armadale, Western Australia, and we both had the undercuts to prove it! I am absolutely honoured to be able to speak to you today about the kind of man Matt Spicer is, and to describe the incredible bond he has with his husband Matthew Coltrona.
I feel it is a cosmic blessing that Matt and I have always just ‘got’ each other. When I think back to our childhoods, I see a confident boy with sandy blonde hair, freckles, a wide smile and blue, mischievous eyes. I also see a girl with uncontrollable hair, a mouth that was always quick to laugh when she was with her best friend, as well as eyes that were sometimes filled with uncertainty.
Where I was shy, Matt was outgoing. Where I was hesitant to take risks, Matt was fearless. Where I was clumsy and couldn’t run, swim or catch a ball, Matt was zipping around barefoot in the bush, doing it all. We spent days in the pool playing mermaids, me in the shallow end and Matthew in the deep. We made Jane Fonda workout home videos (sadly lost in the mists of time). We had sleepovers when we would giggle and whisper all night long. We tormented our little brothers and Matt’s older sister, and they tormented us back. Our families spent every Christmas together and we would laugh at our parents dancing to Neil Diamond and walking straight through fly-screen doors. And always, always, when we knew it was time for one of us to leave, we would run as far away from the grown-ups as we could and hide, treasuring our time together up to the last second.
Matt’s gentle, accepting and patient nature helped me come out of my shell. He built me up, and my trust in him was, and still is, unshakeable. He was the first person with whom I ever cried with laughter, and is still one of the few people who can reduce me to helpless giggles with only a sideward glance, a pregnant pause or a drawn out syllable. Let’s face it, if someone can stay friends with you when you look like this, they’re a keeper.
All of this has continued as we’ve grown older. Matt has always been there – reliable, stoic and practical as a lighthouse in stormy seas. I remember panicking in Matt’s car about moving out of home. As I wailed “But I don’t even know how to make SPAGHETTI!”, he calmly gave me a step-by-step explanation of how to boil pasta and make a bolognese sauce. No wonder his cooking is so good nowadays!
Don’t get me wrong, I have had some opportunities to repay the favour. I recall Matt’s 21st birthday dinner, when it became apparent he had downed one too many red wines. He disappeared off to the bathroom, with Megan and I following around 10 minutes later. Matt had generously repainted the restaurant’s hallway, and had taken a little nap in the stalls. We got him back on his feet, and as we were apologising and paying the bill, Matt staggered over and still tried to get the restaurant to accept his Entertainment Card voucher.
You can understand then, that when this dashing, handsome Italian man came along and made it beyond the impossible 4-month mark with my Matt in July 2005, I was slightly concerned that Matt Spicer, and our friendship, would not stay the same.
As it turns out, I was right. Neither of those things were ever the same. They have evolved, expanded, and experienced even more joy and boundless possibilities because of this wonderful person. Matthew Coltrona’s articulate wit combines with an intelligence matched only by his unquestionable moral fibre. He is something of a Renaissance man, enjoying a high-flying career whilst casually refurbishing pianos, writing and illustrating children’s books, churning out Michelin Star-quality meals, and all while laughing, feeling feelings and being a dream partner to my dearest friend.
I look towards their relationship as a model of what love should be. Honest, respectful, patient, accepting and supporting of each other’s endeavours, I have never heard them say a cruel word against the other, nor have I seen them turn away when there was an opportunity to turn towards. They have built countless memories and made innumerable commitments to each other. Their shared homes, their holidays, their ‘special’ dog Napoleon and their adventure to make a new life in London were all ways of saying “I love you.” The inclusion of their friends and family in many of these escapades were ways of saying “we love you.” Their strengths complement each other perfectly and I truly could not have imagined a better person for my dearest friend to spend his life with. I believe they have found their soulmate and I cannot imagine them apart.
What was my lighthouse has become a bridge. A bridge with two equal towers forged of concrete, steel and granite. Those towers are joined together with love, communication, integrity, lightheartedness and acceptance. The connection between them is strong enough to open sometimes and let the waters flow by, carrying away any resentments. Each tower is supported to stand upright from either side with the steady ties of their backgrounds, their families, the things that make them unique and the new, important and always delightful friendships they make along the way.
The bridge on which we celebrate tonight took 8 years to build and has stood for 122 years. As Matt and Matt enter their 12th year of building their future together, I have no doubt their bridge will stand steadfast for the rest of their lives, and will leave a lasting impression on all who behold it. I am utterly, utterly proud to be able to support that bridge, and I hope we are all able to admire its beauty as we do Tower Bridge’s beauty tonight.”