With this 80s icon, I thee wed

So, OK, this time last year things were going well in organising the wedding.


No really, the fact that I can’t receive an invitation to anything these days without needing a chair and a Ventolin inhaler proves I’m just not ready to venture into the paper section of a newsagency just yet.

My friend Justine tweeted recently she was up at Whiteman Park, the same place I had my fanthy Letterpress invites made. She tagged me into the tweet for good measure. My physical reaction was nothing short of pavlovian. (click here if you need a recap on why)

I digress. Already.

Let’s start again.

So, OK, it all started with a pretty heated argument.

I was losing, as usual, so instead of stamping my feet and yelling a convincing, ‘Oh yeah, well, WHATEVER!’, I came up with a retort that, as soon as you say it, you hear the music-less opening lyrics to Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name.

‘Oh YEAH? Well, well, have you….umm, WRITTEN YOUR VOWS YET?’

cue track

‘Shot through the heart…’


After realising I just verbally poked him in the eye, he immediately came back with the obligatory, ‘No, have YOU?’

‘YES! ….SORT OF!’ I yelled.

‘THAT MEANS NO! The Mister would kindly point out.

It was one of the funniest conversations we had ever yelled to each other.

From then on, any unwinnable back-and-forth, which is still my forte, would usually end with a hostile, desperate, circuit-breaking, ‘have you WRITTEN YOUR VOWS YET?’

The thing was, the closer we got to November 10, the more it became a genuine question.

The thing is, I love public speaking, but generally hate public displays of attention affection. So saying how much I loved someone in front of a bunch of people was like googling Google to my brain.

Every time I would sit down, glass of wine, piece of paper and pen poised, I would just end up at the computer, getting tipsy, watching cat videos on YouTube.

What I should have done, was write my vows in the months after we met.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but seriously, you’re never more ‘in love’ than you are in that first few weeks.

(if you are in a new relationship and decide to write your vows early on and get caught, do expect that the relationship may not go any further because it looks cray-cray, so consider yourself warned)

Five years down the track, there I was, thinking what the hell was I going to say to this amazing guy that hasn’t been said before…?

Then, one night, I was driving home from my last shift before I took leave for the wedding (that’s right, at this point it was eight days before the wedding) and the obligatory 94.5 Party Hits were cranking up….it dawned on me.

So much so, I had to pull over.

But first, a little backstory.

My mum used to work for Qantas. She worked there for years.

Before she worked her way up the ranks, she worked in check-in. I don’t know how she did it, especially after watching those ‘Airport’ programs that show badly behaved plane passengers going bananas at check-in staff. Pretty sure if I saw any of those people yelling at my mum they would get a verbal caning from me.

Anyway… sometimes she met famous people.

In 1987, she met Rick Astley as he checked in after a whirlwind trip to Perth. She did what any self respecting mum would do.

She mentioned her daughter.

‘Oh my daughter just loves you’, she breezily said as she prepared his boarding pass.

Gotta love mum, but she was always going to say that whether I liked the guy or not, let’s be honest. It’s called small talk. And I was 9 years old at the time.

But her good-naturedness was met with a curt, ‘She’ll get over it’.

Well! Little  did that ginger know that I was more into the other ginger, Tiffany, so yeah, jokes on him.

But here’s the rub – I did love Rick. I was just so upset at the time that he didn’t just say to mum, ‘Oh goodness, I need to meet your sweetheart daughter at your earliest convenience’.

It irked me to read a short time later in Smash Hits magazine that he married. I mean, it was so nearly me.

I stopped listening to Rick after that.

So, it wasn’t until I was driving home that night from work last year, listening to Party Hits on the radio, when I pulled over in the carpark of the Leederville IGA.

I had a revelation.

Now, I had heard this particular dancefloor-filler a kazillion times, yet I felt like this was the first time I had knocked past its sugary exterior and heard what was really being said.

I was laughing and crying. Mainly laughing.

Suddenly I knew exactly what I wanted to say to my husband-to-be.

Thank baby cheeses really.

It was only a couple of days before the wedding and I was seriously considering ripping the same vows Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett, Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere or even Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used to kick off their ever-lasting nuptials.

But I knew in my heart of hearts I could write something bespoke, but it was getting down to the wire. And to be honest, I’m not the kind of girl that can sit quietly with a cup of Jarrah or fruits of the forest tea and convert my emotions to sentences.

Inspiration and motivation don’t always arrive together, and sometimes when they do, I don’t always have a pen (or my iPhone notepad app open).

However I was reassured that if things really got down to the wire, which they were, and I had no time to herbal-tea-it-up and cover myself in organic patchouli oil in a quiet corner of my inspiration-journal-zen-pod. I mean, I could’ve  outsourced my vows – for a price – which, if you think about it, by the time you answer the personalisation questions that the ghost writer uses to write your vows… well, you’ve pretty much done it already, eh?

But in the end, I didn’t have to.

And before you ask, no, I can’t believe I didn’t use this handy vow generator either.

That night driving home, that man who told my mum I would ‘get over’ him was on the radio, and I was laughing as I sang along.

I was laughing because I realised something new about the song – when you strip away the 80s synthesizers, non-threatening striped polo shirts, beige popped-collar trenchcoats, the Texan tuxedo and the dad-style dancing, you had a song that was basically two people making a commitment to each other.

To me, this was a two-fold revelation.

Not only was the simplicity of this song exactly what I wanted to say, it was the closest I was going to get to marrying Rick Astley.

OK, I’ll be honest, it was three-fold.

I got to rickroll The Mister at his own wedding.