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Colin Hogg: Wedding bliss

The best part of the celebration? It’s also a family reunion for Colin.
Colin Hogg: Wedding bliss

There’s another wedding in the family and all of us are flying in from all over the place for the occasion. We now make up such a crowd that just thinking about the travel schedule makes my head throb.

It’s my niece – my only brother’s only child – who’s doing the marrying, at a resort in a remote spot on the edge of the mountains, south of Christchurch. My lot and I are very excited.

Counting my kids and my kids’ kids and my kids’ other halves and my own other half and my ex-other half, there are 15 of us in total.

We’re flying in from Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney, landing in various batches at different times. Just why we’re landing at five different times I’m not sure and there’s no point getting into the logistics.

We have our own sense of logistics and perhaps it’s important that – like the royal family – we don’t all travel together. I don’t know. I’m only the father. My kids know better than to bother me with too much detail anyway.

What I do know is that the first lot of us lands at 2pm on a Friday afternoon and the last lot at 5am on Saturday, with regular landings in between. Sleep will be sporadic and then, two days later, we’ll fly home.

The only member of the inner circle missing will be the boy in the pack, my son Jamie. He’ll be staying home in Melbourne, teetering on the edge of moving further away from the civilising influence of New Zealand.

Weddings are a great way of getting families together. Major birthdays can also be good. Funerals less so, given that the guest of honour is always missing. Weddings, though, are hard to beat and one of the great things about this one is that I don’t have any responsibility.

I’m just an uncle and uncles don’t give speeches or escort daughters down aisles. I did both the escorting and a speech at the last big family wedding, which involved a daughter. This time, I can be a little more carefree, though I will be dressing up for the occasion.

“I thought the purple suede shoes might be good with the purple floral shirt,” I said to the beloved wife a few days ago after she wondered what I was planning to wear.

“Not the purple shoes,” she said rather firmly. “And you are wearing the suit, aren’t you? The blue one, not the white one you wore at the Samoa wedding.”

I think she thinks the purple footwear might be a bit much for any of the more sensitive

southern guests and that maybe everyone will be gasping at my loafers when they should be gasping at the bride.

I’m not sure she’s right, but I bow to her wifely wisdom on the subject of wedding wear and will settle on some more subdued shoes, though I’m not sure if any of my shoes are exactly subdued.

The 14-year-old daughter went out shopping for shoes with her mother last evening and came back with a pair of high-rise heels. She’s already getting disturbingly close to my six feet with no shoes at all.

In her wedding shoes, she towered over me. Strangely, her new shoes were purple. That’s nice, I thought, they’ll go with my shirt.

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