Weddings: Ben & Kim (Linton & Kay Galleries)

“Thank you both again for being such a pleasure. All of our guests were especially impressed with your talents, and you helped to give our wedding such a perfect atmosphere. My dad Ron in particular enjoyed himself! You were both so accommodating in the planning stage as well as on the day, and we both truly appreciate how much you contributed to our celebration. Kim and I both think we were lucky to have you there!” – Ben + Kim

Thank you Ben & Kim for the kindest words and for having us

Perth had never left our lips even when we were on our performing stint in China. The lovely couple had invited us to perform for their wedding about a year before their wedding day. And we worked everything around this special day despite our very colourful schedule. We remember when they came by to see us perform at a restaurant/jazz lounge in the city called The Laneway Lounge on Murray Street. I (Polkadot) recall looking for the journalist who was interested in reviewing my music albums that evening and had embarrassingly mistaken Kim for the lady. Ben quickly clarified to say they were the to-be-wedded couple interested in having us perform for their wedding. It was so nice seeing them face to face after a short chain of email queries. They looked like a relaxed young couple who knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding. As one could probably tell from our music, we are not your top-40s band, and really enjoy the swing, the latin and classics with a twist. And because we believe so much in what we hear and craft, it is always so touching when someone else understands it and enjoys our music, arrangements and sounds.

Soon after, we left for our contract in China which was later extended for an extra 4 months. But we were always thinking about the return to Perth which was to be our base and home. In a huge way, the long threads of emails over the 9-10 months brought a sort of unspoken sort of familiarity. Though really, we were all busy about our tasks in different countries. Finally, on the 28th May, we met them at Linton & Kay Gallery in Perth City where there ceremony was to be held at 3pm. A brief little catch-up chat with Ben and we were assured that both the bride and groom were in very good hands. Jessica Butcher (ButcherBakerStylist) took very good care of the entire event. And we really looked forward to seeing the bride on her walk-in …especially after 10 months!

We roved an acoustic ukulele and melodion (melodica/pianica) set, swinging the couple’s request, Cole Porter’s ‘Let’s do it (Let’s fall in love)’, Jimmy Van-Heusen’s ‘Almost like being in love’ and other popular swing and latin instrumentals peppered with vocal duets such as ‘Blue Skies’ and the popular Nina Simone classic ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’. When most of the guests had arrived, we played ‘Stand By Me’ with a tinge of lightly-plucked romance for a twist on the classic tune as Kim walked down the aisle. It was beautiful. (We had the best view, Ben, standing where we were.) 🙂 Aunty Angela, who also married Ben’s brother would also be marrying Ben and Kim. Her belief in what marriage means, and her friendship with the family made the ceremony extra special. The couple exchanged vows under a beautiful eucalyptus-arch created by Jessica. The afternoon’s light spilt through the lovely windows across the little white chairs. Friends and family from Singapore, Perth and more gathered about to witness their exchange of vows. It was simple, honest and beautiful, just like the friendship and love between the two. We proceeded to play a latin version of the Nat King Cole classic ‘L.O.V.E’ as they proceeded to sign the certificates. The melodica carried the familiar melody over the breezy bossa nova comps on the tenor ukulele in the quietly, anticipating room. And when the moment came and they were declared husband and wife, we let it all out, the joy, the jubilation, the cheer(!) with Marvin Gaye’s ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ and everyone clapped and celebrated as they walked back out to have their pre-dinner drinks. It was a song that had meant something special to them, and we had so much fun revisiting this groovy tune we both had known for a long while.

The couple each presented their own personal speeches (occasionally the shy-er of the 2 would get away without giving one – i speak for myself), each one moving me in different ways. I could see how they were a wonderful pair. I could see how deep their love, friendship and appreciation was of each other, and how their differences only brought colour and dynamics to their relationship. It was honest without effort.

We also enjoyed accompanying Ben’s father, Ron on Elvis’ ‘Can’t help falling in love’, Cliff Richard’s ‘Young Ones’ and other wonderful classics our own folks’ grew up on. That evening, we welcomed Ben’s wonderful neighbour, a ukulele-player and singer of her own right, Diane to join us in song as we accompanied her on one of our favourite 30s classics ‘The glory of love’ (Billy Hill). Her dedication came with a message for the couple. “I chose to sing this song to the couple because it’s true”. She had just celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary the Sunday before and shared with us how she saw the ‘boys’ grew up, after her performance of the tune with us. Her story i am sure, inspired and encouraged more than just Ben and Kim in the room. Her husband and herself sat closest to the band, and we saw how they gently loved each other. Each gesture, each glance, each word.

The evening was intimate with friends and family with dance and song. And we know weddings can be a huge affair, but I really do admire how the wonderful couple managed it with so much of their own personality in it, and also enjoyed it. Ben thanked us in his speech, but we wanted to thank them instead. Having been married for almost 3 years now, we know each and every decision to hire vendors, be it a wedding planner, catering company, live wedding band etc requires a certain amount of trust and appreciation. We are privileged to play for such an beautiful pair, and such a love-filled room.

We pray the loveliest first steps as a married couple for you both.

And we leave you all with a verse from Billy Hill’s ‘The Glory of Love’, also performed by Bette Midler (Beaches), Peggy Lee and Dean Martin:

‘You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
Yes, and always have the blues a little
That’s the story of,
That’s the glory of love’