Thanks to the guests.
Distinguished guests, those of dubious distinction and those of no distinction, family, relatives, in-laws and outlaws, young and old, friends, friends of friends, freeloaders and hangers-on as step father of the bride - let me extend a very warm welcome to Sue and Jez’s wedding celebration.
Thanks to the bankers!
It is wedding etiquette for the father of the bride to give the first speech. It is a speech to test the reception to a few well chosen anecdotes and gauge the audience’s reactions to some seriously dodgy jokes.
Talking of which I heard the other day son telling his Dad that he''d got a role in the school play.
He said to his dad "I play a man who has been married for 25 years".
"That''s great son" replied his Dad. "Keep it up and soon you''ll get a speaking part..!?"
Anyway, at this point, it is also customary to thank all the people who have contributed financially to today’s celebrations. And as such I would like to thank Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and our good friend Mr Overdraft we are indebted to them all.
How proud we are of Sue
I love my step-daughter and am proud and pleased to say so.
I first came to know Sue about 25 years ago and became a full time part of her life 22 years ago. Imagine, if you can, what it must have been like for both Sue and Deb of course having this 25 year old bloke coming to live with them. It wasn’t easy at first, getting used to each other, learning about each other but I have to say I am truly blessed to be the step-father of Sue and in the time we have known each other we have become the best of friends.
Having got married to Pam we had a two year learning curve with everybody getting used to each other and then along came Matt as well as a few guinea pigs and gerbils more of which later, then along came Jak and then a few years later, while on a long weekend holiday in Ireland we had a phone call to say that Sue was expecting and suddenly we had a very crowded house but I can say it was one filled with love, joy, a few tears but lots and lots of laughter.
You know, looking back and trying to remember the last 25 years which is some feat for me as I have trouble remembering the last 25 minutes at the moment. I can honestly say that I cannot remember any time when Sue and I have had crossed words. You may laugh but it true isn’t it?
As we share this special day with Sue and Jez we also look at Ashley and Lewis and recognise what fine young boys they are which is testament to what a fine young mother Sue is.
We are truly proud of Sue and wholly commend her to you Jez as you start this new phase of your lives together.
General observations and welcome Jez to family
From the day that Sue & Jez announced that they were getting married, the whole event has been planned with military precision. The dress, the other dresses, the cake, the venue, the church etc, etc.
As the weeks became months the wedding has took on a life of its own. I became a mere spectator watching as all unfolded before me, comforted by the fact that I really didn’t have to do too much at all.
This provided me a modicum of security until that fateful day my wife mentioned that it was time to buy her outfit.
Now what started, as a tight military campaign had now evolved into a holy crusade?
Like those knights of old we were each in search of that mythical object in those far off lands.
Our journey may not have been as far but believe me it was fraught with as many dangers, let me explain….
The modern Department store is no place for the mere male.
Gone are those small oasis of calm where one could sit read a paper and watch the world go by, punctuated occasionally by grunts of approval as the array of choices are paraded before you.
Women’s wear in the modern store consists of numerous franchises all vying for trade like anemones on a coral reef seeking out their prey.
Whilst she’s trying on the clothes you are abandoned to aimlessly wander the racks in search of solace the security cameras seem to turn in unison to follow your every step 15 minutes pass and you notice a stranger following you, the store detective.
Your popularity appears to grow as you move from store to store.
If you are lucky you will find that which you seek. If not you may your 15 minutes of fame in the photo-fits on editions of crime watch.
I escaped lightly but I am sure some of you others out there were far less fortunate.
The monetary drain seems to rise exponentially as the day draws nearer
Last night we had the final panic I heard Sue say to her mother I have still got so much to do I want everything to be perfect I don’t want to overlook even the most insignificant detail.
Her mother replied don’t worry I’ll make sure Matt’s there!!
I could reminisce and tell embarrassing stories of Sue all afternoon but shall limit myself to her CV.
On leaving school Sue went to work for Dorans the chemist in Newhall Street, later to be promoted to his new premises on the corner of Park Road. From Dorans she then decided that the pharmaceutical industry was not her forte and started working at Shoefayre, a local shoe shop in Cannock. Anyway after … months Sue worked out a way of combining her love for shoes and her first passion of the pharmaceutical industry and went to work for boots… the chemist. This venture lasted … months and Sue then decided to go into manufacturing working as a production engineer at The Leather Factory in Bridgtown, making collars for cats and dogs, this was just before Christmas in 1989 and having worked hard was looking forward to her Christmas holidays. Sue broke up and following a relaxing two weeks holiday returned to work only to be greeted with the question where have you been? Sue was then informed that having enjoyed two weeks leave the company had only been closed for one week. A P45 quickly came her way and Sue rapidly went through a career change involving bar work at the Ascot Tavern, a stint at a local DIY superstore and selling Avon cosmetics before setting a career path at Chase Fencing where, we are told, nothing happens without her approval. We can only admire the dedication, fortitude, single mindedness, and sheer determination that…Andy has shown in actually keeping her on the books. I think we should congratulate Mr Andy Smith in this instance.
I asked Jez recently what he was looking for in marriage. He said love, happiness and security.
I asked Sue the same question. She replied “A dishwasher.”
Well you’ve now got one of your very own and he’s now your husband.
During the time we have known him we have come to realise how special Jez has become to Sue anyone can see that they are made for each other.
He is likeable, easy going, hard working and we are very happy to welcome him into the family.
Thoughts for Phil
For me, this in one of the proudest days of my life. Of course I am only able to do this because of the acceptance and love from both Sue and Deb of a bumbling bloke coming into their lives nearly 25 years ago. To be asked to give away both of my step-daughters in lieu of Phil, their father, has been a great privilege and have been proud to do so. Thank you.
Wish success/happiness in the future to Sue & Jez
Apparently it''s traditional for me to offer some worldly thoughts and advice about marriage. During the last twenty two years, I’ve learned a few things about it, so here goes
We all take directions in life from one source or another and I now quote from the good housekeeping monthly magazine as published on the 13th May 1955 but could have been published today in all honesty!!
Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for Jez to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival from work is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Don’t complain if he is late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
A good wife always knows her place.
And to Jez, remember, man is incomplete until he finds a wife…………then he''s finished!
Jez, never go to sleep with an unfinished argument hanging over you. Be a man! Stay awake and fight to the bitter end! You’re going to lose anyway, so you might as well get it over and done with!
Sue & Jez, marriage is an important commitment, so much so that you need a mortgage to pay for it! But it needs more than that. It needs patience and compromise and I should know, I''ve been patiently compromising for years!
There is no challenge in a marriage that cannot be overcome by the following three, three-word sentences.
I was wrong!
You were right!
I love you!
Pam & myself wish you every success in your marriage and trust that you will find true happiness in your life together.
Propose toast to bride & Groom
Well, I’ve just noticed that Mr Elliott has just looked at his watch which is the signal that his wife needs a drink so, ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding, I give you . . . Sue & Jez, the bride and groom."