Good afternoon to you all. I’m going to start this speech in the way I mean to go on, and that is with a big thank you to you all for turning up on behalf of my wife and I. I know that this is meant to be our day, but of course it wouldn’t be as special a day if it wasn’t for all our friends and family being here with us, so again a big thank you.
Most couples on their wedding day describe it as the happiest day of their
lives. That worries me because it implies that as from tomorrow there's a
lifelong decline ahead, so believe you me I am going to be making the most
of today. However, I must say that today I'm so happy that even days less
happy could still be blissful.
I did have a great speech worked out for you, but as I am now married, my
wife has told me what to say instead. Fortunately, that means that today I'm not going to stand here and give you a load of stale old jokes, I'm going to leave that to my best man, and brother-in-law, Steve. 6 weeks ago to the day I was best man at the wedding of my friends, Tony and Tracey, and it has to be said that I thought that was the most terrifying experience of my life.
Yet, I now feel as though I've moved from the witness box to the dock...
And therefore, with that thought fresh in my mind, I would like to start the thank-yous with you, Steve.
Thank you for agreeing to be my best man. I’ve known Steve for a lot of
years now, and he has been and will continue to be a great friend. Knowing
him so well, I know that he will be extremely nervous about his speech right now, so much so that I’m sure it will not be the first time today that you’ve stood up from a warm seat with a piece of paper in your hand. But don’t worry mate, I’ve seen you make a fool of yourself in front of a crowd every Friday night for umpteen years, so just imagine you’re in the pub. But the kind of pub where you keep your trousers ON.
Unfortunately, being the groom, it is not my job to assassinate the
character of one of my friends, but as and when Steve gets married, I hope
he asks me to be his best man, and then I can tell everybody what HE got up to on MY stag do!
But joking aside, I have to say that I couldn’t ask more of a best man, over the years he’s been a shoulder to cry on, a house to stay at, of course a great drinking compatriot, but most importantly of all, my best friend. He’s so far helped the day run swimmingly, and as I said before, I couldn’t have asked more of a best man, and I really am pleased that you agreed to be here in this role today. We have, of course, got you a little present to say thank you, but I have to say I’m tempted to keep hold of it until I’ve heard your speech...(look at Sue) no, oh all right then, a big round of applause for my best man, Steve Handley.
Whilst I’m on the line of my friends, my next thanks goes to my two great
ushers, Tony and Craig. As before, with Steve, it has to be said that you
are two of my greatest friends, both of whom have brought happiness and fun to my life, and it has been an honour to have two other such close friends sitting here with me today.
With Sue opting to go for a near world record with the number of bridesmaids she has, I asked her if I could have three best men, but alas she wasn’t impressed, yet the role you have played here today has been wonderful and again we would like to thank you with a small gift each.
Sticking to the same line of people we wish to thank, of course we must say thank you to the bridesmaids. Each one looks truly beautiful today, and it has to be said that a finer procession of ladies we could not have asked for. Each one of you oozes elegance and grace and has brought an extra dimension to this role, so again a big round of applause is in order, and of course some more gifts...
We would like to say how particularly lovely Debbie looks today, and say a
special thanks to her for giving Sue all the support that she has in the run up to the wedding. I know you have been an excellent source of advice and reassurance for Sue for the past few months. I also know that you helped organised a great hen party – and I will find out what happened one day. But also due to the number of phone calls between Sue and Debbie, BT would also like to say a special thank you to you both. And just to show our appreciation to you...
Three other people have also been a great help for today. Firstly David
Ratcliffe. Due to the number of bridesmaids we have here today, I was left
without a car to bring me to the church. My initial plan to ride in on my
bike was somewhat frowned upon, as was the idea of coming in on a double-decker bus, so nobly and gallantly out of the darkness came Mr Ratcliffe, with his beautifully presented automobile, and ensured that Cinderella did in fact make it to the ball. Therefore another thank you goes out to you, and another little pressie.
The more observant of you may have noticed that our wedding invitations, the order of service and the name cards in front of you, are all matching, and of course look superb. This couldn’t have been done, well certainly not half as well, without the great skill and patience of my cousin, Netti, and it does have to be said that they all look tremendous. Of course, therefore, my wife and I would like to say a big thank you to you as well, even though you keep sending me false e-mails that either render my computer useless, or have me deleting completely well working program files. But that's by the by, and so a little something to show our gratitude.
The last of the three has been one of the biggest helps overall, not just
today but over the last 7 or 8 months. You may have noticed that there is
one very important person missing from this top table, our daughter Kara,
but once again, patiently and more importantly, willingly, she has been left in the more than capable hands of Auntie Karen. Not only has she been a great help today in looking after her, but also since Sue returned to work she has been good enough to have her on a regular basis, and made it so much easier for Sue to do as much. So a special thanks goes to you, and of course we have a little something to show our appreciation.
We’re getting there now!
Of course the biggest thank-yous of the day has to go to our respective
parents, and newly formed in-laws.
We would like to thank both sets of parents, as we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them. We would like to thank them all for your love and
support over the years for all the advice you have given us, for putting up with us and pointing us in the right direction, the list is endless.
But I would just like to break it down slightly.
I would really like to thank my parents, who should undoubtedly receive a
medal for endurance. They have always loved and supported me through every
stage of my life, even during my Kevin the teenager stage that seemed to
last well into my twenties, and which Sue may argue hasn’t ended yet. So thanks mum and dad for all the love and guidance you‘ve given, and I hope I can make you as proud of me as I am of you.
I must thank Brian and Anne for bringing up such a lovely daughter and thank you both for making me so welcome in your family. I am an incredibly shy person, but you have made it very easy for me to fit in and I hope I can be everything you want from a son-in-law and more.
But more than that I'd like to thank them for raising such a beautiful
daughter. To anyone who knows Sue it is obvious that they have done a great job, helping mould her into the wonderful person she is today. Brian and Anne, of course, also raised two sons, Steve and Dave, but, well, one out of three ain't bad.
By the way Brian I haven't forgotten, I'll sign that receipt for you later.
You see Brian has written out a receipt for me, it says:
Received one daughter in perfect condition, fully guaranteed, fully
warranted. Comes complete with all extras.
Warning: has tendency to get irritable if doesn't have final say on
Care notes: gets bored easily, keep busy with constant supply of chores.
But not to be outdone my dad has a receipt for Sue, it says:
Received one son, sold as seen, no refunds under any circumstances. We've
re-decorated the room and changed the locks so you're stuck with him.
Warning: the slight discolouration is dirt, which may come off with vigorous scrubbing. But don't count on it as it's been there that long.
Care Notes: de-hydrates easily, top up regularly with beer.
Thanks a lot mate, but joking aside, both sets of parents have been an amazing help and deserve all our gratitude, not just for today but for all our lives. And therefore, mothers, a little something...
The one person in the room to which I owe the most thanks, is Sue, my wife, who looks absolutely stunning today as I’m sure you’ll agree. I asked Sue's mother in the church, how she looked in her wedding dress, she said wonderful, but that didn't prepare me enough for when I saw her walk down the isle. I was overwhelmed to the say the least by how beautiful Sue looks today. I still can’t believe that such a wonderful woman chose to marry me. You can't help being lovely but you could help becoming my bride yet I don’t have to hope that our future together will be a happy one, I KNOW it will be, because every day I wake to find I love you twice as much as the day before.
As Sue will tell you - I’m often wrong, but in marrying you, I know I’ve
made the right decision.
So, to my wife, my bride and joy. - Thank you for everything you have done. You know everything about me and love me just the same. I have my faults, yet you still agreed to marry me. I am extremely lucky today to be the one to marry you - and I hope this is the start of many happy years together.
It was difficult to put into words how I feel, so therefore, hopefully this may sum it up perfectly:
Entitled: The Completeness of my life
A Poem by Andy Fox
Here we are together, You have been the wind
on this our special day, behind my billowing sails.
I love you more than ever, You have been a patient ear,
I love you more than I can say. to listen to my tragic tales.
Through lots we’ve stayed together, You have been my best friend,
distance couldn't keep us apart, you've made my life worth while.
joined together by love, You have always been there for me,
joined together at the heart. always had a patient smile.
I love you for who you are, You have been the one constant,
and not for what you've got. that has been there through my life,
I know I‘m yours forever, and now you've made me so happy,
Forever, no matter what. when you became my wife.
I just want you to know, The Angels' must have looked upon me,
(and pride does come before a fall), Saw that I felt alone,
that I love you now and for always, And sent a special woman;
and I know our love will conquer all. A love to call my own.
We don't have a lot of money, They made you true and kind,
but we still have so much fun, you're wonderful and more;
because you are my evening moonlight, That's how I knew you were meant for
and you are my morning sun. That's how I could be sure.
You’re the most generous and compassionate woman, Together with our
that I have ever, ever met, our home will be full of love;
our married life will be so wonderful, For that I thank the Angels
and it hasn't even started yet ! Who heard me from heaven above.
Because now I know what love is, I pledge to you my faithfulness,
now I know what love is for, For Sue you've won my heart,
and I will love you today and tomorrow, From this day forever more,
yes, I’ll love you for evermore. May we never be apart.
You have been my rock I Love You xxx
through some very hard times.
You have been my final word
in all my desperate rhymes.
To finish off, I must say - isn't it funny how history repeats itself? 30
years ago Sue's mum and dad were putting her to bed with a dummy - and now
it's happening all over again!
And talking of history, this day marks yet another significant anniversary.
On this day back in 1901, U.S. president William McKinley was making a
speech when some fellow shot him dead, now I'm not much of a one for
believing in signs and omens, but there no point in tempting fate, so I
think I'll sit down.