Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please!
Before I begin, I’ve been asked to read the following messages:
[Read genuine telegrams, e-mails and letters].
Dearest Yohta and Juri,
We are so sorry we can’t be with you on this happy day. May your life together be wonderful. We hope you have a family as big as we have!
Lots of love from Hiroshi and Akiko. And the children: Ichiro, Jiro, Chiharu, Saburo, Shigeru, Hideki, Miyuki, Makiko, Chihiro, Kenichi, Megumi, Eriko, Naomi, Kohta, Makoto, Hiroshi, Akiko, Junko, Yurie, Taro, and the twins.
Actually, there were so many messages today from Yohta’a ex-girlfriends that the Royal Mail had to make a specical delivery!
[Cue the Butler, who throws open the doors of the reception room and brings in a Royal Mail mailbag, stuffed with envelopes (actually newspaper with just a few envelopes at the top!)].
I’ll just read one: Darling Yohta, today is a sad day for me. We could have been so good together. All my love, Mariah Carey.
Well, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Hajimashite. Minasan kon nitche wa.
This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for........
And there is goes!
It’s been such an exiting day that I am absolutely speechless – which is probably excellent news for most of you!
I’m glad to say that so far I don’t think I’ve made any mistakes. I didn't lose the rings. I managed to get Yohta to the right church, at the right time, and married to the right bride. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that Yohta and Juri are a great match.
Of course, I’ve been quite nervous about today. I knew that with this being a Japanese wedding, there would be a wedding album, a wedding video (a digital wedding video!), a wedding book – and in fact, overall media coverage better than the Nagano Winter Olympics!
I did hear of a terrible experience that one friend of mine had as a Best Man. Can you imagine what it must be like, having to struggle with somebody heavy to get him to the church on time because he's completely drunk? And then having to help him stand-up all through the service? You'd think a vicar would know better than to get into that state before conducting a wedding, wouldn't you!
Not all of you will know this, but it's the tradition at British weddings for the Best Man's speech to include embarassing stories about the Groom. The thing is, this isn't your typical British wedding, and for that matter, Yohta here isn't your typical Groom. He's such an all round nice lad that there really isn't much to tell, so rather than make-up some far-fethched tales, I thought I'd dispense with that particular tradition on this occasion.
Besides, I have actually been asked today to be nice to Yohta rather than tease him too much..... Mind you, I must say, the vote was very close!
But I'm not going to let him get away scott-free, because I do know he can take a joke. So can Juri, of course. She's taken Yohta!
Yohta was born on the 6th January 1976. Now January 6th is not a very interesting day. Lots of famous people were born on the January 5th such as Socrates, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Clement Attlee, Robert Burns, Robert Boyle, Marilyn Manson. The only explanation for Yohta must be that January the 6th is God’s day off.
I've known Yohta since he was 13, when he was the new boy in my class. We quickly became friends, and as you can see we're still in touch, despite him now living in Japan.
In the twelve years that I've known Yohta he hasn't changed all that much really. We've all grown older, we've all grown wiser, we've all grown taller and we've all grown fatter. In Yohta's case that was inevitable. When he lived with the Macklin family he ate so much they called him "dustbin". Oh yes, Yohta was always one to put his stomach first - especially when going through a door!
To be fair, he's lost a lot of weight recently but that's because Juri has explained to him that a balanced meal doesn't mean one Big Mac in each hand.
He's always been image concious and once admitted that his three favorite forms of entertainnment are radio, television, and mirrors! Actually, Yohta had started moussing his hair and wearing flashy clothes before the rest of us had even started to shave. Interesting then, that today he should be marrying a girl with an interest in the hairdressing industry. Perhaps he's trying to negotiate a discount on his hair-cuts!
In typical Japanese style, Yohta likes his gadgets. And he's always been very proud of them. At school he flaunted his digital diary and his diligence in keeping all his friends names and addresses filed in it. Suddenly he stopped using it, reverting to traditional pen and paper. When I asked Yohta where it was he had to explain. Yohta had put it in his shirt pocket, and just as he leaned over to check the temperature of a bath he had just run, his digital diary had fallen into the water. He spent the next month finding out all his friends addresses again!
At the University of East Anglia, Yohta kept his head down and worked hard for his degree. And that, of course, is where he met Juri. And he knew quite quickly that he was in love. And the rest, you know.
Yohta, today you have married a beautiful, charming, intelligent, witty girl. Juri, you have married, Yohta!
On a serious note, Yohta, you are a great friend and it has truly been an honour being your Bestman. Juri is a lovely person, she deserves a good husband, so thank goodness you married her before she found one.
Before I finish I would like to ask Juri and Yohta to participate in the speech now. Juri if I can ask you to place you had flat on the table. Yohta, now it's your turn. Place your hand directly on top of Juri's. I hope that you are enjoying that Yohta as it's the last time that you will ever have the upper hand.
Now ladies and gentlemen, will you raise your glasses and join me in a toast to the new Mr and Mrs Horiki.
Futari-no, kadode-o iwa--t e kanpai-o shimasu. Dou Zo gulasu-o omochi coudassai.
Here’s to the father-in-law’s daughter,
And here’s to the mother-in-law’s son,
Here’s to the vows they’ve just taken,
And the life they’ve just begun.
Ladies and gentlemen - YOHTA AND JURI!