Gayle & Scott's Wedding 25th May, 2013 at Wedderburn Castle
Good afternoon everyone. For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Archie, Gayle's dad. I'm the warm-up today for our guest star speakers, the Clark Brothers, our Groom and Best Man, Scott & Brent.
As you would expect, the 3 of us are all a wee bit nervous right now. I know I am.... (Pause) This is not the first time today that I’ve stood up from a warm seat with a piece of paper in my hand!
I really wanted to memorise this speech, but it's not easy when you have the memory retention of a geriatric Goldfish!! But, you'll be glad to hear, I've managed to condense it onto this small card....(let concertina cards go!).
Although we've been living in Wales for a good few years now, you'll probably have noticed that I am still very much Scottish, and retain a very strong accent. In fact, English is my second language. So if you are looking for a translation to my speech, feel free to ask Scott afterwards. He's beginning to understand me now!
Distinguished guests, those of lesser distinction, family, relatives, in-laws, out-laws, Gayle's friends, Scott's friends, friends of friends, freeloaders and anyone else who has turned up for a meal and the free drink - on behalf of my lovely wife Liz & myself, it is my pleasure to welcome you to today's wedding celebrations! A big Thank You for joining us on this special day. I hope you had a lovely meal and are looking forward to the evening ahead.
When I see who is here today, we undoubtedly have the League of Nations. People have come from all corners of the globe (pause) .. just to hear Scott and Brent speak....No pressure boys! We have guests who have travelled from America, Beijing, Chad, from England and Wales, from Italy, Holland, Sweden & last but not least, our family and friends and anyone else who has sneeked in from my homeland, Scotland. Yes, easy to see there is a free bar!
I have to say, all you ladies are looking lovely. You all polish up really well. And the men? (Pause)..... Never seen so many kilts since Braveheart was filmed. What a lovely sight.
There's a couple of special welcomes I'd like to make: My first special welcome goes to Scott's Grandma Shirley and his mum and dad , Sheila & Joe. We've really enjoyed your company over the last few days. I do hope you have had a good time in the UK. I'm sure you'll have a great time at the ceilidh tonight.
When I look around the room, its amazing how many strangers I'm sure I recognise. So, my second special welcome goes to fellow members of the Royal Society of Alcoholics, Drug Users, transvestites and Criminals. Thank you all for coming along. John, Jim, Sean ..(pause).... Hope the recovery is going well?
As guests, you have all played a part in the lives of Gayle and Scott. I know your presence here today is important to them. So important, in fact, that in the run-up to the wedding, Gayle and Scott had a bit of an issue with today's seating plan. So, as father of the bride, I offered to step in and help work something out. What we finally decided was to use the wedding gift list. So we've put those who bought the biggest items nearest the front, and then worked back from there. So if you can hear me in the cheap seats at the back, a massive thank you to Nick … for the oven glove……Oh! and Scott says “can he have the other one for their first anniversary!
Gayle only gave me one instruction about what to say today. And the message was clear "Dad … please don't embarrass me." Which meant that I have had to scrap ninety percent of this part of my speech!
Whilst preparing for this, I got a wee bit sentimental and decided to look through some old photos of Gayle. (Pause) Tears welled up in my eyes, and one picture in particular stood out. It was the striking pose of my precious daughter lying on the carpet, dribbling and pointing at the camera lens. What a treasure she looked trying to stand up on her little wobbly legs....(Pause)....we'll never forget her 21st birthday!!!
Like all parents, we wanted our children to have a good education and give themselves a good start in life. We couldn't have been more pleased throughout Gayle's time at Oxford, Manchester and London, where she made many good friends on the way. I know a lot of them are here today. Qualifying as a lawyer and getting a good job with a City firm was all we could have asked for.
Yes, all was looking good until that thing called 'love' struck! I remember it well. Gayle was on work secondment to Brussels at the time. We were over visiting her. That's when we first heard of this young American lad. (Tap Scott's shoulder)....and as they say, the rest is history.
Today, I look at my daughter and I see an independent and attractive young woman. She obviously takes after her mother! She likes to socialise with good food and a drink or two, (Pause) …. also like her mother!
Scott, I'm sure you have already found our Gayle to be a determined and dedicated individual. If you want proof of her determination, ask her how many times she took her driving test!
I'm pretty sure our deep family roots will never be broken, even when you do move to America. Whilst it will be sad to see you leave, that's our summer holidays sorted for the next few years!
I have always been very proud of Gayle. No more so than today when I had the honour of walking her down the aisle. Gayle, you looked lovely. (Pause)
So enough of this soppy stuff. There Gayle, I didn't mention your rubbish singing OR how untidy you are!
Turning now to Scott. I have no doubts that our Gayle has made the right choice. Every Father amongst us hopes his daughter will find a partner that is smart, sensible, reliable, good looking, considerate, intelligent ......Scott, I can't read your handwriting! What does that say?
I've got to know Scott quite well over these last few months. Gayle tells me however that, since joining him in Vicenza, she's noticed that his wardrobe needs a serious clear out. His collection of Hawaiian shirts is seemingly quite legendary. Scott, I'm no fashion guru as I'm sure Liz will tell you, but Hawaiian shirts in 2013 ....... naw!
I can remember a few months back when Scott asked if he could have a word with me outside. Now coming fae Scotland, that could mean 2 things. He was either going to smack me wan (pause) or ask for Gayle's hand in marriage. Thankfully, it was the latter! It's fair to say he was a bit nervous but he had clearly given it a lot of thought. Gayle was at the centre of everything he said. I was impressed.
I could not have wished for a better son-in-law. Scott, welcome to our family.
Now, it’s customary on these occasions for me to offer the happy couple, and specifically Scott, some advice on marriage.
Scott, remember there is no issues in a marriage that can't be overcome by one or more of the following statements:
- 'Ok, I was wrong;
- Ok ,You were right; and the most important
- Ok doll, Just buy it!'
Also, from recent personal experience I would say to you Scott, don't ever make any assumptions! A good example of this was when Liz was having a glass of wine one evening. I heard her say, (Pause) 'I love you so much. I don't think I could ever live without you'. My god, I thought. So I asked Liz, 'Is that you or the wine talking?' She replied, 'It's me...but I'm talking to the wine!'
On researching material for this speech, I found a quotation about marriage that I'd like to share with you. It certainly struck a chord with me and might do the same with a few others in this room.
It says “The greatest institution that man has created is marriage. One plus one equals one. The fusing of two souls is the greatest possible joy but may also be the cause of great annoyance. At times, you will be constantly stepping on each other's toes and irritating each other. At other times, you feel so in love that being together is the greatest joy on earth. Within its folds lies the greatest contentment that is possible to achieve in this life."
CLOSING & TOAST
So, before I pass you onto Scott, ... can I make one last plea on behalf of myself and Joe. If there is anyone here who wishes to help out 2 very happy but now extremely poor fathers, it would be most welcome!. We seem not only to have become major shareholders in Wedderburn Castle but even worse, (Pause)..... we've still got to pay for Chic & Stella's bar bill! So cash, cheques, bank transfers or credit cards, are all welcome!. Donations in Sterling, dollars, euros or yen will be gratefully accepted. I'll place a collection box at the exit for your loose change. (Pause)
I know that Scott has chosen well and I'm sure Gayle has too. On behalf of Liz & I, Joe & Sheila and I'm sure all of you guys who have joined us today, I would like to wish them all the very best. I have no doubts at all that they will have a long, happy and prosperous future together.
So Ladies and Gentlemen I’d like you to be upstanding and raise your glasses....... to the Bride and Groom, Gayle and Scott.