Speech by Peter

*The bit about the wedding planner is obviously funnier when you know she is my wife!   This is the second time I have been best man and had to make a speech and it doesn't get any easier in terms of nervs. But just remember the crowd are on your side and are all in a great mood so you couldn't be speaking to a better crowd.

Speech Type: Best man
Speech Creator: Peter
Speech Date: 23/08/2017 08:27:55

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Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. Most of you know me but for the few that don't my name is Pete, I'm Chris's cousin and I am one half of Chris's best man… and this is Alex – my other half… Actually now I have read that out loud, saying that Alex is my other half does sound a little bit dodgy!

I would like to start by thanking Tony, Steph's dad Chris and Chris for their speeches and also a huge thank you to the bridesmaids, our usher, the page boys and the cutest little flower girls ever – you have ALL done a fantastic job today. Bridesmaids you look amazing. Indeed you are only eclipsed by Steph herself who, I am sure you will all agree, looks absolutely stunning.

I would also like to thank Chris and Steph's wedding planner for organising today and making sure everything runs like clockwork. I have no idea who she is but I think it's safe to say she has done a fantastic job! 

And of course, finally, I would like to thank all of you for coming all the way out to Sunny North Cyprus to share this special occasion with the bride and groom. Everyone seems to be having a wonderful time so far and of course we all still have Chris's dancing to look forward to later.

No I have obviously known Chris all his life and I can honestly say he is more like a brother to me than a cousin. From a very young age we were like partners in crime – often getting up to no good and getting told of by our mums.

In the very early days Chris grew up in Horley, with doting parents Carol & Bob and older brother Stuart, before moving to Smallfield at a young age. Now I wouldn't say Chris is unlucky but unlucky things have just happened to him over the years.

Like the time, when he was around the age of 13, he went to sit in the car to wait for his mum. A few minutes later Carol and Stuart heard an almighty crash and looking outside they saw carols nice new Toyota looking “not so nice” all smashed up on the drive.

Despite the overwhelming evidence and never one to hold his hands up Chris sheepishly denied that he had anything to do with it.

Of course what had actually happened is Chris had started the car and put it in drive, sending the car crashing through the garage door. Not done yet he panicked and reversed the car back out again causing even more damage. To this day Carol still won't let him wait in her car unsupervised!

Coming from a large family we are used having big weddings, family gatherings and birthday parties. Me being a few years older than Chris I was obviously allowed to start drinking alcohol at these events before he was. Of course being the responsible older cousin I would sneak Chris the odd beer or two…as that's surely what older cousins are for.

I remember one party, I think it was a family birthday at a hall somewhere, Chris and I were outside having a beer and a smoke. After a while I went inside and was happily doing “BIG FISH LITTLE FISH” with the family on the dance floor when my mum came storming up to me asking what I had done to Chris.

Pleading my innocence I obviously said I have no idea what she was going on about, when she told me that Chris is lying face down on the cold grass outside. When his mum asked what was wrong he replied “Pete gave me something to smoke….” Cheers for that Cuz!

So now let me tell you a bit about the story of this amazing couple.

At the end of 1999 I moved back down from Scotland not really knowing where life was going to take me. That Millennium New Years Eve I went to a party in Epsom and met, for the first time, some people that would go on to become my closest friends in life… they are all here tonight and one of them has just married my cousin.

A few months after that I moved to Guildford and shared a house with Fi – who happens to be our brilliant wedding photographer today – and we thought it would be a great idea to throw the party to end all parties!

Around this time I was speaking with Chris on the phone and he was going through a rubbish time of his own. So I said to him “come over to the party mate you're going to like this lot in Guildford”. So Chris did come over and the party did end all parties – in fact it is still talked about in Guildford folk law to this day.

Anyway, at the end of the night as the last of the party goers left, the smoke cleared and the dust settled, sitting in the corner of the lounge was the most beautiful site you will ever see. I much younger Chris and Steph, side by side, holding on to each other's hand like their lives depended on it. You could see it in their eyes even then…both thinking “I'm going to bloody marry you”.

And here we are.… Many jobs, many houses, two countries, three wonderful children and 17 years later… finally they are Mr and Mrs Ritchie and I for one could not be more proud and happy for two of my closest friends.

So Chris & Steph you've finally got married, for better or for worse, which is quite appropriate as Chris couldn't have done any better and Steph you REALLY couldn't have done any worse.

Now, coming towards the end of my speech, it is customary for me to offer the happy couple some words of wisdom. But what do I say to you… you guys have done it ALL already! So what I will say is this: keep making each other laugh, continue to love each other every day and just keep doing what you have been doing up until now and you will have the most fantastic, fun-filled lives together!

Chris, we've had some excellent times together over the years mate and, despite us now living in two different parts of the world, I know we will have many more in the future. You've been a fantastic friend and cousin to me and it really is a great honour for me to be one of your Best Men today. I wish you and Steph every happiness for the future…

Before I sign off I would like you to remember all the close friends and family that can't be with us today. It is times like this that we miss them the most and I know that Chris's Dad Bob would have been so proud to see his son marrying Steph today.

Now raising your glasses and making a toast really doesn't seem good enough for this awesome couple. So will you all please be upstanding, leave your glasses on the table, and give the biggest, loudest round of applause to the new MR & MRS RITCHIE!

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Ok… thanks everybody… I'm now going to hand you over to my other half!