Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.
As Father of the Bride, I am honored to be the first to speak tonight and I would like to start by saying what a real pleasure it is to welcome Pat and Cliff, Kevin’s parents, together with the many friends and relatives of both families here today to help celebrate Melinda and Kevin’s wedding.
There was a time when given a couple of rum and cokes, plus a few cigarettes, I could have memorised this speech and got through it without the benefit of notes, however, given the passing of time and rapidly advancing senility, please forgive me for the need to refer to some notes ……like ever two seconds or so.
Initially, and most importantly, I would like to take this opportunity to formally and wholeheartedly congratulate Kevin on his discriminating choice of choosing Melinda as his bride. At the same time I must congratulate Melinda on her good fortune and astute thinking in snaring Kevin as her husband….I think you have both chosen extremely well.
I wish to thank Melinda’s mother Maureen for the nurturing she has provided Melinda and congratulate her on the end result – a beautiful, caring, lovable and loving, daughter….albeit a somewhat stressed out one at the moment……wondering what’s coming next – am I about to reminisce on embarrassing childhood memories or simply tell some extremely bad taste jokes…. or maybe just waffle on about the battery life expectancy of kitchen smoke alarms.
However, given the warnings I have received from her about the danger of going down any of these paths I will refrain and instead would like to direct a few remarks to her and Kevin.
As a father, I am filled with conflicting emotions – on one hand, I am bursting with pride; how beautiful you are, all grown up, mature, independent – exactly how we hoped, and knew, you would turn out.
But on the other hand I feel a huge sense of loss in more or less saying farewell to that sweet little girl Minna who used to stand at the top of the stairs and insist that the soft-toy Dirrel, the flying squirrel, did in fact fly upstairs every night all by himself while you were asleep – no human assistance required.
I want you to know how much I love you and how much you mean to me and how happy I am that you have found someone as terrific as Kevin with whom to share your life…...even if he doesn’t barrack for Carlton.
There are though a few things which, as your father, I believe I should pass on to you at this time. I think it’s probably a bit late for a birds and bees lecture but there are a few pointers which I believe will stand you in good stead in the years to come.
Firstly and very importantly, you are NOT a rally driver despite the rare ability you showed with your first three vehicles – all of which were written off.
Secondly, if you want something from Kevin, you need to ask for it…. Kevin is a man, and hints do not work.
As is proper in a marriage, you will find that you make all the minor decisions whilst Kevin makes all the major ones….. ………..Kevin, you will find that all future decisions turn out to be of a minor nature.
And Melinda, the definition of a perfect wife is one who helps her husband with the dishes…..and can change a tyre on the Jackaroo when necessary.
Kevin, I think it’s fairly rare these days that two people can share and enjoy so many activities together as you both do – the fact that you both survived a lengthy four wheel drive camping expedition to Cape York and were still on talking terms when you returned speaks for itself.
Marriage will bring you many things, loyalty, self restraint, obedience and a whole host of other things you wouldn’t have needed had you stayed single…………..and you should keep in mind that women are meant to be loved, not necessarily understood.
Importantly, you should always remember to put the seat down after you…...also that a few invaluable words in any marriage are “yes, dear” and “sorry, it was definitely my fault”.
Now that you are married - and regardless of how it’s been up to today, Melinda will always have the last word in any argument – and any word that you come out with afterwards is, by default, the start of the next argument.
We all wish you a wonderfully happy, and loving marriage and hope that you have a really great honeymoon…..and if you’re travelling by JetStar just be sure you’re not late to the airport.
Having said all that, it gives me great pleasure to propose a toast to you both.
May you live for as long as you wish, and have all you wish for as long as you live.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding and raise your glasses to the Bride and Groom – Melinda and Kevin.