Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to begin by welcoming you all, and thanking you for coming to this very special occasion to celebrate the marriage of our daughter Jenna to Stuart. I would also like to thank everyone who has helped in the lead up to the wedding in whatever way possible. A special thank you to those who have made long journeys to be here with us.
Thank you, Merci and baya danki.
Now ladies and gentlemen, I should probably make you aware from the very start that I lack any real experience as a speaker – Please forgive me if this speech is not as professional as the one that is to follow. This is a new experience for me but also I do not want to give Gareth too hard an act to follow. I am aware that my main function this evening is to warm up, you the audience.
The advice was, or should I say the order from my daughter was to stand up, speak up, and quickly shut up and definitely no jokes. Apparently she doesn’t find them at all funny.
So I won’t keep you too long because I have made that promise to both Jenna and Stuart. I am sure some of you who know me well will be surprised and maybe a little disappointed for not telling my terrible jokes. I am sorry I have to follow my instructions for once.
Before I start - I have to say, I’m just totally blown away by Jenna in her dress. Today’s the first time I’ve seen it and she looks absolutely stunning! Well, Stuart looked absolutely stunned. I am one proud Dad as you might well have noticed
And what can I say about the bridesmaids…just gorgeous, and I suppose us men have scrubbed up pretty well too! I must admit we had a lot of help so I have to give credit to Stuart, thank you.
Time flies by so quickly, it doesn’t seem that long ago since Jenna was born, and here I am today speaking or trying to at her wedding. Jenna is a wonderful daughter; she is a very caring person and has given us so much joy and happiness over the years, despite her expensive taste in everything! She is a perfect young lady who I am proud to call my daughter and I’m sure Stuart will also be proud to call his wife.
All through her life, she has brought joy to her mother and me, and while not every day has been perfect, the love we feel for her has been.
Every father knows that one day his daughter will find a partner, fly the nest, and get married. Every father also wishes his daughter the best of luck and worries about her finding the right man, one that will make her happy, and look after her. I have no doubt in Stuart, she found that man.
During the time Julie and I have known Stuart, we have come to realise how special he is to Jenna, and how much of a kind, caring, pleasant and genuinely nice man he is, and what a great son in law he will be. Welcome to the family…In fact I have a small present for him. During his first Christmas with us, he must have asked himself ‘What on earth have I got myself into?’ So here you are and please read what’s on it if you wish.
In our fridge we have a row of diet coke, normal coke, then I have two rows of my favourite drink, Guinness.
We asked Jenna, what does Stuart drink? The answer was Carling. That is definitely not something I like. The next time he came, the top shelf had the same number of soft drink cans, two rows of Carling and I was relegated to the lower division with one row of Guinness. Those of you who aren’t familiar with football, the lower division is just another term for the raggy end. That was how he knew he was very welcome.
Julie and I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Mary, Jack and their family, to relatives and friends of both families. Thank you all for joining us in celebrating this very special day.
Now I believe that tradition dictates that a dad should share a few stories about his daughter. I know that Jenna is particularly nervous about what I might say. After all it is part of my job description as a father to embarrass my children, and I am particularly good at it. But you can relax Jenna, today; I’ll wait until we are on the dance floor before I start! I did tell you I was practicing my dance moves so I hope you did too.
We honestly believe Jenna could not have met a nicer man. Jack, Mary, your son Stuart is an absolute credit to you both.
They are both so happy together and are a perfect match.
Jenna, Stuart, I know you will have a great life together and be very happy. You are amongst people today who care and love you very much and wish you all the happiness in the world.
Julie and I will always be there for you if you ever need anything. I know you have a list for emergency tradesmen, plumbers, electricians and cleaners with no names, just telephone numbers.
It took me a while to realise they all have the same mobile number as mine. You both know, we are always happy to help.
Well I think I’m getting close to outstaying my welcome and I can see the best man Gareth eager to get on with his speech.
Now the father in law is supposed to give advice to his new son in law. I have few….. Look at their faces that say “Oh! No” On this occasion, I just stick to two …first the serious one: Love constantly, accuse slowly, forgive quickly and share everything. Be each other's best friend.
And the second to Stuart, whenever you're wrong, admit it, whenever you're right, shut up.
Finally, I would like to propose a toast to the happy couple, and I know that everyone here will want to join me in raising your glasses in a toast to a very long, happy, and healthy future together.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Please be upstanding and raise your glasses to the new Bride and groom
I believe it was a French author who said “When children find true love, parents find true joy…..Jenna, Stuart here’s to your love and our joy from this day forward.
To Stuart and Jenna