Allan, thanks sincerely for the kind words.
I think that before I get in to this I need to make a special toast right away. Please charge your glasses. This toast is to a man that none of you actually know, not even Lynsey. It’s a man named Barry Shepherd. Barry comes from Milton Keynes and he got married in July 2011. Barry was kind enough to post his speech to Hitched.co.uk and I have taken advantage of that kindness and plagiarised it shamelessly.
Barry Shepherd, you are an articulate, funny man and I hope I do you justice.
Okay, I really need to start by thanking every one of you that are here today. Some of you have come a long way, some not so much. But all of you have travelled in the knowledge that you’re going to have to pay £6 for a vodka and coke. That is commitment and we really appreciate it.
I’ve really been dreading this speech and at one point considered just sending it to you all in an email, it’s always easier to be witty in an email than in real life. But in the end it was clear that this was a once in a lifetime thing and I should make the most of it. Never again will I be in a room full of Harrises and Jordans and be able to get a word in.
It’s really humbling to look around and see so many people that are important to Lynsey and me. Two families coming together, friends old and new ………...big Tumsh. He’s actually only here to keep Graeme awake but somehow they’ve ended up on different tables. You’re going to have to heckle louder than normal big man.
Anyway, on behalf of my wife and I………………we have to thank you all for making this day so special for us both. It wouldn’t be the same without you all. It would certainly be a lot less stressful to make this speech to an empty room.
I’d actually assured Lynsey that I wouldn’t use the big “On behalf of my wife and I” line because it was a cliché and every groom says it. Turns out that the more I stared at the phrase it also turned out to be a load of rubbish. You can’t say something on behalf of yourself. That’s just poor grammar. But whenever I’ve been in doubt, I’ve gone with my Wedding mantra,
What did Barry Shepherd do?
Grammar. I’ve got a weird habit for correcting poor grammar. I’m pretty sure I picked it up from my Papa Darroch who always used to tell me that it was the Newmains side of me whenever I said “Done” instead of “Did”. Turns out that having Clydebank blood has the same effect. Thankfully Lynsey finds it adorable EACH and EVERY time I correct her.
My Papa is here today, looking great in his Wedding gear and tartan trews. There was a spell a while back where we weren’t sure he would manage the trip, but he did it. Or as Lynsey would say, he DONE it.
My grans both look stunning today and after a difficult year it’s fantastic to have them both here.
Gran, Gran, Papa, we love you very much and it means that world that you are here to celebrate our day with us.
I feel extremely privileged that I can stand here on my Wedding day and share it with three of my grandparents. I can’t really think of many other people that are lucky enough to have done the same. As far as I can tell, Barry Shepherd wasn’t so lucky. My cousin Corrine I guess was even luckier than me as she also had my Papa Joe to share her day. I would have loved him to have been here with us now and we all miss him very much. I’m sure he’s watching and has his glass charged with banana rum. They discontinued the horrible stuff down here but I’m sure he’s found a source.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to meet Lynsey’s grandparents…….but I’m sure they would approve. Lynsey and her family talk about them often and it sounds like they would have been fun people to get to know.
Can we please raise a toast to absent family and friends?
Your Wedding favours are inspired by my Gran Jordan and Lynsey’s Gran McKinley, both bingo enthusiasts. I recommend you get scratching before you start on the wine because I had a go this week and they’re bloody complicated.
Lynsey actually took me to the bingo on one of our first dates…….which was weird. I was reluctant at first but came around when I realised it was the only place in Glasgow you could still get a beer for less than £2. Come to think of it, that’s actually where we should have had the Wedding. Anyway, I saw an old lady bring out a loaf of bread and make herself and her pals a ham piece. Lynsey’s dad would have loved that, instead he’s going to have to scoop the poncy salmon into his sporran when no one’s looking.
Right, what does Barry do next? By the way, the rubbish jokes all his.
Okay, I’d like to talk a little bit about Lynsey’s family. I can remember Lynsey telling me about the first time she mentioned me to her mum. I can’t imagine how the conversation got to this stage, but somehow it led to her asking if me and my friend James were “together”.
I only bring this up because hopefully as of this afternoon I have finally put that rumour to bed. The man just gives good hugs.
I actually have a big story in my speech now about the first time I met Lynsey’s mum and dad. It mostly involves being disgracefully hungover and trying to move furniture into a 3rd storey flat. No lift. Lots of sweat. Many bathroom trips for porcelain prayers. So I’m not telling it. Fair to say that polite as she was, I think Margaret would have been delighted if I ran back to James.
Thankfully, I think her and Allan have warmed to me since then. In fact, they’ve been absolutely fantastic with me ever since they first welcomed me into their home. Margaret’s cooking is unbelievable and Allan……..Allan opens a great beer.
They are both incredible people to be around; they talk to EVERYONE, and literally make friends wherever they go. I played at Gleneagles with Allan a few months ago and actually lost him for 20 minutes. I eventually found him chatting away with the lad that hands out towels about how the locker room doesn’t actually smell like a locker room.
Allan, Margaret, you very quickly made me feel like part of the family and I can’t thank you enough for that, I’m so proud to have been able to make that official today. I’m also incredibly grateful for the beautiful, intelligent, funny………stroppy, daughter you’ve raised. I promise I’ll take good care of her.
I should also mention the other Allan, Lynsey’s brother. Big brothers can be quite protective and it would have been easy for him to have been aloof with me, at least at first. But Allan has always made me feel relaxed in his company and I really appreciate that.
I guess that brings me to Claire, in whose company I am NEVER relaxed. This will get Allan into trouble, but he brought up the subject on my stag of Lynsey’s……….volatility, and how I would cope with it. 27 years of practice mate, and Lynsey is an amateur.
By the way, I realise that I haven’t really spoken that much about my wife, which admittedly, seems a bit strange for a Groom’s speech. Barry Shepherd from Milton Keynes saved all the soppy stuff for the end, but we can chuck some in now.
Lynsey, you look absolutely incredible today. I knew you would……..obviously, given that I wrote this speech two weeks ago. You look incredible every day. I love you so much and I feel blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life with you.
And despite what some people say, you don’t remind me of my mum one bit.
Anyway, back to Claire.
Claire once hit me on the head with a spoon. I’m over it, honestly. It’s not even that sore anymore.
She’s your sister now too Lyns, keep her away from cutlery.
Anyway, I forgave her, but it probably took me about six months. It usually does. Claire and I have had that kind of relationship growing up. We always seem to have gone from being best friends to worst enemies and back again. She’s quick to anger and quick to forgive. I’m the exact opposite.
But when we’re friends, we’re great friends, she is brutally honest with me and I trust her completely, which is why she got final edit on my speech. So it’s her fault. She is always ready with advice which I rely on more than she knows. She is incredibly thoughtful and she’s been a huge help to Lynsey in organising today.
She also tells me that she won’t go out in public with me when my hair is crap.
Your hair looks great today by the way.
Actually, I think you’ll agree that all the bridesmaids look amazing today. They’ve done a fantastic job in supporting Lynsey this past year and I know she really appreciates it. As far as I can tell, Sara seems to have been the super-organised one that gets dragged into all the envelope stuffing, stamp licking sessions. Kirsty seems to mainly have been in charge of not dying her hair pink or getting any new tattoos. Good job! Sophie was in charge of making Lynsey look tall. Not so good job Soph, you grew too quick.
Can I please toast the bridesmaids for all the work they’ve put in and all the cocktails they’ve drunk in the process.
Mum and Dad………..thanks for coming.
You guys have been fantastic. It’s been a journey growing up but for the most part I think we did alright with it. You have always been supportive, loving, generous and tolerant. It’s very easy for Claire and I to take this for granted, but to have parents that are always there to pick us back up and put us on the right path is a gift that we are both extremely grateful for, though we probably both rely on you more than we should.
In particular, my dad is great at advice. Growing up it was always, play golf, good for business. Learn German, good for business. Study accounting, good for business. Drink wine, good for business.
Finish your sausages, good for business.
I don’t think he ever really believed in my dreams of making it as a rock star.
I should also mention that, “support England in the World Cup, good for business” will always be one step too far. No amount of profitable BBQ parties down south are compensation for Gary Lineker’s smug smug face.
My mum is the most kind hearted and selfless person I’ve ever met. To see her entertain on Christmas Day is a metaphor for her whole life. Not until everyone is fed, happy and comfortably drunk will she even contemplate getting showered, changed and pouring herself a glass of wine.
Today is like the ultimate Christmas Day, she has worked so hard to make sure family and friends are taken care of, and we all greatly appreciate it. But now it’s definitely time to take the pinny off.
You look great today mum, the dress was worth the drama.
May I raise a toast to both our sets of parents, who have done a fantastic job given what they had to work with. I’d now like to present our mums with a gift to show our appreciation for all they’ve done for us this last year. Dads……..nae luck, all you get is the bill.
So how do I even begin to talk about Lynsey, my wife. As always, I refer to my good friend Barry Shepherd from Milton Keynes for inspiration. He opens with this:
They say you don’t marry someone you can live with, you marry someone that you can’t live without.
It’s pretty rubbish isn’t it. You’ve let me down there Barry. I expected better.
So I went in search of a more meaningful quote. I tried lyrics from all the bands we saw in Chicago last year when we got engaged, that seemed like a good idea but nothing seemed to fit quite right.
I’d just about conceded that Barry’s half arsed effort was the best of a bad bunch, when inspiration hit.
Lynsey, you are my lobster.
If that means nothing to you then you didn’t watch enough TV in the 90s.
The last couple of weeks people kept asking if I nervous. The answer was that yeah, of course I was. Nervous about the vows, dance, especially speech. Why is it so bloody long? But I’ve never had a single doubt that getting married to Lynsey will be the best thing I will ever do in my life.
I realise how cheesy it sounds but we just have fun together. A day doing nothing with Lynsey is never a day wasted. She always finds a way to make boring things enjoyable. Mostly it involves music and wine, but that’s fine, I like music and wine.
I say always, she never did quite manage to make Wedding Planning enjoyable for me. Lynsey really took a lot of the weight of that on herself and she’s done a fantastic job, meticulously planning everything to the finest detail. Though I’m not sure if she’s been told yet that Cameron House doesn’t do Jagerbombs.
Never mind, I know Tink will have a bottle hidden under his table ready for a rematch.
I tried really hard to put into words how I feel about Lynsey. What I’ve ended up with is a disorganised list of random thoughts and observations about her. These were meant to be embellished into cute little anecdotes about why I love her, but everyone is hungry so I’ll just go for bullet points.
She is proud to be ginger, even though she isn’t really anymore; She still looks great after going a run; She wanted to give a speech, even though she didn’t have to; She won’t do sit ups because they make her poop; She loves getting picked up but pretends she hates it; She’s tiny but can drink more than me; She is open minded to my questionable music taste; She goes to bed early; Sometimes she gets up in the middle of the night and cleans the flat……like an elf; She doesn’t watch Eastenders anymore; She may not even watch X Factor anymore; She knows the names of golfers and darts players; She’s a food snob; She got her mum’s cooking genes; She loves Gregg Wallace’s big fat face; She always knows where things are; She thinks she can’t dance……but she can; She knows she can’t sing…….and she’s right; People always like her more than they like me; She loves her family; She loves MY family; I’m pretty sure she probably loves me; She does kind of look a bit like my mum;
Let’s now please raise a glass to my beautiful wife.
To Lynsey. I love you so much and look forward to growing old with you.
That part was all Barry……..but I couldn’t have put it any better.
Okay, it’s time for me to turn you over to my Best Man, Nick. Nick probably thinks he got the dubious honour because we’ve been friends most our lives.
The real reason for Nick to be my Best Man is that he has lived in London off and on for the best part of a decade. I’m hoping that this means he has no stories to embarrass me with. Or at least not many.
Nick has actually taken his duties incredibly seriously, to the extent that he and Marina, as of yesterday, have quit their jobs and moved in with friends 100 yards away from our flat. They are now effectively jobless and homeless, all so that Nick can oversee our first marital steps and keep us on the right path.
So buy the lad a £6 vodka later, he’s on the dole.
I had a few stories about Nick lined up in order to get the retaliation in first, but I’m not going to tell them. He’s earned a reprieve. Nick organised an unbelievable stag trip to the Rock En Seine Music Festival in Paris, which was a great job and everyone except Graeme appreciates it. What I appreciate is that he took the time each morning to make me up a freshly baked salami and cheese baguette. I was always hungover, never hungry, but I always ate it, and I was always glad I did. It’s the small things that matter. A great lesson to take into married life.
Cheers mate. Your go.