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Speech by Laurie

I advise any prospective father of the bride to start writing it early & go over it, as on the run up, there may be things you wish to add.

Speech Type: Father of the bride/groom
Speech Creator: Laurie
Speech Date: 05/09/2017 16:24:02

Good afternoon, for those of you who I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, I am Laurie, Sammie's Dad & have the dubious honour of being the warm up act before for the real speeches later from Nathan & Dan.  

May I take this opportunity to welcome you all to this very happy occasion, I know some have made long journeys to be here so can I extend the thanks of my wife & Sammie's Mum Liz, and also that of Dan's parents Chris & Helen, to you all for taking the time and coming to celebrate this wonderful wedding & fabulous setting.

Sadly there are some who are not here with us for this joyous occasion, both my Mum & Dad as well as Dan's Grandfather, but are no doubt with us in spirit & looking down with enormous love and pride, so a toast to absent loved ones.

Sammie, for those who don't know is my eldest of 3 gorgeous daughters (yes, I know it's hard for you all to believe that I have an almost full head of hair and all my own teeth but having a beautiful wife who is a qualified hairdresser is a bonus and the NHS dentists are not as bad as some would believe !) so please excuse me if I talk for slightly longer than usual, but having lived in a house full of women, I'm not used to being uninterrupted!

Sammie instructed me to keep this short, so I have remembered the ABCXYZ format for public speaking; ABC- Always Be Confident, XYZ – Examine your zip! 

She also asked me to not embarrass her during this speech, which I won't of course. I shall save that for the dance floor later…

She was born in Auckland New Zealand on February 9th 1993 arriving almost 10 days late and it is a trait she continues to practice to this day. She was, to me at that time, the most perfect baby on earth and made our life complete and captivated all who met her. 

From an early age she was at first, fascinated by dinosaurs (we still have Allodar in the loft along with numerous fossils & Barney the purple singing dinosaur with the batteries stored up its backside that I remember so well trying to remove in the wee small hours when she would lie on it) and then all manner of animals with feather or fur.

At her very first nativity play, she was offered the part of an angel, but no, Sammie being Sammie wanted to play a horse, so it was no surprise that she would eventually work with animals and only she could have an owl deliver the ring on her wedding day!

Through sheer hard work, determination and some tears along the way, she has progressed from a voluntary Saturday helper, college, then a trainee to becoming a qualified veterinary nurse and being recently offered the Senior Clinical Nurse back at Lynwood Vets in Wimborne and I know that I can speak for both Liz and myself that we couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments. 

As a sister, she is an ever constant listening ear and calming voice of reason to Georgia & Chloe and as a daughter, she is a beautiful, loyal, determined, independent young woman who is a great friend to both of us.

Sammie, to those who know her well, is a great talker & not shy of an opinion (no idea where that comes from) and we have spent many hours discussing all manner of subjects; work, animals, and dare I say it politics (to say we may have a slight difference of opinion on this subject could be putting it lightly) & life in general…what can I say other than I have nothing but admiration for her conviction and sense of fair play.

Clearly a genetic trait! As a friend she is loyal & steadfast and it was wonderful to hear the lovely readings spoken so eloquently by her 3 closest friends (Hayley, Charlotte & Emma) who have all known one another since play school.

I looked back at some photos whilst putting this speech together and smiled fondly at the ones of her as an Anne Geddes baby model, riding her first bike, in her school uniforms through the years & the one of her rolling on the grass with her bottle grasped firmly in her hand & her knickers on show – her hen do was quite the riot!

Thank you Sammie for allowing me the honour of walking you down the aisle earlier, you look absolutely stunning & I was speechless when I first saw you in your wedding dress & It's not often that I am lost for words! May I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so proud of you and for being everything a father could wish for in a daughter.

Now to Dan… As most of you know, he and Sammie met when they were both just 14 and on meeting him for the first time, I prepared my fiercest frown normally reserved for doorstep charity, only to open the door to be met by a young man, face hidden by curtain like hair, carrying a skateboard. This, over time, progressed to a BMX and more recently now a car. Over time they would spend more and more time together but like many parents, we thought this might be an early fleeting boyfriend/girlfriend friendship but as time wore on, it soon became apparent that there was a real connection which continues to the present day and all of you here will know that they are true soul mates.

Like any father, I initially had doubts but soon realised that this young man was serious about Sammie by the way he treated her most importantly and the respect for us as parents spoke volumes about him and his intentions. He very quickly became part of the family especially when he began leaving his clothes on the floor, staying in bed until noon and began drinking my beer.

Dan is a man of enormous integrity, yet maintains a sense of fun and free spiritedness which endears him to all who meet him. He is also incredibly calm, which is in complete contrast to Sammie!

It was a great privilege for me to be invited as part of his entourage in Amsterdam some weeks ago and enjoy his company and those of his Dad, brothers Mark & Luke along with some high calibre friends, of which most are here with us this afternoon. From what I saw of these fine young men, I firmly believe the future of this country is in good hands provided they stay away from those smokey cafes with the unusual cakes and don't roam the streets of Holland's finest city until 6am!

A special mention must go to Nathan, the Best Man for organising the stag weekend & I'm sure I can speak on behalf of those of us present who were there & thank him for such a brilliant 3 days. Provided his speech doesn't embarrass me in any way, I will applaud him for his duties today too. (No Pressure!)

So, although he's been part of it for some years now it is with genuine pride & pleasure for me to officially welcome Dan to our family and I know he will be a loving loyal supporting husband and partner to Sammie…or else !

I'm supposed to offer a nugget of wisdom on life and marriage at this juncture, so having 27 years of wedded bliss to fall back on I shall pass on this;

It is often said that a man is not truly complete until he's married and once he is, then he's well and truly finished!

A man who gives in when he's wrong is a WISE man 

The man who gives in when he's RIGHT, is MARRIED!

Chess is the only game in the world that truly reflects the status of the husband; the poor King can only take one step at a time…..While the mighty Queen can move and do whatever she likes!

In all seriousness, I wish you both the very best of luck, love, laughter & happiness in your life ahead as man and wife ( & Luna!) and as an ex- Naval man I offer this;

May the Road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And the rains fall softly on your fields

And may you be in Heaven a full half hour

Before the Devil knows you're dead!

The traditional Naval toast for a Friday is a willing Foe and Sea Room but I think their Lordships in the Admiralty will permit be using the one for Saturday which for this occasion, is far more apt;

May our Sweethearts become our wives and our wives remain our sweethearts!

Ladies & Gentlemen please be upstanding and join me in raising your glasses to The Bride & Groom.