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Speech by Lawrence

Speech Type: Father of the bride/groom
Speech Creator: Lawrence
Speech Date: 19/07/2018 18:13:52

Hello everyone, welcome, and for those who don't know me, I am Lawrence, the father of this beautiful and radiant bride.

On behalf of Andrew and Daisy, of me, and Helen, of Bob and Lyria, can I welcome you all here today. 

I hope you have all been having a good day so far, and that you enjoyed the food and drink on offer.

I want to offer a particularly warm welcome to all of those who have travelled so far. It's a tribute to Andrew and Daisy that so many of you have made such an effort by train, plane and automobile to get here for their special day, and we want you to know that we all appreciate you being here today.

Isn't the weather fantastic? For those of you who haven't been to this part of England before I should point out this it's always like this here. For those who have been here before then you will know with absolute certainty that I just made the whole thing up. And, just to point out that perfection is often an impossible ambition, although the weather is fantastic, it is still the height of the hay fever season so good luck to any sufferers here today.

I need to point out that I am a bit of a sufferer myself so if you see a tear in my eye then you will know what it is down to.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great evening. Don't forget, we have a band on shortly, and I am particularly looking forward to the Ceilidh where we will no doubt be having a bit of Irish dancing.

Naturally, this will be fiercely competitive, but in the event of a tie, we have a dance-off tie breaker. This is a dance which I believe young people call “the Floss”, and which Helen and I have been practicing for weeks, so I am looking forward to that too. You have been warned!!

I am really proud to be here on Andrew and Daisy's big day. When we were getting ready earlier, I got to see my girl for the first time dressed all in her finery, and I'm sure you all agree that she looks absolutely stunning. I have to say the bridesmaids also look fantastic, and their Mum Helen looks lovely too. 

I want to thank everyone who had a hand in organising this today, but as all of you who know Daisy and Andrew it won't surprise you to know it was mostly themselves!!

Isn't this a lovely place though, the Cowshed? It's very Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but with a happier ending.

Now, I've never had to be Father of the Bride before so I was a bit uncertain what I was supposed to do. I'm not a professional or polished speaker, so took some advice, which boiled down to:

Stand up

Speak up, then

Shut up

Luckily for you, I am going to take that advice and not talk for too long.  I am aware that I am merely the warm up act and all the funny stuff comes afterwards with the next speakers…

Anyway, most of you will know that I have spent the last 25 years or so in the company of my lovely family, all ladies, of course. So, as a result, it's rare for me to be able to speak for more than 30 seconds without interruption, so I intend to milk this opportunity for all it is worth.

Before I do the speech bit though, I wanted us to reflect and remember those people who would have liked to have been here today, who were special in Daisy's life, and to whom Daisy was special too. I don't think I could capture everyone in this category, so would ask your forgiveness for anyone I miss out. Any errors and omissions are entirely my own.

So, first can I ask you to remember Daisy's granddad David. He would have been so proud to see one of his grandchildren married at last, and would have loved to have been here today. He was a man who liked the craic, and more than a few of us spent many evenings with him doing exactly that.

Secondly, my own brother, and Daisy's Uncle, Steve. He would equally have loved it here today, and as the inheritor of the famous Milburn dancing gene, more of which to be demonstrated later, he would no doubt have taken the opportunity to dazzle on the dance floor this evening too.

So, can I ask you all to stand up, and drink the first toast to “Absent friends “


Ok, please sit down. This is the speech bit.

I can barely tell you how proud I am to be here today. It's customary I know for all fathers to say this, but I can't believe there has ever been a prouder Dad, nor one with so much to be proud about. Helen and I have taken delight in watching Daisy grow from a tiny baby into the beautiful lady you see here today. She'll probably be embarrassed for me to say it, but when she was born, she looked so small, barely 3 pounds and looking like a slightly underdone, half-cooked oven ready chicken. So, seeing here grow and develop into such a special woman has given me and her Mum nothing but pride.

So, a few words to try to sum my girl up. Anyone who knows her will recognise how kind she is, how considerate, loyal and thoughtful. She is though fiercely protective and determined, tenacious even.  You would have to guess who she inherited these characteristics from, but just as a quick tip, you should perhaps look no further than this lady on my left.

Daisy was born, not surprisingly, like her sisters on 27 May 1993. It may however surprise you to know this is exactly 9 months after my own birthday. So the eagle eyed amongst you and those who can count can work out what Helen gave me for my birthday in 1992.

Actually what I asked for was “socks” but I can only assume she didn't hear me properly!

Really though, most of you will know a far truer tale, and how much me and Helen wanted to have our girls. Although she was the last to be hatched, Daisy was always the first amongst her sisters to do everything. First to have hair, get teeth, to walk and talk. So perhaps it's no surprise she is getting married first too.

When I was thinking about what to put into this speech, I thought I'd get some inspiration from looking at old photos. One that springs to mind is of Daisy, dressed only in her pants, crawling about on the floor, gurgling and dribbling. She's trying to get up, she's unsteady on her feet. There's a tiny bit of sick dribbling from her mouth.

It's the only picture I have from her hen night so of course it is really special to me!

On perhaps a more serious note a few words about Andrew. I was trying to remember when Andrew first appeared on the scene. He seems to have been around for so long that it seems like forever. This is no bad thing though.

I remember, after having lived with the ladies in my family for so long, how glad I was to have another man around to go out drinking properly with and to share stories of football, boxing, cars and stuff like that. All I can say is, it's never too late Andrew!!!

I hope he will forgive me but as the new father-in-law I don't want to miss any opportunity for a bit of good natured bullying, sorry, I mean banter. But some years ago, during a previous World Cup, Andrew asked me if I had noticed all the England flags adorning people's cars or draped out of bedroom windows. I thought, “Is this a joke?” but decided I would go with it.

“It's for the World Cup,” I said

“World Cup?” was his reply

“Yeah, football, you know?”


At this point I was starting to wonder….

However, we have all got to know him a lot more since then, and I've never been really sure if he was really just making fun of me, effectively getting his retaliation in first!

I do though want to take the opportunity to welcome him properly into our family.  Helen and I are very happy to do so, and know how much Daisy loves him, so that makes him a special person in our eyes. I know he is from a kind, loving and considerate family, characteristics which I know he has too, and I want to thank Bob and Lyria for doing such a great job of bringing him up and making him available to be snapped up by Daisy.

Now, any Dad standing here like this on his daughter's wedding day can't help but feel the passing of time.

Things do move on, don't they?

The years pass by, sneak by really, sometimes without us noticing. We are often so caught up in our own individual lives that before we realise it, our children have grown up and our world has changed. As Dads, we get used to the idea that we are the man who provides love, comfort, protection and advice to our children, to our girls, in particular.

She'll hate me for saying it, and think I am making out she is some kind of possession (modern women eh?), but today it is time to hand on to another man to provide her with that love and protection. I want her to know though that her Dad will always be around for her, no matter what.

In Andrew though, I am confident that I am handing her over to someone who will do a great job, and who will always have Daisy's best interests in his heart. To be honest, no Dad can really ask for more than that.

I know it's also customary for the Dad to offer the newlyweds some advice, some pearls of wisdom gleaned from many long years of experience. I can't offer much advice though.… Except for this: be kind, be true, and stay friends with each other always… To Andrew, and knowing Daisy as I do, when you're wrong, admit it. When right, just suck it up and stay silent!

Daisy, there is so much more I could say, but I think my time is just about up. You look fabulous today, and in Andrew you have found someone who will always love you, and for whom I am sure you will make a loving wife. Me and Mum are glad and proud to have him as our son in law.

To all of your guests here today, I can only say thank you so much for being here. Enjoy the rest of the evening but please can I first invite you all to fill up your glasses in a toast to the happy couple, to wish them both a long, happy, healthy future together, filled with the sounds of love and laughter,

TOAST: to Daisy and Andrew