Speech Type: Father of the bride/groom
Speech Creator: Peter K
Speech Date: 02/05/2018 08:41:13
On behalf of Louisa and her husband, it's my pleasure to welcome you all to this very special celebration. It really is great to see so many friends and family here today.
Thank you all for coming. But a special thanks to those of you who have had long and difficult journeys. I know it means a great deal to Louisa and Steve that you're here with them today. And Adam, they just want to say, thanks for turning up at the right venue on time! (Private joke)
Louisa and Steve not only found and booked this amazing house for their big day they also provided us with the fantastic meal we're all about to enjoy. In fact, in a welcome break from tradition, today is virtually all courtesy of Steve and Louisa themselves. So thank you both, very much, for your generosity and hard work.
Every wedding is special, of course. But to see your first-born daughter get married is something else. Louisa, our walk down the aisle this afternoon is a memory I shall cherish: you looked absolutely beautiful in your stunning and elegant wedding dress. Although to be honest part of me expected to see you in your jeans and Converse and Steve in his purple Warwick Uni hoody. That wouldn't have surprised anybody.
But you did manage to surprise me when you phoned to announce your engagement. I remember the conversation well. It was a Sunday evening about 18 months ago. You'd been Cornwall and Devon for a few days and when I asked how it was you said, and I quote verbatim: “Yea, good thanks. Steve proposed”.
There was a long silence. First because I was surprised but also because Louisa hadn't said she was getting married – and Louisa can be quite pedantic. To break the silence I had to ask whether she'd said yes before I leapt in to congratulate her. She had said yes, obviously…so I gave the phone to Ali and went to get myself a drink. That conversation was typical of Louisa; matter of fact, not much embellishment, not one for small talk. But it was a very special call.
And Louisa has always been very special to me and Ali; Totally content as a baby, blissfully happy as a toddler… but she was always a little different from other children her age. For example, at play school she stubbornly refused to join in games – preferring instead to sit in a corner and just read books – it was a sign of things to come. In fact, it was her playschool teacher who first told us we had a gifted child. She was right and Louisa went on to excel at all her school work. It was wonderful to watch as proud parents.
Nevertheless, as she set off to Uni, she was quietly worried that she may not make the grade academically. I knew she'd smash it, of course; and she did. But Ali and I did worry that she'd miss home, miss her Mum and Dad, feel lonely and not make any friends…and possibly even starve!
We needn't have worried. Louisa had truly flown the nest, determined to make a new life for herself. And she's never looked back; come to think of it, she's hardly ever been back. And it all happened so quickly; from play school books to books at a wedding, over in a flash.
Louisa; Mum and I have always been extremely proud of you; and never more so than today. You're clever, independent, modest, thoughtful and fun-loving. What's not to like?
Now, I know what some of you are thinking; how on earth can such a beautiful, intelligent and modest young lady be his daughter? Well she is. It's just that, apart from the ginger gene, she's much more like her mother than she is me…which means she can be a bit secretive at times. For instance, Steve was never really introduced to us at the beginning of their relationship.
He just sort of appeared in our lives by osmosis. It started with occasional and then more regular visits to the doorstep our home in Sevenoaks. “Does your friend want to come in, we'd say, he's come all this way to see you?” “No. He was just passing by; in the area to see someone else; on his way home to Wales”. Funny route home, I thought, from Warwick… even allowing for Steve's exceptional navigational skills. That went on for a year or so and then, suddenly, he was staying over for days at a time.
For the record, Louisa, we knew very, very, early on that he was a boyfriend!
And we knew for certain that Steve was a long-term prospect when we all had dinner the night before Louisa's graduation. That night, while Louisa was out of the room, we started our planned interrogation and, having rather cleverly relaxed Steve with a couple of bottles of red wine, he talked beautifully and willingly about how they first met – it was at a charity event where Louisa was working as volunteer in the cloakroom. He stayed and chatted with her all night not bothering to go to the event. Even to my untrained eye, it was clear that he was totally smitten from that very first moment.
Since then, of course, there have been more visits, meals and holidays together… And many, many, more bottles of red wine.
Now, at this point it would be customary to spend a few minutes bragging about the qualities of our new son-in-law…and that would be very easy for me indeed; in fact, I've got two pages of notes here listing Steve's good points and the many reasons why he's a perfect match for our number one daughter. Unfortunately Steve, I can't read your hand writing…
Suffice to say, Ali and I are delighted Steve met Louisa that fateful night; they're obviously a very well suited couple and make each other very happy.
Finally, it was suggested to me that I should sign-off today with my thoughts on what makes for a successful, long and happy marriage. Well, I'm not sure I can put a finger on it, to be honest; and I'm sure it's different for every couple. In my case, it's been very easy. I've just done exactly what I've been told for the last 36 years and that works for us. Other than that, all I can really offer is some advice to Steve, based on my experience, for a continued happy time living with Louisa:
- Always have Louisa on your side in any quiz or board game especially if it involves numbers
- Never gloat if, in the unlikely event, Wales should ever beat England at Rugby Union
- Most importantly, never, ever, eat the last piece of chocolate without Louisa's permission
More seriously, stay best friends, don't sweat the small stuff, do lots of everything while you both can, have fun and try to laugh every day. I wish you both much love and happiness in your new married life together.
Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, could you please stand for the bride and groom.
The toast is: Louisa and Steve