Weddings

Speech by Philip

A light hearted but emotional speech at the long awaited marriage of my daughter Danielle and Son-in-Law Nick.

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Speech Type: Father of the bride/groom

Speech Creator: Philip
Speech Date: 02/04/2019

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.

On behalf of both families, I would like to warmly welcome each and every one of you here today on this wonderful occasion, be you relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues or godparents. You have all played some part in positively enriching the lives of Danielle, Nick, Harry & Martha and you are sincerely valued because of that. Your presence here today is therefore important to us. You have given your precious time, travelled long distances, and made special arrangements to be here to celebrate the wedding of Danielle & Nick, and for that, we are all extremely grateful. There’s a Swedish proverb that claims a joy shared is a joy doubled, so thank you all very much for making Danielle’s and Nick’s day extra special!

We do hope you enjoy the magnificent setting and participate in the day as much as us, and that you too will have treasured life long memories of this special day.

I would like to take this opportunity to compliment you all on how good you all look today, and thank to all of those involved in the planning and delivery of this glorious celebration. To all of those on the top table who have travelled hundreds of miles and undertaken weeks and weeks of research; to Jean and Keith who have done a tremendous job with the floral displays, and to the staff and suppliers of Peckforton Castle. You have all done a wonderful job, and you should be very proud of your efforts.

It’s on days like this that you hope everything goes without a hitch, but I’m pleased to report after such a long, long courtship there has finally been a hitch today.

Well done. I think you are all worthy of a round of applause.

A wedding is of course a time for joy, fun and celebration, with friends and family gathered to see the happy couple off as they start their new life. But it is a time, too, when our thoughts inevitably turn to those people who have meant so much to us and shaped our families, but sadly could not be here today. In particular, Helena’s Mum, doting Nana Audrey would have dearly wished to witness the wedding of her first granddaughter Danielle, and seeing Helen, Melissa, Joe and Gabby and her great grandchildren Harry & Martha looking so happy, smart and glamorous. I know Audrey and many others will be looking down from Heaven and celebrating today just as we are. So let us raise a glass and toast those who we miss greatly but remember with love and pride. Here’s to absent friends.

As the proud father of the beautiful bride, it is my duty, honour and privilege to give the first speech. I must admit, I am a little apprehensive today but it’s not just because I’m making this important speech. Bear in mind that I’ve had to save and shelve two thirds of my best material as I have two other daughters to give speeches for when they eventually get married. And being a Wigan Athletic fan I’m not used to being in large gatherings, so please bear with me for the next 45 to 50 minutes.

I’ve been married for 30 years and during that time spent with a household of females, it’s very unusual for me to get to speak for longer than 30 seconds without being interrupted, and if I do get to speak for longer than 30 seconds it is even more unusual to be listened to! So it’s going to be a whole new experience for me!

For this speech Danielle insisted on severe restrictions on time limit, and excluding content such as ex-boyfriends, driving behaviour, secondary school parents evenings, police visits, etc which was sad, as it removed at least 45 minutes worth of humorous, embarrassing and quite frankly, shocking material. Of course I reluctantly agreed, I really don’t want to embarrass my first daughter during this speech, or do I?  No maybe not, I’ll save that for the dance floor later.

Danielle Jane Miller was born on the 9th May 1988, just 11,282 days ago. And much as the same as when I first saw the MOB ( Mother of the Bride or Most Outstanding Beauty), it was Love at First sight. Now I’m not going to go through each and every one of these precious days. But lets just set the scene – It was a Monday, under the star sign of Taurus. It was the era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. We were an integral part of the EU – but there will be more Brexit talk at the bar later on!

Pupils sat their GCSEs which were just replacing O Levels (or CSE’s if you went to Cansfield High!). Liverpool were Champions after a draw against League Cup Winners Luton Town. A few days later Wimbledon won the FA Cup, the Poll Tax was launched, and the £1 paper note had just gone out of circulation (I was reminded of that Keith, when I saw a few left in your wallet earlier!). How time flies!

And drawing parallels to today, BBC1 airs Episode 523 of Neighbours, featuring the wedding of Scott and Charlene (played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue), which is watched by 20 million viewers, some of whom are here today – hands up?

Topically, and appropriately, in that special week of May the best Selling Single, according to Top of the Pops was Perfect by Fairground Attraction. Say no more!

It’s is hard though on a day like today not think back to the magical day Danielle was born. The miracle of birth. I can still picture it now as if it were yesterday. Helen in the delivery room in Warrington Hospital absolutely exhausted after many hours of labour, two midwives encouraging and cajoling her to give one last push and sat in the corner was a sheepish looking delivery driver from UPS with Danielle’s very first New Look parcel. Got that commercial plug in there for you Nick!

So we now have a beautiful and healthy daughter. Danielle was a sweet little girl, and never any trouble. I will always treasure the special Father / daughter moments we shared together, playing, reading, horse riding, swimming trips to the park and local library, making paper chains and lanterns, painting our nails, playing Barbie and Ken, overnight camping out at Toys R Us, primary school parents evenings, and adding almost daily £10 top ups to your Nokia 3310 PAYG phone when you were a teenager. Special times.

As she grew from a sweet child into a typical teenager, she scraped through school and college, she amazed me when she said she was going to Liverpool University to study Contract Law to become a Buyer for a Nuclear Engineering Company. I guess I should have been proud, but was actually shocked, astounded. I had of course assumed she wouldn’t need an academic qualification to do this, after all her Mum Helen has no formal training in this area, but her Mum buys lots of things of great expense all the time! On reflection, I guess I should have encouraged Danielle to study geography, when after watching the news during the Mad Cow disease outbreak, and seeing that some animals were poorly in quarantine, she then asked me what country quarantine was in !

Helen admirably stayed at home to bring up the children, and to keep them safe and happy. And she did a world class job. Thank you. I may however, just may, have spoiled Danielle a little, or given her too high expectations. Because within days of moving in with Nick, Danielle was distraught, and called home in tears, saying that she was unhappy, and that Nick was being unreasonable and using 4 letter words. Naturally as her parents we were horrified, and went to her to see what was going on – turns out Nick was asking her to cook, wash, wipe, tidy!

But now our girl has matured into a kind and wonderful woman, and a great Mum. I have looked forward to this day for many many many years Nick. Today was the first of me seeing Danielle in her wedding dress and she looks beautiful. Danielle makes a stunning bride, and yes as her Father you would expect me to say this but it does not make it any the less true! She may be dressed to kill today, however, but unfortunately for Nick, that’s also how she cooks!

I’m so happy Danielle and Nick have married in a scenic Castle – it brings to life her dreams and wishes as a little girl, dressing up watching the Disney classics such as Cinderella, Shrek and Beauty and the Beast.

Which kind of brings me on to Nick.

Intelligent, kind, suave, handsome, humorous, athletic, a born leader – but that’s enough about your new Father-in-Law, lets focus on you Nick.

Danielle’s early boyfriends were, lets diplomatically say, not great! The phrase ‘Scraping the Barrel’ springs to mind. My first impressions of Nick were no better: he arrived at our house wearing an Man United top in a clapped out Fiat Punto which dripped oil onto my drive, and the car itself was like a mobile recycling centre, full of litter, plastic bottles and McDonald’s packaging. Shocking! However, in hindsight, I have to hand it to Nick, it was a great strategy, as there was only one direction things could go from that point on – upward! So after this introduction, like any wary respectable father, I did conduct thorough Police and Financial background checks on him.

I learnt from Leigh CID as a young boy he would often bang on neighbours doors and disappear without trace before they had a chance to answer – no surprise he ended up working with a parcel delivery company then.

From his Purchasing history, I noted he bought a succession of goldfish, which he named Eric Cantona, apparently after a French Kung Fu expert. When choosing the gold fish, the pet shop owner asked Nick if he wanted an aquarium – Nick said he didn’t mind what star sign the fish was!

But I did warm to Nick when my credit file search revealed he was employed on a good salary and commission based bonus at the Carphone Warehouse; now I immediately saw him as an ally, someone who could help subsidise me in keeping Danielle in the extravagant lifestyle she was now accustomed to. He could now handle all the requests for mobile phone top ups and daily clothing orders from the likes of New Look, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, etc. That’s when I realised he was the one!

So their relationship blossomed, and they made home together, and went onto have two wonderful children. Anyway, when Nick eventually decided to make an honest woman of Danielle, he asked me in the traditional manner if he could have my daughters hand in marriage. It was a really classy thing to do Nick, and I didn’t expect that of you. But it did take 10 years though, 10 years! Talk about Fergy time.

On balance however, I do have praise for Nick here, about a page and a half, about what a super, cool guy he is, and what great deeds he has done but sorry Nick, I can’t read your writing! Now if you’d have married Danielle ten years ago before I needed bi-focals, or printed it at 24 font, I may have managed.

However, seriously, I know Nick is a good solid man, who has already impressed us with his thoughtfulness and unshakable love for our daughter and grandchildren. And what more could a parent want for their child?

So Nick, Welcome to the family. You are joining a large, loving and loyal family. I’m not losing a daughter, because I can’t ever give her away, you know that, but instead I’m gaining a strapping son-in-law who will clean my car and cut my grass when I get older.

I’m a very lucky man, I know. I have been married to my soulmate Helen for 30 years now, and for that I’m very grateful. As we were preparing for today’s wedding, I did see her reading intently our marriage certificate. I thought, how romantic, how loyal, how touching, so I put my arms around her and asked what she felt about it. “Is there an expiry date on this certificate?”, she asked. But in all seriousness I hope that Danielle and Nick have an equally long and rewarding marriage.

Also Bridesmaid, second daughter and Mum-to-be Melissa & current boyfriend Tom who are just about to move into their love nest in Lowton.

Likewise, congratulations are also in order for Bridesmaid and youngest Daughter Gabrielle and her boyfriend Mark who have now been together 5 years.

Nothing to report on Joe, I’m afraid !

Good luck to you all. You know you are precious to us, and we will always be around to love and support you.

Apparently Its traditional for the FOB to give constructive marital advice. So based on my experience here goes..

 

To you both it is worth bearing in mind, neither of you will ever be perfect, but you can be a perfect match for each other. A successful marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, but finding a person that you can’t live without and I know that you’ve found that with each other. Be good communicators, good listeners and be kind and tolerant. A minute spent feeling sad or angry is a minutes happiness lost forever. I wouldn’t change a thing about our lives, but it would be nice to have the chance to do these 30 years over and over again.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen I’d like to ask you to please stand and raise a glass and join me in a toast to our two VIP’s, my beautiful daughter Danielle and my son in law Nick.

May your lives be entwined like the strong leaves of ivy on a high castle tower. May your joy never end like the circles of your wedding rings.To the Bride and Groom. God Bless You!

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