Speech by Alex Rogers

Speech Type: Groom
Speech Creator: Alex Rogers
Speech Date: 04/10/2012 10:58:08

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Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for joining us to celebrate this special occasion. I would thank you on behalf of my wife as well but as you are now aware she was adamant that she would speak for herself and not allow the men in her life to speak for her. So here we are at a historic event, the first and last time my lovely wife will allow me to have the final say.

It is an honour to have so many of you here to share our wedding day with us, thank you one and all. I would like to particularly thank those of you who have travelled a long way to be with us today, Matt in particular has flown all the way from Melbourne to be with us, which just goes to show how far some people will travel for a free meal. To those of you who have taken time off from work to be here, thank you and we hope the following 4 days off will be enough time to recover from today…..the extra bank holiday meaning that we have finally found a good reason for having a Royal family. We would both also like to thank you in advance for your cards and presents, they are all incredibly generous.

Before I start, there will be plenty of toasts over the next few minutes so please make sure that your glasses are charged. 

Firstly, there are a few people who could not be here today but are with us in our hearts. Both Jo and I have lost close family members in recent years, Jo's Granddad and my Uncle John sadly passed away last year and my Gran a few years previously. I am sure they are looking down on us today and smiling just as we are thinking of them. If you could please stand and raise your glasses…“To Absent friends and family”

Thank you to both of our parents, without their love and support we would not be here today nor would we be the people we are today.

Thank you to Chris and Theresa for always being so supportive of Jo and in particular Chris for your kind words. Traditionally,  I am supposed to thank you both at this point for welcoming me into your family, but it seems strange for me to do that today as you have both made me feel like a part of it for many years now.. You have raised a beautiful, intelligent, diligent and caring daughter who I am sure makes you proud every single day. You did, however, miss off one thing…..cooking lessons. Congratulations should also go to Theresa for ensuring Jo was up in time this morning, no easy feat I can assure you. As a token of our appreciation please accept these flowers.

Now, I'm sure most of you will have noticed the balloon by Chris's chair and realised that today is his birthday. Now, in the Rogers family we cannot let a birthday pass without a good rendition of happy birthday, so if you could please all stand and sing Chris happy birthday it would be most appreciated.

I would also like to mention Kevin, Jen and Ragnar. My new brother in law, sister in law and bunny in law who have become good friends as well as now being family. Jo and I are sure we are going to come under most pressure from you to start a family as soon as possible…with a house rabbit.

To my Mum and Dad, a special thank you for your all of your love and support up to now and hopefully continuing beyond Iain's (best man) speech. You have always been there when I have needed you. You have both taught me so much and I am so lucky to have you as my parents. I hope you are very proud today, not just because Jo and I are finally married but also that I managed to get Jon (brother of groom) to agree to wear a suit and waistcoat to the wedding. Thank you again and please accept these flowers from both Jo and I.

Jo, today when I saw you walk into the room I was just blown away by how stunning you looked, granted I may have written this a month ago but it just goes to show that I can predict the future. You really look beautiful in the dress that almost never was, I think we can safely joke about that now, and I feel so happy and proud to have you as my wife. I think everyone is searching for that one person they can share all of their hopes and fears with. I was lucky enough to meet that person at the tender age of 16.

You are my best friend and my soul mate, I cannot think of what my life would be like without you….partly because it has been so long since you weren't a part of my life…..but mainly because you mean the world to me. Having lived with Jo for a couple of years now, I have learned a valuable lesson – when I'm wrong, admit it.  When I'm right, keep quiet! Thank you for agreeing to be my wife and for making me the happiest man in the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you could please be upstanding for the most important toast I will ever make. To My Bride, My Wife, To Jo.

Jo's bridesmaids had the unenviable task of making sure Jo was here on time today, I'm sure she ran it close and made your lives quite fraught for a while. Nicky and Zoe, you both look fantastic in your dresses, thank you for being so supportive of Jo through the last few months and this morning when I'm sure her stress levels were quite high. You have both been fantastic friends to Jo since school and you mean so much to her, thank you for taking the time you have today and in organising her hen do. If you could please stand and toast “The Bridesmaids”.

I hope you have all enjoyed our wonderful wedding cake. Jo's bridesmaid Nicky made this for us and I am sure you will agree she did a fantastic job. Please do direct as many compliments her way as possible as we were thrilled she was happy to make it for us. Thank you, Nicky. Also, our beautiful table plan was designed by Jo's friend Adrian. Adrian worked with Jo at her first job out of university where he learned first-hand how demanding she can be, I was amazed he agreed to do something for her again but we are thrilled that you did it looks absolutely perfect!

Now, on to my Groomsmen. Firstly, Jon. For those of you who haven't guessed, Jon is my older brother and he is at least partly responsible for us all being here today. It was Jon who got me the job where Jo and I met, so if it wasn't for him then who knows where we would be. I'm sure there is more to it but I have heard that it is his match making skills that got him promoted to be manager of the whole place. As with most brothers we didn't always see eye to eye as children but I now count him as much as a best friend as a brother. He has been there whenever I have needed him and I am so happy to be able to have him as one of my groomsmen and for him to sign our marriage certificate for us. Thank you Jon! Together with Iain you have helped to make today go so smoothly and taken the pressure off both my wife and I.

And now for my best man, Iain! Well, we have known each other for nearly 16 years now. It's fair to say we know each other fairly well, particularly having been to the same university as well. He has always been a fantastic friend and there both through good and difficult times. He was particularly supportive at the start of my second year at university when for various reasons things weren't going well for me, he was a great friend and helped ensure I didn't leave university. Most importantly he was fundamental in the creation of corridor cricket, perhaps the greatest innovation in cricket since twenty20 and one of the reasons so little work was done in our flat at university. I cannot think of a better placed person to humiliate me when he gets his chance in a minute. Thank you for everything mate, and particularly for all your help with the preparation and smooth running of today as well as the fantastic stag do in Hamburg which I think everyone enjoyed despite the arctic weather. I never had any doubts that you would do a great job of being my best man but you really have surpassed both mine and my wife's expectations. Thank you so much for going above and beyond. If you could please stand for my final toast, “To Iain, the best best man I could have asked for.”

Finally, when I proposed to Jo I tried to utter a sonnet which I thought was perfect for the occasion. Unfortunately, nerves and emotion got the better of me and I never managed to finish reading it. I am now, somewhat foolishly going to attempt to read it to her again in the less pressurised situation of my wedding speech with a large audience, so please be patient.

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: in which there is no you or I, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that when you close your eyes I am asleep

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And after that build up I now pass you over to Iain for his speech…please be gentle.