Speech by Mr_P

Speech Type: Groom
Speech Creator: Mr_P
Speech Date: 09/08/2017 16:35:22

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Thank you to my new, shiny father in law for those few kind words.

As speeches go, this has been a fairly easy one to write as all I need do is the “thank yous” and to tell Claire how wonderful she is so hopefully this speech should be like a mini-skirt – long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to hold your attention! 

Before I start, there will be a couple of toasts, so please make sure that all your glasses are full and try not to drink it all in one go. As I constantly have to remind the kids when I'm paying for their drinks, make it last, it's all you're getting!

I didn't really know where to start when putting this together so I thought I'd trawl the internet for ideas and after a couple of hours I‘d found some really, really good stuff.  But then I remembered that I was supposed to be writing a speech!

So – let's begin the thank yous.

Firstly, on behalf of my wife and I, we'd like to welcome and say “thank you” to you, our guests.  Today, we are surrounded by most of the friends and family that have been important to us – some that have only known Claire or I for a few years, some for many!

Some of you have travelled many miles, over land and sea, by plane and boat, just to be here today and we are very grateful for that.   No matter how far you've travelled, today wouldn't be the day is it without you being here – although it would have been cheaper!

We need to say thanks too for all our cards, best wishes and gifts – I'm sure you've all been more than generous!

And so the first toast goes out to you lot – please be upstanding and turn to your neighbour and raise your glass – “To you”!

<Toast>

Next, I'd like to say a big thank you to Glen and Steve for their love and support, you have made me feel like a part of the family from the first day we met and I've never really said thank you for raising such a beautiful, intelligent and stubborn daughter and – of course – for letting her have my hand in marriage!

I can assure you both that her happiness is so important to me and I promise to do you both proud.

I remember the first time Claire told you about me – it was Valentine's Day morning in 2009 – Claire was Skyping you on the computer, you were away somewhere in your camper-van, all hot and exotic.  I was cooking Claire pancakes for breakfast, naked bar from an apron, all hot and erotic….

And it's not just Claire's mum and dad that welcomed me into the family – every one of her relatives – grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, and even her brother David, have made me welcome – usually over good food, good beer and good conversation.

It goes without saying; I can't let this opportunity go by without thanking my Mum and Dad also, for their love and support they've given me and for welcoming Claire, Daniel and Natasha into our family.

I know it's hard to believe I haven't always been perfect but my mum and dad have been there for me regardless.  They have always been there to bail me out, have helped so much over the years and have seen me through thick and thicker! There has been the odd bollocking from time to time of course, although I'm assured that these were all for my own good!

I really couldn't have asked for a better Mum & Dad and I love you both and I thank you both for everything that you have done for me.

However – before we raise a toast to the parents, I will just turn attention to the kids – it's never easy bringing together two families, especially when children are at those difficult ages – and we all know that any age is difficult as a kid.  There have been ups and downs; it's not been an easy ride for any of us at times.  But you four, you continually do us proud in your own unique ways and as much as we have great parents we also have four special children too.  Matt, Daniel, Azura, Natasha, thank you for putting up with our (Claire's) constant nagging and supporting our lives together and this new journey we take, we take as a family.

Ladies and gentleman, can I ask you to be upstanding (those that haven't fallen asleep yet!) and that you raise your glasses for the second time to toast – “Family!”

<Toast>

This wedding couldn't have gone ahead without the love and support of a team of bridesmaids and groomsmen.  So, to my groomsmen, thank you for making sure things ran smoothly today and for turning up at 12.30 sober. 

We've had a number of stag dos, you made sure I survived all of them, even if we did suffer a “small loss” on the way back through customs! Thank you for all your support (even those of you who only had one job to do!); you are the greatest of friends and I have some small tokens of appreciation from us both! 

<Hands out gifts>

As for the bridesmaids – Wendy – our lovely Maid of Honour, Catherine, Az, Natasha – Claire came down the aisle looking stress free and as if she didn't have a care in the world, so whatever you gave her this morning obviously did the trick.  You all look beautiful (obviously not as beautiful as Claire!), you're all amazing and we love you!

Of course, there is one other special girl in the room, our flower girl Olivia.  She's done a wonderful job of being cute and cheeky all day with that wonderful smile of hers.

Before I start to talk about my wonderful, beautiful wife, I'd like to take a second to thank some of the other people involved in making this wedding happen – in no particular order, the fabulous crew here at Skipbridge and the team at Papakata.  Marc and Ben from Eat Art Venues who have produced the amazing food you've just eaten and their wonderful staff who have helped keep you fed and watered.  Our marvellous cake maker Claire who had to deal with Natasha and Az; what a wonderful job she's made of “we need a top secret wedding cake for our mum and dad's wedding please!”

The venue has been beautifully decorated by the highly skilled Natasha Jane and your invites came from the equally creative Carolyn from Grey Starling Designs.

Steven Heath is our very talented entertainer and he's here all night!  We've had Chris our caricaturist here for the afternoon; possibly last but by no means least, our wonderful photographers Joel & Craig.  They're around a bit longer so keep those smiles going!

Those are the professionals but there have been plenty of people helping in the background too, thanks to you also!

I think a round of applause is in order for these folk!

Over the last couple of weeks people kept asking me if I was nervous. The answer was that yes, of course I was. I was nervous about the vows, nervous about the dance, nervous about this speech and nervous about the weather!

I can assure you though, I've never been nervous or had a single doubt that getting married to Claire will be – alongside being a dad – the best thing I will ever do in my life – and probably just as stressful!

Apparently, people say you don't marry someone you can live with, you marry someone that you can't live without but as quotes go, I think that's pretty cheesy and uninspiring.  So whilst putting this speech together, I thought about other sources of inspiration for how I can let Claire know how much she means to me, for example talking about the marriage proposal.

However, I decided that declaring my love for Claire by telling her “It's the Bradford Boys making all the noise” whilst going for a wee wasn't the best way to start married life!

So what do you say to someone who squeezes the toothpaste from half way up the tube? Who can't fry an egg? Someone who puts socks in the underwear drawer and boxers in the sock drawer? Who moans about my dress sense and my double denim? Someone who can't sit still for more than ten minutes… unless she's playing Candy Crush on her phone, of course!

You say to her how lucky you are to have her in your life.  And that's how I feel – lucky. You tell her how beautiful she is – and today is testament to that – you looked absolutely amazing walking down the aisle.  (Which reminds me, big shout out to our good friend and Vicar Graeme Dutton who supported us and helped us and guided us through this entire wedding malarkey – Graeme, a little something for you….)

<gift>

Back to Claire.

Claire – you are my everything, even at 3pm on a Saturday.  I love you and I thank you for giving me the honour of becoming your husband.

People always like Claire more than they like me. She loves her family; she loves MY family; and most of the time, I'm pretty sure she probably loves me and probably more than the dog too which is a bonus so please, let's stand for my final toast and raise a glass to Claire, my beautiful wife – “To Claire”.

<Toast>

So as this “mini-skirt” of a speech now becomes knee-length we move onto the final bit and it's time for me to pass you over to my best man, Tony.

Tony probably thinks he got the dubious honour because we've been friends most of our lives or because I was his best man when he got wed.

The real reason for him to be my best man is that he has lived in Scotland for the best part of twenty years and so I'm hoping that this means he has no current stories to embarrass me with and has forgotten all we did back when he was living in Bradford.

Despite the miles between us, we've always been there for each other.  Regardless of distance, he probably knows more about me than anyone else in these tents and for a drink, I'm sure he'll tell you anything you want to know!

There is of course an unwritten rule of wedding etiquette that states that nobody should look more handsome than the groom and I'd like to thank Tony for sticking to that rule!

However, before I pass you over to him.  I need a man with a stopwatch – Andy, are you ready?!   The length of Tony's speech will be from when he starts to talk until the toast at the end….

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Tony, mate – your turn….