Speech Type: Maid of honour/Best woman
Speech Creator: Abi John
Speech Date: 02/09/2012 23:12:11

For those who don't already know me, I am Abi and Maid of Honour today and Liz and I have been friends for the last 12 years. I would like to say how honoured I am that Liz has asked me to stand with her today, on one of the most important and special days of her life and how absolutely stunning and happy she looks.

It seems like only yesterday that she and Neil came back from Greece and she asked to meet me for coffee and wedding chat. I remember meeting her on Mill lane with at least 4 wedding magazines in toe, and all I could think was ‘There goes a ‘Bridezilla in the making’,  but I have to say, she has been surprisingly chilled out about all her planning! She hasn't driven too many people mad with her demands! 

Before, I continue, I know all the thank you's have been done, but I would really like to contribute on behalf of Liz and myself, and really thank Charlotte. As many of you know, Liz was spoilt with 3-hen dos: 1 in Paris, 1 afternoon tea and 1 night out in Cardiff. They were all brilliant and were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.… However, without the input of Charlotte's organizational skills, they would never have been as successful, believe me- I'm useless when left to my own devices, so thank you Charlotte, for getting me through it! 

So, back to the nitty, gritty.… I first met Liz at the age of 14 after she moved schools, much to her dismay. We quickly became friends after joining forces over a mutual dislike of a girl at school…such a cliché thing for women to bond over, I know, but nevertheless it sourced our lasting friendship.

 From writing letters in class to each other in the notorious ‘sweethearts’ note book, nicknaming boys after bands such as Papa roach and Linkin Park so we could talk about them in code, to our first attempts in handling alcohol in house ‘Parties’ and gigs in, where we were so cool that tights became a top and safety pins became hair accessories. 

From this being the smallest insight of the beginning of our friendship, it should be easy to see that from there on out, there hasn't been one major event in my life, since the day that we have met, that Liz hasn't been by my side.  She is always there to celebrate my success and minimize the failures. She is the first person I ask for advice and the last person I talk to before I take any action. We love like sisters and fight like sisters and she knows me like no one else, she is the one person that makes me feel that telepathy is a real form of communication. 

For all of you in this room who knows Liz in some shape or form, you cannot deny for a second that she is passionate, honest and a loyal person, qualities that anyone hopes they had instilled within themselves or at least surrounded themselves with. She is an amazing, person, friend, soul sister and I have no doubt that she will be an amazing wife to Neil and luckily enough for him, I am willing to share. 

When Liz first met Neil, I wasn't entirely sure what the deal was, mainly because it took us forever to meet…previous boyfriends had always been vetted by me very early on, and it made me wonder what on earth was going on.

Even though it was clear that Liz was excited about him, she was secretive, even shy about telling me anything. Even the first photograph of Neil she showed me was of him with his face wrapped up in scarves from his neck to the top of his head??? It went on for months and I even took the liberty of leaving him a note on Liz's pin board addressed to ‘The Scarlett Pimpernel’ because I was clueless as to whether or not he even existed! However, I had no reason to feel this way because it turns out that she wasn't keeping him from me or anyone else because she wasn't sure…but keeping him to herself because she was. 

Neil has proved himself a great guy and over the last 6 years I have seen nothing but a kind, loving and considerate partner. I see how happy he makes Liz and there is nothing more any of us could ask for. It is obvious for all of us to see, lets face it, anyone who can withstand the kind of relationship that Liz and I have…with our long telephone calls, our lack of driving skills between us, our occasional overspending, and our nagging of him to make the next brew when he's already made the first two.… is definitely a keeper in my books! 

Elizabethan, Neil what can I say? I am so happy that you have found each other, that you have a love that me and Liz used to talk about before you'd even met, disregarding all the cynics of love and being as old and romantic as they come. With all my heart, I wish you the best for you're life together, and years from now you will look back on this day, your wedding day, as the day you became a couple for life.

Now, can I invite you all to stand and raise your glasses in a toast to Liz and Neil, Mr and Mrs O'Brien and wish them love, laughter and happily ever after! .… To Liz and Neil!