of the Bride - Ken
Good afternoon friends.
I won't call you ladies and gentlemen as I know most of you too well!
I did have a very long speech prepared but as this would have taken us into extra time ( note the football reference, Nick ), I prepared an abridged version but then Michelle informed me I couldn't say anything embarrassing or rude, so I ended up with this.
Joking apart, I would like to start by thanking everyone who has helped in any way to make this such a special day, not only for Michelle and Nick, but for us all. There are too many people to name individually but special thanks must go to Teresa and Jed for all their help and support and for providing the lovely cake.
This is undoubtedly one of the proudest days of my life and I'm sure you will all agree Michelle looks absolutely stunning - in a league of her own.
She came into this world on Mothers' Day - a wonderful gift for Cheryl and me and also for our mothers, who along with my dad would have been so proud of her today. I'm sure they have been looking down on us.
I'm not saying Michelle was the perfect baby but she wasn't far short. She was a very contented baby and as she got older didn't ask for much but always knew what she wanted - like the packet of brown envelopes she told everyone she would like for Christmas one year - we had a very cheap Christmas that year! She well remembers how, when all the other children along our road were out playing on their fancy roller skates, she had to make do with a pair of plastic Fisher Price ones and you couldn't really skate on those. By the time she went up market and was the proud owner of proper tie-on roller skates, everyone else had moved on to posh roller boots. But they let her join in anyhow and she didn't seem to mind.
We hope that now she's married to Nick she will not be deprived of anything because we hope he realises he is married to a star of the silver screen. Michelle made her T.V debut in 1987 when she was the 1000th person to adopt an animal at Whipsnade Zoo. To mark the occasion the local news team was there to interview her and film her with her adopted red panda.
Michelle has always worked hard and given her best although things have not always been easy for her. She sat her GCSEs with her left arm in plaster and yes- she's left-handed! She's the only person I know who has taken their driving tests in the dark and fog, in a blizzard and in torrential wind and rain but she never gave up.
She always worked hard at school although I think she'll admit her early school days weren't the happiest time of her life but she really blossomed once she got to secondary school and this is where I'm going to embarrass you,
Michelle. This is what your year tutor in 1991 wrote in your school report -" I have rarely ever met such a thoroughly hard working, decent and pleasant young lady as Michelle. She is a huge credit to her family and an invaluable asset to the school." These are sentiments I'm sure we all agree with.
She knew at an early age what she wanted to do when she left school and, as a lot of you know, she has a lovely way with children and with animals, come to that. There was a time, however, when we thought she might take up horticulture because with all the dirt and dust in her bedroom, one year we thought she might be growing potatoes in there. I hasten to add she keeps her house spick and span.
And now to you Nick. I think it's supposed to be at this point in my speech that I welcome you into our family - but you are already very much part of our family and have been for some time. We have enjoyed some good times with you, your Mum and Dad, Matt and Ali, which made us feel like one big family. You, Nick, have fitted in so well in a quiet, unassuming way but you've always been ready to lend a hand. Cheryl thinks of you as her Gentle Giant and I know you lot refer to us as the hobbits!
Now to your good and bad points- well, I'm saying nothing but am leaving this to Matt. He's known you longer than me. However, here is something I'd like you to have - the burger you didn't get to eat on the evening of your stag do over in Marlow. Thankfully your stag dos are now over which means I won't be responsible for mopping up the floor of the Wimpy Bar after your technicolour yodelling!
It's a pleasure to be able to welcome you all here to celebrate the marriage of Michelle and Nick. One of the best things about today is that we've been able to bring our families and friends together to mark this joyous occasion. Thank you all for coming and I hope you will enjoy and remember this special day. A special mention must go to our friends Joseline, Jean Francois, Arnaud and Frederique who have flown over from their home in France to be with us.
Mes amis, nous sommes si contents que vous etes ici avec nous.
Before I propose a toast to the happy couple I would just like to reflect on the speech Len made at my wedding 30 years ago when he said "there will be good times and bad times but in my experience the good times far outweigh the bad." This has been very true for Cheryl and me and I'm sure it will be the same for Michelle and Nick.
Thank you Michelle and Nick for today and for all the hard work you have put into making this such a lovely day for us all.
It now leaves me to ask you to be upstanding and to raise your glasses to Michelle and Nick, and to wish them all the happiness in the world and a long and fruitful marriage.
of the Bride :: Groom
:: Best Man
Good afternoon everybody… and Bonjour….
That's for the small French section just over there. *point at them*
Thank you Ken for your toast and kind words towards me, and for the welcome into your family that you and Cheryl have given me.
I'd also like to thank you both, and also my own mum and dad, for all of your help in preparation for today, both financially, and in helping with the arrangements and supporting us all the way. Everything has gone really well so far and we are having a great day. We would have struggled to do it without you.
My wife and I would like to thank all of you for coming and sharing our special day with us, some of you have had to travel quite a way to be here - France, Nottingham, Chesterfield… and a few from out Aylesbury way as I understand.
We're glad you could all make it.
Our thoughts are with family members who couldn't be here today as Ken has already mentioned, and also within my own family.
I'd also like to give Neil Young a quick mention; he's a good friend of mine who couldn't be here today as he has moved to New Zealand recently. Had he been here he would have been Ushering for me today.
As the time has been drawing nearer I've been dreading this moment, not the wedding itself, just the speech.
Making public speeches is not something I've had much experience of - the last time I spoke in public was during jury service where I had to deliver a guilty verdict - I hope my future of married life has no connection to that. As from today I will be looking forward to a happy marriage - even though some might say it's the start of a life sentence!
But I don't believe them…
I'd like to thank Ken again, this time for still allowing me to marry his eldest daughter, Michelle.
I fell a bit unwell on my stag-do in Marlow - I'm sure it must have been something I ate… But Ken helped to look after me - and as a result, I think he was offered a job in Wimpy as a cleaner; I heard they were impressed with his work he cleaned up the mess I left on their floor from being 'ill'.
Sorry for that, I hope you have all finished eating!
And while I'm talking about Ken, I'd also like to apologise for not formally asking him for Michelle's hand in marriage - I know it's traditional, but I wasn't sure how to approach the question - so I just avoided it!! But as Michelle and I had been living together for over a year at the time, this kinda led me to assume that you didn't mind us being together!
I have known Michelle for around 7 years now, there was a large group of us who used to go out regularly at the weekends together and Michelle was one of the group. She was comfortable around friends, although shy around those she didn't know. She always seemed to be happy, she was friendly and easy - to talk to, especially after a few Southern Comforts or
alcho-pops. This, along with her good looks and lovely pair of - eyes is what attracted me to her.
I became closer to her early on in the year 2000, and it was in March when she agreed to go out for a drink with me. This made me very happy. From then onwards, we grew closer together and we quickly became 'an item'.
And after a bit of pressure and persuasion from Michelle, 'we' decided to move in together around 3 years ago.
Incidentally, it was 542 days ago (1 year, 5 months and 25 days), since I proposed to Michelle.
Michelle had kept on at me for quite a few months about getting engaged and I kept on telling her, although I didn't mind getting engaged, I wanted to surprise her with my proposal, I wanted to do it when she'd least expected it. She said, "OK then, but it has to be sometime this year" (this was back in 2003). I agreed - just to keep her quiet
(although I meant it) and she then backed off a bit.
2003 was coming to an end; I think she had given up hope of me asking her because she had said nothing about it for a while.
Anyway, I did keep my word though - it was around 11:30 in the evening at a New Year's Eve party in the Vere Suite when I finally asked her (this is where we will be having the evening do later).
We were dancing together in the build-up to midnight when I managed to get it out - my proposal, the words that I can't quite remember, but they went something like "do you want to get engaged then?" I had to show her the ring so she'd believe that I was serious, but I did have it ready to give her.
And it was pure coincidence that Robbie Williams was being played too, Angels is one of Michelle's favourite songs - we might have to get it played later!
Anyway, she said yes and here we all are today.
I think you'll all agree with me when I say how stunning Michelle looks today. You've made me very proud, not just today, but since we have been together, I enjoy being with you and I hope this enjoyment will continue into our future together as Husband and Wife.
Thank you Michelle for making me so happy today.
And now to the Bridesmaids, Sarah & Alison. Michelle & I would like to thank you both for your help today. You have done a great job. Also, you are both looking good today.
I think you deserve a toast!!
Please could you all stand and raise your glasses - join me in a toast:
To The Bridesmaids.
Here is a little something to say thank you for everything today.
* Give gifts *
One or two more thank you's now:
Firstly to Cheryl, Mother of the Bride for all of your help and support recently, and to my mum for the same reasons and for making the wedding cake.
* Give gifts *
You both look good too by the way. Thank you for all your help.
Now for the men, firstly Ken, Father of the Bride. Once again, thank you, I hope you can put this to good use.
And now my dad, thanks for being my Usher today and for all your help. You too have done a good job in keeping everyone in order. And I know for sure that you'll make good use of this!!
I have one last pressie to hand out - this one is for Matt, my Best Man. I have known Matt for around 16 years now, we were both at college together. With common interests in football and music amongst other things, we've spent a lot of time together over the years. Matt was the obvious choice to be my Best Man.
Thanks for helping me today, and for sorting out the Prague stag-do. Here is something for you too - I know you will like this!!
Also, there is something else for Matt too, I asked his permission to have our wedding on this date and he said it was OK - the reason is - today is also Matt's birthday. 32 today ladies and gentlemen!!
And now for the audience participation bit, please let's all sing Happy Birthday to Matt!
* Sing Happy Birthday to Matt and get cake brought out!! *
* Give Matt his pressie *
This is for you.
I'm nearly ready now to hand you over to Matt for the "5 mins. of humiliating
Nick" as he described his speech to me!!
But just before I do that, I have a couple more thank you's…
… to Londa for the room & table decorations, and for all the flowers, Gillian for making the Bridesmaids dresses, Marion for icing the wedding cake and Gina for making Matt's birthday cake.
And also to Iain who has been our MC for today & Leigh for her flexibility in the arrangements, furthermore to all the staff here for helping to make things run smoothly for us today and for producing the lovely meal we have just had.
* Round of applause for everyone mentioned please. *
….and now, here's Matt - it's "embarrass Nick time".
of the Bride :: Groom
:: Best Man
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you all for coming along today to help me celebrate my birthday! Oh, and also Nick and Michelle's wedding!
I would also like to thank everyone for the birthday gifts, you've all been incredibility generous, although I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with two toasters, a kettle and his and her's bathrobes, but it was a nice thought!
Firstly I need to pass on a health and safety message from Wycombe Wanderers Football Club, if you could all refrain from standing on your chairs and tables during my standing ovation, it would be appreciated.
On behalf of the bridesmaids I would like to thank Nick for his kind words. I think you'll agree they both look lovely.
As for the happy couple, Michelle looks absolutely stunning today, Nick, you look like you always do, third prize in a raffle. No, seriously you've scrubbed up quite nicely.
I was hoping that we'd all be wearing kilts for the day but Michelle was keen for Nick to wear a suit because as of tomorrow she'll be wearing the trousers.
Seriously though I'd like to congratulate the happy couple and I'm sure you'll all agree what a great couple they make.
At this point I would like to say a little bit about being the best man as it's a huge responsibility and one that I don't take lightly.
I did a lot of research to make sure that I wouldn't forget anything, and came up with a checklist of what my duties should be.
But before I get to my duties, I want to share a little more of the information I dug up during my research.
I read a book that stated that there are 3 elements to a successful wedding day. They are as follows:
The Aisle - the longest walk you'll ever take.
The Altar - The place where two become one
The Hymn - The celebration of the marriage.
In fact I think Michelle must have read the same book, because while walking down the aisle today I'm pretty sure I heard her mumbling those 3 same things……Aisle Alter Hymn, Aisle Alter Hymn.
Anyway, back to the best man duties. This list that I came up with included each of the following:
1) Organise the Stag do. I was going to say something about the stag do number 1 that we embarked upon back in April. 18 lads in Prague. I wanted to say it was unforgettable, but I was so drunk I can't remember anything! As for Stag do 2 in Marlow I think banned from Wimpy, in bed at 9 o'clock and 3 hours sleep for Michelle will sum it up nicely!
2) Make sure his face and hair are in order. I tried my best honest, but got bored after 3 hours watching him doing his hair.
3) Ensure the groom gets to the church on time - And with Nick this was no mean feat believe me! I made sure he was in bed nice and early and he slept like a baby, he wet the bed twice and woke up crying for his mummy! Then once I got finally got him out of the house I had to keep Nick's mechanical hands away from the wedding car long enough so that we actually got here.
4) Prevent the groom making a fool of himself on the big day. I managed to remove Nicks camera earlier on today so he didn't embarrass himself by wandering off and taking pictures of the church during the service.
5) Ensure the groom's overnight bag is packed. Fear not! I've checked his bag is a little lighter than the one he took to Tenerife where his hand luggage weighed more than his suitcase allowance, an impressive 25kg. The check-in clerk had to ask him to remove some of the stuff to make it a little lighter. Once he'd given the digestive biscuits, cornflakes and half of the £500 worth of hair products to his mum she allowed him to take the bag onto the plane. There was no chance of you giving up on the hairdryer though, eh Nick!
6) And finally, make a speech at the wedding reception, the bit where I let you know a little more about the groom.
I've known Nick for over 15 years now having met him at college, who'd have though that I'd ending up being his Brother in Law.
I wasn't fortunate enough to know him during his school days but I've been reliably informed that he was a excellent student who excelled in all of his subjects, sorry my mistake, he was a idle student who was expelled from most of his subjects.
I asked Jed and Teresa what they thought Nick would be when he left school, they both said "about 25".
It didn't take me long to realise that one of Nick's strongest traits is loyalty, he is a Wycombe Wanderers fan after all!
A team that's done nothing except disappoint him and betray his hopes and dreams
for the past 5 years.
If that is anything to go by Michelle doesn't have to make any effort for the next 5 years, she can make him
miserable, break all her wedding vows and generally walk all over
him….and he'll still feel things will turn around come August!
Nick hasn't had many girlfriends, mainly because he knew what he wanted from a partner and he's found that in Michelle.
Nick and Michelle started off as just friends, and eventually their relationship developed into something more serious, testing a few friendships along the way!
But they stayed the course, their individual personalities bringing the best out of each other, and here we at their wedding today, the same venue where Nick proposed to Michelle on New Years Eve 1 ½ years ago.
I'm very proud to have been asked to be Nick's Best Man today and really did struggle to find any dirt on him! He is a genuinely first-class bloke and a very loyal and good friend.
Now this brings me to the point where I'm supposed to give you both some wise words and advice to help you in your marriage. Although it seems a little odd that I should be doing this as I've only been married for a year and a half myself so I'll keep it short.
Michelle, remember that men are like a fine wine, they start off like grapes and it's your job to relentlessly stamp on them in the dark until they turn into something that you'd like to have dinner with.
On the other hand Nick, women are also like a fine wine, they start out
fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind and then turn full bodied with age before going all
sour and vinegary, eventually giving you a headache.
Also Nick, and this is very important. Don't forgot to utter those 3 golden words as often as possible….you're right dear!
Before I let you all disappear to the bar as I can see some of you are fidgeting as the blood tries to enter your alcohol stream, I've got telegram I'd like to read out, I wonder who it could be from?!
So then Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure, and not to mention relief, to invite you all to stand and raise your glasses in a toast to Nick and Michelle, the new Mr and Mrs Slevin. We wish them well for the future, and hope they enjoy a long and happy marriage.
Nick and Michelle!
of the Bride :: Groom
:: Best Man