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Friends and family – I'd like to thank all of you for being here today, especially since many of you knew that I'd want to say a few words … it’s very touching that you still decided to come.
From the moment we got engaged I’ve been thinking about this wedding. I just wanted everything to be perfect and was determined not to overlook even the most insignificant detail. But I needn’t have worried, his best man made sure he was there.
I’m so glad to be married to Paul; caring, talented, modest, charming – I can see why he picked me. Seriously, I don’t think there could ever be anyone in this world more perfect for me than Paul is and I appreciate my good fortune in marrying such a warm-hearted and loving man. When we first started going out together I was attracted by his ambition, drive and determination. Three years later, when he proposed to me, I realised that without those qualities our marriage would still be as strong and I’d love him just as much. Paul brings out the good in me, he makes me laugh and he makes me enjoy each and every moment of life just by being a part of mine. They say that you don't marry someone you can live with – you marry the person who you cannot live without. This is certainly true with Paul, I simply couldn’t live without him and I look forward to growing old and grey with him at my side.
But a lot of people seem to think there is a big difference to your relationship once you are married. Someone told me that before marriage a man will lay awake all night thinking about something you said, while after marriage he'll fall asleep before you have finished saying it. Well, Paul has talked to me about marriage and how life is going to change. He spoke about the hours in front of the kitchen sink, the washing of socks, unpaid secretary, social organiser, babysitter, cook, etc … and for the first couple of months asked if I’d be willing to help him out.
Today would not have gone nearly so well without the generous help of so many people – and whilst my husband has already taken care of the ‘thank yous’, I would like to single out a few of you for my own praise.
Firstly, my wonderful mother who has been a pillar of strength over the last eight months and the rock of the foundation on which this whole day has been built. In my life she has made me very happy and I must take this opportunity to thank her not only for her enduring and mostly patient love, but also for planning and executing such a wonderful day as today.
Moving on to my father, who wanted to give me the wedding of my dreams and succeeded. I understand there was a bet going on as to whether he would have tears in his eyes when he walked me down the aisle today. He did have tears in his eyes, but that might have been because he was worrying over what he would say to his bank manager on Monday morning. My dad is a formidable character as well as a devoted family man. We are very close and, not surprisingly, given his spirit, his generosity and his wisdom, I’ve always looked up to him. It would take quite a man to live up to my father, but in Paul, I have found that man.
There are other parents I want to thank too – my husband’s, for their generous contribution and their continuous support in the lead up to the wedding. Sally and Ray made me feel so welcome right from the very first time I met them and I feel immensely fortunate to have married into such a great family. My sincere wish is that together Paul and I can build a home that is as welcoming and as full of love and happiness as theirs is – personally speaking I also quite like the idea of five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a big garden too.
Of course, I have another special reason to thank Sally and Ray – their care and guidance over the years has had a very positive influence over Paul and their very best qualities have rubbed off on him. They raised him so he’d grow up to be a perfect husband. Look how well he did today saying, ‘I do’ at the right place in the ceremony. As long as he keeps saying ‘Yes dear’ we'll have a wonderful marriage.
Our supporting cast deserves recognition as well. And they are all of Paul’s brothers, Gary, Richard and Mark – our ushers. Paul’s best man and best friend, Jason … depending on the contents of his speech they might even stay friends. My bridesmaids, Helen and Liz – who have been a terrific help to me, not only today, but throughout the many weeks of intense wedding preparation. And last but not least, I’d like to make a special mention of Lucy, my chief bridesmaid. She is the unsung heroine of this wedding, without all her effort today would not have been half as enjoyable for me. She is my oldest and dearest friend and we have been through some bad times and we have been through a lot of good times. Her friendship has been a source of strength to me throughout the years and I felt honoured to have her standing with me today.
Finally, let me end as I began, by thanking you all once again for coming tonight. I can honestly say that today would not have been the same if we had not been in the company of our dear friends and family. At wedding’s it is the guests that create the party atmosphere and you good people have certainly done that for us. May I propose a toast to love, laughter and friendship.
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