Ladies and gentlemen by forrests


									Ladies and gentlemen....... It struck me last week that today was, in effect, the opening night of a play. A play that's been a year in gestation. We........ are the players. It seems fitting, to make this speech a first night's curtain call review of what we all hope will be a very long run. The Theatre Company was a delight. Although our tale revolves around two central characters, the stage would look bare without the budding characters, ever hopefuls and, as there can be no has-beens on today of all days, the veteran players giving cameo performances. No production gets to the stage without backers - angels in theatrical parlance. My bank manager and I wish to thank name any contributors like grooms parents etc as well as our leading actors (if they contributed) for their investment in this venture. None of us have a view to a profit other than to bask in the glow emanating from the success of a long run. Our leading lady has not only taken the central role but has also been chief producer and director. She has been ably supported in these behind the scenes tasks by that organiser in chief, my own leading lady, (bride’s mother – be careful of wording if you arre divorced). Early on, she discovered that the role of assistant producer was to worry....... She has been unfailing in this task and applied a whole lifetime of experience. On a personal note I'd like to thank wife for providing me, at times of insomnia, with precise analyses of the plans for today. One guaranteed way of returning to sleep or a pretence of sleep at 3.00am, is a detailed assessment of a shoe purchasing decision, a debate on the best angle at which to wear a hat or the colour of our firstborn's tie. The director can be none other than brides name. She has, however, not undertaken the task alone. I'm certain bride would be the first to insist that the direction was a partnership with bridegroom. Their direction has resulted in a near faultless production....... They have taken on design, costumes and choreography........ However, the chief director always carried the clipboard and took the notes. Bride, of course, has been so much more. ....... She is our star, our leading lady, walking centre stage and rightly claiming all the limelight. I may be a supporting player, but today, I am one of the proudest men alive. My role, escorting such a beautiful young lady and giving her away, will stay with me forever. What can I tell you about our star? You need to know a little of her CV. She didn't get off to a promising start...being born in Yorkshire.. my fault of course! Some famous things, other than bride, have come out of Doncaster - steam locomotives and an opera singer. ......Not a lot of opportunity there then. I am a Lancastrian very concious of the ongoing rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire – so had to say something slightly derogatory – think of something similar for your daughter’s birthplace. I wasn't at her birth, having to look after number one child. This led to occasions when wife had to reassure me that she definitely brought the right one home!!! If you were there say something about midwife or doctor. From her earliest days, bride has claimed centre stage - she took to heart those words of Shakespeare, on the first age of man, 'At first the infant, mewling and puking in the nurse's arm.'

It was when she moved into the second age ' And then, the whining schoolgirl, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school'

that we felt a thespian career was in doubt. Here you need to tailor what you say to family events careers etc. I am a doctor and my daughter is now in marketing. Her first idea for a job was a move into the aviation industry. She announced, after much deliberation, that she wished to be ' a dinner lady on an aeroplane'. A year later she 'upped the ante' a bit when she announced while passing the UEA {thats the University of East Anglia to those who haven't managed to explore the eastern fringes of the empire} ..... that it was University she was setting her sights on. Bride developed her stage talents by spending much of her youth learning the Guitar and doing Saturday morning gymnastics ........However she didn't get the hang of doing both at the same time ..... Was a career in show business really ever on?? I'll skip the many sordid details of growing up. Except to say she tried to further her thespian talents with the assistance of a hot cup of tea and a thermometer as a means of avoiding school. Was this the first manifestation of her ability to sell coals to Newcastle and pull the wool over other people's eyes? .......It is with some sadness that I have to report that neither of my children wished to follow me into medicine. In fact bride learned so little medicine in the family of a skilled and experienced GP, that only a month after leaving home for university she had to ring up with the question, 'Daaad... ......,' (in that strange, questioning tone possessed of teenagers....I thought she wanted 50 quid) 'Dad... how do I know when I'm sick enough to need a doctor????' I'll have to live with this lack of commitment to my honourable profession. Bride had at one time appeared the likelier candidate .... but now she's a leading light in the field of public relations... I'll just have to make do with a Spin doctor. Like all the best actors she learned to be an opportunist. (your daughter is bound to have taken advantage of your generosity in some way ot another)  She goes to university!  I move job across the country!  We find a house for the two of us!  She finds a convenient post-grad course  She gets cheap digs for two years! Bride has applied her considerable talents to today. Without her commitment and zeal to bring this performance to a wider audience, we may have left you all to get snarled up in what has turned out to be a perfect bank holiday (we had a glorious august bank holiday Monday weatherwise) while we enjoyed a simple wedding on some exotic shore. I am sure you'll all agree that she has played her role today with a commitment any parent would be proud of ..... I must how turn to our leading man. It was he who set this whole process going when he proposed. He championed the cause of the traditionalists when he came and asked wife and me for bride’s hand in marriage. We, keen to play our part, didn't hesitate to say YES.

What can I tell you about Bridegroom .... . .... not a lot really as I haven't known him as long as bride. Now chose some pertinent points * He's Welsh. * He likes nice cars. * He likes big boy's toys. * I've no idea whether he has any thespian skills ---- maybe the Best Man will advise us later. * I am sure he mewled and puked and whined. * He may as Shakespeare's lover, have sighed like a furnace, with a woeful ballad. However, he played his part expertly and I know he has applied his abundant talents to the organisation of today. stuffing bon-bons in little boxes for you all to take home.(or some other petty job) Bridegroom is obviously someone special .... his mum loves him and my daughter loves him madly I've seen a lot in my life, the highs and lows of human existence. I may not be the greatest diagnostician, but one diagnosis I can make is that Bride has a severe case of 'acute on chronic happiness' ...which was brought on by contact with bridegroom. Bridegroom,...... Wife and I are honoured to welcome you and your family into ours. It would be appropriate at this point for an old stager to give advise, based on many years experience playing the married man, on how to make the future storyline work and ensure that the leading actors make this tale their life's endeavour.. So here goes We started with a simple love story... boy meets girl .... boy and girl fall in love... ...boy and girl get married. Where next? When the next scene appears difficult remember this .... 'Love has nothing to do with what you're expecting to get.. it is what you're expected to give. ...Which is everything.' And when love seems to tire look for the words of Dr Iannis to his daughter Pelagia. 'Any fool can be 'in love'. Love itself is what is left over when being 'in love' has burned away. You grow roots towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom has fallen from your branches, you'll find that you are one tree and not two.' More specifically .... Bridegroom ...remember the words of Oscar Wilde 'Women are meant to be loved, not understood' AND To you both Remember the words of Phyllis Diller 'Don't go to bed on an argument, stay up and fight' Add any additional people you wish to thank here Before closing, I wish to thank all those other players who've made today a sparkling success. In particular I must thank Father Stephen (priest or official) for his part in formally bringing together two very wonderful people. Of course, a special thanks are due to Groom’s Father for his moving rendition of 'Ave Maria' (The groom’s father was an accomplished Tenor) .....Thank you! From all of us. Finally, I'm privileged to propose a toast to our leading couple. Friends, family ..... please be upstanding and raise your glasses to Mr and Mrs surname of new married couple. ........Although the curtain goes down on today's stage may it never go down on your life together.

........We, mere players on Shakespeare's boards, wish you ...harmony of hearts, a meeting of minds, an intertwining of roots and a lifetime of togetherness....... Bride and Groom (I used their names)

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