Ladies and Gentlemen, I am, the Father of the Bride, and this is my Father of the Bride’s speech. It doesn’t happen very often that I get to talk, and the rest of my family have to be quiet and listen to what I have to say, so I am going to enjoy it. I hope you do too.
As a Father, we often get things wrong. We don’t see things for what they really are. When our eyes are looking at a vivacious teenager, in our minds we still see a vulnerable little girl. Once our minds accept the teenager, our eyes are already seeing an adventurous young lady.
Today, finally, I’ve got something right, because I am looking at Joelle as a simply gorgeous bride, who is deeply in love, and excited about her future together with Nathan, and in my mind I know what my eyes are telling me, is true.
I’d like to thank you all for being here today.
Half of you, who live in Dubai, have more than likely, crossed the Sheik Zayed road, and given up an infamous Dubai Friday Brunch to be here. So thank you, and welcome.
The other half of you have travelled from the furthest corners of the British Commonwealth, Australia, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Great Britain and especially Canada.
We all love Canadians for their delicious maple syrup, their charming addiction to apple pie, and their wonderful American accents.
Flying in from Canada, it gives me great pleasure to welcome our new in-laws:
Nathans parents, Doug and Joan, Aunt Betty, Cousin Leanne and Nathan’s accomplished sisters, Jen and Wendy.
After Doug and Nathan successfully completed the Mongol Rally last year, I expect they were all relieved that Doug decided they would fly to Dubai, rather than drive.
Also from Canada, I must welcome Nathan’s best man, Chad and his lovely wife Nikki. Since arriving in Dubai, Chad has picked up a new hobby – regurgitation.
Flying in from the UK, I would like to welcome my parents, Pat and Roy, and my Aunty Greta and Uncle John.
Last year Joelle’s Granddad Roy made up his mind that he was never going to fly anywhere again. Granddad, I’m not sure which was the biggest effort for you. Was it making the journey here, or changing your mind about flying? Either way, we are glad you made it.
Proving just how popular Joelle was at school, I would like to welcome her old friends Rachel and Steve, Becci, Hanna, Emma, Katie, and Pamela. What a glamorous contribution to the day you all are!
From Colombo, I would like to welcome Joelle’s Sri Lankan family, her Grandma Yoges, and her Uncle Deva and Aunty Ruvani, their sons Rewantha and Chirath who all arrived late last night. Machan, I think you have won prizes for the latest arrival into Dubai, and the shortest stay. Thank you for being here today.
And let me not forget to welcome the ravishing (and single) Samantha, or as we know her, Sammy-girl.
Finally, from Australia, g’day and welcome to Joelle’s Uncle Barry and his partner Mary, and to our good friend, and my old scuba diving buddy Elushka.
Unfortunately, not everybody could make it here today.
A unique and quite amazing person not with us today, but very much in our thoughts, is my youngest daughter, Joelle’s sister Nicole. She is alive and well, but unable to travel due to a badly timed case of grumbling appendix. However, she is closely following today’s event on Twitter, Facebook and Skype.
Two special people in Joelle’s life, very much wanted to be here today, her Grandparents Bob & Audrey. They would have made the trip if they had had their health.
From Canada we are missing Wendy’s husband Scott, and their children Cassie and Mya; Jen’s husband Ian, and their daughter Taeya. I believe they are busy at the moment clearing snow from their driveways.
There are many more special people in Joelle’s life. But sadly, two of them are no longer with us. I’d just like to mention them as I know how much they loved and helped Joelle.
They are dear Great Auntie Edna from Clun, and Grandfather Mahes from Colombo. Many of you here have met Mahes, and I’m sure you would agree, had he been here today, he would be leading us all in a very merry dance.
I’d now like to say a few words about Joelle, please forgive me if I brag a bit.
Those of you who have been following Joelle on her blog, mylovelywedding.com, will know how exciting the build up to this day has been, and how much effort she has put into making her own wedding truly lovely.
I’m sure you will agree with me that all her hard work sourcing, planning creating, and making has truly paid off. It really is her lovely wedding.
However, since she has a first class honor’s degree in Fashion Promotion, I naturally expected nothing less!
Seriously, is it really necessary for me to say how insanely proud I am of Joelle? Not really, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
I am insanely proud of Joelle. I have always loved her and that won’t change. But she keeps surprising me with her successes, which keep on coming! And her successes are the result of a lot of hard work and determination.
While she was at university, one of her successes gave me a great reason to visit Japan. The Osaka University of Fashion held a competition to make a short video to promote its own students designs, with a trip to Osaka as the prize. Joelle and her friends won.
I was so happy that I jumped on a plane so I could be there for the award ceremony. It was probably the first time I had a clue, that she was actually a bit grown up now.
I was chatting to Michele last night, and she reminded me that ever since Joelle was a little girl she has been imaging this day. However, until last night, I had no idea just how close Nathan is, to being the ideal man she dreamed of all those years ago.
We first met Nathan in the China Sea. Not on a luxury cruise, but the China Sea Chinese Restaurant next to the Clock Tower in old Dubai.
It was a Vosper family Karaoke dinner. Nathan was invited by Rowina, who was and still is, dating Joelle’s cousin Dylan.
Unbeknown to Nathan, in one shot he was about to meet Joelle’s Dad, Stepmother, Uncle Peter, Auntie Sue, a very young brother Kiran, and lovely cousin Abbie. And, for the first time, he was about to meet Joelle.
As it was a Karaoke evening, I’m going to use song titles to describe what happened. So feel free to count the number of songs I use. I’m expecting a high score from Tor, Claire & Andy, Tim and perhaps even Doug and Ian.
The door to our private dining room opened and Nathan said Hello, is it you I’m looking for??
I said, My name is, my name is, Michael. This is My Wife? We are from the land Down Under.
Joelle said ‘Hey you, while she was thinking to herself’ This is just what I needed. Hallelujah.
Well, stranger things have happened, and there was something in the air that night. And after all, everybody, needs somebody to love.
While we were getting in tune,
Nathan said to Joelle ‘Come away with me’
I said to her ‘Don’t leave me now’
Joelle said ‘I can’t fight this feeling. Don’t stop me now’.
I said ‘Ok, if it makes you happy’
And like a Bat out of Hell she was ‘Gone, Daddy, Gone’.
Nathan, she loves you. Welcome to the family.
Relax. It’s just a Perfect Day, for a White Wedding.
There were 25 song titles… did you spot them? If not, scroll down to the end 🙂
I’m nearly finished. This is the part of the speech, where I should offer the happy couple, Joelle and Nathan, some advice about marriage. Having spent more than half of own life being married, to both Michele and Tarini, I think I am reasonably well qualified to do so.
Joelle, I hope you don’t mind if before I offer my advice, I take a moment here to say a few words to your mother Michelle and your stepmother Tarini.
Michelle, I want to take this opportunity, in front of all our family and friends, to thank you for looking after Joelle when I was not there. I truly appreciate how much your kind and caring spirit have helped make Joelle the lovely lady she is today. Thank you.
And Tarini. You have been a wonderful stepmother to Joelle. Today I am taking this most public opportunity, to thank you, and to let everybody know that I truly appreciate your willingness to accept Joelle into our own married life. You have been an amazing stepmother to her.
In case any of you were wondering, from where did Joelle get her organizational drive, and her passion for food and table decor? The answer is Tarini.
And now for my advice for a happy marriage.
Joelle, multi-tasking is a myth. It just does not happen. What happens is that men like to ponder things longer than women do. Expecting a husband to multi-task just creates disappointment and frustration, so don’t do it.
For example, Nathan is watching a game of hockey on the TV. If you ask him a question that requires a complex answer, like ‘What are you doing tomorrow?’ he will ponder the question and carefully prepare his answer. It is purely a coincidence that he is ready to reply when the adverts come on.
Try asking questions that have simple yes or no answers. For example, ‘Nathan, would you like a beer?’.
Have arguments, but don’t drag them out over days. Keep them short, and explosive. Making up afterwards can be so much fun!
In my experience, marriage is not about trying to be happy all the time. It’s about being together for all the happy times, being together for all the mundane times, overcoming difficult times together, and for enjoying all the wonderful times that, you can only have, together.
I believe life is a journey and being married is a great part of that journey. Keep heading in the same direction and you will be just fine.
Ladies and Gentlemen, like I said at the beginning. I am the Father of the Bride. Please join me in a toast to the newly weds, Joelle and Nathan.
We wish you both a long and happy marriage, filled with many, many wonderful moments.
To Joelle and Nathan.
Thank you for listening to me.
I’d like to introduce Nathan’s father Doug, who would like to say a few words. Over to you Doug.
And here are the song titles..
If it makes you happy. (Sheryl Crow), Hello, is it you I?m looking for? (Lionel Ritchie], Bat out of Hell [Meatloaf], Can?t fight this feeling [REO Speedwagon], Come away with me [Norah Jones], Don?t leave me now [Pink Floyd], Don’t stop me now [Queen], Down Under [Men at Work], Everybody needs somebody to love, [Blues Brothers], Getting in tune [The Who], Gone Daddy Gone [Gnarls Barkley], Hallelujah [Leonard Coen], Hey you [Pink Floyd], If it makes you happy [Sheryl Crow], In the air tonight [Phil Collins], Just what I needed [The Cars], Michael [Franz Ferdinand], My name is [Eminem], My Wife [The Who], Perfect Day [Lou Reed], Relax [Frankie goes to Hollywood], She loves you [The Beatles], Stranger things have happened [Foo Fighters], Welcome to the family [Avenged Sevenfold], White Wedding [Billy Idol]
Dad – if you’re reading this I just wanted to say a massive thank you for making me cry again… this really is the most amazing speech. I will cherish it forever.