Dawn & Jon's Wedding

The Father of The Bride's Speech

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Ladies and gentlemen, I read a saying once that you travel all over the world in search of what you need, and you come home to find it. Well, I call a gathering of friends and family "home". And I say we're all home today. It's an occasion like this that feeds our soul and warms our hearts, and so I want to thank you, everyone, for being here today, and I hope you have a wonderful time tonight. I know that weddings are always wonderful, but this one is special to us. We are five very happy parents today.

Sincere thanks to everyone for coming, especially those who have come from furthest away and have given up things that you'd be otherwise doing.

I'm very pleased that Dawn is marrying someone called Jon, even if his spelling of the name is a bit suspect! In fact, all the most important men at the wedding are called John in one form or another - the bridegroom, the best man, the bridegroom's father and even the bride's farty old father.

Weddings are wonderful events a celebration by the couple themselves of their love for each other, their companionship and friendship and a celebration by their family and friends. Of course many things have been said about weddings and love down the years.


388 BC Plato Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.
1590 William Shakespeare Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
1590 William Shakespeare If music be the food of love, play on.
1667 John Ray I love thee like puddings; if thou wert pie I'd eat thee.
1822 John Keats You are always new.The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest.
1840 George Sands There is only one happiness in life - to love and be loved.
1850 Robert Browning Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be.
1922 Antoine de Saint-Exupery Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but looking outwards together in the same direction.
1962 Agatha Christie An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.
1995 From the film Don Juan DeMarco There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio.
What is sacred?
Of what is the spirit made?
What is worth living for?
What is worth dying for?
The answer to each is the same. Only love.

And being here in the Lake District, surrounded by such beautiful scenery it's very easy to understand that this is the place where the great poets came to write their most inspired works. Indeed, Wordsworth, who lived just across the road at Dove Cottage for several years, described Grasmere as "the most loveliest spot that man hath found".

Wordsworth didn't, as far as I know, write a great deal about love and marriage, but many others have:


Love's Philosophy by Percy Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle:-
Why not I with thine?

From the Epic Poem, The Prophet by Kahil Gibran

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.

I Ching

When two people are at one in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids.

I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke

let me be your vacuum cleaner breathing in your dust
let me be your ford cortina i will never rust
if you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
you call the shots
i wanna be yours

let me be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
let me be your dreamboat
when you wanna sail away
let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
i don't care i wanna be yours

let me be your electric meter
i will not run out
let me be the electric heater
you get cold without
let me be your setting lotion
hold your hair with deep devotion
deep as the deep atlantic ocean
that's how deep is my emotion
deep deep deep deep de deep deep
i just wanna be yours

Remarks about Dawn.

Born early in the morning, so she was called Dawn.

A very noisy baby who delighted in keep her parents awake at night and regurgitating her last feed down her dad's back - she never could hold her drink! She was also quite destructive. I remember her throwing her heavy ceramic feeding bowl (??) from her high chair onto the glass top coffee table, with the inevitable consequences.

As a child she was bright, cheerful and energetic with lots of different interests, gymnastics, running (remember the dark nights on the road outside Tescos with Rochdale Harriers?) and, of course, music. Sunday late afternoon was the time for dancing around the living room as the Top 40 show played on the radio. Dawn was also a good cornet player and played in the school band for a while. She liked, and still does like, singing and she's got a rather good voice. Somewhere (looks under the table) I have a video of her and Michelle Craven during her Madonna period and even recently she was in the recording studio on one of Jon's famous Red Letter days making a CD which included Kylie's "I Can't Get You Out Of My Head", you know - La la la, La la la la la, La la la, La la la la la!

Dawn was a hard working scholar, went to college afterwards and for a while toyed with the idea of joining the Police Force but, after a spell in the Specials, and having half bricks thrown at her by drunks on Friday nights in Rochdale she decided that it wasn't for her. So she decided to become a nurse and after three years of hard study she now works in an area where the drunks are likely to throw half bricks at her on a Friday night.!

Dawn has grown into a very beautiful, mature and loving woman and Noelene and I realised this only too well when we celebrated her 30th birthday with her not long ago and she wore the stunning outfit from her personal shopper day at Selfridge's that was Jon's present to her.

Remarks about Jon.

Jon, it's great to welcome you to our family and with Jon, of course, comes Alex too - you get the full package. I don't know for sure but I suspect that it was Alex that helped Dawn and Jon get together in the first place.

Jon just sort of "snuck up" on us and it was a long time after he and Dawn started "seeing each other" and there he was, this great big tall fella and Dawn was his biggest fan, appropriate for what he does from Monday to Friday!

I've got to say that I took to Jon straightaway because, like me, he has an exquisite taste in the choice of a wife and, of course, in music and more than once we've "become Comfortably Numb" together. Only last week we were marvelling at a guy bouncing up and down in a hamster ball on stage whilst still singing - bizarre, or what? As our Japanese friend Aki said last year it was FB!

Jon's also got quite keen on walking and he and I had a memorable day a couple of years ago walking along Offa's Dyke getting lost, soaking wet and generally doing "things that guys do"!

Unfortunately the pub for lunch was closed! If Jon wasn't an easy going, tolerant person before he met Dawn he sure as hell has learned to be one in the last few years and this reminds me of the ways in which a man is changed by the woman he is with.


How A Woman Changes A Man

Bill and Hillary Clinton were out driving in the country near Little Rock, Arkansas, Hillary's hometown. They were low on fuel, so Bill pulls into a gas station for a fill-up. The attendant comes out and begins to pump gas into the first couple's tank.

As he is doing this, he looks into the passenger window. "Hey, Hillary, it's Joe. How are you doing?" he asks.

They chat for quite a while but eventually Bill pays and the first couple leaves. As they drive away, Bill asks Hillary "Who was that?" She replies, "That was Joe, my first real boyfriend. We used to date in High School and we were very close for a couple of years."

Bill is feeling very smug and looks over at Hillary. "You used to date that guy? Just think what it would have been like if you'd married him instead of me. I bet you're real glad you married the guy who became President of the United States" he says.

Hillary looks at Bill and shrugs. Then she replies, "Oh, I don't know. If I'd have married him he'd have been President of the United States and you'd have been pumping gas."

Never Look At Another Woman

A man approached a very beautiful woman in a large supermarket and asked, "You know, I've lost my wife here in the supermarket. Can you talk to me for a couple of minutes?"

"Why?" she asks.

"Because every time I talk to a beautiful woman, my wife appears out of nowhere."

It Keeps You Young

An old lady was 104 years old and because she had therefore lived in three centuries the local newspaper sent their cub reporter and a photographer to see her because they wanted to a feature on her.

The reporter was fascinated by her mental ability and good physical shape for someone so old. So, of course, he asked her the inevitable question, "Mrs. Parry, what's the secret of your long and happy life?"

She replied, "Lots of good times, good food, good wine and plenty of sex".

Surprised to get such a reply from someone so old, the reporter asked, "If you don't mind me asking, when did you last have sex?"

"1945", She said

"But that was almost 60 years ago", He responded.

"What do you mean, it's only 20:15 now", She replied, looking at her watch.

More Jokes and Quotes

From Aki in Japan Congatulations - rots of ruck.

Confucius say man who sink into woman's arms soon have arms in woman's sink.

From Groucho Marx - The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his cheque book open.

Also from Groucho - To heck with marrying a girl who makes biscuits like her mother - I want to marry one who makes dough like her father.

The theory used to be you marry an older man because they are more mature. The new theory is that men don't mature. So you might as well marry a younger one.

A saying of the American settlers - May you be blessed with a wife so healthy and strong, she can pull the plough when your horse drops dead.

Encyclopaedia Apocryphia - There is no realisable power that man cannot, in time, fashion the tools to attain, nor any power so secure that the naked ape will not abuse it. So it is written in the genetic cards - only physics and war hold him in check. And the wife who wants him home by five o'clock, of course.

Cannibal's Wedding

What happened at the cannibal's wedding party?

They toasted the bride and groom.

The Toast

And, of course, this brings me to the main purpose of me standing up here and making an idiot of myself (as usual) - to toast the bride and groom.

Dawn and Jon, there is much love in this room today. A wedding is not only about love for each other, but the love you share with all the people in your life. You are amongst family and friends who wish you all the happiness and love in the world. Good luck and all our blessings to you both in your lives together.

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may your hearts be filled with gladness to cheer you.

Ladies and gentlemen, be upstanding and toast the bride and groom. Dawn and Jon, we love you.