..thanks Don for those kind words <turn to audience>
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and family !<pause> I only have a few words to say <pull out folder thick wad of speech notes>
- Welcome, Thanks, Enjoy. <sit down, and wait for laughter!>
<get up again>
...Over the last couple of weeks, I've been trying to think of how to summarise this day in a few words.
For today is the beginning of our new life as a married couple, yet the end of eleven years of living in sin ! It's difficult to find only a few short words, so I sought inspiration, by thinking about how you would do it. I thought about our family and friends, and tried to think of what few words you would use. As I thought of the different groups here today, it occurred to me that you'd all probably all come up with the same three - About Bloody Time !
<wait for laughter>
However, this wasn't much help, so I came up with my own words : - Welcome, Thanks, Enjoy
I'd like to welcome you all here, and as many of you are still thinking, it's been a long time coming ! <pause>
I'd particularly like to welcome several of you who I know have come from far afield
<looking at Caroline/Nic, Susan> - some I know have traveled all the way from <pause> London ! <wait for laughter>
Seriously though, there are those of you who have come from the US and Australia and Germany just to be here a big welcome to you.
There are so many people wed like to thank, Im just going to go through the list.
Everyone for joining us on our special day, and for your generous gifts many of which Im sure well keep safely in the loft for years to come !. <laughter>
Everyone who helped make this day come together, particularly, Natasha and Susan, and Els mum.
The Bridesmaids, and their parents for looking so lovely
AJ for being my Best Man and a particular thanks from El - that I came back more or less intact ! <Give AJ his present>
Im sure I dont need to spell this one out !
This is our day, and we want everyone to enjoy themselves You probably all know how to do that already!
However, I know that for several of you, today is an extra special day - so weve got you a little something for your birthday. <hand out presents>
Before we move on to the Best Mans speech, I have one last note an apology :
On the wedding invitation reply slip we requested that you let us know of your dietary requirements. I hope that those of you on the Ocelots spleen and Alligator diets found something you could eat ! <laughter>
The good news is that for those of you that specified a liquid diet, the bar is open all day !
So, Id like to finish by underlining everything Ive said with a toast.
Please will you raise your glasses, and toast those three words for today that are most appropriate: Welcome, Thanks, Enjoy; or About Bloody Time <Toast>
And now, a man who needs no introduction - but Im going to introduce him anyway
Someone Ive known for nearly thirty years !. but even given his ripe old age, still has trouble climbing short flights of stairs (particularly in front of night-club bouncers) AJ.