Word Count: 1076
Those of you who know me probably won’t be too surprised that I’m about to say something – I’ve never let Henry get away with speaking for me in the past, and I’m not about to start now (hands up those who noticed I didn’t promise to “obey” earlier either!).
The main reason I’m standing here saying this is to thank a number of very special people for everything they’ve done. I’ll try to keep it brief, but this is me after all, so I’m not promising anything.
Firstly Julie; I really am pleased you accepted to be my brides maid. You’ve even carried off ‘girly’ really well today, especially considering that you’ve been running around in the mud on a course for the last few days! Here’s a little something for you to say thank-you.
Amy; I’ve known you for what seems like forever (and I still remember offering to help out at your birthday parties when you were really little, although admittedly it was partly because I used to get paid in Mars Bar crispy cakes!), and I always said you would be my bridesmaid (it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you routinely drenching me with the hosepipe though when you were about 5!). I still can’t get over your boundless excitement after being asked – I was worried that being a bridesmaid at 16 was now really un-cool! Thank-you so much for being here today, it really means a lot to me, especially travelling so far. Here’s a little something for you too.
And Katrina, my fantastic big sister. What can I say – you’ve always been there for me, through thick and thin (and midnight tearful phone calls). I can’t put into words how much it means to me to have you as my matron of honour today (I’m sorry about the horribly old fashioned sounding term!), and I really do appreciate all your help over the past months. You’re the person who I dragged round wedding fairs, has had to listen to endless conversations about colours and dress styles, and even donated her gorgeous car as transport for the ‘girls’ (I was tempted to swap actually, and go in the ‘Thug’ myself and send you and the girls in the Jag!). I’m going to start blubbing if I carry on much more, so I’ll cut it short here. Suffice to say, you’re one in a million. No present is really enough to say thank you for everything that you’ve done over the years, but I’ve just got a small token of my appreciation, if you’d like to come up here.
Dad & Kate. In the time I’ve got, I don’t know how to get across everything I want to say to you, thank you so much for all your love, help and support over the years. Dad, you’ve always been the most wonderful person, and I’m proud to be your little girl (or not so little now!). Having you here to give me away today means more than I could ever put into words. Kate, you’ve only been in my life a comparatively short time, but over the past years you’ve been there for me through numerous crises and helped me to grow up from the typical teenager you first knew into the person that Henry fell in love with. Having you as one of our witnesses today meant the world to both of us. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart, not only for everything you’ve done for me, but also for welcoming Henry into the family with open arms. I doubt I could ever find a present which would be enough to thank you both for so much love and inspiration, but I do have a little something from the two of us to try.
Now’s the time for me to play with to the audience by talking about my husband. Henry, I primed you to say nice things about me in your speech, so it’s only fair I do the same for you.
What can I say really? You’re my hope, my spirit and my guide. You’ve stuck by me through some really tough times, and some of my best memories are of times spent with you. This might sound like a cliché, but you truly did make me the happiest girl in the world when you asked me to marry you, and I can honestly say that I’m proud to be standing here now as Mrs Barrett. I know that life won’t always be a bed of roses, but I can promise you now that, whatever it tries to throw at us, I’ll always be there by your side, as your wife and your best friend.
There’s one last thing I want to say to you whilst I have the floor, and please bear with me on this one: ‘Rwyn caru ti mwy heddiw na ddoe ond yn llau na fory’
I’ve got a couple of last quick presentations to make before I get back to the serious business of enjoying myself. Tamryn & Bev, did you really think you were going to get away without a brief moment in the spotlight? I’ve only known both of you for a relatively short period of time, but have loved every minute of working with you. And today just wouldn’t have been the same without you both; to listen to my panicking over the past few months, to get the venue looking so amazing, and to make sure it all ran smoothly. I’m sure everyone in the room will agree with me that you’re worth your weight in gold.
I just wanted to say thank-you to you both for all your help and friendship, if you’d like to come up and accept this gift of appreciation.
There’s just one final thing I’d like to say, and I apologise now if it gets a bit emotional. We all know that there are a number of people who we would have liked to be here today who, for whatever reason, can’t be. It’s fallen to me to propose a toast for them, so, if you could all please raise your glasses, and join me in drinking to “absent friends”.
Oh, one last thing – for those who were wondering what I said to Henry, hopefully it was ‘I love you more today than yesterday but less than tomorrow’ in Welsh – either that or my translator played a trick on me and I’ve just said something terribly embarrassing!