The great moment arrives.Father of the bride.
The speech and public speaking.
Now believe it or not I have had many experiences with and listening to speeches. From being taught at college and then on from there. Your twenty first birthday party, being best man at a wedding or master of ceremonies at another one or two. As captain of the golf club where a speech was made at least twice weekly. What has this taught me? Two things, the first being you somehow have to capture your audiences attention from the beginning. Secondly, keep it short and sweet.
So began my dilemma with the speech at my daughters wedding. We now live in Ireland which is a different culture to what we were brought up in and they laugh at different things. Now when I was golf captain back home in Zimbabwe I always started my speech with a joke and not one ever bombed. So I tried out some of my better ones on various people I met here and was met with blank, incomprehensible stares. So I then told some others which would have bombed back home and they almost died laughing. What to do and what to say? So I came to the conclusion that one has to make a speech according to ones audience and circumstances.
For what it’s worth, here is an example of Father of the Bride speeches. Mine.
“Ladies and Gentlemen.
Cead Mila Failte, a hundred thousand welcomes to Dagny and Hugh’s cosmopolitan wedding here in the grand old Isle of the Green. We trust that you will all enjoy yourselves? No, we insist upon it. They have both gone to a lot of trouble to try and cater to your every whim.
Now back in our old homeland everybody is given a nickname as you can see by your table place names. The Indigenous peoples ability to come up with apt nicknames is nothing less than astonishing. A few examples being:
Chimsoro……..which means big head.
Chimimba……..the one with the large stomach.
Scooter…..because he is small but he goes.
And in Dagny’s case…..Ambulance, because she cried a lot when she was a baby.
Now I could wax lyrical about all her accomplishments. Suffice to say that as parents one of our greatest pleasures was having her and we are both thrilled to see you marrying, such a fine young man today and wish you both long life and happiness.
As your Dad, and because we all now live in such troubled times, I just want to say to you both.
‘What is success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
That is to have succeeded’.
(Ralph Waldo Emmerson.)
Perchance we all need to remember this?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you now all to rise and drink a toast with me to Hugh and Dagny.
Hugh and Dagny go braaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.”