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My Father of the Bride Speech

(2017-10-16 03:25:14)


The following is the English text of my Father of the Bride Speech which I made in the wedding of my daughter, Elizabeth, in London on the 23rd September, 2017. I share it with everyone and hope it can inspire future fathers of brides to make even better speeches that will be remembered by their daughters for the rest of their lives.

Here it comes:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is my pleasure and privilege to make the first speech of the day. I have tried to find some jokes but only managed to find a couple of quotes. So I’ll leave the jokes to the star speakers of today – James and Josh. 

First of all on behalf of my wife Liping, my son George and myself, I would like to welcome you all and thank you for coming here today to celebrate the marriage of our daughter Elizabeth to James. We are so happy that so many of our friends, and James’ family, relatives and friends are able to come, particularly some of you have travelled a great distance as far as Germany and America, to enjoy this splendid occasion with us.

Today, of course, is a celebration, not just of the love that has united Elizabeth and James in marriage, but also of the two families that have created, brought up, and influenced the lives of these two special people. Liping and I would like to extend our warm welcome to James’s parents, Jane and Andy. It has been a pleasure for us to get to know both of you and we would like to say a special thank you for everything you have done in making James such a handsome, well-educated, loving and caring young man as he is today.  

As I look at this beautiful young lady before me in a stunning wedding dress, I can’t help but to reflect on the girl she was and the lady she has become. I have always felt guilty to her for the fact that when she was born I was not present with Liping to welcome her, because a few months before her birth, I was awarded a scholarship to come to Britain to study. And as a student from China 29 years ago, I did not have the means to travel back home. When she was just under two years old, I managed to go back to China to see her. I still clearly remember the day when I first saw her – a beautiful little girl, speaking fluently, strings of sentences. When she first called me Daddy after being told to do so by her grand mother, it was clear to me that she thought Daddy is just yet another stranger. I also still have fond memories of the joy I had building up a father-daughter relationship from her age of 3 when she left China and joined us. During her childhood, what I enjoyed doing most were the bedtime reading with her, teaching and helping her riding a bicycle, driving to bring her to Chinese school, to piano classes and ballet classes on every Saturday.

Elizabeth was 8 when George was born and right from the birth of George, she has been a loving and caring sister. She loved looking after him, fed him with baby food, and changed nappies. She was like a little mother to George.

When Elizabeth started attending school, she always delighted and surprised us with her achievements. She is a very intelligent girl and is excellent at languages and sciences, and always was one of the few most favoured pupils of her headmistress. Every year, when Liping and I read her school reports, we were so proud of her. She has set an example for George to follow. Elizabeth is also an aspiring and ambitious girl. At a young age, she had chosen her role model in Hilary Clinton and went on to study law and started her career as a lawyer like Hilary.

Over the past 28 years, it has been truly the greatest pleasure and sense of achievement for Liping and I watching her growing up at home, learning at school, enjoying her student life at University, hard working as a lawyer, and more importantly blossoming into a beautiful, determined, intelligent, well organised, loving and caring young lady. To me, this sense of achievement is far greater than what I had from my own achievements in my work and my career progression. To Liping and I, she is our wonderful daughter, our princess and the treasure of our family, and no matter what her age, she is always like those to us.

On this special day Liping and I are giving our daughter away, we are extremely pleased and satisfied for gaining a handsome and excellent son-in-law, and George is extremely happy for gaining a brother-in-law - James. Welcome to the family! James. With Elizabeth, you two look a great couple together. I still clearly remember the first time when Elizabeth brought James home to meet us. We were so pleased with what we saw – a tall, handsome, well-educated and well-mannered young lad. What surprised us was his skills in using chopsticks, his passion for spicy Chinese food and his general knowledge about Chinese geography, and politics. James comes with Elizabeth to visit us regularly at weekends and has become part of our family life. During the time we have known James we have realised that Elizabeth has become happier and more confident, that they are happy together, and what a great husband and son-in-law James will make.

Today when we are celebrating the marriage of Elizabeth and James, let’s not forget the fact that marriage is the greatest institution we human being ever invented for ourselves. A man and a woman fall in love with each other and commit to each other, united equally in marriage to be partners in the journey of life, sharing their happiness, joy, as well as frustration, working together as a team to bring up a family and to raise children, from one generation to the next. Through marriage, we enlarge our immediate families, relatives and friends to extended families, extended relatives and extended friends, like we are today. Wherever there is a marriage, there is a celebration. This is true across all countries, all nationalities, and all heritages. Not only that, love and marriage go across boundaries of countries, heritages, and nationalities. Elizabeth and James are just one example. On this point, my family and I are most grateful to the British people for welcoming us with open arms and for promoting a multi-cultural society in harmony with a great degree of tolerance. This multi-cultural social environment has made it possible for Elizabeth to feel at home, to develop and to flourish, to make friends from all cultural and heritage backgrounds, and to meet and to fall in love with James.

Today when Elizabeth becomes a bride, I want to say this to you: from today onwards, you not only is our sweetheart daughter, George’s elder sister and example, a responsible and reliable lawyer to your clients and colleagues, but also a wife, a daughter-in-law, and a sister-in-law. In future, you will also become a mother. There is a change in your identity and comes with it the increased responsibilities and challenges ahead of you. But I believe you will do very well just as you have always done. You continue to have the full support of your mum, your brother and myself. In addition, James and family will love you, care about you and support you just like us.

James, I am sure that you will have a rewarding life with Elizabeth and be happy together. We are also certain that you will make a great husband and that you will love her, honor her, cherish and take good care of her for a long time to come. The great author Mark Twain once said “Love seems the swiftest, but is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.” I am lucky enough to have been married with Liping for 30 years and we can only wish the same for you and Elizabeth. How I have done this? I am not entirely sure but if I have to summarise it in one quote, I would use this one “The man who gives in when he is wrong is wise; the man who gives in when he is right is married”.

Finally, I would like to propose a toast to the happy couple and wish them a long, happy, and healthy future together. Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding and raise your glasses to the new Bride and Groom, Elizabeth and James! 


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