"Despite it being unusual for anyone to throw anything and the only requirement is to get through it without being embarrassing the Father of the Bride Speech is tough. If you have a daughter my advice is to start preparing now or at least before you stand up” Paul Brennan
FATHER OF THE BRIDE SPEECH
MARRIAGE OF ALICE AND BEN CRANNEY
SYDNEY, 12 APRIL 2014
The stress, the expense, the worry, the upset, the tears…and that was only the engagement party.
WELCOME TO THE GUESTS
Welcome to you all, especially our overseas guests or blow ins as you are affectionately known. Ben’s family have so many friends and our family so few, but our friends are prepared to travel a long way. Of course, that is because they have no friends either.
Those of you who have not been to Australia before may have preconceived notions about Australians. Apart from the Queensland contingent, these are refined Australians. For instance, the booze ran out half way through the engagement party but the sherry went first.
ABOUT BEN’S WORK
Welcome to Ben’s colleagues from the NSW government. After being the butt of so many jokes over the years, a table of government employees is a welcome relief to all the lawyers in the room. When Ben first joined the NSW Government, they saw a need in him that no one had seen before - Tai Chi training. It may have been part of the NSW Government induction program. Alice says that when he got home from the first lesson it took him 5 minutes to open the fridge.
We have always said that we loved our four children equally. We lied. Alice is the no. 1 child. She was always there to strap on her sister’s Wiggles tail, which for many years was a daily occurrence. She introduced her own library system into the house, issuing each of us with library cards and causing us to queue by the door to have our books stamped in and out.
HOW ALICE MET BEN
Ben and Alice met in a gym. Thirty years ago, to meet a girl you had to trawl pubs, discos, and parties. Frankly, it was difficult to find a sober one. A pick up line would be - step away from the bar, ma ’me. So if you have wondered about your parents that may be the missing piece of the jigsaw.
That leads me Ben, to tell you how I met your mother-in-law. It was midnight at a New Year’s Eve Party. We kissed. I was beneath the mistletoe with another attendee when I felt someone fiddling with my trousers. I looked down, and it was Diane. As we had kissed, her woollen dress has become entangled in my fly, and as I had moved away, a woollen strand had stretched out across the room. Of course, when that sort of thing happened in those days you had to get married.
Dating is different. Thirty years ago, we would try to take our girlfriends somewhere nice.
Where did Ben take Alice? Up a volcano. At the top of the volcano, Alice twisted her ankle. Ben picked her up in his strong arms and carried her all the way down. After 25 years of marriage if you are up a volcano with your wife in your arms, you are up to no good.
ABOUT YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW
Ben, I am sure you have noticed by now that there is something different about your new mother-in-law…..She has a sense of humour. Every married man here will tell you that is very unusual. For example, our family went to see the movie, the Titanic. Being Hong Kong, at the end of the movie everyone surged for the exit. I heard your mother-in-law shout, “Women and children first”. It was one of the only times that an audience left the Titanic laughing their heads off.
ABOUT YOUR SON-IN-LAW
Diane, your new son-in-law thinks before he says something. Ask any mother-in-law in the room, and they will tell you that is very rare.
ADVICE ON MARRIAGE
Alice and Ben, there are many people in this room sharing your journey. Above all Ben’s grandparents, celebrating 56 years of marriage. Do you know what you get for 56 years? Titanium. A titanium hip. It is something you will always have. You are not going to leave it in the back of a taxi after a drunken night out.
Married life gains subtlety over the years. Alice, when you make a sandwich for Ben, you make it with love, and he knows that as your kitchen top looks like a branch of Subway. After 30 years of marriage, it is different. For instance, the other day your mother said to me, “Do you want this or shall I give it to the dog?” I thought, I know what you mean baby. You mean that you love me more than that there dog.
No volcano high enough.
EXTRACT FROM SPEECH OF PAUL BRENNAN GIVEN AT THE WEDDING OF HIS ELDEST DAUGHTER
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