Hello everyone. It's wonderful that so many of you were able to make your way to darkest Wales to be with us today, it means a great deal to us to have you all here. I also want to thank you for all the lovely presents – we're going to need a second kitchen to put them in.
I'm going to be doing a lot of thank-yous. I'll start at the beginning – thank you, Mum and Dad, for raising me to be the kind of person whom Hannah would fall in love with. Amongst a great many other things, my parents taught me that every morning, you should make a cup of tea for the woman you love. I've learned that with Hannah, any given problem can be solved with either a hug or a cup of tea. As long as we can afford to buy tea, I think we'll be okay.
I'm very grateful to Hannah's family for making me feel so welcome. My first ever Christmas away from my own family was in Chester and it was wonderful to be so warmly accepted, and indeed constantly plied with delicious food.
Mum, Dad, Nick, Janice – thanks so much for all your help organizing today. We'd never have made it to this point without you.
Thank you also to Alan, my best man. Alan has been a determinedly loyal and good friend, and despite this I was merciless in my best man speech at his wedding, so I probably deserve whatever he comes up with in a few minutes.
Hannah. I feel privileged to be spending the rest of my life with Hannah. She's quick to see the best in people and slow to see any faults. She's my best friend, and the woman of my dreams.
One thing I love about today, is that you all get to see Hannah the way I see her all the time. She looks like a princess, in her beautiful dress, with her haircut that took months of planning. To me, she looks like a princess when she's just got out of bed in the morning and her hair's sticking up. In a way this whole fancy outfit is wasted on me.
A few months ago, Hannah and I ordered takeaway pizza, and spent the evening watching The Big Lebowski and drinking white Russians. If I'd been on my own, that might have been a slightly sad way to pass the time, but because Hannah was there with me, I remember thinking that I was about as happy as I've ever been.
I've been looking forward to our wedding day, and so far it's been wonderful, but even more than this, I'm looking forward to our marriage. I can't wait. It's going to be fantastic.
When I told the registrar that we had a male bridesmaid, she paused, and said “I'll put down 'pageboy'”. Lizzie, Zoë and Adam have been wonderful at looking after Hannah and distracting her from worrying about things, and we're both very grateful. Ladies and gentlemen, I think you'll agree all three of them look beautiful today, so I hope you'll join me in raising a glass to the bridesmaids!
Moments to remember:
- Hannah's grandmother attending even whilst unwell because she was damned if she was missing this.
- Realising with 15 minutes to go that the CDs we'd carefully prepared were still in my bedroom.
- Oscillating between total calm and terrible nerves.
- Hannah's Dad having to hold her back from making a break up the aisle towards me.
- Just barely keeping it together through the lovely vows.
- Leaving the ceremony to some very familiar orchestral music.
- Uncle Richard breaking the pattern of polite handshakes in the line-up, and instead lifting Hannah off her feet in a bear hug - "Welcome to the family!"
- Lego minifigs on top of the cake
- The finest lemon tart dessert ever - raspberries on top.
- The father of the bride's speech, universally declared to be amongst the best wedding speeches ever.
My speech - it went down better out loud than it had in my head.
The best man's speech - E2 got a mention!
The first dance - Ray Charles singing "Come Rain or Come Shine". A bit of a delay while the mother of the bride was located, and then the dance seemed to go on for a long time, but it was lovely.
The second dance - Hannah dancing with her Dad to the tune of The Temptations' My Girl, and her Dad getting a little emotional. Meanwhile a wise wedding guest steered me to dancing with my mother.
Tom and Robin's amazing dance-off, to Footloose.
The final dance, New York, New York, featuring Hannah and me dancing in the middle, dodging enthusiastic leg-swinging from the surrounding circle of dancing guests.
Drinking too much lovely lovely whisky.
- Retiring to our four-poster bed, tired but so, so happy.