Wedding 11th October 2008

Chris’s speech

Jak, I’m so thrilled to see you so happy and delighted and contented today, and I want to thank you for giving me the honour of being a witness at your commitment ceremony.  It’s the closest I’m ever going to get to being a bridesmaid (so I hope you got some good pics of me)

Jak has been a true friend to me in so many ways over the years, so I feel qualified to sing her praises.  She has been a loyal and dependable, not to mention long suffering friend, for which I am truly grateful. She has stood by me through thick and thin, giving me her honest opinions and advice – without lecturing me – on some of the daft things I’ve done over the years.  She knew how to carefully vet my girlfriends with the essential questions – how old is she and has she got a job?  

She has so many useful talents   –  essential for the modern woman.  She’s a great cook and she  knows about carpentry and the inside of cars,   woodwork and window painting, gardening, how to get rid of mice and is a fount of all kinds of weird and wonderful knowledge.

I promised her that I wouldn’t embarrass her, especially not in front of Carol,  with any dreadful stories about her drunken and debauched past, and I won’t. But Kate and I had a good laugh about them last night.  Those of you who saw the collection of ‘big hair’ pictures that she got together for her 50th birthday will know that she’s quite capable of embarrassing herself, no need for me to add to it. 

The 50th birthday was  of course an auspicious occasion in itself, and it was then that the wedding was announced, following the prevailing custom in the  big cities  for a party to be given on the day of announcement. It’s been on the cards for years of course – will they, won’t they – so it was no real surprise, but a great delight to those of us, all of us here today I’m sure, who know and love them both.

It has been a long engagement.

The typical engagement period, from the time of the marriage proposal to exchanging vows, is 8-12 months.  Jak and Carol’s engagement has been rather longer than this, but they have been mindful of and followed the appropriate etiquette at all times.

They didn’t go in for fancy diamond engagement rings but I have it on good authority that they exchanged cuff links  and  waist-coat buttons, while close friends, following the advice of Emily Post gave gifts of  small afternoon teacups and saucers.

A long engagement  is an unnatural state in this era of liberty and naturalness of impulse.  It has been  trying for everyone  – Jak and Carol, families and friends alike.

Fortunately they have not subjected us to the vagaries of so-called “vulgar people” by allowing  an unrestricted display of uncontrolled emotions – although it has been difficult at times to provide them with the chaperones that custom dictates in these circumstances.  I’m sorry to say that they have on occasions been seen dining out together at road houses and escorting each other home from parties and theatre performances of questionable propriety.  They were also unable to resist going on journeys together that lead to an overnight stay …

Today however they have ‘made it legal’, and have made honest women of each other. I don’t know just how much progress Jak will be able to make in any efforts to support Carol litter-picking and cleaning up the neighbourhood and I don’t know how far Carol will get in persuading Jak ways to spend less time at the computer cataloguing her vast Bruce Springsteen collection – but I do know that they have and will continue to make each other happy.

It is said that success in marriage doesn’t come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate – and I’m sure that you’ll all agree that Jak and Carol are the right mates for each other. They have found ‘something to hold on to when all the answers don’t amount to much’  They have made a wonderful partnership because they have found in each other ‘somebody to just talk to and a little of that human touch’. 

They truly deserve each other and I’d like to offer a toast:  to my wonderful friend Jak, her perfect partner Carol, and true love.

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