Copy of the speech as it was written; there may have been a few additions in the telling.
Good Afternoon; it now falls to me to round off the speeches on this very special day.
Firstly I should also like to thank on behalf of Amy, Chloe, Jemina, for James’s kind words and toast
And on behalf of all of us here today I should like to extend our thanks to Laura’s parents Pam and Ken for inviting us to share this day with Laura and James, and to James’ parents Sue and Brendan, without whose tireless efforts there would have been no material in this speech.
And also to the new happy couple for wanting us to be part of their wedding.
It was a great honour to be asked to fulfill this duty as best man; but only history will tell if it was sense. One of those duties is to read some messages from some of us who could not be here.
Add messages here from Alexis
There is also a small presentation to make. ….
We’ve heard some good stories about Laura from her father and now it’s my turn to talk about James. I first met James at work – eyeing up some art work I had by my desk. So not only do we have work in common but also a strong love and enjoyment of photography. One thing I do with my photographic experience is to judge local camera club competitions. So why not play to a strength and do a photo critque?
Here’s a starting image but let’s focus on the subject matter a little more than you would in a normal competition.
Usually a lot marks would go for technical competence. Now I can say that James is very competent project manager.
But also competent as a friend and ally; That extra mile is a road often travelled. And traveled with dedication and attention to detail. Certainly when I visited 1642 as we can see here it was very authentic.
With really strong photographs, the images often tell a story. So what sort of story can we get from this image.
It’s perhaps best we don’t focus too much (pun intended) on the story here. As we can see James was playing a Victorian gent with certain interesting wares to sell.
It’s probably worth saying where I found this image; in the minutes of a department meeting with the comment “lack of status from James this week as he appeared to be otherwise busy!”
You might notice a trend here in the characters that are being played, the perhaps less than law abiding. As is further evidenced here by the paparazzi nature of James’ and the camera.
And of course as they say what happened on the stag weekend in Milton Keynes stays in Milton Keynes – though I don’t think the breaking OUT of the National Museum of Computing really counts.
Does an image provide entertainment? If you don’t enjoy an image then there’s no point in having it around. And is there any point in a best man speech without a story… or ten. To break up the day a number of us often leave the Hursley site and walk around the lanes surrounding the village. Topics range widely, and often great hilarity ensues. Certainly when somebody (i.e. James) introduces into the conversation.. “well when I was fighting at the Battle of Crécy,” you need to stop and think.
And it’s a noticeable habit of James’ to pause at the wrong point in sentences that lead to the most entertaining comment. In retelling a visit to London the sentence started “when I was in the Natural History museum”, to which it was finished. “as an exhibit perhaps?”
Photos are about communication and the emotion that can come from them. James is a very strong communicator, certainly better than I, he can spell!
Draw your own conclusions from this image; not maybe the height of sartorial elegance, maybe only a look that a parent …..or wife could love.
Which brings us back to why we are here today. And the wedding and the inherent love between Laura and James. The road ahead will have hopefully have moslty ups to proivde the momentum to go through the downs. But speaking from a position of 15 years down that road really I can offer good advice:
“Hinting hardly ever works. The best way to get what you want is to ask for it”
Could I ask you to to take your glasses one last time, and I think all we need to toast is the couple themselves ‘Laura and James’