On Saturday 2nd August 2014 I had the great honour of reading the following piece (written by me) at the wedding of two happy souls.
Tim stood in front of Lily’s parents, with butterflies in his bladder and a smile upon his face.
“Mr and Mrs Hope,” he said. “I wish to marry your daughter.”
Mr Hope looked at his wife of 20 years.
“Hold on,” he said. “Marry?”
“Yes,” said Tim. “Marry.”
“OK,” said Mrs Hope. “Why do you wish to marry Lily?”
“Because I love her,” said Tim. “I love the way she smiles, the way she giggles, the way she holds my hand. I love the way she eats a Mars Bar. I love the way she skips down the road with me and stands up to those who say rude things. I love the way she looks at me, the way she makes me feel. I love the way that every single day she’ll find something new to tell me and have an adventure to take me on.”
Mrs Hope smiled.
“Hold on,” said Mr Hope. “That’s all very sweet but you’ve only been together for a few months. Are you even sure Lily wants to marry you?”
“Oh, yes,” said Tim. “We talk about our wedding all the time.”
“You do?” said Mrs Hope. “Go on then, tell us what your wedding will be like.”
“Oh, Mrs Hope,” said Tim. “It’ll be unlike any you’ve seen before: It’ll take place in the middle of summer inside a castle built by monks in 1389, on top of a snow kissed foreign mountain. Lily’s dress will be the one worn by Kate Middleton, whereas I’ll have a gold plated suit. We’d like a little lion cub to carry the rings in and the moment we slide them on our fingers, the sky will explode with fireworks as a jumbo jet, trailing a banner, saying ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ flies over us. Each of our 400 guests will come dressed as a hilarious cartoon character and be treated with two large Domino’s pizzas each, as Lily’s favourite band plays.”
“Wait,” said Mrs Hope. “You plan to get the Black Eyed Peas?”
“Big time,” said Tim.
“Blimey,” said Mr Hope. “Hold on, how on Earth do you expect to pay for all that? Let alone pull it off!”
“Easy,” said Tim. “I’ve always been pretty good at football so not long now and I’ll be breaking into the first team at Man United. They could do with a goalscorer. But, you know, football won’t last forever, so once I finally become a fully qualified astronaut, I’ll be making lots of money from flights to the moon and that.”
“Right,” said Mr Hope. “Do you have a fall back career?”
“Acrobat,” said Tim. “Or, what do you call those people who design LEGO?”
“LEGO designer?” said Mrs Hope.
“Yep,” said Tim. “I could be a LEGO designer.”
“Fine, fine, hold on,” said Mr Hope. “But a career and money isn’t everything. How do you plan to take care of Lily?”
“Honestly?” said Tim, beginning to squirm uncomfortably. “I won’t take care of her.”
“I beg your pardon?” asked Mrs Hope.
“We’ll take care of each other,” said Tim.
Mr and Mrs Hope looked at one another, as Tim gradually grew more and more uncomfortable.
Mrs Hope smiled as her husband, her best friend, the love of her life, squeezed her hand and kissed her on the cheek.
“Timmy,” said Mrs Hope. “If you promise to hold on to the love you have for Lily. If you promise to hold on to the giggles, the laughter, the small things that make her, her. If you promise to hold on to your adventure, your imagination, your lust for life. If you promise to hold on to your innocence, your funny bone, your selflessness and your dedication, then, we promise, in 10 years time – when you are 18-years-old – you are more than welcome to marry our daughter.”
“Really?!” said Tim.
‘“Yes,” smiled Mr Hope.
“Oh, Mr and Mrs Hope, you won’t regret this! Thank you!” said Tim, rearranging his underwear. “Now, please can I go to the little boys’ room? I can’t hold on much longer…”
© Carl Burkitt 2014