This is the story of Danielle Shaw, her husband Jay (pictured above) and her dad Graham. It is with their permission that we share their special story.
Sadly Graham passed away in 2016 but together the family and Holdsworth House hopes that Graham’s wonderful father-of-the-bride wedding speech inspires other dads to get just the right amount of humour, pace and toe-curling tales to ensure a rousing applause, as Graham’s did.
Graham’s creativity and delivery is wonderful to watch (look out for the groom’s reactions) and includes stories that everyone can relate to. Click to watch the video and scroll down for Danielle’s story.
Our special thanks to Danielle and Jay.
“My boyfriend, Jay, proposed in the most perfect way – under the Eiffel Tower in Paris in August 2014. Wedding talk began immediately but I assured Jay there would be no rushing – we agreed that the marriage wouldn’t take place for two years.
Months later, in the October, my dad was told that the cancer he had been battling for two years was terminal. With advice from the consultant we brought the wedding forward a year. Though Jay needed a paper bag to breathe into initially (!) he knew it was the right thing to do. Whilst my dad continued with gruelling chemotherapy to help suppress the cancer, planning was in full swing and we managed to book a date at Holdsworth House on the 2nd of August, 2015. Dad loved this place – he had been to weddings here before and spoke highly of it.
A few months before the wedding he began to think about his speech; something he was actually really nervous about! He always had a great way with words and it didn’t surprise me when he told me he was writing a poem. I always knew the day was going to be so emotional…. I am a daddy’s girl who loved nothing better than spending time with my dad – him giving me away was always going to be so special.
My wedding day was Heaven on Earth; we could not have asked for a better day. Thoughts of my dad’s illness were tucked away for the day – it was our special day and we were going to enjoy every single second. In the car and walking up the isle I clung onto my dad so tightly!! We were both so nervous and excited. The sun shone and we just had the best time with everyone we love celebrating with us.
Throughout the meal he was getting more and more nervous, knocking the red wine back a little too fast!!! I think my mum thought she might have had to read it for him, but he did it. It blew me away. I sat there hanging on to every word, every rhyme, holding my breath as to what he was going to say next! He did me proud. To this day everyone mentions my dad’s speech to me – it was so memorable for everyone.
What I also love is how amazing my dad looks on the video – people always commented on how well he looked. He continued with chemotherapy and up until February 2016 was still fighting hard. Unfortunately the cancer got the better to him and the cruel disease had spread to his brain. My dad lost his battle with cancer in March 2016.
He always said to me that the speech was his legacy. I finally got around to editing it and I’m so made up that we can share his fantastic work with everyone else.”
This blog post is dedicated to the memory of Graham Shaw.