Our ‘song sheet’
Weddings can be quite confusing affairs, and ours was no exception. Our way of countering that was the ‘song sheet’ – a detailed list as to who needed to be where at every point in the day. Alex deserves most of the credit – it’s a wonder!
Useful telephone numbers are missing for obvious reasons, however the rest of the document is there in its entirety. Enjoy!
The Best Man’s speech
Thanks so much to Seb Potts, our Best Man, for an amazing speech. Here are his notes …
Hi guys, this is the best man’s speech so if you don’t have a drink feel free to go now and grab one. If you do have a drink you are now captive audience.
So firstly I would like to thank you for all being here today at Mike’s and Alex’s wedding. I’d like to say pointing out that Alex looks stunning today, every bit the beautiful bride. I’d like to say the same about Mike, but unfortunately for him I inherited all the good looks. I’d also like to thank all the bridesmaids for their involvement in making this a great day.
When I was first told told that I was to be Mike’s best man, you can imagine my reaction. Well, actually it was a bit awkward as I was keeping my options open for today and as it turns out i’m missing the league 2 play off final just to be here. I’m pretty gutted actually, but it is what it is I suppose. At least there’s free food and alcohol so I can’t complain too much.
So where I did I meet Michael? It’s a funny story really, it was in a hospital in the mid 90s and he told me he was my big brother. I think I replied by screaming at him and crying, but I suppose I was like that back then. From then on he made it one of his goals to try to create a mini-Mike and for the first decade or so he did pretty well. He ‘edumacated’ me on the music such as ‘The Ligthning Seeds’ and Jimmy Eat World, playing Pro Evo and sonic the hedgehog and supporting Man United. My personal favourite when I was 5 was Chumbawumba and I used to fall over when they used to say I get knocked down. He also made me CDs when I was a bit older to try and counter balance my increasing interest in gangster rap music. A lot of it is still really good, though it’s unforgivable that there’s an album with two coldplay songs on it.
One of the main contributing reasons that Mike chose me to do this speech is because I wasn’t at uni with him so I don’t know any embarrassing stories. However, as some of you know Caz was also at Kent and one of my favourites that I’ve heard is about when he went to visit her in France. After a night out at the bar he went back to a taxi, shouting about the impending war involving the fluffy bunny army. He went on to shout at the taxi driver about whether he was on our side or on their side.
For this reason, when we had the stag do in France a couple of months ago, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. On the first night we went to an Irish club and for those who know Mike he can be a bit loud after a few and he started talking to the people next to us who were having a meal. He was also successful in fulfilling a dare to talk a Senegalese guy into giving him his hat and taking a picture with it on. I’d like to take this moment to say thanks to everyone who came on the stag do and made it a really enjoyable couple of days. The overall reaction to the weekend seemed to be ‘I’d have stayed longer if I’d known Toulouse actually looked nice’, which I suppose is a compliment.
I’ve got one more drunk story of Mike’s – I think three will do before I get him in too much trouble. Mike prides himself on his professionalism and I had the chance to meet up with him and a few of his colleagues in London. After going to a few different bars, he found himself a cake that looked nice in a bar and stole it along with a knife. We then walked around the streets for a while, cutting pieces of cake, before eventually ditching it in a taxi. I was informed later that the cake was re-embursed, which should prove that Mike is an upstanding member of society.
So how to describe Mike?
He’s always enjoyed drama and public speaking and many of you might know that he likes a crowd. The fact he gets to talk to an audience today must be an added bonus. He was part of a drama school in Ilford growing up and performed in various shows, while also appearing on American TV a couple of times. We’ve still got it on VHS if anyone’s interested. He also put on a variety show at his school which featured the lead singer of Bloc Party in one of his first ever live appearances. I’ve actually used the ‘my brother knows bloc party’ as a chat up line before and it worked.
His interest in the performing arts extends to karaoke and I’m looking forward to hearing him later, especially if he performs the rap to one week by the Barenaked Ladies. I know he’s also famous to his uni mates for performing Hey Ya by Outkast as he used to perform it every week at the uni bar. He’s also bought many different singstar karaoke games for the playstation, ranging from French R+B to disney and Motown.
Another main interest of his has been computers. From a young age he was taking apart and fixing up computers and he still has a collection today. He was very excited when our parents bought our first windows 98 computer and made many modifications to it. He’s also helped us out with our computer problems and we’ve been very lucky to have him fix our problems over the years.
Mike also likes TV, particularly sci-fi. He liked the star trek series and used to own a handbook of klingon. buy’ngop do bach DavHam bomb bacHa bach ngay’
He also liked Red Dwarf and Buffy and more recently Doctor Who, especially with the episode with Kylie. He obviously appreciates her acting. We also used to watch films together and he introduced me to such classics as Monty Python and Fawlty Towers as well as more recent films.
Mike’s professional career has always been something he has taken great pride in and I know that he has worked hard to achieve many accomplishments over his career. From getting consistently high grades all through secondary school to then becoming a qualified lawyer, I saw he had to overcome many difficulties to get into a very competitive line of work.
When he begun work as a recruiter, it was to his credit that he adapted to a new career and rose up in this profession. The way that he has done this over the last few years has shown incredible mental toughness and adaptability and sets a good example for me to follow.
I also appreciate how he has been supportive of me throughout my studies; from giving me advice when starting secondary school to helping me get an internship at his company and I know he will be a professional role model in my future career.
So now Mike moves onto a new stage of his life and now we have an extra member of our family. From the first time I met Alex I could tell that she was genuinely interested in me and wanted to get to know me, and I have grown to know her as a warm and open person. I speak for the whole Potts family when I say we’ve been happy to have been able to get to know her, as well as the rest of the Harris family. I hope that we will be able to get to know each other even better in the future.
I’m sure you’ve heard enough from the Potts boys, thanks for listening so attentively and for being part of a great day. I hope to see you all on the dance floor later. To Mike and Alex, in the words of the great Captain James T Kirk, Live Long and Prosper.
The Groom’s speech
While the body of Mike’s speech had been ready for months, it only began to hang together properly in the two days leading up to the wedding. Here’s what was written on the tablet PC he was holding as a prompt …
Thank you so much Ray for your kind words.
On behalf of my wife and I … can I say how happy, excited and deeply grateful we are that you have shared today with us.
Looking around the room, I am quite impressed how many awesome people we have under one roof.
We have people from Portugal, France and America!
We have IT professionals, lawyers and British Army Officers
Not sure what is scarier out of that – probably Lawyers to be honest.
Thanks so much for joining us, and for all your gifts, cards and best wishes. We both feel very loved.
The Harris family
So many thank yous to get through in the next ten minutes, it’s like I’m receiving an Oscar! As such, it is only fitting that I thank God first and foremost – for family, friendships, an amazing day and the wonderful opportunity he has given Alex and myself.
Turning to my newly extended family, thanks so much Ray and Mary Harris. Thank for sharing Alex with me, for your warmth, your generosity – especially today – and the instant acceptance I received upon meeting you.
To borrow David Cameron’s election phrase, I have ‘a piece of paper in my hand’, although this one says I have your ‘unconditional support’ to ask for Alex’s hand in marriage.
It is priceless and I will always be grateful for it.
Caz Harris and Matt
Thanks Caroline for your role as Chief Bridesmaid. You have been invaluable in keeping Alex calm these past few days, and have lent a great no-nonsense ear to some of my more hair brained schemes. We share a love for spy dramas with strong leading women who have giant wig collections. For that reason above all, I really look forward to having another sister.
[Kermit] As promised, this is my Kermit the Frog impression. Happy now ? [/end]
It has also been great getting to know Matt Kirk, who likes Marvel and thus is amazing. #justsaying ! Happy birthday by the way – hope you like your present !
Bridesmaids and Guard of Honour
Aren’t the bridesmaids looking lovely ?
Thanks so much Beth for sorting the hen do, Lizzy for the most amazing cross stitch, Keddie for the banter and Carolyn for the brilliant and unrewarding job she does of being my sister.
Thank you to all of you for taking an active part in the wedding and also attending a hen do I know Alex enjoyed very much.
Many thanks to our dashing Guard of Honour. Charlie, Chris, Rich, Matt and James. It was deeply touching for a non military muggle like myself, and the perfect way to lower the curtain on Alex’s Army career.
Groomsmen and other thanks
Thank you to my groomsmen Sam and Ciaran, for being genuine legends ever since we met. Both have great stories about me, but I am confident they have not shared with Seb.
Thanks also to Alice our pianist, Liz for saying grace, Jo and Lauren for prayers, Geoff our photographer, Karen the cabbie, members of our St Michaels home group and Sarah Watson for being a brilliant MC. Thanks to Jon and Nikki, our witnesses, and reverend Sandy Christie for marrying us. There are many more individual thank yous due, and my sincere apologies if you are not mentioned. We have left thank you gifts on your tables.
Thanks so much to my family. To my parents Steve and Maryse for bringing me up. The unique mix of their combined genes and the odd era that was the 80s resulted in me, a btt odd looking but wonderful.
Thank you for help with the photographer and the cake. If you have yet to see the piece montee (profiterole tower), we’ll be cutting it soon, so you’ll get to.
Many thanks in this context to my sister Carolyn and her husband Ali, for getting married nearly a year ago and providing a lot of inspiration.
The best man
Turning to the best man, my wonderful brother Seb.
Picking a best man was not easy – the field were packed full of names from the worlds of music, comedy and genetic research. Thankfully in the end I settled on … Fugees front man Wyclef Jean. Unfortunately he was unable to make it at the last minute, so Seb dutifully agreed to step in.
And what a great job he’s done!
He organised a fantastic stag do in Toulouse, which fulfilled not only my wishes but also Alex’s brief to avoid drinking before the wedding. This he did by making sure I drank twice my body weight at least two months ahead of time!
I am sure he’ll give an amazing best man’s speech. Do remember that he is quite the fantasist. If it sounds made up, it probably is. Or I’ve led quite the oddball life. You decide.
And now for my wife … best friend and soul mate, Alexandra Har … Potts. I’ll need to get used to that!
I am so very grateful such an amazing woman chose to marry me. A woman who has served in the British Army, who has jumped out of an airplane 8 times, who has scaled Mount Kenya as well as having to endure camping in the middle of a field for weeks on end.
You can see how compatible we are on that measurement really. I am quite proud to have recently built a VW camper out of lego. Seriously, we could be clones.
To be honest, I see our dynamic more like Doctor Who. Alex is the feisty attractive heroine who’s handy with a gun. I’m odd looking chap in the ill fitting suit who’s better with a screwdriver!
We met a year and a half ago outside Leicester Square. With at least four exits, it was not the greatest of locations to suggest but we found each other eventually.
Alex and I ended up in a Moroccan restaurant and talked so much that before I knew it, we had to part ways. I realised right there that she was someone I was going to hate saying good bye to.
In the intervening year an a half I have really grown to love Alex a great deal. I admire her honesty, her faith and her unwavering desire to do the right thing. She has taught me so much about myself, as well as encouraging me to spend more time doing the things I love.
I have already mentioned lego – hence our cake topper – but I should say that I also now have an enviable vinyl collection thanks to her. My favourite of these is Carole King’s Tapestry, which she bought me for valentine’s day.
I am very much looking forward to a life together filled with love, laughter and much learning. Where else, for example, could I have learnt the 101 different definitions the British Army have for the word mess? Or what phys was (it’ s physical training) or bulling (shining shoes) !
For my part, I inform her of strange new IT terms, and she has already become au fait with sprints, scrums, relays and deployments – none of which mean anyone gets up from their desk at all.
I am very proud that we got married in St Michael’s church, as the place means so very much to us. Indeed it was on our first visit, just under a year ago, that I decided I was going to propose to Alex.
Just under a month later, under a warm Portugese sky, I popped the question. In between times, I talked to a vicar, spoke to my parents and wrote to Alex’s, bought a dummy ring, ran it by her sister and consulted good friends to us both. This meant I could definitely feel ready .
The evening itself started in a moroccan themed bar called Al Cafe. Your save the date cards have the picture taken in it. We then moved on to the first floor of Louisiana Bar & Grill and, after a slideshow on a laptop – well it is me ! I popped the question. She’s here, so she said yes!
Alex has, on several occasions, asked me what it is I love about her, and I have said the following more often than not. I never had a choice. She came in to my life and I was hooked. She is the most sincere, charming and big hearted person I have ever met. Marriage to her is one of the best gifts I will ever receive.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I therefore encourage you to raise your glasses to my wife – the wonderful – Alexandra Potts.
Father of the Bride’s speech
We were very touched by the Ray Harris’ speech, and even more so when he agreed we could share the transcript. Here it is below …
Welcome to all the guests today.
Especially those from a distance – Chicago, North Carolina, Portugal, various parts of the UK.
This wedding is not only international in the sense of guests from abroad and from the UK, but also for a shared connection with France. Mike’s mother Maryse is French and brought Mike up to speak French fluently. Mike’s father Steve met Maryse in France when studying there. Mary and I live in S W France for part of the year. One of the themes of the wedding is the colour French blue – on the service documents, the cravats we are wearing, etc.
I am very proud of my daughter’s achievements and I am very proud of Mike’s achievements. Both are lawyers, so with two lawyers in the family there will be at least three opinions on any topic. Alexandra took a first degree in law at University College London and then followed it up with a Master’s degree in law, also at UCL. She then did the Legal Practice Course in London followed by two years at the city commercial law firm McGrigors to qualify as a solicitor. Mike did his law degree at the University of Kent at Canterbury followed by the Legal Practice Course in Oxford and then he worked at a solicitor’s firm in Oxford. Both Alexandra and Mike are classic lawyers in that they are precise, clear and organised and they are people for whom words are important. But they are not ordinary lawyers. They are both adventurous and free thinkers. When the time is right they have both changed jobs. Alexandra by joining the British Army as part of Army Legal Services, and most recently by moving to the Royal British Legion. Mike by moving into the completely different sector of IT in Hays Recruitment.
When Mike wrote to me in June last year about proposing to Alexandra, he said that Alexandra is deeply caring, very inquisitive and amazingly funny. She is all of those things, and Mike also shares these characteristics. His ability to plan is astonishing. He has great ideas that he sees right through to completion. For example, the place names for the tables are on 45 rpm discs to represent both his interest in music and the key places that are important to both himself and to Alexandra. The back of the order of service has apparent adverts for a play (The Happy Marriage) and also for Rose’s lime juice as the promise of spring and new life. Even the final detail of the order of service has a statement that “ All image elements used under UK fair dealing laws, with the intent to parody or pastiche”. Mike is certainly inquisitive and he has many and varied hobbies – lego, music on vinyl and classic films in great detail.
The two most important days in my life were the days of the births of my two daughters. Caroline, our chief bridesmaid today, was born at 8.50am on Monday 6 March 1990. Alexandra was born at 3.14pm on Thursday, 26 July 1984, a sunny summer’s day in Durham. When Alexandra was born I noticed she had a slightly closed left eye. I can always tell when she is tired by that eye. But also Mary and I felt that Alexandra was a lioness right from her birth. An intelligent, polite, respectful, loving lioness, but a lioness nonetheless. And so it has proved. At UCL she joined the Officer Training Corps and (to our surprise) became very enthusiastic to join the army as a lawyer. She persisted with this idea, applied to the British Army and was accepted, somewhat to her surprise. She then showed her lioness qualities by successfully completing the rigorous Sandhurst training before the pass out parade in April 2011. I was incredibly proud that day to see her marching with the rank of captain in the British Army. It is difficult to see Alexandra here today looking so beautiful in her wedding dress and also to recall her in a soldier’s camouflage uniform with a blacked up face for night manoeuvres and with a rifle in her hands.
We are in a historic building. We are in the Nelson Room in the Trafalgar Tavern that commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Trafalgar Tavern is famous for the whitebait dinners attended by cabinet ministers and was also often visited by Charles Dickens. Well today for Alexandra and Mike this is a historic day. They are now a married couple. We toast them wholeheartedly and wish both of them a full and happy life together.
Please stand to congratulate Alexandra and Mike on their wedding and wish them every future happiness.
Order of service
Our Order of Service was the result of a lot of work. The design was based on old theatre programmes Mike’s nan had given him, the songs were Alex and Mike’s favourites and the readings said much about the tone they wanted for the day. ‘We love because he first loved us’ is also inside their wedding rings …
Click the PDF below to download it –
Our reception playlist was important to us, as it was a collection of the songs we enjoy together. Here it is …
|All of me||John Legend|
|Larger than life||backstreet boys|
|Love Never Felt So Good||Michael Jackson|
|Cliche love song||Basim (Eurovision 2014)|
|stereo hearts||gym class heroes|
|jai ho||pussycat dolls|
|feel this moment||pitbull|
|Dangerous Love||Fuse ODG|
|dance wiv me||dizzee rascal|
|Hello, I love you||The Doors|
|Forever Young||Chaka Demus and pliers|
|For once in my life||Stevie Wonder|
|You're still the one||Shania Twain|
|can't take my eyes off you||frankie valli|
|your song||ewan mccgregor (moulin rouge)|
|Can't stop partying||Weezer|
|Keep on keeping on||Travie Mccoy|
|another one bites the dust||queen|
|mind your manners||chiddy bang|
|this love||maroon 5|
|all summer long||kid rock|
|i do not hook up||kelly clarkson|
|i'm like a lawyer||fall out boy|
|Life's a happy song||the muppets|
|whole new world||aladdin/disney|
|would i lie to you||charles and eddie|
|O-o-h child||The Five Starships|
|clothes off!||gym class heroes|
|alors on danse||stromae|
|alexandrie alexandra||claude francois|
|and we danced||macklemore|
|falling for the first time||bnl|
|Rough Water||Travie Mccoy|
|drops of jupiter||train|
|Generic floor fillers for an hour then ...|
|We are young (alvin risk remix)||Fun|
|All of me (tiesto remix)||John legend|
|You'll never walk alone||Alfie boe|
Some cool animations from the day
Ray Harris’ photos
The father of the bride took some rather amazing photos with his camera. Here are some of them …