It only seems a few weeks ago since I was writing to our baby brother on his wedding day, but now it’s your turn. You’re getting married today dude! Please, please, please do not do any stop-offs at Brewdog on the way to the venue – you need to be there SOBER!
A married man, eh? It was weird to think of one of my little brothers being married, but both of you? I suppose your wedding is a great chance for us to get together for an epic Cooper (and Bailey, of course!) party. There haven’t been many of them since you and I decided to up and move to completely opposite ends of the country. It doesn’t feel like there are 300-odd miles in between us though. Whatsapp, Facetime and Facebook are brilliant inventions and it means we get to see your (hairy!) face relatively often.
Not long after we moved to Wales, you moved down to Suffolk to be with your very soon-to-be wife. You’ve been with Charlotte your entire adult life, meeting at sixth form, driving backwards and forwards to Keele an then to Suffolk. We all knew you would move away from Birmingham at some point – who could blame you?
You’re pretty much living your best life down there now, working in a job that you appear to love (anyone else reading this – he works in a gym where they order pizza in!), by the coast and spending what looks like many a happy afternoon drinking some sort of weird-named beer in a beer garden or cuddling the cats. Who would have thought you’d be a cat-daddy?
You and Charlotte are so different from each other but I think that’s what makes you work so well as a team. There aren’t many young couples who can manage a long-distance relationship in the way you did for so long. Like Kim, your wife isn’t just my sister-in-law, but one of my best friends, so look after her.
You are also the cool, fun Uncle to Harrison, Alex, Ben and now, Freddie. I know my three look up to you for your fashion sense and taste in music and it’s the only way I can bribe them to eat vegetables. You REALLY love carrots, don’t you? I know that if you and Charli decide to have kids in the future, you’ll be a brilliant dad.
So, today, when you’re saying your vows to the love of your life, I’ll be there, ugly crying at the front like the proud big sister that I am. Because I am so proud of you. I’m proud of the man you’ve become, from the chubby little skater-wannabe to Starbucks monkey, from biker boy to Volvo-driving grown up bloke who wears flat caps.
I really hope (and I’m pretty sure I can say this on behalf of the rest of the family as well) that today is as amazing as it promises to be, but most of all, I hope you and Charlotte have a whole lifetime of happiness together.
I love you bro.