In preparing for this speech, I – of course – did some online research and discovered that most brides dedicate a large part of their speeches to their new husbands, prattling on about how wonderful they are and so on. I decided against that since Stephen already KNOWS how wonderful he is. Then they go on to thank everyone and anyone who has had a part in their lives, much like an Oscar winner, and that resonated with me. I had some people to thank.
This wasn’t quite what we’d originally envisioned as our wedding celebration. When Stephen and I first began planning our wedding, we rather thought we’d incorporate it into our already planned family vacation in the Dominican at Christmas. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we would be missing out on one very important part of this kind of celebration.
They say friends are the family you choose, and I believe that is true. Each one of you here tonight has chosen to be our friend, and we have chosen you. Those are not connections to be taken lightly. True friends will stand beside us no matter what life throws our way. I know this to be true. Five years ago, life as I knew it turned completely upside down. Many of you here tonight were right beside me through that time, supporting me, encouraging me, helping me pick up the pieces, and helping me clean up the messes. And there were some messes, weren’t there! I don’t know how you seemed to know just when I needed you, but somehow, when I was feeling down, one of you would call or show up at my doorstep with gifts, home baked treats, or just the shoulder I needed. You all kept telling me things would get better. And you know what? You, my friends, were right!
Three and a half years ago an amazing man came into my life. I knew right away there was something very special about this one. As Cheryl told me at my Christmas party that year after meeting Stephen for the first time – “This one’s a keeper!” And indeed he is. So much so that when he asked me to keep him permanently, there was nothing I could say but YES!
No doubt it won’t always be easy. We’re both Leos, so there tends to be a bit of growling and mane-shaking at times, but we can work with that. We’re very compatible – well, except for certain areas in which we have diametrically opposed opinions – like music. And artwork. And politics. And what colour to paint the living room. And how to properly make a bed. And what style of furniture we like. And how well a steak should be cooked. And Mickey Mouse. But other than that, we’re totally compatible. We envision ourselves many years in the future, sitting side by side in matching rocking chairs – no, wait, the chairs won’t match because we won’t be able to agree on a style. But there we’ll be, rocking on our front porch, not needing to talk because we understand one another so completely. This is our hope for our marriage.
And so tonight we have asked you, our friends, to share this celebration with us. You have followed our journey to this point, and we hope that you will be part of our friend-family in the years that lie ahead. We are grateful for each and every one of you and the parts you have played, and will continue to play in our lives. For all that you have done, and will do, thank you for being a friend.