Monday, January 11, 2010

My Wedding Toast

Since you all couldn't be at the wedding, I wanted to share with you the speech I gave as the maid of honor. I hope you like it. I'm dreading the video where I have to see myself giving it because I was so choked up and high pitched and people kept clapping like they wanted me to end it already. You know how people do that when someone is a train wreck on stage and they want them to get off before they humiliate themselves even more? It was like that. So, the part where I say he is a hero for our country is true. My sister married a military man who jumps out of planes and diffuses bombs in Afghanistan and got dysentary and saw his friends killed. He's incredible and I wanted to subtly mention that in the speech. Also, I have no idea what happened with the font and the spacing on this post. I can't figure it out. It's all double spaced. Jeez. This is what happens when I try to copy and paste. Disaster. But here's my speech:

"Four years ago, after my wedding, which many of you remember, the first thing I said when it was all over, was that I couldn’t wait for my little sister to be able to experience a day as beautiful, magical and wondrous as mine. At the time, I don’t even think she was dating anyone, but all I could think about was how excited I was for her to one day be a bride too. I wanted her to feel that same sense of elation and joy, that feeling of celebration, all for her and her fiancĂ©. But really, it was more than that. What I truly wanted for her, was not just a big party with champagne, cake and gorgeous flowers. I wanted her to feel loved and protected.

Sister and I are almost nine years apart. I had been an only child until she came around and I really took my role as big sister very seriously. I’ve always believed it was my job to protect her and to keep her safe; to show her the right way. Now sometimes I defined “keeping her safe” as dragging her down an icy hill by the hood of her coat to make sure she got on the bus to kindergarten. Other times it meant helping her with her homework, dressing her up for Halloween and making gingerbread houses with her out of graham crackers. I even taught her how to talk and how to read. Unfortunately, there were a few things I couldn’t protect her from such as extremely bad 80s hair, an enormous pair of blue horned rimmed glasses and a New Kids on the Block bedspread. Believe I tried, but I was no match for Joey McIntyre. When we got older, keeping her safe was giving her advice (often unsolicited) about relationships and school, and I never ever gave up that role as the over-protective, worrying big sister. I just couldn’t. I always felt like she still wasn’t completely safe in the big, adult world, like someone might hurt her, like something might happen that would prevent her from living her best and happiest life.

Last Spring, when Sister told me she’d met someone, I bristled. My big sister instincts kicked in. Who was this guy? Where was he from? What did he do? What did he want with her? I was suspicious. That is, until I met M. The first time I met M, he sat down and talked to me about books and food, my two favorite things in the world. He listened to all of my crazy stories. He was attentive to my little sister. He looked at her as if she were the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and then we cooked together. That first time the four of us (me and Husband and Sister and M) BBQed, I instantly felt like we were family. I told Sister the next day that she had to marry him, that he fit and that he felt right.

I used to worry that Sister was working too hard. Sometimes I worried that she wasn’t eating enough or sleeping enough or that she was lonely. I worried that she might get sick or hurt and not have anyone right there to help her. I even worried that she had to carry groceries up three flights of stairs. I used to even worry about her cat. Then, towards the end of summer, I realized, kind of by accident, that I had unconsciously stopped worrying about her.

I stopped worrying because I knew she had found the right person in M – a man who was strong, who had integrity and character, a man who valued family and all that comes with it. She had found a man who is a true hero, both for our country and also for her. I don’t have to worry anymore, because I know Sister is safe with M. I know that she is loved and protected now.

I also know that M has a princess and I am overjoyed for them both. I am truly celebrating both of them today.

Let’s raise our glasses and let them overflow with best wishes for a beautiful, happy, healthy life together. We have so much to be happy for.

To M and Sister!"


cbrks12 said...

This is a great speech! ;)

Laurie said...

Crying. That was beautiful, and I'm sure your sister and M thought so too. If I ever renew my vows, I'm calling you in for the toast. :)

JDogg said...

It was a great speech, and people clapped so there would be no uncomfortable silences.

(It is defuses, not diffuses, by the way.)

Calamity Anne said...

WOW!!! You have one lucky sister to have a sister like you! Beautiful toast!

LegalMist said...

Beatifully said, and so very sweet. :)

Aleta said...

There was no train wreck with this toast. It was beautiful and showed your loving heart and all the joy you wanted for your sister. You're right too ~ when you know the person fits into the family, it's a natural, kind of "right" feeling. Wishing your sister and her husband much joy!

Albany Jane said...

What a wonderful speech! Your sister is lucky to have such an eloquent big sister.

But c'mon - was there a little bit of craziness at the wedding? Or did it go off normally?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm almost in tears. That. Was. Beautiful. No wonder people could not wait for you to finish before clapping.

I cannot find the words to properly express how moving that toast was (is) and how very blessed your sister is to have a sibling like you.


Mommy said...

I'm so glad your sister found happiness at last. What a wonderful tribute!

We used to make "gingerbread" houses out of graham crackers too.

kerry said...

Awww... I like it! She's so lucky she had you to watch out for her.

I'm glad she found somebody who is so good for her! Everybody deserves to be loved like that.

Kim said...

I doubt there was a dry eye in the house after that - beautiful and obviously very heartfelt. Congratulations and best wishes to Sister and M - they're lucky to have found each other and to be surrounded by such wonderful family. Thanks for sharing.

sadi said...

What a beautiful speech. I'm sure everyone loved it. What a great big sis you are.

And on another note, a big thank you to your brother in law for protecting all of us. Blessings to all of you. :-)

Jean_Phx said...

That made me cry - you rock. Glad you're back! Missed the reading.

Vicki C said...

I agree. That was a lovely speech.

Natalie said...

As your sister, I have to thank you for a beautiful speech and about a million other things! The speech was amazing and perfect!! I could not have asked for more. Love you!

Reiven said...

I don't know how many words were in the speech, but I counted:
43 "I"s
6 "my"s
2 "me"s
and one "mine".

As a writer you might want to be aware of that sort of thing.

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