My sister Katelyn and my new brother-in-law Chris got married last Saturday, on October 17. My youngest sister, Christie, and I were the maid/matron of honor. The wedding was a lot of fun. Kate put a lot of work into having the wedding of her dreams, and it really paid off. She looked beautiful and so did everything else: the flowers, decor, theme, pictures, etc.
I was super nervous about my speech. It took me three nights and a lot of different drafts and angles before I finished it. I figured since I spent so much time on it, I’d share it here. I don’t think it sucks that much. I had a few compliments afterward, which was nice. If you’re interested, it’s after the page break, along with a few pictures.
They wrote each other cards and exchanged them just before the ceremony (without Chris seeing Kate, of course!)
Love this picture of them:
These lovely centerpieces were a part of the “fall” theme.
With my gorgeous sisters.
My family <3
If you’ve made it down this far and want to read my speech, here it is:
When I got married, my sisters had a wonderful speech about how much they wanted to be like me. Well, the joke’s on them: I’ve always wanted to be like my sisters! Katelyn has many amazing qualities: grace, conviction, self-awareness, and patience, to name a few. Katelyn is a caring, thoughtful, and above all strong woman. Chris, you’re very lucky to get to spend the rest of his life with her. Welcome to our family.
Katelyn, Christie, and I were raised to be readers. We were taught early on to have respect for the printed word. As I was fondly thinking back on the days of weekly trips to Borders or sharing Sweet Valley books or endlessly discussing what would happen at the end of Harry Potter, I realized that marriage really isn’t all that different from a good book, and your marriage will be filled with enough stories to fill up a whole bookstore.
There will be books filled with happiness and with excitement, with anger and with sadness. All of these things, both good and bad, are normal things that happen in every marriage. But, as the great Albus Dumbledore once said, “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love.” Watching your courtship and engagement, and seeing how you two take care of and complement each other, I know that your love is strong enough to protect you both from whatever may come your way.
Love is, of course, the foundation of marriage. But, there will be (SHORT!) chapters where you want to kill each other. Benjamin Franklin wisely wrote, “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.” A big piece of advice that goes around to couples about to get married is to argue naked. Now, that may be a whole other section in the “Kate & Chris Bookstore,” but I’m not going there!! I have a more realistic piece of advice for you: When an argument is getting out of hand, take a deep breath and set a timer for a 15 minute timeout. Use that time to cool down and collect your thoughts and get a grip on your anger before it gets out of hand.
I love a good mystery book; your marriage will be filled with little mysteries. Be sure to take frequent trips to romance section, and God willing, you’ll spend a nice amount of time in the children’s section as well. And when you’re out of the children’s section, spend a lot time in the travel section!
Everyone loves a book with a happy ending. How will you write the best conclusion to your story? Friendship, love, loyalty. In the words of Gandalf the Gray, “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” Grand gestures may work in movies, but in reality, it’s the small, everyday things that keep you connected.
Alright, one more Harry Potter quote to finish: As good old Hagrid once said, “What’s coming will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.” Face every moment head on, together. Time marches on, even if we aren’t ready for what’s lies ahead. I know that you two are strong enough to face whatever comes your way. I can’t wait to read “The Story of Katelyn and Chris.” Congratulations. I love you both and I am so happy for you two.