A wedding toast


To the happy couple, attendants, family and honored guests:

Congratulations. Best wishes. Thank you.

Yours is a blessed union, one that promises love and joy for a lifetime to come. Together, you can do anything.

Once you survive the first dance. And the Electric Slide. And the showers of rice or eco-friendly rice substitute.

weddingdance.jpgI don’t just see a smiling and teary bride and groom before me — I see children and grandchildren. I see you surrounded by family yet to be, a home yet to be inhabited.

A life yet to be lived.

I’m neither psychic nor psychotic, but I do know the path ahead. It is a well-worn road, paved with good intentions. Or am I thinking of another highway to hell-l-l-l-l-p me out here …

Knowing you two as well as I do, I can say truthfully, for once, that you deserve each other. That’s more than an idle threat — that’s a promise, a holy vow. Till death do you part, sayeth the preacher, the parents, the girl who catches the bouquet later and the toastmaster general.

But are you greater than the sum of your parts? What’s in it for us?

It’s easy if you’re good at math. Allow me to sum up.

I see a woman who is kind and loving, smart and coy, unbelievably giving and unflinchingly upbeat. She brings wisdom, honor and passion to this union.

I see a man who is gentle and firm, true and trusting, hardheadedly determined and romantically devilish. He brings heart, soul and strength to this union.

In their eyes, I see their future and ours. I see a history of disastrous missteps and happy accidents leading to this moment. And I see life flying by with a cold progression of seconds, hours, days and years.

Our happiness at their joining isn’t simply the exuberance at an open bar. We know him and we know her so well, yet we know little of them. Isn’t it exciting? Isn’t it romantic?

Isn’t it all a bit frightening?

Nothing worth accomplishing in life is easy. I was told this many times growing up as I skated through final exams, conquered essay contests and won at online poker. Getting married is easy, though you may hear otherwise from those enduring the rounds of tuxedo fittings and band auditions and flower fiascos.

Getting married is easy — building a life together, not so much. But it is not without its charms: trips to the lake, lazy Sundays, morning jostles in the bathroom, sweet nothings at bedtime. They will have time enough to bicker and worry and cry and stare at each other in utter disbelief. I can’t believe I married this person. For life.

Believe it.

Embrace it.

Long after the toaster oven I bought for you at a suspiciously high discount on eBay erupts in flames, long after the other gifts you exchange at Williams-Sonoma for what you really wanted are passed on to unlucky relatives, this special day will endure. And it will shrink behind the next day and the day after that, until a progression of days stretches out as far as the heart can see. All special, though some more special than others.

We shall be there, too. We came for the cake, but we’re staying for the ever after part. Which is why we raise our glasses on this momentous occasion and say once more:


Best wishes.

Thank you.


About this entry