Home > Personal > When Life and Friends Collide: A Wedding Speech

When Life and Friends Collide: A Wedding Speech

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Took a few minutes to speak at my good friend’s wedding this weekend. Though the speech was off the cuff, I’ve decided to write a bit of it out by memory. Obviously it’s not verbatim, but you get the idea.

Some quick context: I met Joe in college and lived with him for two years. His grandmother, Evelyn, was an awesomely senile and loving Jewish woman who loved to speak on the phone with us during our college years. She passed away last year and sadly never got to see Joe and Erin get married. We relived her life and some of our favorite stories the night before the rehearsal dinner.

The Speech
Joe and Erin, with the exception of the wonderful speeches before me, I find that wedding speeches usually fall into the same boring narrative. First there is a story: One day Joe left on the stove and almost burnt the house down. Then there is a bigger theme: It was obvious Joe couldn’t cook and he would have to find someone to marry that could. Then the lesson: Joe thank God you found Erin, now don’t forget to always do the dishes, she will love you for it.

And as much as I wanted to pull myself out of that narrative structure I just couldn’t. But what I could do was talk to you and Erin as a friend. You see guys, I’m talking to you and 75 of your closest friends and I want you to think about something. Last night while we all sat in the living room something amazing and wonderful happened. For about 35 to 45 minutes, we remembered, laughed, bonded and told the stories of your loving grandmother Evelyn. We sat there, laughing about the WalMart employee and that damn bird that almost got killed, and it was as if life stopped. It was one of those moments when a life gets boiled down to a few stories, intense laughter, and an overwhelming amount of love.

Joe and Erin I want you to do something. In this world of hyper-connectedness, Facebook, Twitter, email, and cell phones, I want you to take a moment every day and stop. Stop everything and look around. We too many times miss the small things that make our lives amazing. I know this because I do it all the time. Just look at where we are now. Sitting here next to beautiful Lake Tahoe next to a sunset most people only experience through a promotional photograph. We should take a second and soak this in. It’s a moment that will define your lives.

So as you go forward building your life, I want you to remember to improve the lives of others and strive for what Evelyn gave us: Roughly 45 minutes of joy and laughter that took a special night to tears, overwhelming happiness and a life remembered.

May God Grant You Many Years

(Pics of the groomsmen and Joe on the lake during the rehearsal dinner)


Categories: Personal
  1. Susan
    September 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Well said, I totally agree.

    I wish I had known Evelyn.

    I remember that Joe had her “voice” as the ringtone on his phone – something like “Joe, pick up the phone!”

  2. Ken
    November 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm


  3. December 27, 2009 at 3:33 am

    wow what a nice wedding speech. thanks for sharing

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