I Whale Always Love You: Toasts, Toasts, and More Toasts

I love wedding toasts (even when they’re not for me).  I like the ones that make you laugh.  I like the ones that make you cry.  I like them all.

And the toasts at our wedding were no exception.  When Zach and Alvin were finished with their music making, Mr. Whale’s brother took the stage to give his best man toast.  I love reading the other blogger’s toasts (did I mention I love wedding toasts?), so for those of you that like toasts as much as I do, you get the full text!  You can also watch the toast. (That’s for those of you that reeeeeally love toasts.) 🙂

“Matt, my brother. It’s really hard to define our brotherhood. We’re two years apart, so we spent the first fifteen years of our life doing everything together.  Eating, waking up, singing, being dumb, getting in trouble, all of it.  …Creating worlds with little characters that maybe only our mother may know about. Sometimes I think we were meant to be twins and I just missed the bus.

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But we definitely helped – you to me and me to you – define each other.  Who we’ve become. Who we will be.  I’ve always admired how you’re able to guide yourself through your life and find exactly what you want.  It’s just something I’m still working on.  But I admire that.  And you are part of my soul.  There’s no doubt.

Erin, the first time I ever heard your name in a sentence it was my brother saying, “She walked in, and I knew it was going to be trouble.”  You’re beautiful, intelligent, funny, and you’re everything he’s ever wanted.  And we welcome you to the family.

Anyone who’s ever been in the presence of Matt and Erin knows what their love is, and how sweet and pure and amazing it is.  That’s what we’re here celebrating.
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I just want to end on a story that comes from October of last year, 2012, when a hurricane was blowing toward the eastern shore.  Matt had actually come to town with us to celebrate another wedding.  And I’ll never forget when all of the flights back to DC were delayed and shut down.  And he realized Erin was back home and he was not.  And I remember him saying, “I don’t care if I have to rent a car and drive 18 hours through the storm.  I don’t want her to be there alone.”  And I remember the look on his face.
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(That’s Hurricane Sandy he’s talking about.  Luckily, our area ended up not getting too much of the storm.)

Of course, all went well, thank God. And here they are. We love you.”
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Mr. Whale (and everyone, really) was so moved by his toast.

After the best man, it was time for my maid of honor!  Not only was her toast completely wonderful, but she didn’t use any notes!  The fact that she clearly spent some real time thinking about her speech and wanting it to be good made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  It was like tangible confirmation that I mean as much to her as she means to me.  (Awwww!)

Okay, enough gushy stuff, let’s get on to the toast!  Again, feel free to watch.

“For those of you who I don’t know, my name is Leah.  I met Erin almost ten years ago when we were paired together to live as roommates in our freshman dorm at Miami University.  Now, when you take two teenage girls, away from home first time, and you lock them in a 12 by 15 foot room, you may get one of two things: worst enemies or the very best of friends.  Luckily, in our case, it was the latter.

We hit it off immediately.  We spent the next four years having dance parties in our room, eating obscene amounts of ice cream, taking midnight trips to Wal-Mart, and travelling the world with our awesome roomies, Katie and Kim.  Some of the best times of my life were those with you, Erin.
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We remained close, even after graduation when Erin moved to Maryland for graduate school.  And we made a pact that if we couldn’t find any good men to marry, we would establish an alternative household, adopt a child from Sri Lanka, and live happily ever after.  (This is the God’s truth.)
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That story is 100% truth.

But a good man did come along.  And he was perfect for her.  Not only was he cute and funny and smart and musically gifted, but he thought Erin’s eighties style clothes were awesome.  And he was always down to order dessert.
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Also, truth. (In fact, there is a dessert in a refrigerator right now from our dinner out.  We had to have the dessert, but we were too full to eat it!)

But it goes deeper than that.  And at the wedding today, and when Nick was just up here, they were talking about Erin and Matt’s connection. And I think it’s something that you’ve all seen. But, you know, it’s a hard job trying to explain it in words.  And for weeks I struggled to find the words to describe that deep connection, to tell their love story in a way that does it justice.  I couldn’t do it.  So I googled it.
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And I typed in “Maid of honor speech”.  And would you believe 843,000 results came up?  Apparently I’m not the only one who’s had trouble with this.  One of the common suggestions was to use catch phrases like, “To love, laughter, and happily ever after!”  But I could see Matt rolling his eyes when I was even thinking about it.  And plus it’s way too cheesy and trite for such a unique couple.

Another common suggestion was to tell the groom the humorous things he’d need to know about the bride’s “true nature”, now that he’s going to be married to her, to tell him what he needs to know to make her happy, how to take care of her.  Matt doesn’t need that.  Matt knows Erin better than any of us ever have or ever will.  He protects her. He makes her laugh.  And he gives her his unconditional love and affection.  For any of us to try and give Matt advice about Erin, it would be absurd.

So, I give up.  I guess the best that I can do is say that, everything about you guys, everything about this day is beyond my ability to describe in words.  You’re a beauty in that white dress.  The way you two look at each other.  The gratitude that I have, that we all have, to be a part of your lives.  And the joy of seeing two awesome people, who are so completely in love, join together forever.  So let’s raise our glasses in a toast.  To the things in life that are too beautiful for words.  Erin and Matt, I know you will have an indescribably wonderful marriage.  There are no two people who deserve it more.”
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Best toast ever.

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*All photos by the super fabulous Brenda Upton Photography. All videos by the super fantastic Hammond Studios (and chopped unartistically into clips by me).

I Whale Always Love You: Musical Moments :  wedding college park pictures pro pics recap Bluewhalenohearts.jpg

If you missed any part of this whale of a tale, get caught up here. Previously…

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