It's David C. Ford week here on the Mindsilt Blog.
At my wedding my father gave an outstanding speech. The text is below.
Jeffrey & Deanna,
For your families and I, you must know that this day is, in our lives, as special to us as it is to you. It is a day we have thought about since we held you in our arms for the very first time.
I want to share a couple of thoughts with you.
First, the poets and lyricists often embrace the strange idea that this bride and groom are destined by the stars to be together and that each is the only person in the world for the other - that somehow fate had predestined this day and this union.
But looking at the two of you: Deanna - a raving beauty, bright, wonderful, kind, caring - a woman that would make a wonderful wife for any man she chose and I would guess that there are a hundred thousand young men in this city alone who would gladly change places with Jeffrey this day to win her hand.
And Jeffrey - please excuse your doting old dad, but God, I'm proud of this young man. He is everything a man could ask for in a son. Handsome, intelligent, strong, funny - as best I could ever tell the delight of everyone he ever met. Likewise, there is no doubt in my mind that thousands of ladies would have eagerly welcomed a life with him.
But the magic of today is not that some cosmic gravity brought them together, the magic is that of all the other choices they might have made, of all the relationships that might have been, these two people - today - called together their families and their friends and the people that are important in their lives to a place they both held sacred, and in front of the world and their holy God, swore their eternal love to one another, to exclusion of all the other possibilities that might have been. Jeff and Dee join their lives today not because of any occasion of fate, but because they have resolved to devote their lives to one another.
The love you see in them tonight is not a love of chance - it is a love of choice.
And then, there is the famous phrase: "Happily ever after".
Dee and Jeff, everyone at this event tonight wishes you a "happily ever after" and there will be great times ahead for you. As time goes on, I know that you will discover delights and pleasures even more profound than this night. Maybe one day, if you are as fortunate as Greg and Barb were, some beautiful little girl will climb up on your lap and ask you to read her a story and you're hearts will burst at your pride for her. Or, maybe, if you are as lucky as Joyce and I were, some little boy will meet you at the front door at the end of the day with his ball and bat and beg, "Hey, Dad, will you pitch me a few?" And my God the world just doesn't get better than that.
But your vows today weren't just for better and richer and health. If the rest of your life was only about the good times, those vows would be empty and pointless. There will also be hard times - times of doubt, times of stress, and times of illness. It is in the hard times that you will discover how much you need one another. It is in the hard times that you will begin to understand what it is to have one person in the world that is there for you and that no matter how uncomfortable it might sometimes seem, that you are the one person on whom your partner can count.
To live "happily ever after" would be a very shallow life. I tell you tonight that in the good times you will find happiness, but it is in the hard times that you will find the depths of your love.