Even though I've already written about my brother's wedding, I realized that I didn't post the actual speech that I gave at the reception. I've traditionally posted speeches here, so I figured why stop now?
I didn't speak from written notes, but what follows is approximately what I said at my brother's wedding:
I could stand up here all day and tell you funny stories about Drew, but I won't. Instead, I'm going to talk about three things that I've learned are important for a strong marriage: laughter, honesty and choice.
Last November, Dee and I went to Cancun with Drew and Alyssa. During the trip we had a lot of funny moments and adventures but one really stood out to me. We had spent the day at Xcaret and we were sitting in the big arena waiting for the closing ceremony start. Alyssa spotted a man sitting at the end of our row holding a wide-brimmed woman's sunhat. She looked at me and asked, "Why does that man have a turtle on a plate?" I looked down at the end of the row and saw what was obiously a hat and said, "No, Alyssa. That's a hat." We all laughed at her mistake and after a pause, Drew said, "Well, why does he have a hat on a plate?"
It was at that moment that I knew that these two were right for each other. I knew that since they could laugh with each other and at each other like that, they would have what it takes to keep their marriage strong. Laughter helps make the hard times a little easier and it makes the good times a little better and if you can laugh every day, you'll have a little bit less to worry about.
Just before Drew and Alyssa got engaged, Drew called me and asked me if I had asked for Dee's parent's permission before I proposed to her. I told him that yes, I did ask their permission and that it was something that was traditionally done and that Alyssa's parents would appreciate it. He then said, "But how did you do it? I can't seem to find time alone with them." I told him that I got lucky and that Dee happened to leave me alone with her parents long enough for me to ask them. He said, "How do I get Alyssa's parents alone without her knowing." I told him to tell Alyssa that he was going golfing with some of his buddies one day after work and instead take Alyssa's parents out for dinner. He then said to me, "But I don't feel right lying to Alyssa like that." I told him that that was very sweet, but I didn't think that Alyssa would mind and that she would probably be more upset if you never got around to it.
I knew after that moment that Drew and Alyssa had the kind of honest relationship necessary to form a strong marriage. It's important that you are always honest with one another and that you are prepared for honesty from each other at all times. If you are honest, you'll avoid a lot of arguing and misunderstandings and you'll spend a lot more time laughing.
Now, I want to borrow a bit from the speech my dad gave at my wedding. He said that very often at weddings, people talk about fate and predestination, but to say that this is fate or that this was always meant to be takes away from the power of what we are celebrating here today. The beauty here isn't that these two finally did what was always meant to be, but that these two made a conscious choice to be together, to fall in love and to spend the rest of their lives together. I want to take it a step further and remind you that your choices have led you to this point and that your choices will continue along this path. It is now your job to make the conscious choice to keep loving and supporting each other. If you do this every day, you're marriage will remain strong and happy.
Alyssa, welcome to the family. Drew, congratulations on landing a girl that's way out of your league.
Please raise your glasses in a toast to Drew and Alyssa. May they have a long and happy marriage.