The Actual Speech

Hi, for those of you I have not met, my name is _____ and I am the bride's sister. First off, I need to warn you, I've never given a speech before, ever.
-This is when I broke down in tears, I know, already, so I felt like I needed to warn the crowd that this speech could be a long one if I had to keep stopping to collect myself-
OK, I'd like tot hank you all, on behalf of Chels and Jared, for begin here today, for traveling, for driving, for flying here, for karaokeing here
-that was the rehearsal night-
there's been a lot of effort from many parties to make this special day happen, and Chelsea and Jared have certainly done so much work-so thank you!
I'll get straight to the point: 'C' is not only my sister, but my best friend. And for anyone who wasn't already aware, she has countless qualities I've grown to love and appreciate, and that Jared now has the pleasure of growing to love more and more every day. I'd like to share a little " 'C' Poem" I wrote about all those qualities with you:
Loyal and loving, sweet and kindhearted, 'C' knows the tiniest detail and hosts the loudest laugh, she is a tornado with a smile, soft and serious, the queen of the banana bread bake-off, she loves her shoes almost as much as she loves her cars, she is pink toenails and soccer cleats, she is the green eyed girlie, she is honest and stubborn, perpetually late, she is wild and reserved, a true "diamond- in the rough", silly and stunning, she is a sister, an aunt, a daughter,a friend, and now, today, a wife.
-more crying and gathering my composure-
-Then I told the story of first meeting her man way back when ad how their lives intertwined-
It's easy to see why 'C' loves him so much, I mean, there are plenty of things to love about him; the handsome smile, the sense of humor, goodwill, honesty, he's so photogenic-they're both so friggin photogenic. I have so much respect for 'J', for all of his accomplishments, for putting himself through college and graduating from San Diego State alongside 'C', for his friendship, for his margaritas, for educating us all on the meaning of the word, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, and most importantly, the thing I love most about 'J' is, his endless love for my sister.
-This is when my sis, the bride stood up to give me a hug as I was collecting myself, once again, and I had to stop her and say, "I'm not done yet"-
So, finally, a word about marriage from this 8 year veteran: No matter what happens through the course of your day, and trust me, a LOT can happen, it's so important that you never go to bed angry. Always kiss each other goodnight, it's as simple as that.
-And then she stood up again and I had to laugh and tell her, "I'm not done yet, I told you it would take me awhile"-
I'm honored to welcome Jared into our family and so proud to make this toast to the beautiful bride and groom:
"To the best of friends and lovers, a long and happy life with each other!"


The Speech Sweats

Because this wedding has consumed my life for the past 3 or 6 months, I have a lot to say about it. So, consider that a warning for upcoming posts.
The day my sister arrived on my doorstep to share the news that she was engaged to be married, I fell into restless nights of sleep, interrupted only by cold sweats and nightmares about the color of my dress, or a detail I'd forgotten (like my shoes, or all the flowers). I even had a dream I was so late to the wedding that all the bridesmaids had already walked down the aisle without me and as my sister prepared to make her entrance, I ran to the window of the church to look in. And the the worst part was when I realized everyone was wearing pink and somehow I stood outside the wedding wearing a bright blue dress!
And eventually, my sleep patterns fell into a cycle. The most recurring was the one where I'd lay my head on the pillow and then my mind would fervently turn over the many details of my childhood, memories of my lil sis with her fiance, stories to share, and some to keep private. I'd jump out of bed and race to the kitchen to make notes, jot down a word or two I wanted to include, a story or a phrase that seemed important. My husband thinks I am crazy.
And so, like every bizarre artist, I returned to my speech countless times. Writing first what could only be described as the worst speech in history, inspired by some terrible internet versions of bridesmaid's speeches. And then striking the entire cheesy collection to write it again, and again. With a fourteenth draft printed and packed for the wedding weekend, I knew it was only a matter of time before I was forced to complete this once in a lifetime opportunity. My one and only chance to share with our friends and family my love and respect and pride for my sister and her new husband. And what better time to finish it than 1 in the morning the day of the wedding, right? So that's when I could sleep again, at 1 a.m. the day before the wedding. Procrastination is the best of muses.


Wedding Recap

I am quite sure she was the most beautiful bride. She was glowing, she was classic, she was stunning, my little sister dressed in her wedding gown. The day was beautiful, sunny, and warm in Santa Ynez and the evening remained pleasant and calm. Calm does not however describe the days leading up to the event, all the details, the flowers, the centerpieces, the set up, the rehearsal, the sewing! Yes, the sewing!!!

I hand sewed a "Dahlia Flower" for the ring bearer and am by no means a seasoned seamstress so this was a painful and tedious task for this virgin threader. Thankfully it held together for the ceremony and she was thrilled with the look of it. Holy lotta work!!! I couldn't just do something normal like a regular pillow with a string.

Here's a pic of the pillow:

A little more gaudy and detailed than planned, but it served it's purpose after I finished it at 11:00 p.m. the night before the wedding. And hey, at that point in the evening, I just had to finish my speech!