Next up in the line-up of traditional wedding elements: the speeches. We didn’t give our speakers any guidelines as to length or content.
The only thing I outlined was when (more or less) the speeches were supposed to happen:
My dad giving his toast
Since including the complete speeches would be way too long, here are a few highlights from the speeches:
…The values transmitted by parents, grandparents, other relatives, friends, and teachers made it possible that two people from distant places were attracted to each other over short and long distances and times. The two have talked to each other and seen each other after they met—directly or via Skype—just about every day. But talking or looking at each other via computer screens is only a substitute. So, here we are to celebrate the marriage of Mrs. Bracelet and D____ [my brother’s name]…err, D____ [Mr. B’s name]. Sorry, this is ingrained…”
This little hiccup caused major hilarity around the room.
As my dad concluded his speech, he handed the microphone off to Pastor W, who blessed our meal while the salads were being served.
We planned for the toasts by Best Man N and Maid of Honor R to take place during the main course. That way people would be sitting down and be able to enjoy their speeches. Best Man N went first.
Best Man N
…The one thing that you all here will be rewarded about if you look around this room, all these people have traveled so far, you have the opportunity to meet people who are from different lifestyles, different countries, different cultures. And the opportunity to meet them and really have that chance to embrace someone who is very different from yourself, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes, you might find someone who really strikes you, to have a great conversation and to really learn something about a human being, because you never know where that opportunity is going to take you.
As I’m sure everybody’s heard, the once in a lifetime opportunity that might happen, that might allow you to meet somebody that you will really find that spark with. You never know when that might happen.”
I was quite excited to hear MOH R’s speech. She’d already surprised us at our German reception with a speech, so I was certain that this would be a speech to remember.
…When Mrs. Bracelet asked me to do a speech at her American wedding, I had to call her mother in order to know what I am supposed to say as a maid of honor. She told me that my task would be to introduce the bride to those who might not yet be too familiar with her. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor to present you tonight: my best friend.
(My MOH did a stellar job, talking about how we met and became friends, my hobbies, my friends, and how the two of us kept in close contact despite attending separate universities.)
When searching the internet for recommendations for maid of honor speeches, I found that one is supposed to end the speech with some marriage advice. Well, being your maid of honor and not your matron of honor, there is not much advice from my own experience I can give you. But I thought of some general advice on life for you. I would say be courageous and up to the challenge, loyal and committed, always open and curious.
Well, what can I say to two people who met as total strangers at a traffic light in Japan, who were willing to give it a try and knowing from the beginning that there would be serious challenges to their three-continent relationship ahead? A couple that has nevertheless committed itself and that has become inseparable ever since, regardless of how many oceans lay between them.
The only thing left for me to say is: Keep it up! Enjoy your life and marriage as you enjoyed your wedding days in May and today. Stay as courageous and up to the challenge, loyal and committed, and open and curious as you have been from the beginning. And the last word is more a request than advice: Let us be part of your journey!”
…and one proud boyfriend looking on.
We loved hearing all the heartfelt speeches that our friends and my father made. It was a sweet surprise to learn how each saw our relationship, how each related to us (as a person and as a couple), and what advice they wanted to give us.
All photos by Legacy Photo + Design
Missed a Bracelet recap? No worries…links are below!