Sunday, July 28, 2013

Speech

This is the speech I gave at Jenn and my wedding reception, 20 July 2013.

(Addressing Jenn) 

"Time with you is perfect. Never boring. Never wasted." 

That's one of my favourite lines, from a poem that is, on the whole, not very good. The poem is by Henry Rollins. Which is proof, I suppose, we can find beauty in the strangest things. We can find love in odd pairings. Boy from Texas; girl from Devon; united by their love for "Strictly Come Dancing."

But it's true. Time with you is perfect. Never boring. Never wasted.

Remember when we first started seeing each other? I think it was our second or third date, when we were still in that awkward stage of thinking: "Oh, should we be smooching? I don't know..." We sat up until 3 in the morning, talking, until we were just too tired to speak anymore –– but unwilling to say goodbye. So, we just sat on the couch not saying anything. I put my arms around you, and we listened to the radiators clicking and the sound of each other's breathing.

That is what I'm talking about.

Remember the time we cried while watching Mr. Popper's Penguins? The time a lovely spring stroll somehow led to our wandering through a mental hospital? The time we dressed as professional wrestlers? The time we discovered that certain rocks, when heated in a bonfire, will explode? The time we went skinny dipping and were interrupted by an urban youth group? The time I went to the States for a visit, and when I came back you were there at the airport to meet me, and you held on to me for the rest of the day and wouldn't let go.

That is what I'm talking about. Time with you is perfect. Never boring. Never wasted. And I love you. I love you far more than I thought myself capable.

(Addressing everyone at the reception)

That's the point of today, of course: Jenn and I standing up in front of all of you and declaring our love for one another. We say it to each other all the time, almost to an obnoxious degree, but a wedding is about saying these things in front of our friends and family, before God or whatever it is you want to call that thing that connects all of us.

So, I want to thank all of you for being here. You are an incredibly important and necessary part of today. I know it can sometimes feel otherwise; it can sometimes feel as a wedding attendee that you are getting dressed up in uncomfortable clothes, sitting in an uncomfortably hot room and not trying to look bored, just for the sake of filling out numbers.

But you are important. You make today what it is. Think how silly and self-indulgent this whole thing would be if it were just Jenn and me in this room.

I know that everyone has had to put effort into coming. The overwhelming majority of the people in this room have had to travel at least 50 miles to get here, most have had to travel several hundred miles, some have had to travel several thousand miles. And I am wholly aware that you have had to fork out hundreds and thousands of pounds, euros or dollars to do that. I cannot thank you enough. It means so much that you are here.

There are a few people who couldn't be here, of course. My grandparents, for example, aren't in the sort of health one needs for international travel. A number of my friends in the US simply couldn't afford to pay for flights. And there are also the close friends and loved ones who have passed away.

A wedding is a celebration of life. One of the unhappy truths of life, though, is that we have to suffer loss. And those losses are hardest to suffer on a day like today. It is heartbreaking to me, for example, that I never got a chance to meet Jenn's mother. I can see her influence in Jenn and Jenn's family, though, and there is solace in that. The people who aren't here in the flesh are here in the sense that we carry them with us. A person is an amalgamation of the people he or she cares about, and all those who care about him or her.

The same is true of a marriage. It is more than just two people, more than the couple. It is also those persons who are so important to the couple: the people who get dressed up in uncomfortable clothes and come to sit in an uncomfortably hot room. See? I told you you're important. Again, thank you. Thank you for being here so I can stand up and say: "Everybody, this is the woman I love."

So, everybody: this is the woman I love. I realise that because of the distances some of you have had to travel, you might not have had a chance to meet her yet. So, I'll introduce you. Her name is Jenn. She's from Devon. She is beautiful and fun and clever and wonderful. She sings along to almost every song on the radio despite the fact she rarely knows the words. She talks in her sleep. She likes walking around the house naked. And she has an absolutely filthy vocabulary. But she has, too, one of the purest hearts I've ever known. She is deeply caring –– about her friends, about her family, about people in general, and about the planet we all share. In what she does and strives to do she makes the world better.

That is especially true in my case: Jenn makes every day better. She makes every moment better. Time with her is perfect. Never boring. Never wasted. And I love her.


7 comments:

Tina Walker said...

Lovely.

Wierdo said...

Bootiful. Given me goosepimples!

bryan torre said...

Like.

huw said...

Aw, what a nice piece. Glad it went well- hope folks had a great time.

jg_38 said...

Congradulations. That was beautiful!

Lucky said...

Very nice!

So, did it make the moms cry? You totally made your moms cry, didn't you?

jon said...

Gorgeous. If I get married, I'm going to plagiarize this. Don't sue me. That would not be a pleasant wedding gift.