Receiving Lines, Part 3

Since you've been so nice and patient, here is the 3rd and last installment of my wedding speech series. :)

This was the speech that inspired the series, my first official maid-of-honor speech for my darling younger cousin Arianna. As you may notice, I stole one of the themes I used in Karen's speech, but since I stole it from myself, I think it's okay!

------ Arianna & Charlie's Wedding Speech ------
setting: fall 2007, Catholic, formal, 300 guests
other speeches: best man, father-of-the-bride, groom

I must admit, thinking of what to write for this speech was pretty challenging- I mean, how can I summarize a relationship I've had for my entire life in just a few minutes? Although, I suppose, I didn't know Anna during my first 2 years of life, since she hadn't been born yet. Looking back, I don't think it's a coincidence that those 2 years were the least memorable... from my perspective!

Growing up, we were made to be close. We are both youngest daughters with two older brothers, my godmother is Aunt Dianne, her mother, and my father was her godfather, and our brothers were inseparable as kids. I've always thought of us as having interchangeable families. My mom and Aunt Dianne oftentimes showed up to family parties in the same outfit or with the same coat, as if they were trying to prove that to us. I can't count the number of times we've slept over each other's houses. And I can't think of any significant events in my life that Anna wasn't there for.

Our relationship has always been really important to me; whether it consisted of having someone to play My Little Ponies with all of the time, share clothes and crushes and secrets with, or teach me the meaning of all of the words in rap songs. I have been lucky enough to watch grow Anna grow up to be a beautiful, charming, intelligent, mature- well, most of the time-, and talented woman. I know I would be a different and much less interesting person if I hadn't grown up with Anna, and I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have her in my life.

Because of all of this, I went through a variety of emotions when she and Charlie began dating. The first time I heard about Charlie, Anna was about 6-years-old and she was telling me how much she was scared of Charlie, the bully next door. That's how I knew him until I was a senior at Country Day high school, where I noticed the often-smiley ninth grade Charlie seemed to have grown out of the "bully" stage.

Later, when I was in college, Anna came to visit me and brought Charlie with her. She told me they weren't dating, but it was hard to imagine that being the case- I saw how honest she could be with him, and how fixed on her every move he was... and I knew they had come a long way from their first meeting. And, more recently, I've known him to be someone who steals her time away from me, on occasion, like when he's wanted to go clothes shopping and she's had to, in her words, "baby-sit that situation, if you know what I mean." And, to be honest, I never minded him requiring her attention, because they'd usually take me with them, and never make me feel uncomfortable being a third wheel.

As the years have gone by, I've just been more and more convinced that they are meant to be. First off, our families have been friends forever- between his Grandpa & our Grandpa & Uncle Bill's family and Charlie's cousins and their decades of friendship, you would think it could have been an arranged marriage... I mean, I wouldn't put it past Uncle Bill to do something like that�

Secondly, they share so many of the same interests- spending time with friends and family, playing on the lake, traveling, watching football, dogs... and countless other things.

But what really made me know that this was going to last was the first time I witnessed Charlie in a political discussion. When I heard how passionately conservative Charlie is, I just knew he and Aunt Dianne were an in-law match made in heaven!

Charlie, welcome to the family. I thought I should take the opportunity here to... well, give you a little insight on what it's like to live with Anna, since that's an area of expertise for me. So be prepared for Anna to potentially throw your clothes out of a second-story window if she's upset with you; convince you to play a speed card-game and then scream "Slow down! You're stressing me out!" once you begin; tell you she made plans for a fun Saturday afternoon but then reveal that you're actually painting her parent's deck; make you tell her the same bedtime story you've told 1000 times before because she's always fallen asleep before the ending... I actually did that last night.

From my experience, be prepared for Anna to keep the bedroom window open all night, even in the winter, but still complain that she's too hot to sleep; make chocolate malts the second she gets home, no matter what kind of ice cream is left in the freezer; be honest with you with her opinions about everything, including telling you that you really need to take a shower, even though you took one like 3 days ago! And, of course, be prepared for Anna to be generally fun, caring, loving, and wildly entertaining.

Charlie, I know that even if Anna throws your clothes out the window a few times, you both will be okay, because I've seen how patient and loving you are with her. All I could ask for for Anna is a husband with whom she feels safe and who loves her like crazy and I know both are true today. Your relationship has been an inspiration to me and I am excited to see where your life together takes you. Congratulations and I love you a lot!

------ Arianna & Charlie's (Potential) Future Children! ------

Arianna & Charlie, meet my rendition of...

your little angel daughter...

your sweet baby boy!

Why am I so amused at manipulating the pictures of those I love?

I'll be back with the usual babble hopefully pretty soon� :)


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