Carol Rosen’s Wedding Speech For Her Daughter
2013 was the hardest year my family ever had to get through. On April 2nd, my father died. On October 10th, Sam’s mother also passed away. We desperately needed some good news to pull us through. Well, Jerusalem gave that to us, when she announced her engagement to Matthew. Now every single one of us is smiling again.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
In September, 1988, I remember the leaves burning red and gold as they do every year. They were especially bright and beautiful that fall. Then, on September 21st, those warm, harvest colors made a perfect setting for the birth of my baby girls, Jerusalem and Monet.
In keeping with our Russian heritage, although I ordered layettes for my daughters, and my friends wanted to give me a shower, I couldn’t pick anything up before the babies were born. Then, because the stores where I shopped for baby clothes were shut for Rosh Hashona, when I gave birth, all Sam and I had to welcome two miracles into our arms was one blanket each from Mount Sinai Hospital.
As a mother, it’s hard for me to talk about Jerusalem without Monet, because my little girls did everything together and we did everything as a family. But today is Jerusalem’s day.
Although very, very smart, my daughters didn’t speak until they were three. The speech therapist quickly found out why. Sam and I speak Russian at home. The girls watched TV in English, and our babysitter was Polish. So wouldn’t you be confused, too, about how to ask for kishka?
Jerusalem was only two minutes older, but was and always is the big sister. When the girls were three, Monet was frustrated by not being able to make herself understood using a combination of many languages. And she would start to cry. But Jerusalem stepped right up, held her sister tight, they’d “talk” for a minute, and then Jerusalem calmly turned to us, like she was at the United Nations, translating what they “discussed”.
At four, she was a passionate skier, so every other weekend we drove to Vermont. Jerusalem was very small but carried her own skis and poles just like a pro. She was serious about her sport. Then Sam thought she should try snowboarding, but oh no – Jerusalem wasn’t interested. Not even a little. Eventually, she gave it a shot, became the best, and being Jerusalem, was able to keep up with the boys in High School. And that, from what I understand, was very cool.
When the girls were five or six, we were at the market. I asked them to choose a few apples while I got tomatoes. Half a second later, I heard my children singing “Hava Nagila” to a standing ovation, right there in the Fuji’s.
As a family, we never missed an evening meal together. No matter how late it got, or how hungry Sam and his girls were, Jerusalem always said “I’ll wait for you”. And she still does.
Although Sam loves his daughters with his whole heart and ten more, he always wanted a boy, too. And now, Matthew, he has you. But who ever thought that boy would be so big – so six foot six? It’s almost like having a second set of twins, but with mustaches.
As lucky as Sam and I have been with our own mishbucha, we couldn’t have picked a more gracious or loving new one for our daughter than the Goldstein’s. Bryna and Dan, like us, I know you don’t want to nag too hard for grandchildren right away, but wasn’t it fun last night, assembling that crib?
My first daughter, my new son – Sam, Monet and I are a fountain of dreams for you. We want you to love each other, be strong for each other, be there for each other, and believe, that no matter what, you were meant to be together, forever.
Congratulations! Solniyshko! We love you! L’chaim!
You’re getting married! He finally popped the question, “will you sign the pre-nup here and here?”
Since the lawyers filed that document, Vera Wang has been gowning. Jimmy Chew, shoeing. Mothers are kvelling. Daddies are liquidating portfolios – and that’s just for the cake.
Florists, forests, caterers, musicians, beauticians, photographers, videographers, calligraphers, rabbi’s and security guys have come together, forming an industry bigger and more powerful than The US Marine Corps, whose only mission is to make your wedding day perfect.
Now you have to write a speech for your wedding that is worthy of your moment.
I suppose you could find some $77.00 schlock site where you could download the same rhetoric 166,000 other folks have used this week alone. But aren’t you more special than that? Don’t you and your fiancé have a relationship fingerprint that is unique? Don’t you love one another like no other couple ever has? Surely you don’t want your wedding speeches, your wedding toasts and your vows, clogged up with clichés? Wouldn’t you rather be honest, have everything sparkle, saying what could only come from your heart to his?
I know your answer is yes.
But hey, you say, “I’m an IT person, not any kind of speechwriter. I just can’t write a speech or toast for my wedding” Or, “I’m a CFO. No classes on speeches at The Wharton School. I need help writing my speech for my wedding”. And “I have two gold medals for wrestling (OK – one was from the Olympics, the other from the Barney’s ten minute ramekin sale). I can fight. But I can’t write. Especially about love. Love and above. That’s all I know, dude.”
No worries. I can take the intimidation away. Immediately. I can help you write your wedding speech, and wedding toast.
There are many different kinds of speeches and toasts to be given before and during a wedding. They range from the proposal, to the bridal shower to “Attention: there’s a chartreuse pick-up with the lights on…” Follow them with toasts to the bride, groom, by and to the father of the bride, mother of the bride, stepfather of the groom, foster mother of the groom’s moil. Let’s not forget wedding speeches for the maid of honor, best man, siblings of the happy couple, their Facebook friends, Drs. Phil and Drew, family pets, both real and imaginary, and finally, the nannies, some of whom might have to teleconference from caves in Curacao.
It might feel overwhelming to you, but speechwriting for weddings and writing wedding toasts is easy for me.
Even with all the procrastination, the warm-up is part of my writing process. And yours.
Preparing to write speeches for weddings plus wedding toasts, I go shopping for shoes, take a number of long walks, devour Candy Corn, lock my phones in the trunk, and line up all my ritual stuff. That includes a glass of water, an ice bag for my neck, a second chair on which I rest my right foot, and then hang Post-its saying, “I can do it I can do it I can do it” all around my monitor. Next, I roll my shoulders backwards and forwards, stretch my jaw six times, and finally type something dumb, like “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”. Then I have something on paper, which I might change to “The quick brown fox skidded to a halt when the hunky, albeit, lazy, dog walked by and the fox knew this was the one…”
See, at that point, I’m actually on point, playing with the words, instead of clobbering every syllable that isn’t brilliant in what I call “my early garbage draft”.
From there, I make lists of what I want to say in my wedding speeches and toasts for weddings.
Like a grocery list. Instead of “linguini, zucchini, scaloppini and gum”, I might write “I love your big feet, your big hugs and small AMEX balance…” Moving forward, I make another list of all the reasons I’m honored to be someone’s life partner, then tell a story or two about our courtship, and look out – I’ve already got a very good start on my remarks. My wedding speech is almost written. See? Easy.
To show you the importance of choosing every word carefully, I was contacted several years ago by The Norman. (not his real name). He had already asked a lady to marry him, twice, and got “no thanks” both times. So he asked me to write a marriage proposal for him that would change the response.
I did. She said yes. The young woman never knew Norman was so romantic, passionate and completely committed to her happiness. (I even told my client to return the ring his lady had been turning down, and get a bigger one, in a more turquoise box tied with a pretty white ribbon.)
He and Julie have been married twenty-one years and six days.
Here are five simple tips to writing a wedding speech or wedding toast, whether the ceremony is at City Hall or in the City of Light.
* Start early. Don’t wait until the flowers and the florist flop over before you commit quality time to what you want to say.
* Practice. This will put you, your fiancé and your guests at ease.
* Be brief. This is about love, not a debate on healthcare.
* Say what you feel, not what other people have already said.
* Be a little funny, a little teary, and finish on a positive note, making everybody cheer.
Should you need some help writing your wedding speech or wedding toast, I’m right here with my basket of beautiful words that we’ll choose together for your one-of-a-kind, one-in-a-lifetime wedding.Go back to Home