A cousin of mine got married recently. I knew I wanted to write something for them, so I did. It's just one basic thing I can do to contribute. It marks the 2nd wedding I've been to this summer. I kind of teared-up at both ceremonies, and Don mentioned "they really affected you," and I wasn't sure how to take that statement. The bride at the first wedding started crying when vows were read to her, so I started with tears in kind. And Eli Rinzler and Ana Bennett's wedding was just so gorgeous it was hard to keep a dry eye. My brother, a groomsman, felt the same way.
But it was not for beauty and empathy that I cried, but for both and more... These are the first weddings I have been to as a married person myself. In awe of, and now truly aware of, the magnificence and splendor that a real and honest match can bring to the world.
"TO regale you quickly with a personal most-embarassing-moment, caught on VHS tape well-over 25 years ago…
The Jerman/Liggett/Rinzler extended family were together in Ontario, Canada for our ongoing annual early-August vacation. This particular year, Grandma and Grandpa Liggett were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
This was a big deal, and a well-kept surprise, due to much hard work and preparation. All my relatives were speaking in-turn and, being especially young and eager, I was caught up in the moment and wanted to contribute.
I had no idea what I might say. Everyone was witty and had prepared remarks. I figured out later how to do this sort of thing as you can probably tell, but after listening to all the familiar voices I’d come to know and appreciate, and being surrounded by so much love… by the time I got up to speak I said two words and simply burst into tears.
My mother then gratefully escorted me from the room.
Here today I’ll try to refrain from offering her the task of repeating history…
To Ana and To Eli-
The pair of you are already so brave for having a fantastic wedding party beyond just an elegant and warm ceremony. You have made it seem effortless, and flawless, and I thank you with deep gratitude.
I say this as someone for whom getting hitched in the desert city of Las Vegas Nevada after only 3 months of engagement couldn’t have been more perfect…
I guess really what I mean to say is- celebration comes naturally when the party is pretty large. But the less exclusive it becomes, the more it risks spinning out from the center. It takes the power of individuals to stay its focus… In other words, each of us share different reasons for why we’re all here for the same reason.
Acts of bravery beyond these herculean tasks involved in throwing a wedding are naturally in the long game of maintaining the marriage itself.
I quote my husband here: “The wedding is for everyone else, and for now. The marriage is for you, and for after.”
So it is for this reason, that of the greatest family traditions we can possibly foster, the single best is the act of Marrying for Love. And if we’re very lucky, for Life.
A magnificent hope that so many in this room share for you: that 50 years from now you both will be seated again at the head of a table. Your golden anniversary being celebrated with you, for you, and all around you. Including friends and family yet to be. With laughter and stories, and sincere and beautiful tears.
You two came and visited me in Chicago nearly 5 years ago. The windy city I live in and love was a stop-along on a pretty epic road trip for the pair of you. We went to Rivers Casino in Rosemont, Illinois, just outside the city limits.
It was for all of us an inaugural visit, but Ana unwittingly came to indulge in her first-ever foray into buffet-style eating. This girl was in her 20’s and had never been to a buffet before?! So she claims! When she told Eli and I this, our eyes just about bugged out of our heads, we couldn’t believe it.
A great many of you present share such exclusive moments with this enchanting and very busy couple. Times that seem so alive and vivid no matter how brief, or how simple.
Remember them, and lift your glasses for them-
Here’s to making more of those times today.