[Mel, I am drinking an iced chai as I write this. It was only appropriate.]
Chris and Melissa are officially married (!!!)
Their wedding was more stunning than I even imagined (and my hopes were high). It was perfectly them-classy, comfortable, cozy, chic-and really, Really FUN.
Aren't they just SO good looking? I know.
Once upon a time Melissa emailed all her bridesmaids and asked if any of us would be willing to give a toast at their wedding. I wrote back and said something like "well...you know giving speeches isn't necessarily my forte...but I will if no one else wants to."
Because obviously there were 3 other girls who would jump at the chance.
Fast forward two weeks to me opening an email from Melby saying "Guess what? You're the speech girl."
I love Melissa with huge chunks of my heart so I set out to write this speech with all the eloquence in my possession.
I am not 100% sure what actually came out of my mouth Saturday night, but it was supposed to go something like this:
I was excited when Melissa asked me to give a speech at their wedding and immediately started writing out my list of "Melby memories."
...random roadtrip with a gnome? check.
-Melissa converts half of our team of girls to order chai in the exact same way she loves it? check.
-The boy I half-way, maybe liked declaring his love to Mel right outside my bedroom window? check, check.
But the more I've thought about our memories-and, Melissa, we have had a beautiful journey-the more I got excited about the significance of Today and all that is ahead of you with Chris.
You are two of The Most Incredible people I have ever met [and, at 30, I have met A Lot of people]. You are both so caring, so thoughtful, so genuinely kind. And absolutely the Most Selfless People I have Ever Known.
I don't have time to share all the stories of ways Mel has loved me and her other friends through the years. Notes, gifts, questions and spontaneous visits. Melissa loves her friends like no other.
You have taught me what it means to be a good friend.
I have learned so much from you over the years and look forward to learning more in the years to come. With all sincerity I can say that I leave our every interaction feeling challenged, loved, seen, and closer to God and the world around us than before.
It's been wonderful to watch you and Chris grow in your strengths and heart as you have grown to love each other in the last few months.
I know that as you love God and love each other well, He is going to lead you into some amazing adventures in the coming years. I keep seeing the book Oh the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss when I think of the two of you. I think you will look around in even the first years of your marriage and be Blown Away by the doors God opens for you and the way He leads you and blesses you.
And Chris you should know that Melissa and I recently renewed our "friends for life" vow which is going to mean raising our kids together, owning neighboring houses, perhaps arranging some marriages between our offspring and of course getting some matching rocking chairs for the front porch when we are 80.
So let's all raise our glasses to
the author of our love stories
God's amazing grace
surprise beginnings and
And, of course,
to the newest and most beautiful bride and groom-
Melissa and Christopher Smith.
Oh man, I love you two.