My husband reckons it’s no small coincidence that I have recently likened a speech for a wedding to a eulogy.
He of 37 years of marital bliss cracks out the annual: “You get less for murder” Dad joke that all men find hilarious on any anniversary exceeding 20 years. So such a comment is not unexpected.
As he guffaws in the corner at his own hilarity (does he really think I haven’t heard this before – aka every year for the past 20?) I can’t help but make comparisons and I must continuously remind myself not to fall back on what has become my default speech writing position (ie writing eulogies).
It’s all a bit sad that these days I attend more functions involving eulogies than any other speeches. So it’s wonderfully refreshing to be asked to create the speech involving a person who is moving on and making happy and fulfilling choices (mind you, if she cops the less-for-murder joke, this may change).
It’s true that in creating this speech about the bride to be, you talk about the good times and you speak about the person herself. You talk about her attributes and those things that link you as friends. And yes, in doing so, you follow an all too familiar formula.
But how different is it to put all those lovely thoughts and memories into the present tense?How lovely is it to have your friend in the room as you say all the things you love about them out loud. For this is a speech about optimism and hope and renewed beginnings. This will be a speech that promotes laughter and smiles and if there are tears, they will be happy ones.
For my friend, a wedding is more than just her marriage to the man of her dreams. It is a chance for us all to celebrate her new future. It is a chance to tell her those things we may otherwise leave unsaid.
It is a chance to bring colour and joy not only into her life, but into the lives of the people she affects. Because actions have consequences and happy actions have happy consequences (I may well use that in the speech).
It’s almost enough to make me want to renew my vows. But I’m not sure I could stand the new onslaught of Dad/husband jokes that this might entail.