“We are simply together and glad for it. There are always those perfect times with the people we love, those moments of joy and equality that sustain us later on. I am living that time with my husband now. I try to study our happiness so that I will remember it in the future, just in case something happens and we find ourselves in need. These moments are the foundation upon which we build the house that will shelter us into our final years, so that when love calls out, “How far would you go for me?” you can look it in the eye and say truthfully, “Farther than you would have ever thought was possible.”Ann Patchett, Harper’s Magazine, 2006 – reprinted in her book of essays, “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage”
At a family wedding for the weekend, and many cousins have been tasked with giving toasts. This is an assignment that generally makes people nervous. I’ve heard lots of good – and lots of bad – advice for happy marriages in toasts over the years. I wish someone had read me this quote, it would have been infinitely more valuable than rehashing regrettable college stories or middle school mishaps.
So if you really don’t know what to say, start with this. Talk about how it’s important to “stockpile” your cheer, your love. When Matt and I were traveling nonstop, I’d joke on weekends that we needed to “stockpile” to save up and get us through the week / weeks ahead when we’d be apart. Sometimes the concept worked. Other times I’d still miss him like crazy. Other times I’d be so frustrated by trying to share a life together through the phone that I was just angry. Now that we’re not constantly both on the road, this quote reminded me this is still a good practice. Marriage isn’t always wedding day perfect.
It fits along nicely with the philosophy of one of my most admired, levelheaded, steadfast friends. She and her husband remind each other that every day they’re married is a choice. They wake up and choose to be married that day. Some days that choice is a no-brainer. Some days that choice is a little harder to make. But she likes to remind people that marriage isn’t supposed to be easy. It isn’t always a natural thing. It’s something you commit to, you work hard at, and you choose, every day, to do the best you can at it.
There’s also nothing wrong with just saying, “Cheers to the bride and groom on a very happy day. Wishing you many years of happiness.” Nobody ever rolled their eyes over dry wedding chicken during a too-short toast.
And if you want to make a bride laugh, forward her these tips for “photo prompts ahead of her big day.” Better yet, try them out together at her bachelorette party. Some of my favorites:
- Slow jog then small hop into his arms while he attempts to serenade you a favorite love song
- Draw a heart with your nose on the side of his cheek
- Run towards each other and embrace without falling over
- Hold each other close and try to breathe in sync
The wedding industry has lost its collective mind, right?
Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.