Monday, August 11, 2008

I'd like to raise a toast...

This past weekend was the beautiful dream wedding of my dear friends Allison & Alex here in Chicago. Among my duties as the MOH, of course, was giving a toast to the bride and groom at the reception. Since I've never really been one for extemporaneous speeches (especially when I want to make sure that what I say makes sense and communicates the full meaning of what I want to say, and when there's a chance I might get a little choked up, which it turns out I did), I wrote my toast ahead of time to read at the reception.

So, since it's already written, I thought posting it here might be a good way to offer my congratulations to the newlyweds and give a little report on the wedding. So, here's my toast, to Allison & Alex!

Allison and I had a class together the first semester of our freshman year of college--10 years ago this month--and have been best friends ever since. I think college is where Allison and I fell in love with coffee and coffee shops. We spent many, many hours talking and studying over frozen blender mochas at the Jumping Bean on campus, or escaping to the MT Cup or the Blue Bottle in Muncie for a change of scenery and a good latte. A weekend trip to Columbus to visit Allison’s parents always included a visit to Stauff’s, a local coffee chain. And still today, some of our best conversations take place at Caribou or Starbucks.

College is also where Allison fell in love with Chicago. I remember when she returned from spending a J-term at the Olive Branch Mission in Chicago, confident that this is where she wanted to live and work after grad school.

And Chicago is where Allison fell in love with Alex. I remember when Alex was only a name and a profile to be curious about. I have this distinct memory of trudging along Chicago’s slush-covered sidewalks in the dead of winter as we speculated about “Dr. Alex”—what he’d be like, how their first date would go, and whether or not he’d get her number and actually call. Well, as you might guess, that first date went pretty well, and Alex impressed Allison by calling the very next day.

Something I really appreciate about Allison and Alex is that while they were falling in love, Alex also became my friend. It’s been my joy and privilege to have a seat at the table of their relationship, as it were—a table that has seen quite a few games of Mexican train dominoes, and where, thanks to Alex, I’ve been introduced to all kinds of delicious cuisine.

And so, Allison and Alex, it’s with great honor and a glad heart that I stand next to you today. As your friend I pledge to keep my seat at the table—to love and support you both as you live out your continuing love story as husband and wife.

To Allison & Alex! With love.

1 comment:

TirzahJean said...

You look so beautiful! And what a great toast!