My Toast to Matt + Kelly (And How to Write Your Own)

Matt and Kelly listening intently during toasts

Well, I have been absorbed in all things wedding for the past few months and am happy to share that my little sister Kelly who got engaged in Colombia last summer married her sweetheart on Saturday! The entire day was beautiful and emotional and I ended up crying so much, I cried a fake eyelash off in the middle of the ceremony. Luckily, as far as I know, everyone was focused on the couple.

When planning my Matron of Honor speech (yes, being married makes me a ‘Matron,’ which sounds excessively old), I wanted to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Kelly and I have enough memories and inside jokes to fill a book, but I wasn’t going to subject her guests to all of that. The simple formula I followed was this:

1. My relationship to the bride and a few stories from our history
2. Observations about the bride and groom’s relationship
3. My advice and wishes for the couple

The final product is below!

– – – –

Kelly and I have been best friends for almost 25 years, since the day she was born in July of 1988. Ok, if you know us at all, you know that’s not true, considering I did my older sister duty seriously and tried my best to make her my personal slave up until the year we moved to Pennsylvania. That year I finally realized that though I had to leave all my other friends behind, in Kelly I had a built-in best friend. We have been roommates, travel buddies, dance partners, and co-conspirators. It has been hard living hours and states away from Kelly, knowing that these instances of sisterly collaboration are much fewer and far between, but it is a great reassurance to know Matt has taken up the mantle of being Kelly’s partner in crime.

Kelly and Matt’s relationship has been that of a slow burn, growing in strength and intensity over the last three and a half years. Having met at Eastern Mennonite University, they have had experienced the beauty and accountability that comes with having others witness their relationship from the start. Matt and Kelly, I have loved watching the evolution of your relationship.  You have an ease about you now, and your love for each other is evident. I know your marriage will be filled with many of the things that build a beautiful life – long hikes, good music, good wine. The point at which I knew Matt truly would be a great match for Kelly was when she said that Matt provided a balance for her – that when she is stressed out, Matt helps calm her down and bring her back to reality. Matt is her soft place to land.

I have only been married about two and half years, but here is what I know thus far. Be honest with each other. Fight for each other. There will be inevitable hard times, but remember you are never alone. God uses us best as broken vessels, our lives poured out for His purposes, partnering with him to bring his Shalom back to this earth. Remember this day. Remember this moment. Look around at all the faces of those who have come to witness your commitment and stand with you, affirming your decision. Let this not just be for today, but for a lifetime. May you always live in community, allowing the wisdom and experience of those around you impact your marriage and future family.

I wish for you a steadfast friendship, enduring happiness in the simple things, and pray that your love for each other continues to burn slow and steady, your relationship deepening year by year. I love you both. CHEERS to Kelly and Matt!

4 thoughts on “My Toast to Matt + Kelly (And How to Write Your Own)

  1. Beautifully written from the heart. You did marvelous. It was a special day just like your wedding. We treasure the memories and would love to LIVE to see all eight of our grands happily married….well at least thru college!!!! But then again weddings are much more fun than college graduations.

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