I could not be happier than to be here with all of you. Looking around me at all of your smiling faces and hearing your laughter, well, if there is a heaven for mothers, this must be it. How fortunate my daughter is to have the lot of you as the matrix of her life. How lucky I am to be a part of it with all of you and especially with her. Thank you.
My daughter’s new parents. This meal we are enjoying is among their gifts to their son and my daughter and to all of you. It is a great feast and a gift we all will take home with us in the form of a treasured memory and contented stomachs. Thank you.
My daughter’s taste in a spouse is rivaled only by her taste in parents-in-law. My husband and I look forward to many, many years of deepening acquaintance and shared occasions with our new “co-parents,” and, who knows, perhaps some day, co-grandparents. Together, we promise to love and support our children through all the challenges ahead. We also promise to respect our children’s need to spend time with each set of parents, as well as to spend time without parents! Believe me; I know how important this can be in a marriage!
I would also like to thank them for their biggest gift to us: their son. I have been scrutinizing my daughter’s boyfriends for many years now, and it’s now clear as the happiness on her face that I have a daughter with inscrutable good taste and impeccable vision, for she recognized the perfect life partner.
When he becomes my son-in-law tomorrow, I think I will set new standards for the title of Proudest Mother-in-Law in the World. Had my daughter asked me to do the selecting of a husband for her — and don’t think I didn’t offer! — I could not have chosen better, and I would not have chosen other. I have had the great good fortune to get to know him well, and I could not be happier for my daughter, or more confident of her future with him at her side.
I think it was Walter Winchell, a sarcastic old journalist whom most of you young people won’t even recognize by name, who wrote of the ideal partner: “Never above you. Never below you. Always, beside you,” and that is how I know these two will live their life together: side by side.
And now I turn to my daughter. This may be where my eyes brim over, my words falter, but you all must know it is not sadness. I love you so much, sweetie. The tears in my eyes today are the same tears that filled my eyes to overflowing when the nurse first laid you in my trembling arms in the delivery room. Yes, the self-same tears. I’ve been hoarding them for years, waiting just for this day.
I could not have been happier, then, at your birth, or now, at your marriage. You have grown up so well, better than I knew to instruct you or guide you. And now you sit there, so smart and beautiful and full of promise, and in my mind I am wondering how that red-faced, pointy-headed little baby with the wrinkly skin and the astoundingly loud wail is ever going to fit into her bridal gown tomorrow.
I am so entirely happy for you. The gown will fit perfectly; you will be lovely tomorrow as you are lovely tonight as you were lovely as a wailing and flailing little baby.
Thank you, everyone, for being a part of this occasion. In being here, at this table, in breaking this bread and sharing this wine, you share in a ritual of love and friendship and family that will endure long after the rose petals are swept away, the last happy tears wiped away, and the limousine has driven away.
You are all part of our family and our legacy of love now, so please. Raise whatever you are drinking, water or wine or whiskey, and salute ____ and ____ and the commitment we all pledge to help uphold with our individual varieties of love and experience.
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