I wanted to start off by thanking Stacey and Evan for inviting me to be a part of their special day. For those of you who don’t me my name is Jamie and I am both the maid of honour as well as Stacey’s younger sister. For those of you who do know me, you’re welcome. Stacey and Evan, I wanted to tell you both how absolutely spectacular you look today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better-looking couple (except for maybe myself and my boyfriend Adam).
Stacey had three short years of bliss before she was blessed with a younger sister. I remember following her around, wanting to do everything that she did. I have very fond memories of going to Geauga Lake and wearing platform sneakers in order to reach the height minimum so we could ride the newest rides, making elaborate blanket forts at grandma’s, and even broadcasting our own pretend news cast about an E. Coli breakout in 2001. Now, in true sisterly fashion, we weren’t always best friends. I remember, as I’m sure our father does as well, several screaming matches, door-slamming and an incident involving someone slamming a toy box shut on the other sister’s face resulting in the loss of two front teeth, but I’m sworn to secrecy under the sacred oath of sisterhood. Through thick and thin, I couldn’t have picked a better partner in crime to take this journey through life with and now that we are older, I can finally admit that I am happy to have grown up with such a great role model and older sister.
As you can imagine, living with someone for 20-some odd years gives you a unique opportunity to watch them grow, change and mature. I’ve seen Stacey battle through some difficult times but nothing has been able to hinder her passion and motivation to succeed in life. I am so proud of her for pursuing her passions and her career as a nurse and I know our mother would proud to see the woman she has become. I also know that if our mother were here right now for your wedding she would be stunned the sight of her oldest daughter walking down the aisle.
I don’t have any embarrassing stories about growing up with Evan, so I will let his brother Aaron tell those. I did want to say that I truly appreciate how happy you make my sister. Today both of our families grew a little bit bigger and I am happy to welcome you into ours.
Stacey and I were raised with a few simple rules, so I thought I would pass some of these rules onto you, as a married couple since they are great advice for any relationship:
Sharing. As children, sharing applied to the remote, toys, and the N64. For you two, it means so much more; it means sharing your feelings, both good and bad. It means sharing your hopes, your dreams, your fears. Sharing with your spouse, significant other, and even your friends is an important foundation for building a healthy relationship.
Respect. For us as kids, this meant respecting our teachers, neighbours, our elders, and other children. For your marriage, it means a couple things. First, it means respecting your elders. You two may be grown, have careers and be married, but you still need to listen to your parents; they are older and wiser than you, embrace it. You also must respect each other. I’m sure sometime down the road you will get into an argument, but you must always respect each other’s opinions, values and beliefs.
Forgiveness. For Stacey, this meant she had to forgive me for accidentally breaking her foot. For you two now, as a married couple, it means forgiving both each other and yourself for the mistakes you have made in the past and will make in the future.
I hope that you will take these small pieces of advice and remember them throughout the rest of your lives together.
If everyone could please raise their glass, I’d like to propose a toast to the new Mr. and Mrs., Evan and Stacey: here’s to love, laughter, and happily ever after. Congratulations!