My sister, Lauren, got married this past weekend!
It was an absolutely gorgeous wedding (no surprise since Lauren has incredible taste) and a long weekend packed with fun. Before I get to the title of this post, here’s a quick recap.
It started Friday with manis and pedis.
Then onto the church for the rehearsal, followed by a huge rehearsal dinner (seriously, like a small wedding reception).
Saturday began bright and early with hair and makeup.
Then it was time – they got married! After, the wedding party took a trolley ride around Chicago for photos at several locations.
The reception was at the Chicago History Museum and gave us ample time for visiting with family and friends, eating, drinking and dancing to a live band.
The fun continued on Sunday with a brunch at the Hancock building during the air and water show.
We came back to Naperville that afternoon and lounged around Lauren and Kevin’s new house, then had pizza and played cards with my parents.
Today we drove home, unpacked and relaxed, finally. Phew.
It goes without saying at this point, but Corban was a doll. Even at his most sleep-deprived state he was smiling while being passed around and played with by dozens of people, many of whom were strangers to him. We truly hit the jackpot with a happy-go-lucky baby – at least thus far!
And yes, he wore a full tux to the wedding.
Anyway, I had an absolute blast being Lauren’s Matron of Honor. I got all pinterest-crazy with her bridal shower in June, had so much fun helping make her bachelorette party amazing and enjoyed supporting her through every step of wedding planning (although really, she and my mom had it all under control and didn’t need me). On her wedding day, I was there to hold up her train so it didn’t get muddy during photos and hold her bouquet so she could clasp hands with Kevin as they said their vows. That was all fun.
The scary part of this role, of course, is the speech traditionally associated with it at the wedding reception. I had lots of time to contemplate possible courses of action for my speech, but at some point earlier this summer, I had a revelation. I wouldn’t just say what I wanted to say. I would rhyme it. Somehow that made it seem less daunting.
Of course, deciding to take on the task of rhyming an entire speech is one thing. Actually writing it is another. And in true Alison fashion, I left that to less than a week before the wedding, which, in my world, is actually the equivalent of doing it well in advance.
Oh, and here I am re-copying it into neat handwriting on – you guessed it – the morning of the wedding.
I ended up with plenty of time to revise, edit and fact-check, and, though it was no Shakespeare, I was feeling confident in the words, as long as I could successfully deliver them.
Kevin’s best man, his brother, Eddie, gave an awesome, hilarious speech that was interrupted frequently by applause and laughter. He set the bar high, and, honestly, I was shaking in my nude patent leather heels right before taking the mic. But once I got going, I have to say, delivering my speech turned out to be just as much fun as pinning pink-themed bridal shower DIY projects. I know writing in rhyming iambic tetrameter and reading your work to a crowd of 246 wouldn’t be most peoples’ idea of fun, but it actually was yet another highlight of my stint as Matron of Honor. Mainly, I’m just glad Lauren and Kevin were surprised and enjoyed it right along with every other amazing detail of their day.
Several people asked me afterward if they could have a copy of the speech or if I’d be posting it to my blog. Since I can’t remember who all asked for it, here it is for the entire world wide web to enjoy.
On March 14th of ’89
a girl was born, that sister of mine.
One month before, on 2/15,
a boy named Kevin came to be.
In Naperville both lived and grew,
just streets apart, but neither knew
that they would someday meet and fall
in love and stand before us all.
But let’s not get ahead just yet.
First back to long before they met.
As a baby, they all say,
the boy was quite content to play
alone, in fact, his family knew,
he’d disappear out of the blue.
And after checking all the locks,
they’d find him playing with a cardboard box.
The girl was quite a different kid.
For your attention she would bid
relentlessly, both night and day.
Her little voice had lots to say.
She loved Barney till age five.
At eight tried to keep tree frogs alive.
That didn’t end well, if you know what I mean.
But she still kept her room painted lime green.
Now back to the boy – I can’t resist.
How many times did he break his wrist?
And ankles too – and some may scoff –
he almost chopped his finger off.
Accident prone? Are you kidding?
Maybe he should take up knitting.
But football was the sport he chose,
resulting in some broken toes.
Now here’s the part you want to hear.
On their first day of freshman year
this girl named Lauren sat in class
while Kevin gave the teacher sass.
She looked cute in her Benet skirt,
but neither were inclined to flirt.
They met, but then, you might be shocked,
three years went by before they talked.
It may have never taken place,
but both were urged by David Case.
Lauren was Miss Popular
while Kevin was more jocular.
He played football while she cheered.
She loved Harry Potter; he thought that was weird.
Then senior year: Homecoming dance,
Turnabout, Prom, this sweet romance
would last beyond their high school years
despite long-distance dating fears.
From here to Arizona State,
Platteville, De Paul, they continued to date.
Not easy, but they made it through
with lots of calls and texting too.
Their phone bills may be through the roof,
but now these two are living proof
that when you give someone your heart,
no distance can keep you apart.
As soon as they had their degree
Kevin got down on one knee.
Lauren laughed, smiled, cried, no less,
so overwhelmed she forgot to say, “Yes.”
So one year later, here we are,
taking advantage of an open bar,
and wishing you endless happy times,
hopefully with fewer cheesy rhymes.
Corban says his hope is this:
a cousin Dennis or Beatrice.
Truly we’re here to celebrate
your two lives leading up to this date
and the one life you’ll share starting now,
forever blessed by your wedding vow.
Lauren, though I’m older than you,
you’ve always been one I’ve looked up to.
You’re full of class, spirit and life.
I know you’ll make a wonderful wife.
Kevin, I’m proud to call you brother.
For Lauren there could be no other.
Your patience and humor are perfect for her.
I know you’re the one if ever there were.
So now let’s raise a glass and cheers:
To Lauren and Kevin, many happy years!