The Father of the Groom Speech

For my son’s wedding, I was asked along with others in the family to give a brief speech at the reception. Below is my contribution. ~ Chris

Thank you all for joining us tonight. I’m so proud to know that my son has found the perfect life partner, and I’m so pleased to welcome not only Emily into our family but Emily’s family as well. And to everyone here enjoying this significant moment in our lives, I think of you as family too.

I may not like to admit it, but I might happen to be an old softie when it comes to romance. I love it when the guy gets the girl. My wife can attest that if a movie has some sort of romantic element as its focus, the guy better get the girl in the end or I’m not a happy camper. The movie that made me that way was an 80’s film called The Sure Thing. Now the sure thing, in this case, wasn’t about love really, it was more about… well, it was about having a fun time on a college break. I don’t think John Cusak’s character was really wanting the “sure thing” and Daphne Zuniga’s character definitely wasn’t going to be the “sure thing” either.

Ben had told me that Emily was sort of resistant to his advances at first, maybe making it clear that she was a strong woman who didn’t necessarily need a boyfriend. But the cross country and track team spirit must have led to meaningful interactions in which Ben got Emily to drop her guard a little.

Kari and I first met Emily after a Loras track meet, one that she would make a “splash” at, falling into the water pit of the steeplechase as I photographed her doing so. Rising from the cold pit of water, she charged onward, determined to still do the best she could. I was impressed with her effort. Afterward, she came by Ben’s dorm room as we were getting ready to leave and we were introduced. I could tell then that there was something special happening between them. Fortunately, the dating continued and romance bloomed. It wouldn’t be long before they shared long runs, a graduation ceremony, vacations up north, an apartment, and their first home together.

In the movie, the point was less about finding the “sure thing” and more about discovering the “real thing.” And, as a romance softie, I’m happy to say that I think Ben and Emily have both found the “real thing.”

So as you go through life, remember that moment in which you met, the moment that sparked the connection between the two of you, and remember that you have each found the real thing in each other. Cheers to you and many happy years of love and laughter together.