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Erin and Andy

On behalf of Erin and Andy and their parents I’d like to thank you all for being here this evening.  Each of you is here because you are deeply meaningful to Erin and Andy and they appreciate your gathering on this tiny island to celebrate their Big Beginning.

One of the most fun things about having a wedding at the very end of the weekend is that everyone has already had so much time to spend together, that all these different people from your lives have had time to mingle and reconnect. You’ve really created such an intimate, familiar feeling that has heightened our shared enthusiasm as we finally gather for the grand finale and true highlight of this weekend.

By now everyone here probably knows that this is not my day job; I’m just very honored to have the best seat in the house for this event. I’m actually a teacher and a writer, so it’s only natural that I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to say tonight through those lenses.

I always say to my students that a big key to success is identifying and articulating what’s going well so we can do more of it.

That seems fitting for you as a couple—things have obviously been going really well--so that’s tonight’s theme:

This evening you aren’t just declaring that being married is what you are but, rather, it’s what you’re doing, and I want to highlight for you “what you’ve been doing well” so you can do more of it—because it’s working!

For those of you who don’t know, Erin and Andy are the product of a very good blind date. They were introduced by their close friends Bry and Andrew on a Wednesday night and Andy followed up with Erin the very next morning asking for their next date. Andy’s step mom Dee reports that he actually called her that weekend and announced that he knew that he had found the woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with. Erin knew things were headed in the right direction when, one afternoon while they were shopping for potential patio furniture, Andy suggested in the lawn center at Home Depot somewhere between the pavers and potted ferns that they “make it official” that they were an exclusive couple.

Legend has it that they didn’t actually end up buying anything that afternoon, but I think they got a pretty good deal, nonetheless.  

I’ve had the chance to talk to many of your guests and members of your family this weekend, and the consistency of the insights everyone has shared about you is sincerely inspiring. It really speaks to how genuine you are with each other and the people around you.

Over and over people have commented on

  • how much you trust each other,
  • how secure you are together.
  • That you give each other space, but deeply care for each other.
  • Erin, I thought it was fitting that you mentioned that you’ve always told people that you are “basically dating yourself,” because your friends and family agree: it’s clear that you both fit together.

Not only are you simply compatible, though; you’re also active and growing together.

You travel. You love to hike and explore new places. You golf. (although, I can’t provide any commentary on anyone’s handicap….)

I could go on, but I thought it would be much more fun for you to share with each other some of the things that you love about each other before we go further.

 

Erin: Andy, I want to acknowledge how much it means to me that you love to take care of me. Even if it’s just through a small gesture like killing a bug or trying to force me to eat broccoli, your thoughtfulness always lets me know I’m loved.
Thank you for always being so patient with me and including me in so many new activities. You bring out my sense of adventure, encourage me to stick with things, and most importantly, you always stay by my side. I’m so happy to know that you’ll always be by side from today on.
I love you.

 

Andy: Erin, You look so amazing today but I want you to know that I have loved your beautiful smile since the first day we met. I also happen to love your resistance to eating vegetables.I want you to know how much I treasure your integrity, your self-awareness, and how comfortable you are no matter what your circumstances. You can be pretty weird and I think it’s wonderful. Thank you for accepting me with loving arms. You always give me the freedom to be myself, and I feel so understood when I am with you. You’re so special, and I’m so happy to know that I’ll always have you by my side.
I love you.

 

Erin, you told me that you really liked Tim Keller’s observation that the person you are marrying today is not the exact person you’ll be married to for the rest of your life, in that we all inevitably grow and change over time—and that’s a great thing!  Because of that evolution, it’s exciting to consider that there really isn’t a clear final product from where we stand today other your devoted togetherness.

Before you exchange your vows, I want to remind you that today you are committing yourselves to protect and cultivate the devoted relationship you clearly already have. Today you are committing yourselves not only to each other, but to the people you are to become.

Since this relationship officially kicked off in the Home Depot, we’re going to run with the concept of building. Today you’re laying the foundation for your family, even if that’s just the two of you, and the commitment you’re making is specifically about the way you’re going to do the construction.

Your marriage doesn’t have to be difficult, but it will take effort. This is not to be taken lightly. As you exchange your vows today, be advised that you are promising to maintain and grow the very same patience, kindness, humor, self-awareness, integrity, and generosity of spirit you’ve shown thus far no matter how challenging your circumstances. After, all, it’s those qualities that have brought you here today.

By making these promises to each other, you are declaring your devoted togetherness, that you will always cling to the confidence and faith you have in each other right this moment.

So, with all that in mind, let’s go ahead and really make this official, okay?

The Vows

I Erin choose you Andy

To be my beloved husband.

I treasure the person you are

And I pledge to embrace the person are you to become.

Today I promise

to love you and honor you

All the days of my life.

 

I Andy choose you Erin

To be my beloved wife.

I treasure the person you are

And I pledge to embrace the person are you to become.

Today I promise

to love you and honor you

All the days of my life.

 

The Rings

With this ring I offer you an outward sign

Of my enduring love and fidelity.

Without any further ado, it is my deep honor to present for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Leech.