The rehearsal was an interesting event, starting with a downpour of rain. It started to drizzle in the afternoon and seemed to let up when we reached the venue to begin the rehearsal, but as soon as we started it just came down. There was nothing I could do but laugh.
Thankfully most everyone came prepared and almost everyone was covered by an umbrella. It was a quick rehearsal as everyone was paying attention and we got through it. Then it was off to dinner at Cisco's.
It was really nice to catch up with our friends who live out of state (almost everyone in our wedding party). The margaritas were delicious and helped when it was time to make our speech.
The following is the speech Patrick and I made for our friends and family at our rehearsal dinner. The bold print is what Patrick wrote and said during the speech.
"We know most of you took time off of work and travelled a long way to be here and we want to say how much it means to us to share our day with family and friends that love us. I know for the majority of you it meant making huge efforts of rearranging your personal lives as well as arranging travel and accommodation and we appreciate that more than you realize.
A wedding is a time for joy and fun with friends and family, but it is a time too when our thoughts inevitably turn to those people who cannot be with us. Patrick and I would like to take a moment to mention a dear friend of ours who recently passed away. Losing a friend is a painful experience and it's difficult to accept that a person we shared so many moments with is no longer in our lives. Although the death of Sid saddens our soul and leaves an empty space, we must always remember him with joy. We never though that this would be a part of our speech, we never imagined having to say these words. Sid knew Patrick and I separately and he knew us together. It is because of Sid that I met the love of my life and I will always be thankful to him for that. He will be greatly missed.
We want to thank our parents, not only for the love, support and guidance over the years, but also for everything they have done to help make this day perfect. You have taught us all that we needed to know in life and gave us the chance to learn some of life's lessons through experience. You loved us and took care of us without expecting anything in return. When we decided to begin this journey together you accepted each of us as your own welcoming us into your lives and making us feel welcomed and loved.
Dave and Lorie made me feel so welcome from the first time I met them and I feel immensely fortunate to be marrying into such a great family. There is one moment in particular that I knew they not only welcomed me into their family, but they also welcomed Isabel, accepting her as their own granddaughter. Early in our relationship Patrick, Isabel and I had gone out to dinner and bumped into Dave and Lorie at the same restaurant. Isabel said hi and called Dave "dad". He said something and in that moment I just knew that I had picked the right person to spend my life with because not only was he accepting, understanding and perfect, but so was his family. Dave said to Isabel "I'm not your dad, but you can call me grandpa." Thank you both for making it so easy.
I would like to say a BIG thank you to both John and Jan for all their love and support, you have made me feel like a part of the family from day one and I have never had the chance to say thank you properly- so thank you. Thank you also for raising a beautiful, intelligent and sometimes stubborn daughter and- of course for letting me have her hand in marriage. I can tell you both that her happiness is so important to me and I will do my best to make her as happy as she has made me. I knew I was accepted into your family when I was able to start tagging along on your family vacations. From Vegas to Mammoth and places in between I've never felt like an outsider, I've always been your son. I find it funny that I would always tell Tracy how concerned I was that you would all disown me after spending that much time with me, but it didn't take long for me to realize how well all of our personalities went together. I appreciate that you have entrusted your daughter to me and I will do my best to take care of her as her husband.
We would also like to thank our wedding party for their hard work and loyalty. I know for me, even when things got hectic and I was losing my mind it was my girls that really pulled through and lifted me up and that is what true friends are made of. Each of you have been there for us in different ways, but your support and encouragement throughout our engagement, planning the wedding and being there for us tomorrow on our special day means so much. Having you all there by our side and calming our nerves makes each of you a perfect addition to the start of our life together.
Patrick and I realize that when we get married we are not just marrying each other; we are marrying each other's entire family. This, of course includes our children. It is important to the success and happiness of our marriage that they know how important they are to both of us. Kaleb and Leah, I wasn't there when you took your first steps, but I promise you now I will love and support you in every step that you take in your life. I promise to be fair and honest, to be available for you and in due time to earn your love, respect and true friendship. I will not attempt to replace anyone, but will cherish my life with both of you. Thank you for accepting me as your bonus.
Isabel, I want you to know how much I love you. You are so very special to me. One of the best days of my life was the day you and your mom came into it. Every time I saw you smile, I smiled. I now know that it's my job as a father to love you, to protect you, to encourage you to reach your potential, and to embrace your inner and outer beauty. I am very proud to have you as a daughter.
Some people judge their success on how much money they have in the bank and others on how they look in the mirror. If there was a preferred way for Tracy and me to measure our success, then it would have to be by looking at the friends and family that surround us now. If you're here with us today it's because you are important to us. When I look around the room I'm in total awe of how lucky and successful Tracy and I really are. Again, we want to thank you all for celebrating with us. We are so excited to become husband and wife tomorrow and couldn't imagine any of this without you!"