Father of the bride
This is a very special moment for me and it’s especially nice to be able to share it with all of you.
I’d like to start by saying thank you to Chelsey and Shawn for bringing us all together like this. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see a lot of old friends and make a lot of new ones.
This group represents the merging of two lives and this room is filled with everyone who really matters in those two lives. Collectively we are a pretty important bunch and it’s wonderful that we could all be here together to share this day with Chelsey and Shawn, and get to know each other better.
Over the past few months, I’ve given a lot of thought to this day and especially this moment. In preparing what I might say, I spent some time rewinding the memories in my mind, recalling the many highlights in our journey as father and daughter, and I have to say there were many. And they started right from the second Chelsey was born.
Chelsey, I don’t know if you knew this or not, but your mother and I both really wanted a girl, so you immediately achieved perfection, just by being born.
And it didn’t end there. You were a warm, sweet, happy child. You greeted us with that trademark smile on your face. Everyone knows the smile I’m talking about and for those who haven’t known Chelsey since childhood, I assure you it was always there.
She’s an independent spirit who always took responsibility for her own happiness and contentment. She finds that happiness among the more meaningful things in life. Chelsea isn’t what I would call impulsive or frivolous. There’s genuine meaning behind everything she collects and everyone she keeps close, every friendship and relationship in her life. She puts her whole heart into the people and things that matter to her. I mean I look around this room and it’s in front of me. Her friendships are lifelong. Amy and Leah have been households names in this family for decades.
And who could forget Copper, her devoted companion of 12 years or so. From the time she was four years old, well into her teens, those two were inseparable. I have vivid memories of her standing at the edge of the pier at our cottage, tossing the ball into the water, and Copper enthusiastically diving in to retrieve it. Chelsey always found time for Copper no matter how old she got or what else what happening in her life.
There are genuine loyalty and sincerity to Chelsey that makes everyone around her know just how much they mean to her.
This makes Shawn a pretty lucky guy.
Now… When Shawn first came into the picture, I remember Colleen started to prepare me for this. She would say things to me like, ‘I think Chelsey’s pretty serious about Shawn’. She was letting me know what was coming. But I also understood Colleen’s message to mean that I should probably get to know this man because he would be a pretty big part of our lives soon enough.
Now granted, it’s true that Shawn and I have not had many opportunities to really spend a lot of time together and get to know each other. And I certainly look forward to changing that in the months and years ahead. But in the meantime, I decided to be proactive and do a little research, see what I could learn about Shawn on my own. I mean, why not, right? We have all these resources at our disposal nowadays, where you can pretty much find out anything you want to know about a person, so I thought I’d do a little learning and get to know Shawn. This was in no way the action of an overprotective dad, if that’s what you’re thinking.
It was all above board, and Shawn I’m thrilled to report that you can stop sweating. My research did not uncover anything embarrassing or scary. No mug shots or wrap sheets, no inappropriate photographs. In fact, it was all green lights…. Except for this One… Tiny… Thing that stood out. One notable discovery I made that I think really sums up Shawn for the man he really is. And my source concurs. This little tidbit is a true reflection of Shawn in all his glory.
It seems that when he was two years old, Shawn was left in the care of his father one afternoon. His dad dutifully fed him a proper meal before putting him down for a nap, all tummy-filled and content. Not long after, his father’s brother showed up, and the two of them decided to order a pizza. As the legend goes, a few seconds after the pizza arrives, Shawn came tearing out of his room declaring that he was starving. It seems the wafting smell of pizza was too much for his tired little heart to ignore, even though he’d just had a meal.
So that’s the one thing I discovered about Shawn and I’m thrilled to say that it is one thing we share, we both love food and all things culinary and I’m happy we have at least one thing in common. And it almost makes up for the fact that he doesn’t play golf.
Now… In all seriousness Shawn, Colleen and I couldn’t be happier to have you join our family. And I’m not going to lecture about making my little girl happy.
We can see the happiness in Chelsea’s eyes, and whenever we’ve seen that throughout her whole life, we’ve been able to trust it because we know she knows what she’s doing. She enters into her most important life decisions from the heart, yes, but also from a place of confidence and self-love.
We know she’s you’re both ready for this journey and we couldn’t be more proud of you or more happy for you
I’m not going got give you any marriage advice, but I will say this: Chelsey, we love you and we will always be there for you and the man you love. And the dogs and children who may join your extended family.