Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Toast to Cecilia and Amy

I had the distinct honor of giving a toast at my little sister's wedding this past weekend.   I enjoyed the hell out of it, so I thought I'd post it here.  If anyone got this on video, by the way, I'd love to see how I did:

That's right.  I used an iPad.  Shut up.
Hi everyone, my name is Mike and I'm the brother of the brides.  When I first found out Cecilia and Amy wanted to get married, I let them know I'd be doing this toast. I immediately had a thousand great ideas, and I immediately this morning started to write them down.  At which point I realized I couldn't remember any great ideas, so, being a lawyer, I decided to call in a couple experts.

What follows is a transcript of the expert testimony sworn to by Maeve Garvey, age 5, and Adelaide Garvey, age 3.

Me: why do you love Cecilia and Amy?
Maeve: I love Cecilia and Amy because they are the best aunts.  I love them because they are sweet and funny. I love them because they hold me when I am sad let me sleep at their house and they make me feel happy.
Addie: I love dogs!
Maeve: no Addie, we have to say why we love Cecilia and Amy.
Addie: oh.  I love Cecilia and Amy because of their dogs.  And they have dogs and we ride the dogs and we are friends with the dogs.

Me: what is your favorite memory of Cecilia and Amy?
Maeve: my favorite memory of Amy is that I got a cut on my foot and she put ice on my foot and then I feel better now.  And my favorite memory of Cecilia is when we went to Disneyworld.
Me: Cecilia took you to Disneyworld?
Maeve: not yet.
Me: so what is your favorite memory with aunt Cecilia?  What have you actually done with her?
Maeve: I've never done anything with Cecilia.
Me: oh please. Cecilia takes you lots of places.
Maeve: but never to Disneyworld.

Me: Addie, what's your favorite memory about aunt Amy?
Addie: we went on a nature walk and caught a frog and we named the frog mary.
Me: that's very nice! how about Cecilia?
Addie: No we did not find any frogs named Cecilia.

Me: close your eyes and think of Cecilia and Amy.  Tell me what you see.
Maeve: nothing.
Me: nothing? Why?
Maeve: because my eyes are closed.
Me: no, I mean what do you see in your mind when you think about Cecilia and Amy? Describe them for me.
Maeve: Blowing bubbles with Cecilia and Amy in our backyard.  Amy and Cecilia are together.
Addie: I see Amy and she is holding me and Cecilia is holding Miles. Oh and Julia.  Oh and Ellie and Clark.  Aunt Amy is holding me and Cecilia is holding everyone else and getting me cotton candy.  Pink cotton candy.
Me: Cotton candy? where are you in this situation?
Addie: Disneyworld.

Me: Why are you happy Cecilia and Amy are getting married?

First, some background. Last night, Cecilia gave me this tie, which is better than the one she gave Louis.  She also gave me a card that said she has always looked up to me and now she also looks up to me and Lisa as role models because we have a good marriage.  Cecilia, Maeve's response to this question is exactly why Lisa and I are happy and exactly why you guys are going to be happy for a long, long time.

Me: Why are you happy Cecilia and Amy are getting married?
Maeve: Because they're friends.

The strength and nature of your relationship is so obvious, even a five year old can see it.  On a side note, congratulations to the members of the New York State legislative body, who have proven they are at least as smart as a five year old.

Amy, my sister, you're the best.  I love how much Cecilia loves you, how much you obviously love Cecilia, how much your family obviously loves you. As we saw last night during your father's speech, family means a lot to you.  In case you haven't figured this out yet, you just doubled up. By marrying my sister, you've married into a huge group of crazies who love you like we've known you forever.  On behalf of the Garveys, the Dubuissons, the Eagans, the Battaglias, etc., welcome to the family.  You're our friend too.  Well, except for Addie, who, when asked why she was happy that you were going to be part of the family, answered "because she's my buddy."

Cecilia, I've almost always loved having you as a little sister.  Even when I was pretty sure you were a little brother named Robert.  Growing up, I know I wasn't the easiest to get along with, but I always loved you.  From childhood, when we did plays in the basement where you dressed up as a chicken and laid a nest full of pool balls, to our teens years when we did drama club together, to riding the bus together and the driver always called you cemeilia, to your move to Toronto, to your move to New York, to the day you told me you were going to marry the woman you love.  You say you've always looked up to me, but the strength you've shown by following your heart despite incredible adversity, well, I look up to you.  And I would be the happiest dad in the world if my daughters grow up with exactly the same strength.

So everyone, raise your drinks and help me congratulate Cecilia and Amy.  We love you, we love you together, and we love that apparently you're going to take us all to Disneyworld someday.  Cheers!"

Both the pics in this post from Jeff Palm Photography, by the way.


  1. Congratulations to the happy couple ! :)

    Fantastic toast Mike! Just brilliant!

  2. I love this, Mike! Thanks.
    Charlie E.

  3. Truly hilarious, heartfelt, and a wonderful tribute!

  4. Maureen MacIsaacJuly 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    One of the best speeches I have ever heard! Great job, Mike.

  5. I laugh, then cry, every time I read this...you're the best, Mike.

  6. There were some really nice comments from people on facebook and I didn't want to forget any of them:

    Amanda Dumas
    Mike, that was really sweet. Love it!
    July 26 at 9:56pm

    Amy Hain
    Sweet. Congrats to your sister(s)!
    July 26 at 9:59pm

    Kate Currier
    Brilliant! What a fabulous toast!
    July 26 at 9:59pm

    Cindy Darling
    You made me cry. Congratulations to your sisters!
    July 26 at 10:01pm

    Stacey Perrin Brown
    That is great!!
    July 26 at 10:02pm

    Anna Carr
    You're so cute mike Garvey.
    July 26 at 10:06pm

    Bob Steck
    You are a wonderful man, Mr. Garvey!
    July 26 at 10:12pm

    Melissa Geib Webster
    What a fantastic speech! You made me cry! You have an amazing family!!!
    July 26 at 10:31pm

    Jill Fox
    Adorable and sweet. Congrats to Cecilia and Amy. Can I come to Disneyworld
    July 26 at 11:13pm

    Dawn Penfold
    There wasn't a dry eye under the tent. A beautiful toast for a beautiful couple given by a beautiful man for a beautiful occasion.
    July 26 at 11:16pm

    Rachele Bliemeister Moran
    Beautiful speech, beautiful picture and "because they're friends" had me sobbing like a baby!
    July 27 at 12:12am

    Bryan Mahoney
    You put a lot of us "professional" writers to shame. I've always said that about you, but I'll say it again. Nice work, bud.
    July 27 at 2:00am

    Emily Schoenwetter Nearhood
    That is an awesome speech:)
    July 27 at 10:40am

    Carrie Tracy Archer
    I loved this.
    July 27 at 11:00am

    Julie Martin Bellis
    That is beautiful! You're such a wonderful big brother Mike!
    July 27 at 12:37pm

    Kim Cancilla Cassata
    Love. You are quality person, Mike Garvey :)
    July 27 at 1:17pm

    Caren Gellin Talledo
    Classic Sir Garvey - creative, funny, and heartfelt! A beautiful toast!
    July 27 at 2:55pm

    Michael Flaherty
    Hey Mike, congrats to the brides! Your speech brought Kat Denk Flaherty to tears while reading it on the train this morning, well done!
    July 27 at 3:06pm

    Virginia Zgoda
    Simply awesome. In every way. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations to your sisters and whole family!
    July 27 at 6:04pm

    Leah Eagan Stoddard
    Just as good the second time around. And I prefer L'Oreal Lash Extend in Brown-Black. xox!
    July 27 at 10:01pm

    Meg Culliton Gomez
    This is amazing. Mike Garvey, you rule.
    July 28 at 10:59pm