You know that feeling of overwhelming joy? That feeling where you don't believe you can handle any more happiness without completing exploding? That's the feeling I get when I'm celebrating something so precious to me.
I've had the blessing of feeling that feeling several times in my life - when I'd touch the wall and see my placement on the screen by the millisecond, when Jake & I celebrated our marriage, when we celebrated our new home ... (I could go on & on)
... and most recently when we celebrated Carly & Tyler's marriage last weekend.
I couldn't control myself all day. While most girls were sitting in the house, I just could not stay stagnant. I had to keep my body moving - I literally could not handle all of the happiness rushing through my bones.
Why the excitement? Because I believe that marriage is that wonderful. Because I believe it's that powerful. It's something that should not be taken lightly. It's something in Jake & I's life that we would fight the hardest for. It's something we work hard for and strive to improve daily. You have your ups, your even higher ups .. and you have your downs, and then your lower downs. It's a rollercoaster - a wonderful, powerful rollercoaster.
I wasn't bursting with joy because of what we were wearing, or what the pictures would look like - I was bursting with joy because the girl I've gotten the chance to grow up with - through all stages of life - was entering into this same commitment with a man she so dearly loves and he so passionately cherishes her.
When I received my Matron of Honor card, I knew I'd need to give a toast with her dearest family & friends on 7.11.15. I must have written and edited this toast 100 times - but I eventually had to stop, leave it be, and just read. It was a true honor to give this toast - whether the people heard me or not is debatable - but it's definitely an honor I'll never forget.
This is the real version, but we would have been there for an hour if I would have read it all.
"Being that I’m an accountant – we’re not really great with words – I find comfort in numbers. So we’ll start there to get me warmed up to get ready for some words.
- 296 - The # of months Carly & I have known each other.
- 52 - The # of months these two have been an “official” couple.
- 6404 - The address of their first home they purchased together, 8 months ago.
- 3 - The # of times LSU has beat A&M since they’ve been a couple.
- 7/11/15 - Today. They day we’ve been waiting for, for 11 months.
I’ve been around the Gauthier family since day 1. Our moms grew up across the street from each other and ever since Carly and I were born, we were told that we were going to be best friends. It’s a good thing that worked out because it seriously would have broken their hearts if it hadn’t. Over the past 24 years, I’ve seen Carly be a beautiful ballerina, a fierce volleyball, soccer, and basketball player, a student at my high school for two weeks during Rita, and a high school & college graduate. But more importantly I’ve gotten to see Carly be a baby sister, a Daddy’s little girl, a Momma’s best friend, a sister-in-law, an aunt, and today we get to witness her becoming Tyler’s beautiful bride.
I love Tyler so much – mainly because he brings out the absolute best in Carly, but also because he’s a wonderful guy. He cherishes her while still driving her crazy, and adds so much happiness in her life. The two of them work hard for each other, they have respect for each other, and with their faith and trust in the Lord, they are so powerful together. I know I’m not the only one that believes that anything you both want to achieve, anything you both dare to dream - it’s all attainable because of the strong base and connection y’all have together.
The Gauthier family is one that I cherish. It would be a whole additional speech, really a whole book, if I tried to list all the things I’ve learned from Uncle Gary & Aunt Tannie over my lifetime. To the Derouens I’ve had the pleasure of meeting – I know y’all aren’t any different. Memories made at the creek, various crawfish boils and dinners, and getting to know you through this wedding process, it feels so good to know Carly is marrying into a family like y’all. I can’t wait to drink more beer with you guys tonight and make more memories together.
Married life is something to cherish, it’s something to fight for, it’s something to devote yourself to, it’s all so worth it. Having that person to always come home to, to always be your biggest fan and your strongest supporter, is such a precious feeling that’s like no other. If there’s any advice I would give, it would be to not take each day too seriously. I think anyone that’s been married before can agree that the way you think life is going to go and the way life actually goes can potentially be two different things. But don’t let that scare you – let that make you both stronger and open to the possibilities that God has in store for you.
To end, I want you both to remember this moment – not me, and not my words – but the feeling of everyone precious & special to you surrounding you. So – Carly & Tyler, look around - would everyone that is here in support of Carly, Tyler, their families, and their marriage, please raise your glass. *Isn’t that cool?!* We love you, we will support you, and we will pray for you guys always."