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For the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty stressed about my best friend’s wedding. As maid of honor, there was a whole laundry list of things I had to get done before the big day that I had completely put off. Picking out bridesmaid hairstyles, coordinating with everyone to make sure we all arrived where and when we needed to be, making a rehearsal bouquet, putting together a scrapbook of love letters for her to read the morning of. While the list kept growing, there was one item on there that I was most anxious about: the speech.
After writing, editing, and tweaking it for about a week, the moment finally arrived for me to ~perform.~ And after everyone told me time and time again that I was going to kill it (because, you know, the whole “writer” thing), the bar was set pretty damn high. So, with the help of 2.5 glasses of Champagne and way too much ego boosting from my friends, I went to the center of the floor when my name was announced and…
I. fucking. delivered.
I know, I know, this day wasn’t about me. But those 5ish minutes? I made them my bitch. And since you all have been here, offering me suggestions, support, and a healthy dose of reality (gotta love the haters) I figured — to hell with it. Let ’em see what I finally came up with. Below is my transcript and below that is the video (no, it wasn’t filmed horizontally. I too, am sad about that). Be nice or forever hold your peace because I’m about to bare my GD soul.
Hi everyone! My name is Rachel and I’m the maid of dishonor. Wait. Sorry. Honor. Maid of honor. Ohhh — the Champagne! I always get that confused. But seriously, I can’t even begin to express just how much of an honor it is to be standing here today celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs. Domanico. Gosh, how wild is that?
I met Alexa well over 10 years ago, and we quickly bonded over our shared love of skipping study hall to go to the beach and being disgustingly tan. Since I’ve known her for what feels like ever, and have the sun damage to prove it, it would be easy to stand up here and talk about how wonderful Alexa is. I mean, look at her. You’re all sitting there, a glass or so of wine in, thinking she’s this beautiful, flawless, perfect angel and I’m here to tell you: Don’t fall for it.*
You see, one thing you quickly learn about being close with Alexa is that there are a lot of rules that go along with her. I think all of her close friends and family can agree. Anyone who knows her knows that she needs a healthy dose of vitamin D sunlight, needs to be constantly hydrated and caffeinated, and has to eat every few hours or she’ll get real hangry.
So, over the years I’ve jokingly come to the conclusion that my best friend is, in fact, a Gremlin. You know, those furry little Furby-like things that have a zillion rules?
Like this little guy… (*hold up stuffed animal Gremlin*) See how cute, cuddly, and adorable he is?
Yeah, she wasn’t too happy about that.
But I stand by it because let’s look at the facts. There are three rules to Gremlins.
1. They’re finicky about sunlight.
2. They’re real serious about water.
3. And if you’re not careful about their feeding schedule, they’ll turn into monsters.
And at first, I thought she was just mad because, you know, the whole “her best friend called her a monster” thing.
But no. That wasn’t it. It turns out, her soul mate, the love of her life, her better half, and now, her husband, literally calls her a Gremlin as well.
It was long before my and Joe’s mutual agreement that Alexa is a cute little monster, however, that I realized my friend had found the one.
It was my first time meeting Joe in Chicago and right after Alexa woke up from a nap. She came out of her bedroom grumpy as could be, and he told me not to worry — she just needed some coffee.
On one hand, I was offended. I knew she was a monster until she got caffeine long before he did. But, and here’s the but that doesn’t make me look like a horrible person, I also felt something inside of me shift. Here’s this guy, easily one of the funniest guys I have ever met, looking at my best friend at her absolute worst. I’m talking, no makeup, Hermione Granger-esk hair, and an old t-shirt from our senior year of high school. And he wasn’t looking at her with fear, hesitation, or concern for her sense of fashion.
He was looking at her with love.
That’s when I knew he was the one. Not just because he knew she needed coffee (with a New York accent). But because he loved her for being the independent, strong, caffeine-fueled person she is. He showed that he not only knew her rules, but he cared about her enough to lovingly respect them all. Watching them together, seeing them interact so fluidly, honestly, and humorously I realized — he absolutely completed her.
And so, as I stand here, trying to wrap my mind on calling her Domanico instead of Lopresti, I realize that today, right now, in this moment, things are as they should be. The most amazing person I’ve ever known has truly found her perfect guy. And instead of standing up here feeling like I’m losing my best friend today, I know I’m gaining another one.
And Joe, if the videos you send me of Alexa crying at TV shows is any indication of how the future is going to be, I have to say, I have never been more excited.
If everyone could raise their glasses: Here’s to the guy who found his perfect Gremlin, I mean woman(!), and to my very best friend, who found her perfect man. I love you both, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of your life together looks like.
To Alexa and Joe and Sasha** too! Cheers.
Now, for the video. Because everything is better with a laugh track, right?
All in all, it was easily one of the most fun, rewarding, and amazing experiences of my life. As much as I hate being sappy (that’s a lie, I love that shit), there’s nothing quite like standing by your friend on the happiest day of his/her life. That being said, I’m so glad I never have to give a speech like that again. Can’t wait to see what this bitch comes up with for my wedding, though..
*This was absolutely stolen from Veronica Ruckh’s maid of honor speech, which is easily the best one on the internet.
**Sasha is their dog. Good touch, I know.