It’s been a long time since I’ve driven to Illinois, but I did that last week and just got back the other night. I always have fun at weddings, but Jake and Holly’s was one of the best ever. They served tacos and it went until 12:45PM! I probably had too much fun.

Jake and Holly?s wedding




This was the third time I was the best man at a wedding and the most nerve racking part of it is the toast. You have to stand up in front of hundreds of people and are expected to make them laugh, cry, and not head for the bathroom. One of these days I’ll write a HOWTO article on best man speeches since a lot of people liked the toast I gave for Jake and Holly. Here’s the text from the speech.

I forgot one line, so I crossed that one out.

First I’d like to thank the people who put this great day together… Larry and Bridget, Tom and Sherry, my Mom and of course, Jake and Holly.

We were eating dinner the other night at Larry and Bridget’s house where Jake and Holly prepared for us one of the best salmon dishes I’ve ever had. It got me thinking…

By a show of hands, who here likes Salmon? The salmon is an amazing animal. It’s born in a fresh water stream, then heads out 900 miles or more out to the Ocean. It grows up, matures, and then returns 900 miles back to the place it was born to spawn. You see Jake is like the Salmon. Everybody likes him, he’s good for you, and he has similar mating habits.

For those of you who don’t know what it’s like to have a younger brother, here’s is what it’s like at first.

It’s like having a friend over every day.
It’s like having a guinea pig to try out all kinds of weird experiments.
It’s like having a fall guy for any and every bad thing you ever did.
It’s like having a punching bag and wrestling dummy rolled into one.

But then a funny thing happens..

They get bigger.
And bigger.
And bigger.

In Jake’s case, his size quickly evened things out and we had to establish some rules of warfare. No hits to the face, no breaking each other’s stuff, and no dropping weights on each other’s heads. Jake is still trying to prosecute me on that last one.

But there is something about the rough housing, building of tree forts, bike riding, that helps you truly get to know your brother. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we know each other’s successes and mistakes, and that’s why I feel like I’m qualified to say that I don’t think anyone is more proud of Jake today than I am.

His success in business and his personal life is a testament to how my parents raised him. He has a spirit that moves people and makes them feel appreciated. And if I had to say one thing about Jake it’s that he wears his heart on his sleeve and his party on his pants.

And then there’s Holly. The Garvey’s couldn’t ask for a better addition to our family than you. You’re caring, beautiful, intelligent, and most importantly, totally in love with my brother. I feel honored to have you as a sister and look forward to all of us spending holidays together.

We all wish Dad could be here with us today, but what better evidence is there that his spirit and influence lives on than his son following him in his footsteps by marrying the prettiest midwestern girl he could find.

So with that I’d like to raise a toast to Jake and Holly… “May you be as happy together as you have made all of us”

Photos by Donna Owens and Kelly Haley.


5 responses to “Wedding”

  1. Ben, the speech was awesome. When you teach the “How to be the BEST Best man,” I think you should include a recipe for salmon in the course syllabus.

  2. Brian Avatar

    You really should write a book on how to give best-man speeches!

  3. Thanks. I just thought of this today, but I should have thanked Holly for driving and staying with me at the hospital when I cut my hand with a drill last summer. haha

  4. Christapie Avatar

    Great speech! I’m glad you posted it, because Bridget told me about it and I was sure sorry to have missed it.

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