Last night my youngest sister, Katy, got married. I am overjoyed, proud, emotional, and in awe. Legally, she has been an adult for five years, but in my mind she is still eight years old. YES she can drink, YES she has graduated from college, and YES she pays bills and has a job, but she’s only eight. Trust me.
However last night as I was sitting in a twinkle-lit barn with 200 other people, I looked around and saw the wedding my sister put together. Every intricate, beautiful detail was so representative of Katy and Sam– it was perfection.
Suddenly, Katy wasn’t so eight anymore. It was such an eye-opening experience, getting to see my sister among her peers, surrounded by other adultey types. It was a momentous day, her three older sisters breathed sigh of relief in unison. She would always be our baby sister, but she’s doing it. She’s doing life really well.There is no joy greater than seeing a human you love so deeply have the happiest day of her life.
As I wrote my toast for Katy and Sam over the past few weeks, I had a hard time limiting my words– no shame in my long winded game. I thought my toast was done, and then sitting in the bridal suite getting my hair done the morning of the wedding, I couldn’t stop adding to it as stories and sentiments came flooding into my mind. My toast became a speech which turned into an essay and may have ended up as a research paper. Whoops.
Here were my words to Katy and Sam, words I wanted to write here as a tribute to the great love that I witnessed yesterday. Sam, thank you for all of the promises you made my little sister during your vows yesterday. I felt the greatest sense of peace knowing her heart is yours, and yours hers.
I am so excited and honored to be here today celebrating the marriage of Sam and Katy. But those words, they sound funny coming out of my mouth– marriage? My baby sister? It feels like just yesterday that I was making up dance routines with her and paying her in pennies to rub my back or do my chores. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can still hear a 5-year old Katy proudly belting out her favorite preschool songs.
Having three older sisters growing up, Katy had to put up with a lot. She was our real life baby doll that we treasured and cared for, she was our annoying baby sister who always got her way. We adored her, she drove us crazy. Through all the years there was always one constant with Katy— she would do anything to make those around her feel happy and loved.
It is for this reason I know Katy will make an incredible wife, the same way she has made an incredible sister, friend, partner in crime, cuddle buddy, confidant and role model to me for as long as I can remember. Katy may be the baby of the family, but she has the drive and determination of a first born. She may be the baby, but she also possesses the silliness and peacemaking habits of a middle child. And as the baby, Katy is most certainly free spirited and spontaneous. Sam, you are getting the full package!
As my sisters and I all met amazing men and they married into the family, we dreamed of what type of man Katy would meet and marry someday. We had high standards for our baby sister. It was honestly hard to imagine who would ever make the cut. He needed to be sensitive, silly, and very patient. She needed a man who would not dull her spark of spontaneity, but would run barefoot and wild with her through life. She also needed someone realistic who would ground her when she’s dreaming, and maybe floating a little high off the ground. She needed someone who would love her and cherish her the way she deserves, because she has one of the purest, most beautiful souls I’ve ever seen.
Enter Sam. I remember meeting him for the first time after Katy told me she had a friend she really wanted me to meet. That should have been my first clue. I remember his long hair, infectious smile, the ease with which he and Katy interacted, and most of all, the way he looked at her.
I don’t think there was one moment where I realized, “Oh, they’re going to get married”, it was something that just seemed so natural and obvious from the start. I don’t really believe in love at first sight, but there is something to be said about meeting someone and knowing they will forever be a part of your world, that their life will have a significant role in your own. Katy and Sam both felt that way, and I’m so glad they were right.
Katy and Sam don’t complete each other– they are two whole, beautiful people standing on their own. But they do compliment each other in a way that leaves no doubt about God having his hand in their meeting and relationship.
I am so excited to be celebrating their love today– a love that is so deep and genuine that Katy accidentally said “I love you” to Sam on two separate occasions very early on in their relationship. Katy says it’s because she was on autopilot, she had just been hanging out with a bunch of girls who all said “I love you” as they were leaving, as girls often do. But I don’t think that was it. I think that when you love someone so much, there’s nothing you can do to keep it in– your mouth betrays you and the words come spilling out in all their truthful glory.
So here’s to gaining a new brother. I could not have dreamed up a better match for my sister and am so thankful that you found each other. I love you both so much!