A letter on marriage, to my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law.
There's that cliche saying "today is the first day of the rest of your life." However, today, that is strangely true. Today, you embark on a life as a husband or wife, as a partner. What a joy and what a responsibility that holds. You have intelligence, caring, generosity, humor, and (most importantly) love on your side as you embark on this new life journey. Jared, I have watched you mature, growing in stature and in spirit. What a strong, dedicated husband you will make. Jordan is a lucky woman. Jordan, I have so enjoyed getting to know you, and I love getting to call you "sister" after today. Ask Jared, I often tried to make him a sister. He was so patient and willing to humor me (most of the time). I see the love and concern you have for Jared, and I love you for that and for being you. What a lucky man Jared is.
Today, above all days, I think it's important for you, and all of us witnessing your marriage both in person and in spirit, to reflect on the importance our life partners play in our lives. Today, you declare to one another in front of friends, family, and above all, God, your dedication to one another. You promise to support, cherish, and love one another through thick and thin. Through sleepless nights, no matter what the cause, through moments so full of joy, your chest might just burst, through overwhelming waves of sorrow, through eternities of breathless waiting, you have a partner. This means that every emotion, every feeling, and every challenge you have can be shared with your partner. You can lighten your burden while taking on some of your partner's load. Marriage is a long path, one that I hope lasts you almost your entire life, if not your entire life, and I hope you find it to be a rewarding path that is easy - but not too easy.
I wish for you finding your teamwork. You are now one another's family above all, and we all are here to support you in finding your way. I wish for you as many children as you desire. I look forward to giggles and snuggles and little smudges left by nieces and nephews. I wish for you challenges that allow you to see the strength in one another and in your partnership. I wish for you immense joys that spill out of your relationship and into the lives of those around you. I wish for you quiet nights, comfort, adventurous vacations, passion, tenderness, and hand-holding into old age.
Always remember your wedding day. Always remember your roots. Always remember yourself. For it is so important to recognize and honor what we have committed to, where we have come from, where we want to go, who we are, and who we want to be. You are both an individual and a vital component of a team. Do not allow yourself to get too lost in that team, for it is your individuality that provides the strength your team will need to make it over the long haul. Support both your own individuality and nurture the person whose full potential is known only to God. It is through you that your partner will become a better partner, lover, and human being. This is a big and delicate responsibility; tread thoughtfully.
Above all, remember that love knows limitless forms. Your love will be expressed in a multitude of unknown ways over the course of your marriage. Recognize that love within yourself and within your partner. Always appreciate it, for no matter what happens, the energy of that love lives forever in you and in all those around you and after you.
So, Happy Wedding Day to my baby brother and his beautiful bride. May all your dreams come true and may you find comfort, joy, and love in one another, always. Love you both so much!