On September 10th, 2023 I had the honor of being my sister’s best man. The event was accompanied by a great deal of vulnerability as two families joined to witness their daughter and son commence a lifelong union together. This speech was not meant to entertain, but to speak to the many virtues of marriage. Unexpectedly, it moved many people to tears. I was told it had “everything a speech needed to be”. So perhaps you will appreciate its flow and maybe it will inspire your next delivery.
Dear Sophie, Dear Pierre, Dear families and everyone present.
I’ve had the great honor of being appointed Sophie’s best man, which is honestly a responsibility I did not expect to receive. Especially after hearing all the beautiful shared memories of her bridesmaid speeches yesterday. But upon reflecting, the decision made sense. Next to our parents and grandparents I have followed Sophie throughout her entire life and I will continue to do so as a brother and marriage witness. This decision of yours has without a doubt brought us even closer together. Thank you for this honor.
Growing up together, I witnessed many things from the point of view of the younger brother. I still remember late night barbecue beach days in Bermuda, endless skiing holidays in Lech, hour long school party car rides, binging Love Island UK together and so much more. However, the past years have without a doubt separated us as you ventured abroad to study in the States, Switzerland & France. This distance also provided me with the clarity of uncovering 4 virtues I noticed in your character over the the past 25 years:
As siblings, these traits have defined our interactions, as they have in your friendships and broader relationships. As a wife, these traits will carry you through many storms and calmer tides. Sophie, you have let a man into your life, who treats and loves you with the purest sense of adoration I have seen. Even though I met Pierre with a pinch of salt at start, I have witnessed the admirable traditional gentlemen’s attitude he has invested into you through many instances. A rare approach and attitude in times like these. Pierre is not a single gram short of giving you all the affection, attention and appreciation you have ever desired. And you have given all your time, energy and attention in return. Don’t forget these beginning months and years as you venture through life together. Decide to never ever give up each year on this day. For yourself, for your partner and for the beautiful children you will once set into this world.
It’s no secret there will come the toughest of times, which will test you like never before. You, Sophie, Pierre, Alexis and I have witnessed long standing resilience in the marriage of our parents. They have shown us again and again: “a happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers” — it truly takes two to tango. What matters most is how you react to each other in times of hardship. And if any of your past years are a guide for what lies ahead, I can say with certainty, you are more than capable of handling anything. Together.
You both deserve everything your partner has to offer. You’ve both decided to give all you have and never hold anything back. So, don’t cling to your past selves. Cling to who you might become together.
Excuse my French, but Andre Maurois nailed it when he said: “A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” I can see your union is blessed with this rare kind of love. So never stop exchanging words: clear is kind and kind is always clear. We’ll all watch as your love grows even deeper over these coming decades.
I couldn’t be happier to have witnessed this union form as your best man, Sophie. And even though you now started your own family and taken a new name, you will always be my sister, my Schwesterherz.
I want to leave you two with this: “the secret of a happy marriage remains a secret” — my wish (if I am allowed to have one) is that you never stop rediscovering yours until the end of your days.
To you, Sophie & Pierre!