M and S copy crop

This past weekend my youngest daughter was married.  It was a wonderful ceremony for a very special couple.

As with many marriage ceremonies there were the typical highlights.  I got to walk my little girl down the aisle.  I gave her to her new husband.  I watched them take their vows.  I saw them introduced as one.

But another highlight was watching my oldest daughter, Sarah, give what I thought was the most tender, loving and insightful toast to her little sister.  I was so moved, I asked her to write it down (being the actor that she is, she operated without a script).

Here’s what she said:

When I googled How to give a Wedding Speech I was told I was supposed to introduce myself.

So, I’m Sarah, sister to Michelle and Jesse, daughter of Jerry and Sanderijn, wife of Jeffrey and mother to three sons.  And now, I am Elan’s sister-in-law, too.
Actually, in the past 10 years I’ve been the one introducing people into our family either by marriage or birth so I would like to take a moment to thank Michelle for helping me out on that.  I can only have so many kids.

Michelle and Elan, as this is your wedding, you will hear a lot of advice about marriage.  Last night at the rehearsal dinner we talked a little bit about marriage advice, and I said I was saving mine for today:

I will start with a quote from Barry Schwartz: “The key to happiness is low expectations”

Well, I’m not going to go that far.  But I think the key to a happy marriage is actually no expectations.

You see, marriage isn’t what you expect it to be.

Marriage, is fluid, it changes.  Just like you are fluid, and you change. You may find yourself waking up one morning thinking that marriage isn’t what you thought it would be… but that is okay, that’s good.  Marriage has stages just like you do, and if you let it, it becomes what it needs to be at that time.

When you set your expectations on your marriage and each other, you limit each other, you don’t allow each other to grow, you don’t allow your marriage to grow,  and you don’t allow each other to change together.

So, love each other without expectation, be kind to each other without expectation and care for each other without expectation, and then you can see how wonderful marriage can be.

Because it is when you have no expectations, that your life together and marriage will exceed even your wildest expectations.

As I listened to my daughter’s sage advice, only one word came to mind.