The thing I liked most about giving toasts at each of my daughters’ weddings was the opportunity to welcome my new sons-in-law to our family. I figured there was probably no better time to help solidify my relationship with them.
It’s so important to me that they feel welcome and loved for their own sake, not just because they are the spouses of my children. I want them to know that we are there not just for our daughters, not just for them as part of a couple, we are there for them as individuals. We will do everything we can to support their hopes and dreams, just as we will for our daughters and son.
And I also know that they will affect the quality of the relationship I have with my children. I want my kids to know that I love their chosen ones.
One of the nicest wedding speeches I have heard was given by my daughter’ s new mother-in-law when she welcomed her to their family. Here it is:
“When it occurred to me that I would like to speak this evening, I knew I needed much more courage and skill, so I joined a local branch of toastmasters. I did consider recycling my speech “Vacuuming is valueless and hazardous to your health”.
But, you will be relieved to know, I am saving that one for the bride and groom in the privacy of their own home.
Like my great, great, great, great grandmothers-in-law through ten generations in France, Acadia and Quebec, I was not born a Tremblay.
But after over 47 years of up close and personal association, I have some knowledge of the male of the species.
Tremblay husbands are stalwart, strong, very good at math, perhaps too pragmatic but surprisingly whimsical on occasion, very witty (sometimes you just have to believe it), opinionated, logical, capable of everything I am not. They may not bring roses but integrity is guaranteed.
Laura, I know you have the character, the gifts, grace and good humour to be the perfect Tremblay wife. And I hope to be your not too bad mother-in-law.
On behalf of all of us here, my family, and especially my fellow Tremblay wives, and my mother-in-law, who would so like to have been among us for this occasion:
I embrace you and salute you – this evening’s queen of all daughter in laws – Laura!”
What could be a nicer welcome into a new family!
Here’s an excerpt from my speech welcoming my new son-in-law:
“Anybody who has ever been married knows that becoming part of another family is like walking into another culture. The traditions and practices of one family of origin can be utterly foreign to another.
This means it can be very easy to unknowingly upset your new spouse by inadvertently violating a cherished tradition that he or she takes for granted.
So I thought I should help Rick to understand a few of our customs and traditions, in an effort to keep him out of the marital dog house and to help him feel comfortable when he’s with us.
You need to know, Rick, that birthdays are very dear to our hearts, so it’s important to never forget Laura’s birthday. But she has a role to play in this too. She should remind you that her birthday is around the corner. This is your cue to ask her what gift she would like. Laura. may give you a couple of choices, and if she is her mother’s daughter, you would be well advised to buy one, unless you have a special something in mind.
Another thing you might have noted is that we have a habit of sharing food on our plates particularly when eating at restaurants. This practice is indulged in more by wives who do this to their husbands because a) they want a taste; b) they ordered too little for themselves because they are on a diet; and c) they think their husbands won’t mind. So if you order something you love, do not think that you will have the pleasure of having it all to yourself. You may not like this practice but I can only advise you that it’s one of the idiosyncratic aspects of the Carson family culture, better not tampered with.
One final thing about the Carson family culture—there is nothing we like better than adding new members to our family. And we’re so glad it’s you.”
All involved gave me permission to post this article. Names have been changed to protect everyone’s privacy.
I would love to hear about your advice and suggestions on wedding speeches. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the Reply Box below.