I am so pleased to be making the first speech, mostly because this way no one can steal my bad jokes about marriage.
On behalf of myself, my wife Carol, and the groom's parents, Monica and Daniel, I'd like to thank all of you for joining us in celebrating the union of these two beautiful young people. Of course, I think my daughter is the more beautiful of the two, and I doubt Jake would disagree with me on that one.
So I've always had problems with the idea of "giving away" my daughter Karen. Not just because I have no intention of relinquishing my right to give her unsolicited advice and fix her car when she needs it, but because Karen has never been a girl to be owned, protected or coddled. I am not giving her away to Jake; they have made the decision to start a wonderful and exciting life together.
Then again, I recently read a quotation by Elbert Hubbard that says "The love we give away is the only love we keep." I think that is a beautiful sentiment for a day like today. Carol and I are learning to love our daughter as an independent, wonderful adult who is making a new life for herself. We are also so pleased to give our love now to Jake as well, a wonderful young man whom we are happy to welcome into our family.
I'm not giving my daughter away today. The only thing I have to give is love, to Karen and her new husband.
More people have better words to put to this happy occasion, and I'm going to let them say it. But first: to Karen and Jake. May all their years be happy ones.
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