Bret’s Wedding Speech

October 16">


Bret’s Wedding Speech

October 16, 2000


Thank you Richie for the introduction, and Patrick… thank you for the nice words on behalf of your family.

Well… I’ve been waiting almost two years to say these words:

"Ladies & Gentlemen, my wife & I welcome you."

I’ve been a bit nervous about this part of the evening, so I did some research on speeches. Several of the books recommended starting off with an icebreaker and suggested finding a piece of trivia about this day in history. Unfortunately the only thing of importance that I could find was that on October 16th, 1793, an angry French mob beheaded Marie Antoinette. I’m not sure that was the sort of thing that the advice books had in mind.

Anyway, we would like to thank everyone for their good wishes and for coming to share in the happiness of the most wonderful day in our lives, a day we will remember forever. We would also like to thank everyone in advance for their gifts and would like to extend invitations to you all to come visit us in our home…just not right away, we’ll need some time to recover!

I would especially like to thank the Harte family for coming all the way from Ireland, Brussels, England, and Southeast Portland to be here with us today. I would like to thank you for welcoming me so warmly into your family, for your beautiful gifts, and, of course, for Rosaleen… a gift I will treasure for the rest of my life!

I would also like to thank a few people specifically. (Please forgive me if I forget anyone, my mind has been a little preoccupied today for some reason):

First, I’d like to thank Fr. Kelly: We couldn’t have done it without you, literally!

I’d like to thank my Best Man, Royce: He’s a good friend, a traveling buddy, a kindred soul, and my backbone over these last few days. Thank you.

I’d like to thank Rosaleen’s mother, Marie, who is here today and her father Aiden, who couldn’t be with us today (but we are shooting some video, so everyone try to not to do anything disgusting!): Thank you for allowing me to join your warm and loving family and for raising Rosaleen, the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met.

To Rosaleen’s sister Cepta and her husband Richie. They were the first of Rosaleen’s family that I was introduced to and the first hint of the wonderful people I would meet through Rosaleen. Thank you for all your kindness.

Thanks to sister Pauline who had the bravery to try a twenty-three hour plane trip with a four year old. And to Pauline’s husband, Vincent, who had the good sense to fly in a day earlier! Vincent also bought me my first pint of Guiness on Irish soil…and my second… and my third… Let’s just say it was a very good first night in Ireland!

Thanks to Rosaleen’s other sisters:

Olivia, the sweetest of the Harte sisters (sorry Rose).

Caroline, who flew in from Brussels.

And Edel: thanks for wearing that outfit, even though you knew you’d take a slagging tonight!

I’d also like to thank the guys who threw my Stag Party, but who will remain nameless to protect their reputation (except Lorne, who was the most worried about his reputation, thank you Lorne). I would especially like to thank you guys for the fact that I did NOT wake up the next morning tied to a tree in Laurelhurst Park, naked!

To my stepfather, Roger, for his support, the example of his work ethic, and for making my mother happy all these years. Thank you.

To "Pop", my grandfather, John Beckett: The first voice I can remember, his deep baritone singing to me in my crib. Thank you for lending that same, familiar voice to us today in our wedding ceremony. I can only hope to be half the man you are when I reach 85.

And to my Grandmother, Sally, who is the reason Pop is still around at 85!

To my brother Lawrence, who has always been there for me. And to his wife, Cathy, who has always opened her house to be when I was between sleeping arrangements. Hopefully those days are over!

To my sister Candise, for always believing in her big brother. And her husband, Ken, for finally making an honest woman out of my little sister.

Thanks to my clown friends: I won’t point you out because that would be a bad business decision, but you know who you are. I’d like to thank you for your continuing support in my chosen profession.

And to everyone who helped in the planning, staging, and execution of this wonderful day. (I wonder if anyone has ever to used both the words "beheaded" and "execution" in a wedding speech before???)

And finally, to the two most important women in my life: My mother and Rosaleen.

Mother… what can I say? In forty-two years, I have never for a moment doubted your love for me, or your unflagging support. No mother ever tried harder than you have, and I just hope I turned out to be the man you hoped to raise. I love you.

And, at last, to my sweet Rosaleen:

For six years I had spent time traveling the world: Thailand, Singapore, Korea, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Guatemala…

But it was back here, in Portland, in a tennis class, that I found what I was searching for.

It wasn’t "love at first sight", maybe we are too old for that. It started out with tennis, and then a few "extra" tickets that I had to the theater and such.

And then one day Roisin’s Uncle Peter sent a message asking me what my intentions were towards Rosaleen. Really! And I was surprised to find out that my intentions were completely honorable. That I had found a woman so good, so honest, so full of love, that I couldn’t stand the thought of living without her. And now I won’t have to!

So now, I stand here before you, deeply grateful, deeply in love, and the happiest man alive. Rosaleen, I love you.

Cepta, I think that the grooms speech is supposed to propose a toast to the Bridesmaid, but I hope you won’t mind if I toast my new bride instead.

So…a toast:

Here’s to the woman that’s good and sweet,

Here’s to the woman that’s true.

Here’s to the woman that rules my heart,

In other words, Rosaleen, here’s to you.


The Ceremony       The Formal Photos        The Reception