a matron of honor speech for my sister’s wedding

For those of you I have not met, I am Anna, the bride’s older (and definitely wiser) sister. Just a warning: I make up in honesty for what I lack in brevity.

As your older sister, Laura, and while I have the time and your attention, I would like to first take this opportunity to remind you that while you are a smart, capable, driven young woman, you will never be as smart, capable, or driven as me. Just kidding (no, really, I am).

I thought it wise to include here insights from older generations of happily married couples in our family, but then I thought: No. I mean, let’s be honest, I’ve been married for a few years now, so Robert and I are clearly the experts. Laura and Tripp, I’ll share with you some of my own marriage advice:

Tip One: Go to bed angry. It’s better to go to bed angry than stay up all night fighting – you’ll need your rest in order to win the fight the next morning. Never give up, never give in. Trust me, this is important. Laura’s competitive Camp genes will show through soon enough, Tripp. Just wait.

Tip Two: Always encourage each other to continue improving as people. For example, Laura, if Tripp comes home from a Saturday round of golf and flies through the door with his score, say, “I thought you were better than that.” It will encourage him to try harder next time. Laura’s confrontational Italian genes will show through soon too, Tripp. You’ll see.

Tip Three: Monograms are over-rated. No, seriously, they are. Some day, you will regret that your LBR’s are plastered on every dish, glass, blanket, doormat, and tray. And, Tripp, her obsession with monograms will seem a lot less charming in a few years. Giving in to her demands for that embroidery-covered, ruffled duvet will feel like a mistake soon enough … just wait. Remember, you heard it here. The older sister told you so!

But, seriously, though…

As a married couple, Let things go. When you share your life with someone, you see each other when you’re happy… but also when you’re sleepy, sick, stressed, when you have a bit of spinach in your teeth, when you’re unbearably sad, when your eyes are puffy from crying, mornings when a certain girl wakes up hungover from too many Kir Royales and just can’t deal with life in general… Basically, there will be times when you’re grumpy and snappy, and if your partner is going through something hard and snaps about something random, LET IT GO. Don’t escalate things, don’t take it personally.

Try new things together: move to new places, try new foods, travel when you can.

Say “I love you” during arguments and fights. Gently say those three words – “I love you” right in the middle of an argument. The secret to a long and happy marriage is not the idea that nothing bad is ever going to happen. But it’s that when something bad does, you know how to get through it together. One of the most important things is that when you’re having an argument, instead of ratcheting up the emotion, you diffuse it. It doesn’t make everything instantly better, but it helps.

And, finally, kiss each other in the kitchen.

Tripp, you are the luckiest man in the world to get to marry such a beautiful, driven, family-oriented girl, and if this incredible wedding weekend is any sign of what is to come for your future, you will both be truly blessed. Laura may shop too often or too much (and p.s. moving her to New York City is not likely to help this habit), BUT she is loyal, she is determined, and (while her political leanings have gone a bit off track in recent years) she has a strong moral compass. She will love you no matter what. While Laura may have been her high school AND college homecoming queen (you can’t make this stuff up), she’s still a girl with a gentle soul that is excited to embark on a new life with her new husband. Tripp, with the same enthusiasm that she displays toward her shopping sprees, monograms, and homecoming crowns, she will lavish on you ten-fold.

I see how happy you both make each other, and as Laura’s sister, that makes me so, so happy.

As Shakespeare wrote, “May you be merry and lack nothing.”

Let’s all raise a glass to the new Bailey monogram …

C H E E R S !

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