It’s a bit of an understatement that I was beyond excited when my sister asked me to be her maid of honor at her wedding.
No sooner had she asked me than I immediately saw visions of fabulous bridal showers, bachelorette parties and big gowns dancing before my eyes. Now, I can be a bit of a control freak, so I truly looked forward to all my upcoming responsibilities as maid of honor
It was the year 2000.
I had just had my second son.
My oldest brother had got married the year before and I was a bit of an elephant at that wedding. Not wanting to repeat that look, I was determined to lose the baby weight and look fabulous in my bridesmaid dress.
So, when my sister and future brother-in-law asked if I wanted to give a maid of honor toast at the wedding, I was a little unprepared.
You want me to what?
It was all over my sister’s bridal books, magazines and websites that it was becoming increasingly popular for the happy couple to be toasted by the maid of honor as well as the best man. Apparently, it was tought to be a “nice touch.”
Public speaking is not exactly my favourite thing to do. In fact, I hate public speaking. Maybe hate is too harsh a word for it. No, I really hate it, hate it, hate it. It terrifies me. Ask anyone that knows me. The thought of standing up in front of a tonne of people and just speaking is terrifying. I’m terrified of clamming up, sounding like an idiot or doing something weird in front of an audience.
So, this nice touch equals a terrifying experience for me!
And, now with all those eyes on me, I would really need to lose the weight.
Not wanting to fail in my quest to be the best maid of honor ever, I pushed the hatred and fear aside and accepted this new responsibility. Of course, it would have to be the best maid of honor toast ever!
It was very easy for me to write my speech. I wrote from my heart … about how I felt about my sister and future brother-in-law, injected it with some humor and then I put it away for the big day. Perhaps I should have practiced it a little, but like I wrote earlier, I was intent on losing my baby weight and helping my sister with any help she needed. I didn’t have time to really practice the speech and I think I thought that if I put it away, it would go away. Out of sight, out of mind!
Truth be told, I think the only person that heard my speech prior to the wedding itself was my baby!
When the big day came, I was so busy with the day’s events … getting my oldest son ready in his ring bearer’s tux, making sure my baby was ready, getting myself ready(thankfully with the help of a little Spanx I was in my size 8 dress), riding the boat to the point where the wedding was taking place, the actual beautiful ceremony itself, looking after my sister’s bouquet, helping with photos, etc. etc. … that I didn’t really give it a thought to my upcoming speech until I walked into the reception.
Then, I saw the head table where I was to be seated. And, it was directly facing all the other tables that were filled to the brim with the wedding guests — the people.
The fact that I knew most everybody there helped relax me … kinda … as did the bottle of champagne I was fastly consuming, but it was actually my sister who calmed my nerves the most. She made me laugh and giggle and shake out the nerves.
Between myself, my sister-in-law and my sister, we had come up with the idea for my sister to pull my speech out of her cleavage. We thought it would kind of break the ice while also putting me at ease.
And, strangely enough it did.
I can’t even remember if it was me or the best man that went first, but when it was my turn, I stood up and felt the fear. I clutched my microphone so tightly that I’m sure the guests as the back of the hall could see the whites of my knuckles. I made out like I had lost my speech to which my sister responded by pulling it out of the hiding spot. Everyone laughed and then I spoke. Publicly.
Or, rather I read.
Looking at the audience which was filled with my family, my sister, my new brother-in-law and my friends set me at ease enough that I found I didn’t even need the speech.
I had this.
I was speaking publicly.
And, I had it.
Afterwards, I had some wedding guests come up and tell me what a great toast it was and how I did my sister really proud.
I had felt the fear and did it anyway.
This post was inspired by Josie’s Writing Workshop over at her fabulous blog Sleep is for the Weak.