After our pictures were taken, we waited anxiously outside the doors until amazing bridal brigadeer/wedding coordinator extraordinaire Laurie told us we could come in, and we were announced “Bird and Turtle TheNewLastName”!
The tables were gorgeous, with all of the beauty and simplicity we wanted.
We sat down, and the toasts began. I don’t have a copy of everyone’s toast, but I do have my sister’s, along with her permission to share some excerpts from it. I’ll try to include the parts that make sense even if you don’t really know us. Let it be known that the other toasts were also amazing and tear inducing and one of the best parts of the day. Not only do you get to stand up with your partner and hear them tell you how much they love you and how much you mean to them, and not only do you get the blessing of all of these other people who love you… but then you also get some of the other most important people in your life to do essentially the same thing. This is a pretty powerful thing.
And then, my sister’s toast:
I just want to thank Bird and Turtle for throwing me this big party! Sometimes people get new siblings, and they don’t get a party at all. I’m pretty sure that when I was born—no party. When Alex (our brother) was born—no party. But here, Alex and I both get a new older sister, AND a party, so I’m glad you could all make it to celebrate with us.
In a round-about way, this is my party because I introduced Bird and Turtle. Well, sort of. I got Bird a job at the non-profit where I was interning, and where I had trained with Turtle. I didn’t interact much with Turtle during my internship, but I knew that there was something serious there when Bird called me to tell me about this girl she liked. I was in Russia for the semester, and Bird called me from literally across the world to tell me, in one of the happiest and most excited voices I’ve heard, about Turtle, with whom she was quite smitten.
As many of you may remember, Bird and I have not always gotten along. Like many siblings, we went through a horrible pre-teen to early-teenager phase during which we hated each other, and thereby made everyone around us hate us too. But during high school and college, and especially in the past year, we’ve grown very close, and I think have come to appreciate each other in new, more complex ways than we could have imagined not too many years ago. Bird is very passionate about many things, such as her dog, the idea of getting a new dog (it’s okay, Turtle won’t let her), bicycling, roller derby, her family, her friends, and Turtle, with whom she is creating a new family today.
When Bird sets her heart and mind on something, she will make it happen, and, if you’re lucky, you get to make it happen with her. Which I think means that Turtle has a very lucky life ahead of her.
So first, I’d like to toast Turtle. I want to thank you for the happiness that I heard in Bird’s voice from across the world and for the happiness and excitement that you have brought my sister every day since. And second, to toast Bird, my sister, and one of my best friends, who always paved the way for me strongly, gracefully, and beautifully, and who only got mad a few times that I got to do things that she couldn’t do when she was my age. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister to have asked for me, though of course now you’ll have some competition.