It rained on the day of my brother’s wedding rehearsal.

It was wet and gloomy, and we all scorned the clouds and passed around umbrellas. We looked at the sky and made optimistic comments about how we didn’t mind the rain today, as long as it was gone tomorrow.

Rain on your wedding day is not good luck. Sunny skies, no humidity, and a slight breeze? That’s good luck.















But rain is fine for rehearsals. Because, as it turns out, umbrellas make for great photos, and rehearsals are just practice anyway; a time to shake out the kinks before the real thing.

Who cares about rain because, just take a look at that view, and take a moment for those two for whom the countdown is nearly over.


Later, we headed to dinner. Since David and Abby got engaged, I started thinking about their relationship, and how excited I was to see them come together after more than a decade of dating. I was going to gather my thoughts and write something here, but instead I strong-armed my way into giving a speech at the rehearsal dinner. And, for posterity’s sake, I’m writing an edited version of the speech here, too. Because I’ll take any opportunity I can get to tell them I love them. When you read this, add in the necessary dramatic pauses, comedic timing, and nervous fidgeting.


To David and Abby:

I’m David’s older sister, and I love David very much, so much that I named my son after him. I’m five years older, which is a wonderful age difference because we were great buddies growing up, but I always thought of him as my baby brother. And I still think of him as my baby brother and am incredibly sentimental to see him growing up, getting married.

Even though I’m incredibly sentimental, I want Abby to know that my number one emotion is excitement — Abby, in case we haven’t been clear, we are SO EXCITED THAT YOU’RE JOINING OUR FAMILY!

And, Abby, I’d like to say, I figure you realized pretty early into your dating relationship that if you married David your initials would be ASS. You stuck around anyway, and that says a lot about the kind of gal you are.

Abby, also want to say I’m so sorry that, because you’re joining our family, you are signing up for a lifetime of hearing the story about the time we convinced David he was deaf by muting the TV, mouthing words, and periodically answering the phone when it didn’t ring. Earlier this week we were all gathered in my parents’ living room and we were telling childhood stories. For most families, sitting in a room talking is a normal thing, but for my family it’s rare. My sister lives overseas, so when we all gather it’s a wonderful treat. And while we were all together last week, staying up too late, laughing and telling the same stories that we always tell, the thing that was most striking to me was how wonderful and complete our family feels with Abby among us.

Abby, you and David have been dating so long that we’ve had the privilege of seeing you grow up, and I want you to know it has been just that — a privilege. You’ve grown into a wonderful young woman. If you have ever wondered what your future mother- and sisters-in-law say about you when you’re not around, here it is. We say you are mature, beautiful, and incredibly gracious. And, most of all, we say we’ve never seen David happier — you make David so happy.

We also say we’re really jealous of your hair.

And David. Something like 11 years ago I was home from college and you and I went on a long bike ride. Halfway through, you told me you were going to the movies with a girl, and that you sort of liked the girl. I’ve always been a bit self-important and taken my big-sister role really seriously, maybe too seriously. I decided to give you big sister advice and tell you that, if you liked this girl, you should tell her. Except I had the girls mixed up. I thought you liked Sarah, but it was Abby all along. It’s always been Abby.

You have grown into an incredible, handsome, smart man. And now, the only big sister advice I have for you as you begin your marriage is this: look to Jesus. He has already provided everything you need when He purchased your salvation for you on the cross. Remember that He is for you and for your marriage.

We love you so much and we are so excited to celebrate with you.



  1. Nikki August 20, 2014

    Oh my goodness, I think I might have been a little bit sad about the rain, but I have to say that the umbrellas really did make great photo props! You got some beautiful shot. Congratulations to your Brother and new Sister.

  2. Crystal August 20, 2014

    Before I got to your paragraph I was thinking the same thing, “But the umbrellas make darling pictures!!” And that view is gorgeous!!! Your speech brought tears to my eyes. So sweet!!! He’s lucky to have you as a big sister (Abby, too!)

  3. Crystal August 20, 2014

    PS – congrats to them!!!

  4. Courtney August 20, 2014

    It is a beautiful spot even with rain! I do love the umbrellas! So sweet, congrats to them!

  5. Sarah Donegan August 24, 2014

    Beautiful pictures and speech! I am sure you delivered it well 🙂


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