Last summer my sister asked me to give a congratulatory speech at her wedding. It was a request that I honestly forgot about until the day before was at the same time honored and feared. When I was going through the process I wanted to stay true to myself so I tried to keep the mood light. The majority of the development took place in my head; I had no interest in altering a speech from the internet. If you’re really busy like I was having trouble figuring out where to start, however, those databases are the easy way out a good way to see what other people have done, what their tone was, etcetera. Just don’t forget that the couple wants to hear from you, if they wanted to hear from someone else, they would have asked someone else. Remember, though, this doesn’t have to be the Gettysburg Address. I tried to think of how my sister had changed now that she was getting married. Her entire life she had just been my mean older sister. I thought of how all of a sudden she was happy all the time. Over time I realized these were aspects I could draw from. This perspective would be a bit deprecating to my sister (that’s expected from her little brother, right?), but would show how her wife had made her a happier person. It would allow me to toss a couple jokes into the mix, as I am wont to do, and would strike home with everyone that knew my sister when she was younger. Remembering how she used to be, everyone could then think about their own personal moment. That time when my sister made them chuckle. When she made them shake their head, or when she made them break down on the floor in fits of laughter. That time she got drunk and smacked the mailing list out of the girl’s hand at that concert. I wanted to tie her life as it was - into her life as it is, and will be. This was where I began to speak of my relationship with my sister-in-law. This was more-so spoken to her than to everyone else. A couple of days The day before heading upstate to start wedding activities, I took out a pad and began to put my thoughts on paper. I tried to think as if I was just talking to a couple of friends about why I was excited to see my sister getting married. Hell, I had been gushing about it for months anyway, I was an old pro at it by now. I ended up tossing a couple of iterations before coming up with something I liked. It was light, excited, and short. I hate long-winded speeches when I’m waiting to get drunk congratulate the newlyweds. I made sure to remind people why we were there and ended it with an invitation to drink. A few laughs, the clinking of glass, and a walk back to my seat and it was over. In all, it ended up being successful because I spoke from my heart and tried to stay true to who I was. And I kept it short. There’s nothing worse than having to pretend to like someone’s boring speech as they drone on for 10 minutes.