“With love and admiration from your pal Topher
My parents met at age nineteen, eloped after six weeks, and have been married for forty-three years. Imagine, just for a moment, the horrible example this set for their children. I grew up thinking their experience was normal, which led to a series of romantic pairings that could charitably be described as “overly-optimistic.”
We are artists. We want to experience the world, to challenge it and test its resistance. We want to be our most authentic selves and speak unfiltered truth. And who the hell would want to live with that?
So sometimes it takes us longer to become marriage material.
In life, it’s tempting to look back and say, If I could do it over again, I would’ve said this, or done that, or not set that fire, but ultimately, every step you’ve taken- everyone you’ve loved, everyone you’ve lost, every choice- has brought you here. Which makes it a journey worth celebrating, because look where we are.
You managed to find someone in each other who sees you for everything you are, everything you want to say and do, and amazingly, they really wanna live with that.
Sean, Veronika. Marriage, if you nurture it, is awesome. Someone is always on your side. This is particularly handy when you are completely in the wrong, because that’s when having someone on your side really matters.
This is not the most important day of your life together. This is the best-dressed day of your life together. On the most important day, you’re going to have a bad moment. It’ll be your worst moment. You’ll still love each other, but you won’t like each other much. You will be afraid, and you will say things borne out of fear, because we are achingly human. It is what we do.
You will ask, maybe just in your head, maybe out loud, if you’re capable of keeping the promise you made today. And on that most important day, exhausted and wounded, you will decide the answer is yes. You are better together than you could ever be apart. On the most important day, you will truly feel the full weight of committing your life to another person, and you will decide it is totally worth it.
Love is not the solution to all of life’s problems. Love is the reason you look for solutions. Some days will be filled with joy. Other days, less so. The constant is not happiness, the constant is the partnership. Face the challenges of life as a team, without blame. And when you feel fear or uncertainty, admit it.
All of us have gathered here for your best-dressed day- some of us using an iron for the first time in recent memory- for a simple reason: In a world filled with uncertainty, we believe in this union. It fortifies us, it brings us joy. We know without question that with the two of you joining forces, working as a team, doing what you do best- making art, telling stories, nurturing communities- the world we live in will be a better place. And we are grateful.
You have frustratingly little control over the length of time you’ll have together, but you have absolute control over the quality of it. So, whenever and however you can, save the best of yourselves for each other.
It takes a lifetime to really learn to love someone properly. We’re so glad you’ve decided to learn together.” – Topher Payne