Hi. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Daphne. I am a close friend and sister of the bride. Actually when I was preparing for today’s speech, many sample speeches online advised me to picture a romantic start by saying “when two people meet, you know instantly it’s meant to be”. But I just want to say this is definitely not the case for Sophie and Wouter.
How do I know? I was there at the beginning of their story. In 2010, Sophie and I came to study far away from home at Purdue University in the states and soon became closest friends, while Wouter was an Australian exchange student there at that time. I still remember how we got to know each other through church and Mr. Day, a church elder who picked us up from a fire station every Sunday morning, but how little I knew or we knew these two would get married today. However everything that was unsure and vague by then, now all makes sense as we think back and connect the dots.
Sophie, if you remember, on the day you first sent off Wouter for Australia from the Indy airport, I asked you the next step you two were going to take. And my witty sister said: “We don’t know what’s gonna happen. But we could do the best we can and leave the rest to God.” What a wise and faithful answer! Then, in the next four and half years, no matter how hard this long distance relationship has been, you two have always remained faithful and committed to God and each other. Step by step, God reveals his plan and blessings to you. So today is a celebration of not only where you are now, but the road that has brought you here.
Sophie and I may not have been childhood friends; we never played dress up or imagined what our weddings would be like as little girls. We didn’t share same memories before college. But none of that matters because we are bonded in many special ways. In lonely foreign land, we have laughed together, cried together, fought together against crappy roommates; we have held each other’s hands through difficult times. (Note, Wouter I was doing part of your job for a little while). But most importantly, Sophie brought me to Christ by choosing to grow her faith with me instead of preaching to me. Over the years, her faith to God and relationship with Wouter have been great encouragement and example to me and many others around her.
Sis, I couldn’t think of anything perfect enough to describe how much I love you nor to define what a special friend you are to me. I certainly had no idea how to summarize everything I wanted to say to make it all fit on to one page. But I will say this you have always been there for me, and I will ALWAYS be there for you. I know god crossed our paths for a reason, and I will forever be grateful.
Wouter, I also have a couple words for you. Although your Chinese level is progressing slowly, I’ll not hold that against you. [pause]. And I truly appreciate you learning Chinese to get closer to Sophie and her family; so keep working hard. I understand that YOU, as her Husband, are her very best friend, and I am willing to pass that torch because I know you make her happy. But one thing I do want you to know or you may already know is that Sophie and I make hour-long phone calls; and I don’t think we are planning on dropping this ritual even though I passed you the torch. So always remember such a wonderful girl will always be a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a blessing to many others.
Last, but not least, I want to acknowledge both Sophie and Wouter’s family for your supports for this wedding and inviting us. It’s such an honor and joy to be here and the 22-hour flight from the states is definitely worth to take.
You didn’t know they were meant to be when they first met; but once you’ve seen their paths have aligned and remained together regardless what the world threw their way; you know they are meant to be together for a happily-ever-after. Please join me to congratulate the bride and groom again. Here is to Sophie and Wouter. Cheers!