A place to put random occurrences in my life...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Giving thanks on my wedding day

I still can't really believe it, but I've been married for just over two months now... the whole event was such a blur...

The wedding itself seemed to fly by but it lives on in my mind as a very vivid memory that I will always have with me. There were so many highlights - everything from the mixing of cultures at the ceremony (Jewish theme, Chinese Tea Ceremony, giving thanks to our parents in our native tongues, etc.) to the Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches and all the way through to the launching of the sky lanterns (Khoom Loy).

I was recently back in NY and watched the wedding video with my parents. At the end of the wedding, I gave a bit of a speech, and although I conveyed the overall message of thanks, I missed a lot of the points that I had been hoping to cover. If I could do it over again, I think my speech would be something like this:
Wow! What a night - I'm completely blown away. Let me begin by saying thanks to each and every one of you for making the long journey to celebrate this special occasion with us. It means the world to both Thien and myself that so many of our dear friends and family were able to travel over 8000 miles to be here today.

I'd like to talk a little bit about luck. Those of you that know me really well, know that I've always been lucky. For those of you that don't know me all that well, all you have to do is take one look at the gorgeous lady standing next to me to realize that I must be lucky. Luck was by my side when Alex, Jeremy and I came up with the stupid idea of opening a restaurant. Luck was by my side when I was introduced to Thien's brother Don and when Don decided to ask his sister to invest in the restaurant. Luck was even by my side when the restaurant endeavor failed to materialize - leaving me with Thien by my side and an opportunity for my friends and I to start a little business called Goowy.

As all of you witnessed, luck was certainly on my side with the weather today! As I stared into the torrential downpour just 30 minutes before the ceremony was slated to begin, I can tell you that I was extremely worried that our dreams of a wedding on the beach would be ruined. But luck prevailed, and the weather has been nothing short of amazing.

Although everyone here contributed to making this an extremely memorable occasion for us, I think it's appropriate to call out a few people in particular. First, we have to give thanks to Peter Wolf who did a phenomenal job as a first time Rabbi. Not only did Peter help Thien and I formulate the basis of the ceremony, but he performed it masterfully, and he added in a beautiful and heartwarming speech which we will treasure. I think Peter may have a career as a wedding Rabbi if it's something that he's interested in pursuing.

I'd like to also thank my best man, Alex, and Thien's maid of honor, Tammy. Both Alex and Tammy blew us away with their speeches tonight. I'm not quite sure how much money I owe Alex, but given all of the compliments (or rather lies in my favor) in his speech, I think I'll be paying him for quite some time. And although the speeches were incredible, the really amazing thing is how much these two have done for us throughout our lives - and how much they mean to us. Thien and I have been trully lucky - we love you guys!

I previously mentioned that this was a far journey for all involved. But there is one person here who completely outdid himself. This guy landed in Koh Samui about eight hours ago, he'll be leaving the island in just about 17 hours - and he came all the way from California. Special props have to go out to Young for being crazy enough to take two 25 hour trips, here and back, to be here for just over one day. We realize what you went through to be here for us and we truly appreciate it.

We also have to mention a special couple that is here with us tonight. This couple is celebrating their anniversary tonight - their 33rd wedding anniversary! And the good news is that they still seem to be happy with each other... It must be lucky to have a "successful" happy such as this sharing your anniversary with you, right? Let's give a hand for Yakov and Yelena Melman!

Along with the Melmans, Thien and I also have our parents for being true role models of what it means to be in love with each other and dedicated to each other for decades. My paren't celebrated their 35th anniversary last summer, and Thien's parents have been married to each other for even longer. Our parents have always been there for us. Our parents have instilled in us many of the personality traits that ultimate made Thien and I compatible. Our parents sacrificed so much in leaving their loved ones and their native countries to make better lives possible for us. We are both truly lucky to have been born into terrific families and to have been raised by loving parents. We will forever look to our parents as a guiding light of how we want to live our lives as a married couple and as a new family.

Finally, we want to once again thank all of you for being a part of this occasion with us. The theme of luck continues with all of you - Thien and I are very lucky to have you in our lives and we will always cherish you!
I'm somewhat glad that I didn't write and memorize this speech ahead of time - it likely would have seemed rehearsed since I'm not a great actor, and it would have probably been overly long. That said, I wanted to correct some of my omissions for the record...

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