Hello everybody, my name is Elizabeth, and I am the Maid of Honor of the bride. I gladly take up this occasion to toast to my best friend Donna and her husband, Roderick. I’ve known the bride for more than ten years, and I had a chance to watch the newly-weds’ romance from the very beginning. Everything started in high school, when Donna told me that she was fancied by a boy from the parallel grade. As a reliable friend I was to have a look at him and carry out an independent judgment. I found out that he was cute and evidently head over heels in love with Donna, so my piece of advice was: “Have a try! Maybe something will come out of it!”.

As we all see today, the counsel was right up to the point! What came out of it was a seven-year-long relationship that always seemed to me a curious mixture of friendship and love. Of course, they had their ups and downs, when one day Donna didn’t want to hear anything about mankind and Him especially – but the next day she was singing like a nightingale that Rick and she made it up and were going for a picnic on weekend. I always admired how they managed to overcome the rough turns inevitable in any relationship, for in these seven years I know of no misunderstanding between them that lasted for more than one day. The next morning Roderick was there at Donna’s doorstep with a bunch of her favorite dog-violets, and everything was fine again. From the very school days they seemed to have a mysterious gravitation towards each other, a force that made them happy only when they were together. On school holidays and breaks between university terms they could spend days on end together, never growing tired of each other. And conversely, whenever a day passed without them seeing each other, they started to feel anxious, until someone telephoned the other to hear his or her voice and chat a bit.

I am very happy to be present today at their wedding, as it seemed clear from the very beginning that Donna and Ricky must and will get married. However, they sometimes appeared so content with just being together, that we, their friends, felt it was our sacred duty to speed up their marriage. So their will-be wedding became the hottest issue and our favorite source of jokes in the company. Thus it was a great relief to know that last year our stratagems eventually worked, and the big day was already named.

Ladies and gentlemen, they are a perfect couple and one needn’t be a seer to say that they will be happy together, and their marriage will be the start of a harmonious matrimonial life. As a final piece of advice to the newly-weds, I would like to read my favorite quotation by Kenneth W. Phifer – which, by the way, was one of the stratagems I read to Donna in its own time.

Dear Donna and Roderick, remember that “the institution of marriage was begun that a man and a woman might learn how to love and, in loving, know joy; that a man and a woman might learn how to share pain and loneliness and, in sharing, know strength; that a man and woman might learn how to give and, in giving know communion. The institution of marriage was begun that a man and woman might through their joy, their strength, and their communion become creators of life itself. Marriage is a high and holy state, to be held in honor among all men and women. Marriage is a low and a common state, to be built of the stuff of daily life. Men and women are not angels, nor are they gods. Love can become hatred; joy, sorrow, marriage, divorce. But human beings are not condemned to failure”(2).

I propose a toast to the happy married life of Donna and Roderick. Cheers!