The Wedding of the Century

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One of the early Kings of England used to tell his messengers: "If you have anything important to tell me, begin at the end." So let me say first that Judy and I love you both and that we couldn't be prouder or happier for you. Everything else is frosting on the cake. And Scott - I want you to know - in particular - that, of all the men Jamie has been engaged to, we definitely like you the best. Seriously.

So to continue. I want to thank Judy for helping me raise the girls all these years and for helping me show them how much two people could love each other and still laugh at each other every single day. We wouldn't be here today without her. Over the years, I've never believed in much, but I've always believed in her. I hope you two are as lucky in love as we have been.

I also want to thank our friends and family - blood relatives (as the saying goes these days), life-long friends and our new extended family from Anshe Emet as well - for being here with us tonight. Our families define us in many ways and give us both strength and grief. All our lives we struggle to embrace their influence and to escape it at the same time. Families are like magnets that can hold us close and drive us away. From tonight, you'll also be your own family - making your own choices and decisions - and that's as it should be (except for things I tell you). But whatever happens - you both should know - that your families (all your many families) will always be there for you. If for no other reason than to remind each of you exactly what little pishers you are when you get too serious.

Now comes the hard part. They say an art collector starts to grow up when he learns to appreciate paintings that he can't own. As you all know, I haven't reached that point yet but it's pretty much the same problem for a father at a time like this who wants so badly to hold on but who needs to let his daughter go and get on with her own life. (I never was that good at sharing.)

So I guess it comes down to this. In the final analysis, it's not what you do for your children, but what you've taught them to do for themselves that matters. We've all done our parts - the best that we could do - now it's the two of you together. There are no shortcuts. There's no easy way. No one else can do it for you. It's up to you. Make us proud.