The speech to end all speeches

Double cake
Double shower, but not a double wedding.

Less than 60 days until our wedding.

One month until I move.

And two weeks until my sister’s wedding.

It’s getting real now, friends.

Knowing my anxious self as I do, I feel like I should be panicking — or, at the very least, getting nervous — but an odd calm has seeped into my pores. Now that I’ve attended two bridal showers, my sister’s bachelorette party and am helping her put all the final touches on her big day at the end of this month, it’s finally hitting me: my sister’s getting married.

The best part of planning two weddings concurrently was probably that I had little time to ruminate on the fact that my baby sis will soon be a wife. After a lifetime of doing everything together, I think it’s only fitting that we got engaged on the same day and planned nuptials for the same season — though it hasn’t been without its complications at times. Still, planning weddings together was fun and, in many ways, helpful. Because there was no gap in experience, we could discuss vendors and venues and invitations in real time.

And now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. I helped Katie coordinate her seating chart, designed her programs and invitations, will be going with her to make final decisions about decor on Sunday. And as her trusty maid of honor, I’m getting ready for the most crucial of all my assignments: my wedding speech. The toast. My moment in the spotlight with a microphone, when I’m supposed to get through some emotional words without sobbing like a lunatic.

Not likely.

I started a draft of this speech a few months ago, back when it seemed so far away . But now that we’re staring down her wedding date in two weeks, I’m realizing I really better get serious. And get cracking.

And as a writer, you know I’ve got to make it good.

I’m a little scared of this speech. When Katie first got engaged, I remember telling her I didn’t think I could speak at all — but realized I need to. I can’t just decide I’m not going to toast my baby sister and her new husband because I’m too emotional . . . and anyway, I’m doing better. I’ve processed what’s happening. I’m excited and at peace with the transitions, even if they won’t be completely smooth. (Nothing is completely smooth.)

So my speech. This epic speech. I want to be sweet and funny, thoughtful and celebratory, hopeful and endearing. I want her to feel loved and appreciated, and for Eric to feel welcomed and included. I know to be brief because no one likes a long-winded wedding speech, but I’m going to say what I want to say.

My goal is to somehow — through magic, caffeine, sorcery — distil into words what 25 years with my sister by my side have meant to me.

So, you know, no big deal.

Have you ever given an epic wedding speech? Do you have any tips or resources for me? I’m optimistic I can get through this relatively unscathed, but I’m going to have to drown my sorrows in wedding cake. It’s pretty much a necessity.