What a fine day.
In this enchanted location.
For this magical event.

I'm R C – I am the proud father of Alex and now, too, an over-the-moon with glee father-in-law to the lovely Elyse. Whom, I'm sure we'll all agree, looks stunning and vibrant and so very happy today.  

The only thing that comes even remotely close to the joy you are sharing with us Elyse, is the pure, unadulterated love I see reflected in my son's face every time his gaze happens upon you. Thank-you for that Elyse, what a truly heart warming gift to me that is.

The other day Alex called and asked if he might talk to me about something.... He said it was important. It took a while for him to get 'round to it, but eventually he managed to mention that there were going to be a lot of people giving toasts today...         and?    I said.    And.... well....    says he – maybe you could keep it short. 

I have, it seems, something of a reputation for long winded stories but I promised that I would try. We'll see how that goes, because sincerely, this is me trying to be brief.

As you can see, I've brought a little box with me. It's very simple - I found it at a garage sale... but as you can also see – it's empty.

Oh look, my speech!
( At this point I open the box and pull out a great long roll of the text which I ceremoniously un-roll before the crowd )
Great, now I don't have to make things up as I go along!

Let's see..... oh, yeah, the box. Empty – see?

Most people get married believing a myth. 
A myth wherein marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for: companionship, intimacy, friendship, understanding, compassion... 

The truth though is; that marriage, especially at the start, is an empty box. You both have to put something into it before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage. Love is in people. And people put love into marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple has to learn the art...  
and develop the habit of giving, of patience, understanding and loving. You both have to realize too, that the box is magic. That it can never get too full – it will never over flow... And always remember that neither one of you has to fill the box by yourself. You both have a responsibility to contribute all that is the best of who you are to the box. Because the magic isn't for you, it's for your partner. That's the magic part.

Keep the box full – and always remember that if you take out more than you put in, the box will soon enough be empty.

So today, I have for you this little box. Of course I understand that even though it's a magic box, over the years it might also end up holding ordinary things. Things like receipts, or the shoe shine kit... or maybe, and I've spoken to your Mom Elyse and she's in full agreement, if we're both very lucky, our grandchildren's Lego. I told you it's a magic box!

Ladies and gentlemen please, if you will, raise your glass and join this so very proud Father and this very happy father-in-law in a toast -  A toast to to my fine son Alex and his loving partner Elyse – Here's to a lifetime of happiness, a lifetime of magic!