The wedding speech you didn’t hear

Kacey and I got married on Saturday. Because the encomiums delivered by my best men, Brandon Fisher and Liam Murray, ran extremely long — actually, because other elements of the timeline ate up more time than planned — I didn’t have time to give any remarks to the guests. But thanks to the miracle of Google Drive, you can read what I would’ve said. Enjoy:

When Kacey and I were making a list of possible wedding reception venues last fall, Celebrations was the first place we visited. We decided we didn’t need to see any others. Maybe that was because they shoved a plate full of hors d’oeuvres in front of us.

This place is almost in the middle of nowhere — which should feel familiar to most of you. Especially those of you from South Jersey. We’re thrilled you figured out how to get here.

I have to start by giving special thanks to Kacey’s parents, Barb and Gary. In addition to being good people and outstanding role models, Barb and Gary have supported us at every turn, especially when it came time to move into our new house.

But I have to share this nugget: On one of our first dates, I was taking Kacey to the movies in Bel Air. (We tried to whistle for a cab — but neither of us can whistle. And if you get that reference, consider yourself royalty.) By then, even though Kacey and I had known each other for only about a week, we’d talked and messaged a lot. One of the topics, of course, was career: Kacey was just finishing her schooling to become a physician assistant, and I was working nights at the Baltimore Sun. I had been thinking for some time about becoming a teacher, and I’d told this to Kacey, who said her mom was a teacher.

So, anyway, we’re going on this date to Bel Air. I’d never been to Kacey’s house at that point; so of course I was more than a bit nervous — you know, finding the house, making sure I’m on time (haha), all that stuff.

I pull into the driveway, and I’m telling you, less than five seconds after I opened the door to my car to get out, I hear a voice:

“Don’t do it, Jon! Don’t do it!”

I’m not an easy person to surprise, but this made me think for a second. I looked over and saw the source of the warning — and I quickly figured out it was Kacey’s mom. But what was she warning me about? Was she trying to tell me not to go on the date?

I really wanted to make a good impression, but I wasn’t sure what answer to give. So I repeated the words back, in question form: “Don’t do it?”

And then it hit me: teaching. Kacey had told her that I’d been considering teaching as a career change, and this was her reply: “Don’t do it!”

So that was my first interaction with one of Kacey’s parents: unfiltered and right to the point but always helpful. Thank you for giving these qualities to your daughter.

I also have to thank my parents, Carl and Jane. They are role models when it comes to hard work and determination. When journalism seems difficult, I think back to sweltering afternoons carrying irrigation pipe across a dusty field, and that always adjusts my perspective.

But let me turn my attention back to the woman of the night. Did I say “woman of the night”? OK, that’s not the best phrasing. Let’s turn our attention back to my love, my bride, Kacey. Kacey and I are perfect complements for each other. She’s typically the adventurous one, and the greatest example of that was when she invited me to go away for a weekend trip even though we hadn’t known each other for long. (We ended up in Niagara Falls, with a side trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.)

Last year, she took me on a surprise three-day cruise to the Bahamas, and she also organized a trip to Mexico and yet another, longer, cruise in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, I get to be the person who takes care of Kacey — as I’ve found out, medical professionals are the worst at taking care of themselves. While out doing some last-minute wedding shopping earlier this week, a heavy box fell on Kacey’s foot at A.C. Moore. If it weren’t for me, she never would’ve gone for X-rays. (Thankfully, they were negative.)

After Kacey said yes back in September, one of the first orders of business for me was to pick a best man. But I knew what I had to do — a best man wouldn’t suffice, at least not for me. I needed to have the two guys I’ve known since freshman year at St. James high School be an integral part of this wedding.

No one else in the world knows you the way your friends do, and these two have stayed in touch with me through college, job changes, moves and the rest of the challenges that life brings. It was a privilege for me to be at each of their weddings the past two years, and I’m honored that they agreed to be here this weekend. Hopefully they will keep the embarrassing stories about me to a minimum.

I also want to give special thanks to the rest of the groomsmen as well as the bridesmaids. Going out getting tuxedos and dresses is an ordeal in itself, and this was proved several times in our case thanks to some national chains that shall not be named.

And last and most important, a big thank you to all of you — your presence and support have helped make this day one of the best of our lives. I never could’ve imagined that this group of people would be together on this night, under this tent, celebrating our wedding.

From soon after we met, Kacey and I both knew this day was coming.  In the first week we knew each other, we sat in her car on Centre Street in Baltimore after getting together with some colleagues of mine from the Baltimore Sun, and we both agreed that we didn’t want to date anyone else. I remember telling her I truly believed that big things were in store for us. I’ll say this now, because I might not get many more chances from now on: I was right.

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One response to “The wedding speech you didn’t hear”

  1. Barbara Pivonski says :

    Thank you Jon…we couldn’t have found Kacey a better match had we tried! You two have been blessed with great friends and family, so you are already very rich!

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