Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rehearsal Dinner

(PICTURE: My dad giving a speech at the rehearsal dinner. That's my Aunt Donna and Uncle Barry in the background. You can watch the video Barry is shooting on his blog.)

Unlike most rehearsal dinners, ours was two days before the wedding. And well, it wasn't so much as a rehearsal dinner as a dinner for out-of-town guests who came to the wedding...which I guess is what all rehearsal dinners really are since you never end up rehearsing anything.

Huyen and I had reserved a private room at a new restaurant in Hanoi that serves pretty good food. We chose the place because it's in quite a beautiful setting and there was enough space to fit all of our guests.

After chowing down on a whole bunch of food, everyone turned their attention to my father who gave a short speech thanking everyone for coming and congratulating Huyen and me. After my father finished, I took a speech out of my pocket. Well, I should use the word speech loosely since I basically wrote about 7 bullet points. I had the intention of writing a full speech but just never found the time once people started to pour into Hanoi. My bullet points though were more than enough to guide me through what I wanted to say. Here's the short summary of the speech:

Bullet point #1: I thanked my parents for being amazing parents. As you've read many times on the blog, I couldn't ask for more amazing parents. They've been supportive of me from day 1 and have taken Huyen into their lives with open arms.

Bullet point #2: I thanked everyone for coming. I mentioned how I was talking to a Vietnamese girl I knew the week before who was also getting married to a foreigner. She had asked me who was coming to the wedding and I told her about thirty people from out of the country. She looked shocked and told me that her soon-to-be-husband just had his parents and one sibling coming to their wedding. Not to sound like it is a competition, but it was just meant to underscore how lucky I felt having so many people fly halfway around the world to celebrate with Huyen and me. Of course there are a lot of people who didn't make the wedding for 1,001 different reasons, but it felt really amazing having so many people come so far to be with us.

Bullet point #3: I started out by saying an uber cheesy line like, "I've never been a person who believes in fate but there were so many fateful things that happened in order for Huyen and me to cross paths." I think right around the words "so many fateful things" that I began to choke up. Now mind you, I'm not much of a crier. I'm pretty sure I've cried less than 10 times since I was thirteen. In fact, I'm running the count through my head right now and I'm pretty sure I've cried seven times since middle school (not including when I weirdly teared up like 18 times while reading The Notebook and the time I choked up while watching some lame Sandra Bullock movie on a plane). Anyway, like most crying, it started a small domino effect. As soon as Huyen heard me choke up she started to cry which in turn made me cry more. Eventually I got a hold of myself and finished up telling the story of how Huyen and I met...and then we ate dessert.

(PICTURE: Me before the tears started to flow.)