Ladies, gentlemen, comrades ...
My name is Alex. Some of you may know me as Sasha. I got married myself a month ago, and what everyone keeps telling is that there are two secrets to a long-lasting, happy marriage: a good sense of humour and a short memory – and that’s also the secret to enjoying this speech.
Cristina – you look absolutely stunning. I’m sure all the guys here will agree that it’s always a little bit sad to see another beautiful woman being taken off the market.
And ladies, Gav’s no longer eligible either. Funny thing.. none of the girls seem to be too upset about it at all.
Thanks must be made to many people for creating and organizing such a wonderful day and, in particular, Cristina and Gavin.
From behind the scenes, I can tell you that such an amazing event doesn’t come together without lots of tears, hissy fits, throwing lipstick across the room in anger, and that’s just when I was helping Gav get ready today.
I met Gav 16 years ago, on a street in Berkeley. We were both starting our PhDs – him in business, and me in physics, and we very quickly became great friends and chief party organizers at international house, where we met and befriended many of the professors, doctors, and future leaders of the world, who you will easily spot later tonight spanking each other and mooning the crowd.
Back then we had two choices: party in his room, or mine. This beautiful wedding venue clearly demonstrates how much Gav’s party planning skills have improved since then. Actually, let’s be honest, Gav had nothing to do with this. It was all Cristina.
When Cristina and Gavin asked me to give this speech I got very excited, and started thinking about all the stories from our times at international house, the adventures we’ve had together, and all the trouble we got into.
I even asked Gavin’s childhood friends for material, Robert has some particularly juicy material.
I’m not going to tell these stories for two reasons. First, the chateau is only rented until 4 am. In terms of stories about Gav, that would get us to about 12 years old (that was when he got his first erection, that he proudly displayed to his entire family). The second reason is that the goal of telling these stories is usually to embarrass the groom in front of his friends and family. As most of you know, Gav is more than capable of embarrassing himself without any assistance.
What I will say is that it’s been an honor to get to know you, Gav, over the last 16 years, and I couldn’t be happier for you. You’ve found a woman who is kind, honest, caring, and who deserves nothing but the best husband there is. Luckily you locked her down before she had a chance to meet him.
Cristina, I’ve gotten to know Gav quite well over the years, and I will say this – you have a husband who is devoted to you and will always lift you up to great heights. As everyone here knows, Gavin is incredibly intelligent, athletic, handsome, an amazing singer, incredible lover, remer.... remarka... sorry Gav, I can't read you handwriting here.
Here’s what I do know: I’ve seen Gavin at his worst, and I’ve seen him at his best - but through the years I have never seen him as happy as he is when he is with Cristina.
As great a guy as he is, make no mistake, she makes him better.
Not only is he happier, he’s literally better: better dressed, better mannered, and better smelling.
Gavin has always been loyal and generous and warm. He goes to great lengths and covers great distances for friendship and fun: I’ve moved around a lot, and Gav has visited me in every single city I’ve lived in, even New Haven – which he hates, and only by appealing to Christina’s kind nature was I able to get them to visit me so often.
Gav’s mates will fly over 20 hours each way to see him, because he inspires the same loyalty he demonstrates – and now that he is with Christina, he’s got ten times the magnetism.
I have also seen the incredible commitment Gav has to his family; this is something he shares with Cristina, and it’s something that speaks to how well they will be able to support each other in this life.
There is nothing more noble or admirable than two incredible people coming together as one in the unity of marriage. As your friends and family, we delight in your marriage and offer our unconditional encouragement and support.
Ok, I am getting a little emotional here, I apologize. English is my second language, so I’ll have to finish my speech in Russian, I’ll ask my good friend Andrew to translate for me.