The Van Epps Wedding Toast: The Songbird and the Tree

On Thursday we got to celebrate with my sister as she declared her love and became Mrs. Van Epps. Her new husband is one of the most thoughtful and considerate men I've ever met and we are so happy for them. The wedding was small, intimate, and beautiful. My sister's children stood up with them as best man, maid of honor and "wedding princess". It was very sweet.

And, of course, I had to give a toast. I wish I could find a way to get paid to write individualized wedding toasts for people, cause I really love it. It's like my secret skill that I only get to utilize once every few years.

So, here's my toast for my sister and her new husband.


The Songbird and the Tree

Once upon a time there was a little song bird. She was beautiful and her song attracted people from far and wide. She had dramatic golden feathers and eyes that glistened like starlight. Her song was lively and vivacious, full of zest for life.

She had been caged. She had been wounded, but she was strong.

In another part of the forest there was a tree. Full of hope for the future, it's branches stretched towards a sky full of dreams, and yet the little tree was grounded and rooted at the same time.

Sometimes various birds perched in the tree to rest, but none captured the heart of the tree. The tree was looking for something different, something unique, someone special.

One day the little song bird flew by the tree and landed nearby. The tree saw that she had been a caged bird and decided she wasn't his type. But, then she began to sing. Her song was strong and fierce with conviction and the tree leaned in to hear more. Soon he was lost in the songbirds starlight eyes. And she in his strong stable branches. And before long the strong tree had become the safe place, the open haven, the little bird had been searching for.

He supported her when she felt weak, cheered her on when she wanted to fly. And gave her a safe place. He was thoughtful, considerate and kind. When the sun beat down he moved his branches to give her shade. When the winds blew he stretched big to protect her. And when her babies cried in their nest he softly rocked them to sleep on his branches.

The beautiful little songbird had found her home. And the strong tree had found his someone special.

Brie and Eric, may you both always be a safe home for each other.

May you recognize all that is unique and beautiful in one another and celebrate, and cheer on those things.

May you fly together into new dreams, touching the sky while also keeping your feet rooted to the ground.

May you have a relationship built on mutual trust, understanding and freedom.

May you speak truthfully and kindly to each other.

May you fight rarely and when you do fight may those battles be fair and productive.

May your life together be filled with joy.

And when you find yourselves in the twilight of your life may you still be holding hands tightly and finding joy in making one another smile.

And now, would you all raise your glasses with me and toast to Eric and Brie.

Cheers! And God bless!


Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman