I think that July 22 was the 2nd happiest day of my life. My daughter, Jessica, married a great guy: Lucas Seitz. We all had a wonderful time at the wedding and reception. You can see a sampling of wedding pictures below.
Here’s a copy of my “father of the bride speech” that I gave at the reception:
Hello everyone, I’m Jessica’s Dad. I want to thank all of you for being here on this wonderful occasion. As the happy father of the bride, I wanted to get up here and say a few things to all of you and to Jessica and Luc. First, I want to tell you a few stories that illustrate to me some of Jessica’s qualities that are especially dear to me.
By the time Jessica was 5 or 6 years old I knew that she was a person with wonderful dreams and imagination. She came to me one day and asked, “Dad, do you know how to build a barn?” Most little girls would probably have come right out and asked for a horse or a pony but Jessica was making plans! A barn and a horse were beyond our means and my abilities, but we did what we could to help her with the experience that she wanted.
A couple of years later we sent her off to horse camp. It was the first time she would spend a week away from home without anyone she knew and we were afraid that she might be homesick. When we arrived on the final day to take her home we thought she would have missed us and would be happy to see us. Instead she seemed tired and irritated by our arrival. During the week she had fallen in love with her horse, a gentle old Appaloosa named Tomahawk and our coming meant her time with him was over. She didn’t want to go home. She wanted to stay the whole day and ride him one more time. (Jessica’s first boy friend was a horse!)
Jessica is passionate and devoted. After that experience I knew that, when she was older, leaving home would not be a problem for her as long as she was leaving for something she loved and enjoyed. Leaving for college was one big step and here we are at another four short years later.
Perhaps I don’t speak for all fathers, but I like to think that it’s every father’s prayer for their daughters to have found a good husband when they marry. We want our sons to find a good mate too, but even more so for our daughters because while a good father knows that his son will grow to emulate him in many respects, his daughter will grow up and find someone who will succeed him in some ways. We want our sons to be good hands for others, but we want our daughters also to be in good hands. That may sound old fashioned to some of you, but that’s where my heart is.
To celebrate Jessica’s 13th birthday, I took her out for a special father-daughter dinner. I wanted to start preparing her for this day. I gave her a small heart-shaped gold locket with a picture of me in one side and the other side empty. She asked why there was no picture of her mother in the other side. I told her that this was to remind her that someday she will give her heart to another man and that his picture would go in that spot. She didn’t say anything, but the way she squeezed my hand told me that she understood.
Jessica, when you were very small, I use to sing a little verse to myself about you:
Sweet little baby girl
Daddy loves you
Sweet little baby girl
Gonna watch you grow
Daddy loves you so
I used to keep a little picture of you on my desk at work; often looking at it and asking, “Who are you going to grow up to be little girl? Will you break your Daddy’s heart?” I didn’t need to worry. Instead you have blessed my heart in countless ways as you have grown up into a wonderful woman. I’m especially thankful to see your faith in God grow essentially, from within your own heart and mind, fulfilling God’s unique intentions for your life. Your Mom and I were happy to discover the artistic gifts that He has given you and to do what we could to help them flourish. It’s been a wonderful experience “watching you grow.”
So from the time I first held you in my arms when you were born, to this day, I have kept many good memories and have somehow lost all the other ones. You have been the subject of my fervent prayers many times through those years. I think the most important one has been answered today.
Luc, I don’t have to tell you that you are now wedded to one of my dearest treasures. A big piece of my heart comes with her and I’m happy to give it to you because I’ve seen how well you treat my daughter. You have as much respect and love for her as she does for you. It didn’t take me long to see that you and Jessica are a great match. I know that she is in good hands … and so are you!
Mary Beth and I will love, support and pray for you both in your marriage as long as we live. We are happy to have you as part of our family and happy to be a part of your wonderful family as well. May God bless you both with a long and happy life together. We love you very much. –Dad.