What I’m really thinking: the father of the brides

You, my daughter, are marrying another woman. Your mother and I now feel all the same protective parental urges for our new daughter as we do for you

“You should speak at the reception,” my wife says. “It’s tradition, she should have that.” Your marriage, however, is not traditional. You, my daughter, are marrying another woman. The old cliches about father-of-the-bride speeches do not apply, though I desperately want to say something that you and your lovely bride, my new daughter-in-law, can remember and cherish.

Your mother and I are so proud when you read your vows to each other. It’s a small civil ceremony, yet the highest priest in the tallest cathedral could not have said anything more profound or moving. Whatever hand-wringing the church might do over the prejudices of its faith, you both expressed something fundamental to being human; you asserted the ancient rite of love and commitment, around long before the church wrapped it in sanctimony.

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Alex Vidal