Sunday, January 28, 2018


Saturday evening, I officiated Ashley and JP’s wedding ceremony at the Asia Society, in Houston, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

One of the unwritten but quite explicit rules of our American society is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can succeed. And, Ashley and JP are really hard workers. The event industry, where they met, is defined by very hard work, coupled with extremely long hours.

This is not only true of Ashley and JP, in their professional lives. These two, like most smart couples, have never taken their relationship for granted. They have carefully nurtured and cultivated it, and it shows.
What is important to recognize, though, is that that is not enough. The comedian, Conan O’brien’s phrasing of the unwritten rule I began with acknowledges this. He says, “If you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” Talk to Ashley and JP’s friends, and you will know they have this one covered too.
Still, hard work and kindness are not enough. The whole quote from Conan clarifies this, “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
What else do you need, then? Well, it helps if you have a little bit of luck. For instance, and I’m just spitballing here, if you want to find your soulmate, it helps if you work in the same industry. It helps even more if your employers do business with each other. It certainly helps, if through that, you end up spending many hours together by necessity, and get to know each other really well, as friends first.
Luck can be extremely humbling. Now, I know, when you think of JP, humble is not the first word that comes to mind... Listen, however to what he says about how he feels about having Ashley in his life, “I can’t say enough how lucky I think I am to marry her. As I told her dad when I asked him for permission, ‘I always thought I would marry my dream girl physically, my soulmate, or my best friend. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I would be able to find all three of them in one person.’”
And Ashley feels the same, “Everyday, I cannot wait to wake up next to JP, and know that I will be in the same place together when we go back to sleep. He is my best friend, my #1 pest, my prince charming, and the highlight of my day... I feel like I am... the luckiest girl for winning his heart.”

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