Little did I know that Mark would become a mentor not only in my professional life, but, with the help of Fran, in my private life, as well. As I got to know them as a couple, I learned what a real marriage was, how to make it win-win, how to face challenges, and, maybe most importantly, how to welcome the happiness a marriage can bring if only you have the heart for it.
I had only been married five years back then and was still trying to figure it out. They were 20 years in and still laughing at each other's jokes.
50th Wedding Anniversary speeches are often given by relatives or friends of the couple in question. The sample speech below if given from the perspective of a long-time friend. Be sure to read the notes at the bottom of this page for a summary of the speech.
Hello, and thank you for indulging me as I congratulate Fran and Mark on this rare achievement.
For those who don't know me, I'm Bob Johnson, a friend of this wonderful couple for 30 years. Back then Mark had just hired me as a wet-behind-the-ears would-be executive, thrilled to be mentored by the best. Everyone knew Mark as a leader, someone who inspired the best in people.
I asked their secret. Mark said, "I never forget to kiss her when I get home." Fran confided, "I always kiss him before bedtime. A real one. Not a peck on the cheek." Their children Sandra and Brad were there, only teenagers at the time, and Sandra said, "They won't stop kissing. Even when people are around."
Sandra seemed to not approve, but I thought it was a fine idea! I thought, "Lots of affection -- I can do that. In fact I'd love to do that!" and I instituted those policies right away. Sure enough, pretty soon I realized that every time I was driving home I'd be thinking what a lucky guy I was, knowing there was a kiss waiting for me. A real one. Not a peck on the cheek.
At my 20-year anniversary, Fran and Mark were going strong at 35 years. I looked to my mentors again. Mark told me Fran inspired him to be a better man. He wanted to deserve her, he told me. "She's such a great woman and partner," Mark said. "I have to do my part."
When I told Fran what Mark said, she laughed and then told me that she always tried to do her best, too, because she knew whatever she did, it would reflect on Mark for good or for bad.
I thought they were a great example to follow and I told my wife about it. We decided to follow their lead. Sure enough, when I began trying to deserve my wife by being a better and better man, not only did I grow, but my marriage deepened, too. My mentor was right again.
Earlier today I reminded Mark about what he said back when he'd only been married a mere 35 years, way back when I'd only been married 20 and still had my hair. I asked him, "So, after 50 years do think you finally deserve Fran?"
"I'll never deserve her," he told me. "All I can do is thank God for her every night and try to woo her every day so she'll never wise up."
I've thought about that all day and, you know, it's just more great advice from a wise mentor, advice I plan to follow. So, look forward to that, honey! In the meantime, thank you, Mark and thank you, Fran for showing the rest of us how it's done. You have always been a golden couple, but never more so than today on this your golden anniversary. To Fran and Mark -- continued love and joy.
50th Wedding Anniversary Speeches: Notes
(1) The speech establishes the speakers relationship to the couple. Many visitors might not know how the speaker relates to the golden couple, so its necessary to establish this up front. The best way to do this is by either stating it, or using a short story where you and the couple both appear in.
(2) The speech reflects of the couples happiness and success in marriage. A wedding anniversary is a time to look back at past achievements and reflect on a couples success. A speaker would do well to publicly communicate a sense of achievement of the couples behalf.
(3) The speech shares anecdotal advice about marriage. A anniversary speech is a good occasion for sharing advice about marriage, perhaps to younger couples or even children. This should be done tastefully, in a positive manner, and not come across as too preachy or pedantic.
(4) 50th Wedding Anniversary Speeches are great for setting up couples as examples for the community to follow. In line with celebrating their success, a speaker might also encourage the couple to continue being an example to others.
If you're looking for more tips and advice on writing 50th Wedding Anniversary Speeches, as well as links to more speech samples, then I highly recommend you sign up for my Getting Them Laughing mini E-course. It'll allow me to send you short and informative e-mails to help you as you prepare for your speech.