Being a maid of honor is hard work.

For the record, my main task was as fluffer. My dear friend Katy had a train so long that whenever she moved, I was in charge of getting it back into place. So the wedding basically went like this for me:

-walk to position
-fluff train
-take bouquet from her
-fluff train
-hand over ring
-fluff train
-don’t fall down steps or else my wife would have it caught on camera and would be blogging it from the service
-fluff train

And then I had to give a toast. Since my wife also informed Katy that she may want to check my rough draft before I give it, here’s the toast that I ended up giving:

Katy’s Toast
My name is Maurice Broaddus and I’m Katy’s maid of honor. Have you ever have one of those days where you wake up and go “how did I get here?” Well, I’ve had two of them and they both involved Katy.

I moved to Indianapolis when I was eight years old. We hadn’t lived here but a few days when there was a knock on my door. When I opened it, these two redhead little girls stood there saying “Avon calling.”

Come to find out, they were selling their mother’s makeup. They asked for my mom or sister, but it was only me home. Now I was big into Charlie’s Angels at the time and I had decided that I was going to be a spy and every good spy needs a disguise kit. So I took my mom’s cookie jar money and bought the makeup and the three of us ended up played Charlie’s Angels the rest of the day.

That was my introduction to the Swan girls. They would both go on to be an important part in my life. We went to church together, went through Youth Group together, survived our teen years together, but I always had a special relationship with Katy.

I’ll spare you tales of the special joy that was tutoring Katy in math. However, I was also there when her son Bryant was born … since I was Katy’s LaMaz partner. This was the first time I ended up asking how did I get here. Katy has always had that effect on me. She could talk me into anything. I’m surprised we survived high school.

At my wedding, eight years ago, my wife (the same woman who has been advocating for Katy to make me wear a dress for this) and I dismissed our guests by rows, giving us a chance to thank and hug everyone. Katy and I hugged so long, my other guests started murmuring “who’s that hugging him so long?” Then my wife turns to them and simply says “That’s Katy.” You would have thought the place was hit with the Holy Ghost the way everyone fell out. You could hear ripples of “oh, that’s Katy” throughout the building because they knew, they all knew, how much Katy means to me.

We’ve shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I wouldn’t trade even the ugly times, because that’s what friendship is all about. It’s the history and the love that ties us together. And that very same sense of history and love has brought us here today.

Not too long ago, Katy calls me up and says “Hey, I’m dating someone and I think you ought to meet him.” I know you know, Katy can be serious. So when she says I need to meet him, for whoever it was, play time was over.

Now you need to understand something, if you couldn’t tell by now, I love Katy. A lot. So whoever’s going to date her, much less marry her, had better be someone special.

So I invited Katy and Adam over for dinner and, man, Katy has him prepared, after all, I had to know the young man’s intentions. I barely got any questions out and he came back with answers. Good answers. But what he didn’t know was that the questions were only half the test. The other half was me watching him. You know what I saw? A man who adores Katy the way she deserves to be adored. Who respects her, listens to her, and wants to meet her needs. A man who holds her gently and most importantly love her.

And don’t you stop. Just because you said “I do” don’t mean I don’t still have my eye on you.

So here I am, asking myself “how did I get here?” as Katy’s honor attendant. What else is there to say? I don’t have to tell any of you just how special Katy is. She has the heart of a fighter and a spirit that won’t give up. And while she’s never gone at things the easy way, she’s one of the strongest women I know. Her life touches all of those who are blessed to know her.

And I know she’s in good hands.

To Katy.

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