Cue the Tears! Read Katie’s Full Speech from Ellie’s Wedding

katies speech

Brian Dorsey Studios

It’s an emotional ride full of raw admissions and appreciation for the village who helped her raise her daughters.

It’s hard not to cry at weddings. It’s even harder when it’s your family member up there tying the knot. Now, imagine it’s your daughter. Impossible not to cry! That’s how Katie felt a few weeks ago at her daughter Ellie’s wedding.

But, she held it together to give an epic mother of the bride speech. And we’re so glad she did.

At the reception, Katie gave a speech that was quite the ride. There were some raw admissions about how she always dreaded events like this, sentiments about who she wished had been able to attend, and all the thank yous you could ever imagine. Read it below, and have some tissues handy.


Katie’s Mother of the Bride Speech

“Welcome, everyone. Gosh, I haven’t spoken in front of this many people since I anchored the CBS Evening News! 

Given the challenges and sadness of the last year and a half, how lucky are we to be here? Together for a weekend of pure, unadulterated joy, and for some of you, a never-ending booze fest. And while I’m not going to get political here, I am going to quote Hillary Clinton — former Senator and Secretary of State, and the woman who should have been president — who famously said, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Because our village is here tonight.

I could never name every person, every act of kindness and support so many people here have shown our family through the years because we’d never get back on the dance floor. But from Thanksgivings in Boston, Easters in Darien, countless playdates and dinners, birthdays remembered from near and far, beach barbecues, churros at Disneyland, swimming in the Caribbean, dancing in a restaurant in Serifos, Halloween, proms and parties, and navigating mean boys during those harrowing high school years, how incredibly lucky we’ve been to have all of you in our lives, in good times and in bad.

As many of you know, there’s no finer compliment than hearing you’ve done a good job raising your children. I can say with certainty I could not have done it without Lori Beth Meyer, who is here tonight. For 11 years, Lori Beth was my partner in almost every way. I will be forever grateful for her unwavering love, support, and patience and for bringing stability to our often wobbly three-legged stool.

As time marched on, Ellie’s village expanded. Roots and wings, my sister-in-law Clare used to say, that’s what you need to give your children. While many of you helped build a strong foundation, there are others here tonight who helped Ellie soar and come into her own. Many of the amazing young women here (and a few good men) represent the deep and lasting friendships formed at Yale. And to see Ellie bond with such a fantastic, dynamic group of friends in Los Angeles is both thrilling and wonderfully comforting.

Meanwhile, the Molners have added such a rich, unexpected dimension to our lives. John’s love and devotion, wicked sense of humor, and exacting personality — well, Molner, you’ve got your hands full and I can’t imagine life without Henry, Allie, Tom, Andy, and David. And the fact that Herbie and Paula immediately treated Ellie and Carrie like their own grandchildren means the world to us.

Now you’re probably wondering, along with Mark, ‘When is she going to get to the groom?’ For the past 11 years, the center of Ellie’s universe has been Mark. Now, I have to be honest. Throughout her 20, I urged — OK begged Ellie to date around, play the field. God knows I did in my 20s. (And you can read all about that in my upcoming memoir, Going There, now available for pre-sale!) But Ellie wasn’t having it. She knew. Ellie — this warm, kind, sensitive, sentimental, perceptive, empathetic, determined, spirited young woman just knew that she had already found the yin to her yang, the peanut butter to her jelly, the Jack to her Jill. Mark — she knew. And now, this we all know: You are a treasure. My parents, adored by both Ellie and Carrie, would have called you a ‘fine person’ — the highest praise in our family. It’s been a privilege to get to know you and I feel even closer to you now, after hearing the reflections of your friends and family. Your effortless talent, your humility, your loyalty, your steadiness, your patience. But most of all, we love you for loving Ellie with all your heart.

And now we have The Dobroskys!!! Mark, simply put, you have the greatest family. Granted, Loretta’s a little competitive, so I do foresee some tense salad bowl moments in our future, but seriously, what a terrific group of people! So warm and so fun. I couldn’t be happier that our families are now connected. I hope this is the beginning of many holidays spent together…hopefully at the Dobrosky’s house, and I hope it’s OK if I bring some Molners and Monahans, and a few Batchelors and Courics and Wadlows. And don’t worry Loretta, I’ll bring my mom’s famous pear lime jello salad.

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that for many years I’d been dreading this day — because of the people who are not here. Ellie’s maternal and paternal grandparents. Mark’s maternal and paternal grandparents, although Whitey almost made it. Ellie’s aunt Marilyn. My oldest sister Emily who adored Ellie. But most of all, the father of the bride, Jay Monahan. Jay would be so proud of you both and so thrilled that Ellie married a lacrosse player. And a terrific guy.

When Jay was in the throes of cancer and it seemed as if the end of his life might be near, he looked at me and said, You know, nothing really matters except your friends and family.When everything else was stripped away, Jay understood what was essential to a meaningful life. Ellie, he would be beaming to witness the woman you’ve become…and somehow, some way, I hope he is.

My mom used to say, ‘Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall.’ Life, in fact, is a strange alchemy of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, triumphs and disappointments. But in the immortal words of Carrie’s favorite, Kacey Musgraves, ‘Hold tight to your umbrella, cause darling I’m just trying to tell you that there’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head.’ Hold tight to your umbrella, and to each other.

Many of us who are on the ‘back nine,’ as John would say, want you to cherish this very special chapter in your life. Enjoy every single minute…it goes by in an instant, and soon enough you may be giving a toast at your daughter’s wedding. (Don’t worry, I’m not pushing…take your time).

Here’s to Mark and Ellie — I wish you sunny skies and the fortitude to get through stormy weather. But most of all, I wish you a life bursting with love, light, and laughter. Cheers!”


Who’s crying?! We know we are! Want more? Luckily, we have the mother of the groom’s speech, too! Keep reading for Loretta’s pre-wedding speech, full of more fun anecdotes and a peek inside Ellie and Mark’s wonderful partnership.


Loretta’s Mother of the Groom Speech

As mother of the groom I would like to say a few words and, since I’ve been married for almost 38 years, offer some advice to the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Dobro. To organize my thoughts I prepared an acrostic. Used in literature and poetry, an acrostic is a form of writing which uses the first letter of a line to spell out a word or a message. My use of acrostic is more like what you might remember doing in grammar school when you picked a word, for example, SUN and played off each letter: S-shine, U-ultraviolet. Remember? You get the point.

So the word I have chosen to use is YALE.

Now, Christine, Patrick, and Dave this is not confirmation that I like Yale best. I chose Yale because Yale is where Ellie and Mark met. And for everyone’s benefit Yale is only 4 letters.

Letter Y
You Ellie and you Mark are loved and special.
You are who you are, for the most part, because of your families and your friends — the people here tonight and some not here who you hold deeply in your hearts. Ellie, your dad, All the beloved grandparents, and those whose way here has been blocked by unfortunate circumstances.

Yes: Years ago at Yale you said yes to each other and on Sunday you will say yes again.

Yes to marriage. Yes to your life together. Yay Yippee Yahoo!
As you might know I am from New Jersey and a proud NJ driver so I’ll use the Y word Yield. Most people on the road don’t understand the concept of yield.
Ellie and Mark, yield to each other, give each other the right of way, take turns, and sometimes…just give in.

Yummy! Yummy treats, Mark loves yummy treats.

Letter A
All in: Marriage will require you to be All In and if you are, it will be an awesome amazing adventure!

Be available to each other. Pay attention. Apologize.

Ask for what you need and want, don’t assume the other person knows.

Be affectionate

Adapt: Adapt to changes in each other and the world around you

And always honor the Almighty above. Amen

Letter L
Love: Love each other unconditionally with an open heart.

Laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh!

Be loyal.

Listen to each other. Learn from each other. Like each other

Life is a miracle! If you choose to and are Blessed, create new Life

And last but not least, Luck. You are lucky, you have always been lucky. Some people here might have occasionally been irked by your lucky-ness. May your Good Luck continue.

Letter E
Enjoy married life
. Be equal partners. Put effort an energy into your relationship. It’s not easy.

Encourage each other. Be empathetic. Excuse mistakes

And try, really really try to bring the enthusiasm and excitement you’re feeling right now into your marriage every day!

I’ve said enough. And so to end, everyone, raise a glass.

Ellie and Mark, I love you. Cheers to your happily ever after.