My Groom’s Speech (from 9 years ago)

As Gail and I celebrate 9 years of blessed marriage today (July 8), I felt inspired to post my speech from that evening’s reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The first part, called “I am Married” is a spin-off of the popular Molson Canadian “I am Canadian” commercial.


Hey…I’m uh
Not a Father or a Grandfather
I won’t live with my parents, make them cook for me, or clean up after me
And I’m not marrying Andy, JJ, John or Julie Ann although I’m certain they’re really, really nice.

I have a wife, not a husband
I speak English, though I’m probably going to have to learn some Filipino and Chinese
And I pronounce it marriage, not mirage.

I can proudly say my wife’s full name without messing up
I believe in faithfulness, not cheating
Selflessness, not selfishness
And that our pug Shaila is a truly proud and noble animal.

Marriage is a sacrament, given to us by God
And it is pronounced matrimony, not alimony…matrimony!
From now on we are one, we will love one another
Til death do us part
My name is Clay, and I am married! Thank you.

Glad to have gotten that off my chest. Family and friends, thank you so much for sharing this most special day with us. What we have shared today is the culmination of a lot of planning, hard work, and late nights and I want to recognize everyone who has made this day so special.

Firstly, Mom, Dad and Jason. Wow. You have been the model of unconditional love. You have put up with my tantrums, my mood swings, and incoherent thought processes. I’ve never seen you happier than you have been this past week and especially tonight. Either you’re really happy for Gail and me or you can’t wait til I get out of the house. Probably a bit of both. Thank you for never following through on the multiple ultimatums, especially when it comes to cleaning my room (give me 2 more weeks….I promise). I appreciate all of your support and encouragement, especially with my involvement with the Church. You have made me who I am…and I’m sure Gail will forgive you for that eventually. Thank you, I love you.

Next, to my new family. We’ve come a long way since my first visit to your home in January 1990. I will, as I’m sure you will too, always remember that first visit. Andy was making fun of my haircut. JJ was scheming of how to take my wallet without me noticing. John and Ann, we played the longest game of “run back and forth” ever known to man. And as I sat at the dinner table…I can’t believe what I said. I took a bite of the delicious food, sat back, looked around at the pleasant surroundings, and replied to my future Mother and Father in law…”What a great place. I wish I could have a house like this.” To which you both replied, I think in unison “Not so fast buddy.” It’s been an exciting and sometimes intimidating journey. From “Uh….Hello” to “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Limtong” to “Hello Tito Harry and Tita Julie” to “Hello Mom and Dad.” I think that’s the first time I’ve said that! Anyway, thanks for the guidance, I have learned a lot from all of you (and I admit I probably still have more to learn). Thank you for hosting me and my entire family in the Philippines this past Christmas. I promise that I will do everything in my power to bring much joy and happiness to Gail’s life, and look after her financial, physical, mental, and especially spiritual well-being. I look forward to more trips to the Philippines, more lessons in tradition, and more death-defying fireworks displays.

To extended family on both sides…thank you for the love and support. Though I may not always say or show it, it is very appreciated.

To all my friends, from childhood, school, work, and my church community, I consider each of you and your friendship a true gift from God. Along with my family, you have truly molded me into the Clay that you see in front of you today. Hahaha. Some of you I’ve wrestled and played hockey and football with since elementary school. Others I’ve worked with you in school projects, including nasty accounting assignments. Some of you, I met through work as I toiled through the accounting ranks. And many of you, I have ministered to and with over the past 7 years. Thank you for so much: everything from letting me try my new jokes on you, to sharing deep and often emotional talks, to smartening me up, to just plain goofing around. Michael W. Smith wrote a beautiful song called friends, and in it he sings “Friends and friends forever…and the Lord’s the Lord of them.” I thank God for your friendship and I pray that He will continue to bless our relationships.

To our primary and secondary sponsors. Gail and I chose you because you are indeed role models and mentors to us. Thank you, and please continue to guide us as you deem appropriate.

To the whole bridal party…thank you for giving so much of yourselves. I am blessed to have known you all and I look forward to creating even more memories tonight…the night is still young.

I think that’s about it so I’m gonna go home now….oh wait…my new wife….Mrs. Gail Imoo. Aah…..I like the sound of that!

What can I say to the woman of my dreams? I could go on all night….or at least for the next 3 minutes or so. This is your day Gail. This is our day. Just think when you call me DORK or GEEK now it’s gonna mean so much more now that we’re married!
You are so beautiful. Our videographer John Porter is gonna have to do some major editing I think on our video tape cuz I was (and still am) simply stunned by your beauty. But you know what, it’s more than how you look. It’s who you are Gail.

I have so much to thank you for. YOU are the one who introduced me to the Catholic Church and Jesus. YOU are the one who stuck by my side as I struggled with my professional exams. YOU are the one who taught me how to eat with a fork and spoon (what no knife?) YOU are the one who clears my path of spiders big and small.

Mostly, you are you. I look back at our 10 and half years together and there is so much to share and remember. You must be something special, cuz I did things to impress you that today I can’t figure out why or how I did them. Was that me dressed up as a Lumberjack and dancing the Happy HoeDown in our school musical in Grade 10? Was that me dancing and rapping Bell Biv Devoe lyrics trying to wow you? And was that me butchering a doo-wop song last February in an effort to come up with a romantic proposal?

The answers are yes, yes, and ohh yes. Gail, I thank God for you everyday, and I will continue to do so. You are the biggest blessing in my life and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you. The nickname that I half-jokingly give myself truly belongs to you: You are the best thing going. I love you.

Now I can truly say that my name is Clay….and I AM MARRIED!


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