Amanda Mantaporn Is Not A Stage Name

Best Man wedding speech - Beach Wedding

It’s my best friends wife’s name so get your head out of the gutter.

You see… they are newlyweds! Sumit Mantaporn and Amanda Marie Ball tied the knot last Saturday, January 11th, 2014.

I had the honor of being the best man. Something I will do twice more before the end of April. Apparently all my friends thought it would be cool to get married within 4 months of each other.

Continue reading at your own peril, but you’ve been warned; there is obviously something in the water.

Dedicated to Sumit and Amanda Mantaporn! Much love and happiness in your new adventure.

The Set Up

Last weekend, one of my best friends got married.

I was the best man.

This is my speech.

The Speech

“This year marks 10 years that I have known Sumit Mantaporn. We went on our first date July 4th 2014. Every year since then, on that day, we joke about celebrating another anniversary.

We have worked together, played together, laughed and cried together. We have known each other through ups and downs and everything in between. Heck, we even got into a street fight one time. Well… I got into a fight, but he looked good standing there on the sidelines making sure things stayed fair.

I wasn’t sure what to say today. I knew I’d be expected to give a toast, but I had absolutely no clue what I would actually say when that time came. In fact, up until a few hours ago I still had no idea….

I thought about my previous experiences in love and relationships and wondered whether or not I could support my best friend on this special day.

I struggled with the thoughts that fill your head when your best friend tells you he is getting married to a girl he met less than six months ago; and oh… by the way, she’s pregnant. I struggled with how to convey my emotions. How to hide the fear of the unknown behind the excitement of enchantment.

So I did what I always do when life gives me a tough topic to think about. I started writing.

Searching to organize my thoughts, attempting to understand what and how I would say the things I knew I needed to say.

These are those thoughts…

Some of you may not be familiar with my style so I’ll ask that you give me the benefit of the doubt as I tell this story and wait until the end before throwing any tomatoes.

The Family We Choose

I don’t come from a big family, so over the years my friends have become my family.

In some ways that family is more important to me than the one I was born into. I mean… I don’t want to diminish the strength of blood relationships but that is not what this day is about.

This day is about celebrating a choice.

It’s about embracing a decision; the decision of love.

The family we are born into “requires” our love but we get to decide which of our friends “deserve” our love.

There may be nothing in life more powerful than picking the people you want to love.

A few years ago I went through a divorce and to put it lightly, it left me jaded.

Now, whenever someone tells me that they are getting married I instinctively tell them to “RUN AWAY”!

When Sumit told me he was getting married, nothing changed. I told him he was crazy and then told him to “RUN AWAY”!

I wasn’t even kidding. I was projecting my fear and pain on him.

The last thing I wanted was for my best friend to go through anything like what I had been through.

In my mind, there was no room for anything other than failure.

How selfish I was.

How selfish any of us must be to set arbitrary timelines or restrictions on love.

To pretend like we know better for someone else than they know for themselves.

To pretend that our limited understanding of their emotional interactions could ever allow us to see the world as they do.

To assume that someone else could not succeed where I have failed or find happiness where I could only find sadness….

The funny part is that I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

I used to joke with Sumit about buying Amanda a ring. I knew he was in love the first time he told me about her. I knew he was gone before he did.

You give me hope! You’ve shown me that it is ok to love again.

You have shown me that it’s ok to to make yourself vulnerable; to soften your heart and to give love a chance.

You have added the ultimate member to your family of friends.

You are choosing to dedicate your life, your world, and your every breath to the woman of your dreams.

You inspire me greatly and we should all wish to be so lucky in life”.

With all my love…

Raymmar Tirado

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1 reply
  1. Grace Durbin
    Grace Durbin says:

    I’m not gonna lie— I almost cried. We do, oh we do, choose our family! I tend to view the world as one large extended family, and I’m lucky to run across a few silver-lined, sparkling, souls, more connected than even DNA could allow, prove, or provide.


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