On the occasion of

Laura and Brian’s wedding



We’re gathered here to celebrate

The wedding of Laura and Brian

In our family when someone gets married

I write a toast that sort of rhymes


First I thank Brian’s parents

For hosting us tonight

This is a fabulous wedding feast

And the evening has been just right


And also a shout out for Reza

The dinner tonight was sublime

You do pretty well in the kitchen

With no help from Laura and Brian


Giving this bride away today

Was an emotional moment for me

She’s the last of our children to marry

And she is, after all, the baby


And she came to us in a special way

An experience I’ve always treasured

In an instant she became our daughter

My joy could not be measured


I remember in August of 84

When we first met Laura that night

Her mother’s easiest delivery

She arrived on a Delta flight


As we drove her home from Atlanta

I don’t recall a peep

But we all would soon discover

That she didn’t know when to sleep


With Korean circadian rhythms

Day and night were switched in her head

And to make matters even more difficult

She preferred the hard floor to a bed


So that’s how I bonded with Laura

At 3 AM lying on her floor

I suffered sleep deprivation

But I loved her more and more




She blended right into the family

And we began to watch her grow

We soon learned that she was creative

Her talents began to show


Before she was old enough to read

She began learning to cook

The recipes came out of her head

And not from any book


She liked to make a huge mess

With all ingredients she could find

She would totally destroy the kitchen

And no one seemed to mind


Laura wanted to go to the Cordon Bleu

As soon as she finished high school

But she had to go to college first

Because that was her father’s rule


With a degree from Syracuse

She then traveled far from home

Cooking courses on different continents

And a Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome


Then she followed her friend Laura Herndon

And moved to Asheville, NC

Before long she was working at Rezaz

Where she met her husband to be


Brian was born in Florida

He finished high school in Raleigh

Then he came here to college

The Asheville campus of UNC


He worked a series of cooking jobs

And was running the grill right here

When just over three years ago

Laura suddenly appeared


When Laura was in the kitchen

She immediately caught his eye

He thought she was cute dancing about

As she baked her cakes and pies


They both started finding reasons

To run into each other and talk

Then they finally found time for an actual date

A meal and a very long walk



Since then they have been a couple

And today was finally the date

Now they are a husband and wife

And we’re here to celebrate


It is said that when children find true love

Their parents find real joy too

With Laura and Brian happily wed

For me that is certainly true


I say to you Brian and Laura

As you start you life together

It will not always be easy

You will have storms to weather


But if you can always remember

The love that you feel tonight

You will understand the magic

That can keep love burning bright


So now please raise your glasses

And let us all convey

The good wishes we have for this couple

On this, their wedding day


Here’s to you Laura and Brian

To your future as husband and wife

May the love you feel for each other

Be with you the rest of your life


And as you begin this journey

We wish for you only the best

This room full of people loves you

Best wishes from us all, and God bless


John S.P. Samford

                      January 23, 2015