Following the beautiful wedding at the Wayfarers Chapel, the cocktail hours began at the Villa. The Villa was technically not a reception destination, but a lavish condo in the nearby Terranea Resort where Jeff and Katie and separately, Katie’s family stayed during the trip to LA. It had three bedrooms, a big open main room, dining room and kitchen and a bathtub large enough to fit the majority of the wedding party. We know, we took that bathtub picture, and a number of others while enjoying the food and booze, and between watching the great through-the-years slideshow and listening to the custom playlist that almost didn’t happen. I was responsible for the sound system and lost one of the cords – a male to male headphone jack cord. I was sure I killed the music, and was ready to give up. I couldn’t find it and who would happen to have such an obscure cord on them. Susan. Susan would. I was shocked, but she pulled the very cord needed right from her purse and the music played on.
The full-on reception was at the Point Vincente Lighthouse and Interpretive Center, just down the road, also on the water’s edge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. After introducing the party, Jeff danced with his new bride to a song I was not familiar with, then Katie danced with her dads to another song I didn’t know called Daughter in the Water. I think having kids has made me sentimental and I tried to have a moment holding Kaylee watching a father-daughter dance, but it didn’t happen cause she squirmed and wandered off (did I mention she’s walking now) and I had to get my cousins to go chase after her cause all the wedding party was holding positions through the dances. My cousin then upon collecting Kaylee subsequently dropped her. Only a little, and still Selena and I held composure and didn’t move out of our spots watching the dances. But it made us punchy, so by the time the Mother-Son dance came on and another groomsman Jim started to sway and sing along we were on board. Kaylee was fine by the way.
The dinner was is a delicious blur to me, cause I was focused on what comes after, the speeches, including the maid-of-honor Gretchen’s, the matron-of-honor’s, Selena’s, and my own the Best Man Speech. I’ve had to give one Best Man Speech before and maybe it was cause it was one of a series of speeches from 3 best men, and maybe it was cause we were told keep it real short, and I don’t think I gave it my all, and years later I still regret that. I couldn’t let that happen this time around, especially after the incredible Best Man Speech that Jeff gave at my wedding (which I am still seeking a video or transcribed copy if anyone has one). I set Jeff’s speech as the high bar to reach and spent a few weeks working out what I hoped would be a good balance of storytelling and advise, both sweet and funny, and addressing both Jeff and Katie. I felt confident going in and really was happy with the delivery. Here is the transcript that I ad-libbed from:
Thank you, so if I could have your attention, I’m Greg Robleto, I am Jeff’s younger brother and your best man for today’s festivities. I’ve been given a few moments to say a few words about the happy couple.
But before we get into talking about Jeff and Katie, I quickly want to say thank you to some very special people, without them, Katie and Jeff wouldn’t be here today. Quite literally. They have done so much to get us to this place today including raising two wonderful people that we are happy to celebrate today. Moms and dads, thank you.
Now back to the newlyweds, Mrs. Robleto, are we going with that? Right to share the same name with the kids. Future kids, calm down grandpa. Mrs. Robleto, you look incredible. And Mr. Robleto, you are looking pretty good too, even though I do believe you just copied my outfit tonight.
We used to dress alike all the time, granted it was when we were toddlers. I’ve seen photos. We were always dressed in the same outfits. I assume BOGO discounts must have been all the rage in the 70s.
But it was okay, toddler Greg was totally okay with it, cause he was in awe of his older big brother. Toddler Greg would follow toddler Jeff anywhere. And then later, as I got older that hero-worship changed to genuine friendship, and while what can be greater for a kid with a ton of toys and a healthy imagination than to have a best friend who lives in the same house?
Growing up with Jeff was great. We’d spend hours playing, the two of us, in the unfinished basement of our Hockessin house, playing with all our Legos, and Transformers and our favorite, Star Wars action figures. I remember those days so fondly, how creative it all was, creating entire expansive worlds out of our shared imagination.
I’m trying to remember when exactly that period ended, but I’m not really great with names and dates. I tried falling back to Danaher Math, but I don’t see how knowing Grandpop Danaher fought in World War II in 1944 really helps pinpoint the date.
Please pardon me, that was kind of an inside joke, Danaher Math. One of many many inside jokes that I or many others in this room share with Jeff. It occurred to me that I could easily go down that path of referencing a bunch of inside jokes in this speech, but I promised myself I wouldn’t. It would come off contrived working references to Phajze and Chicken-Chicken into this Best Man Speech. And No, busting out a Beep Bop Boop Bop Beep Robot Jeff impersonation wouldn’t make any sense to the majority of the guests. It’s bad form, I am not going to do any of that.
Where was I? Oh yes, I can’t remember dates and places. I’ve never really had to, because I could always just ask Jeff. He remembers everything. He’s a living database of his own personal history: past experiences, events both large and small he can remember dates, times, places and who was there. I always enjoyed this trait about my big brother, because, one, it meant I never had to remember anything “I don’t know, go ask Jeff.” And two because I took it to be a testament for how much Jeff cares about the moments in life that were special to him.
Jeff can surely provide some details starting from elementary or middle school, but it’s high school and college memories, where he met so many of these great friends we have here today, where Jeff can provide all sorts of dates and times and places. And from the first time he met Katie. We’ll he could outdo a picture by providing at least a thousand words about the moment, where they were, what she wore, what he was thinking, what they ate.
I envy how much Jeff can turn-on his memory and take in moments he can tell are the big ones in his life. I’m sure every aspect of today is being properly recorded, because this is as special as it gets. So, Jeff, enjoy this moment, take it in, this moment right now with all the friends and family who have traveled great distances to be here with you today.
And Katie now it’s your turn. It’s your turn to join Jeff in creating whole worlds out of your shared imagination, except you will be creating the vision of the world you two want to share: what you want to do, where you want to live, who you want to be; and as far as I can tell, creating that vision is the secret to a happy marriage: so you end up not just looking at each other, just together looking in the same direction and taking that journey together. That and remembering that the journey is the fun part, no matter where you arrive. But I do believe, that whatever you two dream for yourselves, you will be able to achieve it cause you’ll be doing it together.
So, please raise your glass and share with me in wishing for Katie and Jeff a tremendous journey full of happiness and love.
And here is the latter half on a somewhat shaky but still discernable Flip-cam video captured by our friend, Erin. Thank you for sharing this, Erin.
Following the orating, we three speech-givers congratulated ourselves with a shot from the bar of something nasty, and that set the tone for a lot of booze and merriment and plenty of dancing, notably with my wife, my Mom and my daughter There was a great energy full of laughter and good times.
At the very end of the night, after my baby and my cousin’s baby were both tuckered out in our baby tent, I was giving tips on Jeff’s behalf to the DJ and caterers and in doing so saw the barkeep packing up the booze. “Where is that going?” I asked. “I don’t know” he stated “it belongs to the bride and groom, who should it go to?” “You can give that to me” I confidently replied, and with that I was immediately dubbed the host of the after-party, the after-after-party, and the following night’s party, the final night in LA party and a week later mini-party up in San Francisco.
Oh, did I mention as a gift for being a groomsman, Jeff gave us all custom bobble-heads of ourselves? Here’s mine and a few more pictures:
Greg and Bobble-Greg with Greg's Dad
Friends at the Cocktail Hour
Chicken-ChIcKeN with the Bride
Glasses were clinking
Jill giving her new sister a bit of advice
Guests at the Cocktail Hour watching the through-the-years slideshow
Jeff at the Cocktail Hour
The movie themed table settings at the reception.
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean
Jeff and Katie cutting the cake.
Two tired babies falling asleep in one baby tent.