Whether you’re the best man or the maid of honor, there’s a lot of pressure when giving a speech at a wedding.
Jonah Waldron would have understood if his younger brother and best man, Sam Waldron, had decided to forego this tradition. But Sam was determined to deliver the best speech he could!
When Sam was 7 years old, he was diagnosed with autism, which caused social situations to be incredibly difficult for him. This was especially true when it came to crowds and other intense social environments. Growing up, school was often difficult for Sam. Thankfully, his older brother by four years was always there to encourage him.
“He would come to see me during the school day, he would come for help with a subject or as a break,” Jonah said. “Myself and my parents were the ones he felt the most comfortable talking to about any struggles that he had socially.”
Jonah’s close relationship with Sam led him to becoming his brother’s respite care worker. Soon after, Jonah was inspired to become a special education teacher so he could help others like Sam one day.
To make that dream a reality, Jonah went to Wartburg College. There, he met his now wife, Madison, who was also working on becoming a teacher. Needless to say, it was important for her to meet Sam. While they weren’t sure how the introduction would go, the two of them hit it off immediately!
“Once he met Maddy, he felt completely comfortable right away,” Jonah said.
After Jonah and Maddy got engaged and Sam was asked to be the best man, it was time to work on that speech. “I’ve always known that I wanted Sam as my best man,” Jonah added. “He was very happy, but also you could see that he was nervous too.”
Despite his nerves, Sam worked hard on his speech. He even spent two whole days perfecting it before the big day on July 3, 2021.
“I would just sit there and just read it aloud,” Sam said. “I read it to my Aunt Colleen, Andrew Hoyt, and my dad many times.”
Finally, the day arrived. The ceremony went perfectly, and then it was time for Sam to stand in front of 170 people to deliver his speech… which couldn’t have gone better! It was the perfect balance of sentimental and funny, and you can really hear the amount of time and love that went into making it. By the end, he received a well-earned standing ovation.
“My favorite part was when he was explaining to Maddy that she gave him peace,” Jonah said, “because that is exactly how I would explain the way she is with Sam.”
Watch the heartwarming speech in the video below, and don’t forget to share the love with your friends.
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