Help! My Oldest Friend Won't Give a Toast at My Wedding

Dear Bintel Brief,

I have a dilemma concerning my upcoming wedding.

During the reception we plan to have five or so guests of honor give toasts. I asked one of my closest childhood friends how he would feel about being one of the toasters and I immediately sensed an unexpected ambivalence on his part. Once I got over the initial sting, I asked him about his apparent reluctance. He told me that while he was very happy for me he was not in a great place himself; he was somewhat ashamed to be single, and he did not want to call attention to his plight. He wanted to keep a low profile, and giving a keynote toast would put him uncomfortably in the spotlight.

Now I’m wrestling with a choice. Part of me wants to assert the importance of our lifelong friendship and of my wedding day, and to try to convince him to “get over himself.” And the other part feels I should back off, to respect his desire to be seen but not heard on my wedding day.

Your two cents?


Ed Koch Replies:

From 1978 to 1989, Edward I. Koch served as the mayor of New York. Koch, the second Jewish mayor in the city’s history, is an author of more than a dozen books, including “The Koch Papers: My Fight Against Anti-Semitism” (Palgrave, 2008), written with Rafael Medoff. A longtime advocate of Catholic-Jewish dialogue and relations, Koch also co-wrote “His Eminence and Hizzoner” (William Morrow, 1989) with the late John Cardinal O’Connor. The former mayor is a partner at the Manhattan law firm Bryan Cave.

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Help! My Oldest Friend Won't Give a Toast at My Wedding

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