When she left in bridal white and bubbles, I did not get a chance to say goodbye. The perks of working at a newspaper, however, include the opportunity to say more than goodbye; the following surmises goodbye and good luck to my just-married sister.

In a time when more than 40 percent of marriages end in courtrooms, hold tightly to the grave. Clutch close to the memories of Saturday, Oct. 19, when vows tied you to him for eternity. Even when livid arguments threaten to tear asunder the union you've just begun, remember that tough times never last – tough marriages do.

I suppose that's my wish for you both – a tough marriage. Nothing so light and pretty as wedding cake crumbs on your nose; something at least as tough as holding back your tears when Dad handed you over forever.

He told you to remember always the power of laughter, not only to be shared with each other but often at each other, together. Always means all ways, even through the angry tears that will inevitably fall. All ways, even through those most trying.

Trying – never stop. Though I may know nothing of the trials of marriage, I know that trying never hurts. Maybe remembering to try will keep you from falling the way of love lost. Effort will maintain the romance of your first dance, that first moment when you held each other for all to see as man and wife. Sure, sweatpants and Netflix are beautiful upsides to a life betrothed – but Mr. Married-My-Sister, don't forget to take her out on the town every once in a while.

And hey Mr., while we're on the subject of things to remember, know that you got a lot more than a wife this weekend. You got a new family. Giving your name is merely part of a trade, and though she may have a new signature to learn, you have an entirely new population of loved ones, forever. I'll be sending along my Christmas wish list soon.

I'm honestly excited for more than an extra present under the tree, Mr. Newlywed. Even though you're COMPLETELY CLOTHED ON THE BEACH READING A BOOK AT LEAST SIX FEET FROM MY SISTER, you are my new brother. My parents tell me she held me as a newborn, claiming her infant brother as her own. Though cradling you in my arms may not paint such an adorable image, I too am excited to claim a brother. I never chose you, but that's the beauty of siblings. The love grows regardless.

Now that the whole wedding part is finished, I look forward to watching your love grow. So many experiences beckon: introducing yourselves as Mr. and Mrs., fighting for the rights of family holidays at this place or that, finding a home for the seven aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond swag you received for saying "I do."Kids will come – name one after me? (I'd even be proud to inspire one of the first dogs' names.) With kids will follow a whole host of new problems and greater joys. You'll take an adorable, puking, pooping animal and raise it into someone else's beautiful bride or Mr. Right.

I want to be there for it all. And judging by the hundreds of people who came to the wedding or sent you well wishes, I am not alone in my avid fascination with you. You are hope to the little girls who play dress up in their living rooms and an example to the little boys who danced uninhibited on the reception dance floor. All the old folks saw their glory days glimmer as you boogeyed down the aisle, and the parents were reminded that young love is no less strong for its tenderness.

You have a long fight ahead of you – a fight against statistics and modern thought that eschews traditional marriage for the much simpler commitment of one-night stands and low expectations. I believe it's a fight you can win.

Judging by the wedding, you've certainly got the love to start.

R.J. Vogt is a junior in College Scholars. He dedicates this column to his sister, Katie, and her husband, Tim. He can be reached at rvogt@utk.edu.