Best man experience number two for a life-long close mate. Free reign given from both sets of in-laws and even the Vicar consented to the shenanigans.

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Here follows my speech so if any budding Best men need a little inspiration just take a gander. It’s been edited a tad due to the length. Enjoy.

I have been given lots of advice today for my speech. One thing I was told was to speak for as long as it takes for the Groom to make love. Well ladies and gentleman, get comfy because I will be speaking for a long time and don’t think that falling asleep will help, that’s just a challenge for Bob (Groom).

I’d like to share our appreciation for our little stars of the day. Our Page Boy David and our Flower Girls Jane and Sophie.

I have been given the Green Light to say whatever I like today by Rita (Mother of the Bride) and Rupert (Vicar). I can see that we have a few young people in attendance today so if you see me do this and say “Ear Muffs” (Hands over my ears) please cover your ears. I’ve tried to pitch the speech somewhere between Susan Boyle and Frankie Boyle! So apologies if I cause any offence.

I would like to say how beautiful Brenda (Bride) looks today. She is an absolute star. Bob and Brenda always try their best to embarrass me. Well guys, today it’s my turn. Bob and Brenda’s door is the only door I knock, cough and rattle the handle before I enter in case I interrupt any ‘Afternoon Delight’….. or Morning Delight….. or Evening Delight for that matter.

The Bridesmaids look beautiful today fair play. As Kate (Chief Bridesmaid) can vouch, the ‘Mr & Mrs Quiz’ answers from the Hen and Stag Do were one hell of an eye opener and gave us quite the insight. In fact some of the answers made my eye’s water. 

Now, to the man of the hour. Who?! By his own admission is a very, very difficult man to embarrass. So here goes. Robert Michael Jones, also known as Bob, Curly and Jim Levinstein from the American Pie movies, was born on the 24th of April 1982. I trawled the internet for hours in research and I couldn’t find anything interesting or memorable that happened on that day. However I did find out that what 2 girls can do with 1 cup shook me to my very core. I haven’t had a Mr Whippy since…. Bob was born at Brecon Hospital on a drizzly Tuesday and to this very day, 30 years later Nurses still refer to this day of the week as ‘Ugly Tuesday’. Bless him.

In all seriousness, Bob is loyal, strong, a great laugh, thirsty and a ridiculously accurate time keeper. What I love about him is that when I go to him for advice he’s always brutally honest.

To look at, Bob was interesting and very different to the other pupils at Primary School. He had a bum like J-Lo and a nose like a Sesame Street character. To this day the rest of his body is gradually catching up to these gigantic features. I believe the photographers Sandy and Mel asked for a profile shot during the pre-wedding photo shoot and Bob’s nose knocked the tripod over.

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I approached Bob’s year 7 High School Form teacher Mrs Davies to get an insight into his teenage years. She spoke warmly about Bob and was kind enough to send us this Good Luck card. (Pull out Good Luck card saying. He was best in his year at building sand-castles. Was the best Dungeons and Dragons player in his realm and had an appetite for eating Play Doh. He was exceptional.)

There is an old dear friend of Bob’s here today. Brenda and I have secretly tracked him down so that he can make a special appearance. He has been a rock to Bob over the years and he is currently waiting in the wings. He’s not been this far from home before. ( I leave the microphone stand and walk out of sight to the bar and return with Bob’s childhood Stuffed Dog who we had dressed up in a mini suit to match myself and the Ushers) Can I please introduce you to Cuddly Joe. Rumour has it that he, Bob and Brenda have shared a bed together on more than one occasion.

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I heard a beautiful tale I would like to share with you that I feel is appropriate today. Get your EAR MUFFS ready. The story is about a lovely Irish couple called Paddy and Mary. They awoke on the morning of their 50th Wedding Anniversary and Mary lovingly glances across to Paddy and says “Orr Paddy. I luv ya. You’ve made me the happiest woman in all of Eireland.” Paddy replies “Orr Mary I luv ya more dan life itself.” Mary said “I’m so lucky to have ya. Now is der anyting at all dat I could do for ya to make ya even happier Pad?” Paddy awkwardly replies “Ar well, jeez Mary. Well now dat ya mention it der has been one ting missing dat I’ve never had in all of our days.” “Wats dat den. I’ll do anyting to make my Pad happy?” “Well da one ting dat I’d really, really appreciate Mary. Is, is, is a BJ!” So with no hesitation and with a loving gaze Mary slowly slides out her false teeth and seductively lowers them into a glass of water by the bed side table. Two action packed minutes later the gesture was complete. Paddy says “Oh dear God Mary, dat was mind blowing. It was absolutely perfect. You’re my very own angel. Now is der anyting at all in da world dat I can do for ya in return?” Knelt in her Nighty, on her artificial knees she looks up at Paddy with her gums shining and her face completely pebble-dashed she says “I’ll settle for a kiss Paddy.”

Apologies for any offence caused there. The reason why I shared this romantic tale with you is because (Turn to Bride and Groom) you guys have all the ingredients to spend the rest of your lives together. There is no pretense and you share a rare honesty that makes me happy to know you and I am honoured to be your Best man. Brenda is passionate, lovely, warm, great fun, stunning and deserves a great husband. So Bob, thank your lucky stars she met you before she found one.

Now if you could all join me in a toast. ‘To love, to laughter, to a happy ever after.’ Mr & Mrs Jones. Cheers.     

As always take a look at ‘our services’ if you require any assistance.

Coming up – Appreciation for the person in the cloth, God’s right hand amigo.

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‘Wedding Band of Brothers’ Best man experience number one for my brother. Sincere, safe and family orientated.

I shared this occasion with my brother’s Best mate who gave a great speech. One nugget he used which I have recycled was “We’re very lucky that the wedding took place at all today. Behind the scenes the Groom was admitted to hospital for a few days earlier this week. He was a patient in the Premature Ejaculation Unit. It was touch and go for a while.”

I find family wedding speeches are far easier as the guests are more forgiving, you know the majority of them and you have far more anecdotes and occasions to draw from. My brother had his roasting from the other Best man so my role was to be sincere and to welcome his missus into the family. As he is my elder brother I started by sharing that “I have known you all my life and always looked up to you. God knows why.” As the Bride and Groom had kids together I officially welcomed them to our family and shared that they have in fact been a huge part of our family for a while now. I thanked them for blessing us with my nieces and all the memories we’ve made together and will continue to do so in the future. One of my roles for the evening bun-fight was to keep an eye on my brother’s trousers of all things. His wedding suit trousers were a tad on the large side and he was constantly pulling them up. Then later on after a few sherberts my brother’s patience wore as thin as Bobby Charlton’s hair. He ‘dropped trou’ and stood at the bar chatting with guests with his trousers around his ankles. I sprinted over, pulled them up and encouraged him to sit the next couple of plays out and the job was a good un. ‘He aint heavy, he’s my brother with over-sized trousers’.

When it comes to family weddings you are likely to be way more clued up on the moral threshold of the majority therefore it’s easier to pitch your speech in terms of naughtiness. Compared to a wedding of a University friend where you may only be able to count familiar people on one hand, a family do provides a ‘safety net’ as you will know the bulk of the guest list and can already anticipate the ‘Wild Card’ guests and the people who you know who enjoy a bit of banter.

Hecklers

‘The Top Table Crew’ of the Bride, Groom, in-laws, Chief Bridesmaid and Ushers have been relatively kind to me in the past. Their heckles are the hardest to come back from as they are the Mafia family for the day. It’s an unwritten rule that you don’t mess with them on their day or you can expect to ‘wake up with fishes’ or next to a severed horse’s head. I’d advise avoiding any responses to ‘The Mafiosa’ like a Lemming should avoid cliff top picnics.

The ‘Single Table’ have been loose cannons for me in the past. There’s a higher chance that they’ve been throwing back Grand-pa’s old cough medicine, drowning their sorrows of a disillusioned vision that they will be eternally single and everybody around them are tying the knot leaving them snot-bubble crying up on ye olde shelf. Another reason that they are a ‘Heckle Risk’ is that there’s more horn on that table than in a Brass Band and in will strut ‘Mr/Mrs Look at me’. It doesn’t hurt to have a few witty retorts in your locker. A favourite of mine is “I remember my first beer” or “Have you run out of Crayons. Can we get them some Playdoh please?” or “I would insult you back if Mother Nature hadn’t already taken care of it.”

In a nut-shell.

Pitch your speech at an appropriate level which will allow for a few giggles and not cause any offence to any un-hinged individuals. We’ve all got them. If you disagree with me then I once again apologize as chances are very high that you are the token ‘Odd Ball’. That’s your journey and your journey alone. No need to drag the Best man along with you for the ride. God Speed… The last thing you want on the wedding day is drunk Uncle Nigel kicking you in the knackers for mentioning his toupee in the speech or Gam Gam writing you out of her will for a ‘Feeding the Pony’ comment. If in doubt revert to breaking bread with the Ushers and In-laws ‘to be’ and test the water a tad with a few topics that you are unsure of.

As always take a gander at ‘our services’ if you require a leg up.

Coming up – The ‘Usher’s Parable. This job can be harder than being Forest Gump’s Math tutor…

‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ Handling pre-speech nerves. How to be as cool as the proverbial Cucumber and not shudder like a defecating pooch.

The immense crippling nerves that are commonly associated with public speaking and Best man speeches in particular are one of life’s conundrums. Such as, why is the ‘Letter S’ in the word ‘Lisp’? Why is the word ‘Dyslexic’ a high scoring Scrabble word? Why does Coke taste better out of a glass bottle than out of a can? Why does a dog feel confident to attack a moving car yet if a vacuum cleaner is turned on near them they freak out more than a wine connoisseur finding out a novice wine taster is chewing bubble-gum? It’s more annoying than the incorrect overuse of the word ‘literally’ or the incorrect use of the word ‘pacific’ instead of ‘specific’. Without being pacific this literally drives me nuts. Some things in this universe are just too loco to comprehend and the list is longer than an MP’s expense claim form.

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Don’t let the speech become the Elephant in the room.

The best way at combating ‘Best man speech’ nerves is to approach it like this; ‘If you always prepare in the same way you’ve always prepared then you will always achieve what you’ve always achieved.’ Therefore if you have a negative experience in memory then approach this speech differently and treat it as a positive opportunity and not like an Albatross around your neck. (See ‘7 Ps’ and ‘SMART’ in previous Blog)

If you have crippling nerves regarding the speech then I suggest stripping everything down and approaching this opportunity differently. If you’ve suffered from nerves on a similar occasion previously then try to remember your body’s symptoms at the peak of the nerves. Common symptoms are erratic breathing, an increase in heart rate, sweating and the desire drop anchor in Pooh Bay. How you feel (anxious, scared, trapped, isolated) and what you think (I’m going to have a mare; I’m going to be a laughing stock; everyone knows I’m petrified) both marry up together as a negative behaviour (Common bodily symptoms above). Nerves will be a thing of the past if you feel (excited, confident, relaxed) and think (What’s the worst that could happen?! I’m not going to die up here. I’m prepared. I’ll do it like I practiced. It’s going to be a laugh and a chance to wind my mate up) then you will behave in a more confident, positive way and you will be in control.

An option which always chills me out is Yoga. I’m not suggesting for a second that you buy some incense, hug the nearest Oak Tree and start wearing linen trousers. Yoga classes focus on breathing, relaxing and focusing your mind. Once you get used to the old downward facing hound you will find ways of focusing your breathing and heart rate so that you can overcome stressful situations. When you’ve overcome the misconception that Yoga classes are full of hippies and flatulent OAPs consider these two words. Yoga Pants… The whole point is to approach the whole ’Best man experience’ differently and in a positive way which works for you as an individual.

In bygone Best man speeches I have witnessed, seemingly confident friends fall apart at the microphone faster than a counterfeit Optimus Prime. One Best man forgot to number his speech cards; he managed to drop them and cocked up his card order. He cracked on in a flustered, chaotic manner for 10 seconds or so and then had to sit down and the Groom tentatively had a crack at the title. It’s the closest thing to human Jenga that I’ve ever seen, the poor guy just crumbled and collapsed before our very eyes. (See ‘7 Ps)

Another Best man took Dutch courage to a whole new level. He drank so much he even sounded Dutch “I’d like you to all be upshtanding for a toasht.” With a few ‘F – Bombs’ thrown in willy-nilly I can safely say that he was as much use as a glove on a foot. I always have a hip flask on go on the wedding day with my usual tipple of Mr Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum or Mrs Disaronno (other tipples are available). That way the Groom and I can have a cheeky swill to take the edge off if required. I find that a half a dozen slugs of Lucifer’s fiery sauce will suffice. If this is favorable to you then remember to pace yourself, particularly if the speeches are after the food. It can be a long shift so take it steady and don’t peak too “Shoon”.

If you require a little helping hand on you’re journey to a successful launch, just take a gander at our services for more information. If a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump it’s arse whenever it hopped. We can be your wings..

Coming up- Best man experience numero uno – My big brother. Sincere, safe and family orientated.

‘By the power of Grayskull’ pay attention to Best man Speech preparation.

Before you tackle the components of a Best man speech such as clarity, pronunciation, volume/projection, timing, topics and natural flow it’s wise to prepare as best as possible (See 7 ‘P’s. Journey to centre of morality blog). Not everyone is comfortable with public speaking and this can breed negativity if you allow it to. From the world of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy this frame of mind is best described as a ‘NAT’. A ‘Negative Automatic Thought’ (Aaron T Beck). It’s the negative contemplation that your Best man speech is undoubtedly going to be an utter and total shower of scheize. It’s the whole ‘Glass Half Full’ philosophy which you need to adopt. I attended a Solution Focused Brief Therapy seminar several years ago and as a result of that one day I deleted the word ‘But’ from my vocabulary. ‘But’ implies possible doubt and is ambiguous. For example if you say “I’m going to try my best with the speech but if it goes wrong I’m going to look like a penis and ruin the day.” As long as you plan and prepare the Best man speech in ample time and follow the advice I give then you will be a success. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? You’re not going to die up there and the vast majority of guests will be rooting for you to do well. If you cover all the bases I’m about to share then you will be successful. Hakuna matata.

By nature I tend to mumble like a drunk octogenarian who’s awoken abruptly for the Queen’s speech when I talk and can speak very quickly when I’m excited to share something; particularly concerning naughtiness. All I do, is slow my pace down and pronounce each word clearly. On the run up to the speech I record a practice run and watch it back to assess if there’s any areas I need to improve upon. In upcoming blogs I will give you 3 separate examples of different Best man speeches that I have given over the last 10 years.

The 5 basic breakdown points of a Best man speech is as follows :-

  1. Compliments.
  2. Thanks.
  3. Share how and when they met. Include funny memories of them together.
  4. Share stories of Groom’s Childhood, Teenage years and adult life.
  5. Toast the new couple.

It’s best to approach this plan with the ‘SMART’ principle.

S – pecific

M –  easurable

A – ssignable

R – ealistic

T – ime related

Specific

When complimenting during your speech. Focus on how amazing the Bride and Bridesmaids look today (You may have to use a little artistic license at this point sometimes) Remember to congratulate the Flower Girls and Page Boys on a fantastic job if any are involved. This is an ideal time to perhaps read out any Wedding Cards from relatives who couldn’t make it or raise a toast to absent friends or family. Run this past the Bride and Groom so that you have the accurate information.

In terms of sharing how and when they met it’s best to use specific occasions and milestones to give a little extra sincerity and meaning. Include funny anecdotes of them together. Focussing how they met and ‘fell in love’ is a great jumping off point. Share memorable (ideally funny) stories of the Groom’s childhood, teenage years and adult life.

Measureable

I would initiate measuring from two angles. Firstly look at the overall timescale from being asked to be Best man and the Wedding day. Trust me if you do an Ostrich and bury your head in the sand you are just turning the heat up on the pressure cooker. Be proactive and have the ‘5 Basic Breakdown Points’ written down as soon as you can. Then use the SMART principles and Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt.

Secondly I have found that around 10 minutes is ample time to cover the ‘5 Basic Breakdown Points’ in your speech.

Assignable

If this amount of time seems like an eternity then I would encourage you to tap up other members of the Wedding party to ease the pressure. Some examples are allowing the Groom to say a few thank yous; perhaps the Chief Bridesmaid/sister would like to say a few words or read a poem or one of the Ushers may have a story they would like to share (They could speak themselves or write it down for you to relay). As long as you’ve covered the 5 areas then it’s a job well done.

Realistic

Just because you’ve seen another Best man speech of an elaborate dance routine or show tune number it doesn’t mean you have to compete. If you fancy a crack at the ’Title’ then all you have to consider is the preparation time and the skills required. If you can implement a musical number, a slide-show or something that goes above and beyond then I recommend that at points 3) or 4) are your times to shine. Sandwiched by Thank yous, compliments and the concluding Toast.

Timescale

This underpins your whole planning stage from being asked to be Best man to the Wedding Breakfast. You can view the time you have in the know as time to worry or time to plan. See ‘7 Ps’; ‘5 Basic Breakdown points’; ‘SMART Principles’ and most importantly think positively. When I have the meat to the bones of my plan I tend to record myself on my phone video recorder a week or so prior to the big day to see if I have open and relaxed body language. If possible look up from your notes occasionally and look toward the Bride and Groom to give a personal touch. Above all the most important elements to your speech after you have settled on the contents is the ‘Volume’ and the ‘Clarity’.

If you’re having ‘sleepless nights’ over your speech then worry no further as we provide a speech writing service for Grooms, Best men and for the Father of the Bride. Check out our services for more information and you will be back to your regular REM before you can say “I’m pushing an elephant up the stairs.”

Coming up – Handling pre-speech nerves. How to be as cool as the proverbial Cucumber and not shudder like a defecating pooch.