‘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…

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‘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.