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.

535900_10152336390779625_122760418_n

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.

579337_10152336415969625_885286728_n

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.

554553_10152336415684625_548994250_n

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.

Advertisements

‘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…

‘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.

Open Sesame – Journey to the centre of morality

Stag Do  – ‘Open Sesame – Journey to the centre of morality’

 Away leg.

The rule of the ‘7 Ps’ is a great way to kick off. ‘Prior planning & preparation prevents p*ss poor performance.’ In terms of planning you need to have an idea of activities and a destination. This works best if you take a pew with the Stag and Ushers and throw some ideas around. I would recommend at least one activity a day to be ‘the filling’ in an alcohol fuelled sandwich. The next job is to write a list of revellers (See Loose Cannon in previous blog) as I mentioned ‘15’ is the magic number from my experience. I’ve been on Stag Do’s with up to 30 guys and its utter carnage to keep the group together; particularly when on the move and a ‘Kitty’ is so big that it becomes slow and unpractical which inevitably leads to smaller groups forming within the party. Therefore with over 15 people, splintering off is as inevitable as a Nanna falling asleep after saying “I’ll just rest my eyes for a few seconds” whilst sat in her armchair next to an open fire after consuming a roast dinner.

I’ve been on a few Stag Do’s and there have been a smorgasbord of family members, school friends, university mates and work colleagues. No worries, as long as you prepare. Group bonding relies on ‘Forming, Norming, Storming and Performing’ (Tuckman) Therefore going genitals deep into a V.I.P Night Club package on the first night is the worst possible start (Storming). Cliques will form and you won’t have enough time to turn that around over the spell of a weekend. Ideally on all activities it’s best to mix everybody up. It may be awkward at first (Forming). Throw in a few laughs and a few beers and you’re well on your way to ‘Norming’ and ‘Performing’. A great way of establishing banter, commonality and an ownership for all is to create a Facebook ‘save-the-date group’. This saves the hassle of contacting everyone individually. It’s the lazy man’s dream.

To Lap Dance or not to Lap Dance. That is the question.

Firstly, see ‘Omerta’. Secondly if you find yourself in an exotic dancing establishment it is custom to chip in for the Stag to have the first ‘No Pants Dance’. If you’ve never frequented these establishments. The drink prices are as extortionate as car insurance for a 17 year old Boy Racer. Never go into one when very drunk. Never leave your card behind the bar, not only will you end up getting rinsed, you will also have to explain any awkward questions regarding future bank statements. Always sit on your hands during a dance. On every visit I’ve had bar-none, a member of the group has inevitably fallen in love with a dancer and spent a small fortune on them. Their alluring charms, their complimentary patter and the fact that their nipples rub your nose like an Eskimo’s ‘Hello’ could well be behind the Stag member falling for them like a blind roofer. I would recommend an hour tops in there (otherwise your bank account will get smashed open like a $1 Piñata), pay with cash and don’t drink much.

Stag Do – Home Leg

There are several benefits of a Home Leg. You can tend to the egos and ‘Boo-Boos’ of people who didn’t make it onto the Away Leg. It’s close to home so your other mates and family members can get involved. It’s cheaper, your job is far easier as you don’t have to organise transport, activities, accommodation and everyone gets to be a part of the tomfoolery.

A few words of advice “Don’t scheize on your own doorstep”. There’s two ‘Hopes’ of a ‘Social Media Blackout’. ‘Bob Hope’ and ‘No Hope’. Rest in peace Bob. I was on a Stag Do recently where the Best man took one for the team and finished off the Stag’s pint as he had hit ‘Beer Wall’. Fast forward 2 minutes and the Best man was turtled over outside the pub heaving like a Moggy with a Fur Ball while four Smart phones where all up in his grill recording every gurgle. There’s nowhere to hide…

All you’re going to need is an establishment which can accommodate your group size. A pub crawl with a large group is always a mission so I wouldn’t bother with a Kitty if you have more than 15 people. A gimmick or a fancy dress is great at establishing unity. (See forming, norming, storming, performing) An old classic is ‘Pub Golf’. All you will require is a scorecard each with a specific drink named at each hole/pub each with its own individual Par and dressing as a caricature of a Golfer. Partnering people up also creates good banter between drunkards and it almost always concludes in buffoonery and comedy gold. Another gem is for there to be a golf ball in your pocket. If you can get that into someone’s drink without them realising then they are challenged to see their drink away.

Coming up – Stag Do Home Leg continued including Etiquette and Drinking Games,

Kangaroo Court and Taking one for the team.

Preparation for the Stag Do. Part 2. ‘Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail hombre.’

Preparation for the Stag Do. Part 2. ‘Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail hombre.’

Itinerary

Sounds boring, however the itinerary is the back bone to welding the whole Stag Do together. In the early years when I was a little wet behind the ears I would tell the group to meet at a certain place and at a certain time. Throw in Mr Sauce, the excitement of temporarily lobbing the shackles of ‘normal day-to-day’ life aside, the presence of a few effervescing Loose Cannons and carnage almost always reared its unwelcome head. It was like inviting a Fox to a Chicken Shed house warming party… Four Stag Do’s later I allocated a ‘Gum Ball Rally’ pack for each car leaving from home to Snowdonia which consisted of a turn-by-turn route planner and a contact number for the Hotel. Also I composed a ’Stag Do Guide Lanyard’ for each member of the group with a Stag Programme which had a passage taking the Mickey out of the Stag; the cast of the Stag Do with celebrity look-a-like pictures; rendezvous for the activities; route planner; contact number of the Zip Line Centre and the White Water Rafting. It was as stressful a Hawaiian Yoga Retreat. As the Best man I used the back of my lanyard as the drinks order for everyone. That way everyone put money into a ‘Kitty’ which I looked after and I could literally hand my lanyard over to the Bar Keep and you could stick a metaphorical fork in me as my job was done.

Destination

As the list of destinations is so long I’ve listed the Top 10 best Stag Do destinations I’ve experienced purely based on how good the craic was, what we did there, stress levels when on the move between watering holes, how friendly the ladies were and on how expensive it was generally. I have used a scale of 0 = Danny Dyer and 10 = Awesome. I am omitting two amazing Stag Dos from the Top 10. Las Vegas and Brisbane as they are rare once in a life time experiences that are not practical for a general Stag Do due to the price tag. None the less, Vegas is a little slice of heaven where an unattractive woman was as rare as Rocking Horse dung. It’s like watching a montage of sublime. Best put, an orgasm for all five of your senses.

Brisbane is an incredible part of the world where we surfed at Surfer’s Paradise, had a pub crawl, got our thongs out and generally had a ‘Rippa’ & ‘Bonza’ time. If you’re planning a Stag Do which requires a passport I highly recommend that every member takes out insurance. (See Loose Cannon) Also carry-on luggage is best in avoiding any stress with Checked-in luggage delays.

Where? Craic Activities Stress/drama Chicas Moneys TOTAL
Edinburgh 8 8 8 7 5 36
Magaluf 9 6 7 7 5 34
Cardiff 8 8 6 7 5 34
Benidorm 8 6 8 2 9 33
Newcastle 8 6 8 5 5 33
Leeds 7 7 6 7 6 33
Liverpool 7 7 6 5 6 31
Snowdonia 5 9 7 1 6 28
Barcelona 5 4 7 4 4 24
Forrest of Dean 5 3 7 1 7 23

The above judgements are purely based on my experiences and personal tastes obviously play a part. Horses for courses. I’m aware there are other impressive destinations and I hope I enjoy future Stag Dos elsewhere too. Out of the above list I have visited Edinburgh 3 times (Highlights were – www.biddymulligansbar.com , http://www.scottishrugby.org  for Murrayfield 7s tournament), Benidorm twice (The only senoritas I saw there were behind bars and it was a total Shlong fest) and Newcastle twice (Big Market, big drinking)

Media blackout

There are no sinister undertones regarding this. It’s purely to prevent any partners at home getting the wrong idea if they see a picture of a Stag Do member in an uncompromising position which could be misconstrued as being naughty. It’s important that an ‘Omerta’ (honourable code of silence) is respected by every single member. The beauty of the Kangaroo Court provides a threatening stick to Kibosh anyone who fails to adhere to the media blackout. Never is the expression ‘Loose lips sink ships’ more apt in my opinion. Another reason why 15 is the magic number on a Stag Do. This way you can keep you’re core, trusted friends and family on your away trip. Phone and social media bans are a great idea. See ‘Loose Cannons’ above… If the revellers have responsibilities at home there’ no need for a total telephone ban. Designated times are a winner.

Cost

Back in my naïve days I asked for a small deposit, I covered the costs of activities, accommodation myself and everybody paid up on Day 1 of the Stag Do. Nowadays I organise a Stag Do by four main rules. 1) Ask people if they are interested when they are of sober mind and body. 2) Confirm places on the Do with a substantial deposit at least. If possible take the full amount (See above reference to Rocking Horse dung) 3) Use a reputable Stag Do company who take care of individual payments and activities (Check transport between hotel and activities are included within the price. We got stung once and missed Go-Karting as the hour long taxi ride cost more than a Kardashian wedding) or 4) Take care of the Wonga developments yourself with the use of a spreadsheet to show how much each member has paid so that all costs are covered and you don’t end up covering any costs out of your back pocket. A nice touch is if you add a small amount to each person’s cost. This way you will be able to pay for the Stag so that he goes for free.

Bride to-be’s input

A positive relationship with the Bride to-be will stand you in great stead as to having a less stressful experience on your journey of being a Best man. If the Bride is adamant that if you have a Stripper or go to a Lap Dancing establishment she will boil the nearest bunny, Bic her head and call off the wedding, it’s best to play the game and keep her sweet (See ‘Omerta’ and ‘Loose Cannon’) Trust me, you don’t want that kind of blood on your hands. A great way to involve the Bridal party and vice versa is to do a Mr & Mrs Quiz. The Best man can ask the Bride to-be in private and the Chief Bridesmaid can ask the Groom to-be. Questions can be as cheeky or as sensible as appropriate. Standard questions are Favourite positions; what possessions would you save in a fire; childhood pet’s names; favourite colour and embarrassing experiences. The best way to make this work in my experience is to gather the revellers at some point during the stag do and if the Stag answers correctly everyone drinks a few fingers of their bevy and if he Stag is wrong he drinks or has a fancy dress forfeit or physical/cringey challenge to complete.

In a nut-shell

Keep the Bride sweet, get deposits to guarantee places well in advance, tailor activities to the Stag’s tastes, random activities break up the drinking, keep tight lipped of any nonsense, gauge your Loose Cannons, 15 is the magic number of revellers to keep the group together and gain entry into pubs/bars, if you’re a majority single crew head to a University City (Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff), go on a Bank Holiday (First Bank Holiday in May falls in University term time if there are singletons that want a cruise to the ‘Isle of Clitorati’ or August Bank Holiday if you’ve settled down as a group collective. You don’t have to take an extra day’s annual leave that way, it will be busier and use the impending ‘Home Stag Do’ leg’s Kangaroo Court as a tool for justice to keep any scoundrels in check.

Coming up.’ Stag Do – Journey to the centre of morality’. Away Stag Do. Home Stag Do. Etiquette. Drinking Games. Kangaroo Court. Pit falls, successes and “To Lap-dance or not to Lap-dance. That is the question” Keeping your head while everyone else around you don’t #Takeonefortheteam Hangover cures…

 

 

 

Preparation for the Stag Do tomfoolery. Part 1.

Preparation for the Stag Do. Part 1.

Preparation is Jean Claude Van Damn important. From my experience pulling off an immense Stag Do depends on several factors. Keeping the Groom happy; giving him the appropriate level of shenanigans; the number of revellers; activities; loose cannons; itinerary; destination; media blackout; Costs and last, definitely not least, allowing the Bride to have a level of input.

Keeping the Groom happy.

Out of the 20 or so Stag Dos I’ve been on I’ve experienced everything from Best men hell bent on destroying the ‘Groom to be’ with copious amounts of alcohol and nakedness; to seeing a ‘Roly Poly’ 20 stone plus exotic stripper parking her derrière on the Stag’s ‘boat race’; to camping in a Tipi by night and canoeing by day. One things for sure, a happy Stag who you are able to see for the duration of the Stag Do will make for a far better getaway for all than a Stag who’s bedbound and singing ‘Ruth’ into a porcelain microphone all weekend. An ideal example was a recent Stag Do I arranged which consisted of 3 days in Bettws y coed in North Wales. It doesn’t wail ‘rock n roll’. In fact it sounds more Male Voice Choir. (See tailor the do to the Stag) We had a party of 15 (perfect number) and drove up in convoy. The Stag is not a big drinker by nature and loves adrenaline fuelled activities and the other 14 guys enjoy the sauce. Unusually all 15 men in our crew had a missus. Therefore we drove up on a 3 ½ hour road trip and went Zip-lining to break the first day up. We then all went out on the pop up in Bettws. A village loved by ramblers and not renowned for being a haven for pulling. Day 2 we went White Water Rafting and stayed off the pop until 5pm then dressed the Stag up as Pat Sharp (business at the front, party at the back) and the rest of us dressed up as the ‘Fun House’ hot twins or as a member of the red team and yellow team from the 90s show. There were only 5 watering holes in the village which we frequented and we kept together for the entire 3 days. Everyone’s a winner, ticketyboo.

.10513421_10153428370659625_8229810229259307472_n

Appropriate levels of shenanigans.

As the Best man, if anything goes wrong with the Stag (eg Shaven havens, an arrest, a strip club payment appearing on the Stag & Hen’s joint account statement or pubic lice) you and no other will be deemed responsible for the inevitable fall-out. Nobody likes that guy…. Therefore you need to ensure that you keep your wits about you and plan plenty of activities, fancy dress and drinking games to distract the loose cannons of the group from planning any outlandish, uncontrolled torture.

Therefore as you’ve been chosen as the Best man, chances are you know the Stag extremely well and have the experience to gauge appropriateness. If in doubt, break bread with the Ushers and sweeten them up over a bevy and encourage them to share the Stag Do’s responsibilities. Fancy dress is always a winner to make even the cockiest of stags look like a penis ironically. If Fancy dress is a no go then drinking games or Stag rules such as ‘Every time the Stag mentions his wife’s name or the word Wedding’ he can be punished accordingly is a winner.

Ample number of revellers.

The right numbers are key to a successful dynamic and reduces the chances of people splintering off from the group. In my humble opinion the larger the group the more it resembles Water Bison crossing the Crocodile infested Zambezi. You will inevitably leave a few fallen Water Bison behind. A solid, tight group of around 15 on an ‘Away Stag Do’ is ideal. You can always invite the work colleagues, extended family members, friend/acquaintances and inbetweeners on the ‘Home Stag Do’ (see in more depth in future blog.)

 Activities

I believe it’s the characters of the group that are more intrinsic to a memorable experience than the activities undertaken. On previous Stag Dos the classic generic activities that keep the consensus happy are Clay Pigeon Shooting; Go Karting; 5 a-side Football; Sporting Events (International Rugby matches); Quad Biking and Booze Cruises. As mentioned before, the best Stag Do’s I’ve been on is tailored to the Best Man’s taste. Examples of these have been Surfing, Paintballing, Murrayfield Rugby 7s, Canoeing, Zip-lining, Casino and White Water Rafting. The latter events have been the most fun as they are one-offs and gets people out of their comfort zone and doing something random and memorable.

Loose Cannons.

Every group has at least one numpty. If you disagree with this, then chances are it’s you mon frère.  A Loose Cannon can make or break a Stag Do. This is why I love the idea of holding ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ Stag Do legs. If the Loose Cannon is not a close friend or relative then a Home Stag Do is perfect for them. There are two types of Loose Cannons in my experience.  The ‘Enthusiastic Puppy’ who is usually a younger member of the group who is as excited as a vegetarian with a bowl of Hummus on a 5/2 diet and hell-bent on impressing the older members by being as outlandish as possible.  The other kind is an ‘Old Wiley Fox’ who has a ‘specific set of skills’ and plans a more subtle strike (see roly poly stripper surprise onslaught) when the Stag least expects it.

Another hidden gem with a Home Leg is the use of a ‘Kangaroo Court’. If you are unfamiliar with this all you require is a Judge (Best Man) a Prosecutor and a Defence (Ushers or characters ideal for these roles) The benefit of the Kangaroo Court is that if you keep note of any excessive tomfoolery or general comedy gold moments from the Away Leg and you can refer to this at the Kangaroo Court and punish or acquit the individual accordingly during the ‘Home Stag Do’ based on their defence in a closed off private area. Typical fines are fingers of drink, a fancy dress forfeit or a random light hearted punishment. In fairness a Loose Cannon’s nonsense can be an ideal pick-me-up for a broken group of Stag Doers towards the end of the trip. It’s a Best man’s balancing act. That’s why you’re not the Good Man, you’re the Best man.

Coming next. Part 2 of the ‘Preparation for the Stag Do’ including itinerary; destination; media blackout; cost and last, definitely not least, allowing the Bride to have a level of input.

All you need to know to rock at being a Best man.

The premise of my forthcoming blogs are best summed up by one of my favourite actors, the late, great Mr Chris Farley from the film ‘Tommy Boy’. “You can get a great view of a T-Bone by sticking your head up a bull’s ass but I’d rather take the Butcher’s word for it.” In other words I’ll be your Butcher. You can ask lots of people, aimlessly search the internet for jokes and toasts or hunt on YouTube for hours of Best man speeches or you can save yourself a lot of time and have a gander at my blogs. Here you can get everything you need to know about organising a Stag Do, a break down on Best man responsibilities and advice on composing a Best man speech by looking at a variety of Best man speeches that I have composed in the past.

30b36f1edde2e009eaea956e468a9a8a_story

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been asked to be a Best man. This is either exciting for you or filling you full of dread. The way I look at it, it’s like being asked to ride at a Rodeo. You ride her until she bucks you or you don’t ride her at all. Just remember if you feel it’s too overwhelming you’ve always got the Ushers (Rodeo Clowns) to help you out. I hope my advice will be a beacon for you to achieve some sense in the wilderness that is the chaotic pressured world of being a Best man. More so, if you learn from my successes and cock-ups you will pull off all expectations in your stride.

I have had the privilege to have been a Best man on four occasions, an Usher on six others and I have written 6 Best man speeches. I am going to share all the pearls of wisdom I have learned through trial and error over the years. It’s a total honour to be asked to be the ‘Glue’ for the biggest day of a people’s lives. A day which they and their families will remember for the rest of their lives. No worries then… I’m going to share advice to ease the pressure so that you can be confident in knowing that all bases are covered. In future blogs I will share vital tips on arranging the Stag Do, writing a fitting Wedding Speech, handling inevitable bumps in the road from accepting the honour all the way through to making that final toast with a smile and a strut.

Public speaking isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. In fact I read an article recently where a poll of 2000 people in the UK shared that public speaking was found to be more frightening than the fear of ‘death’. Only the loss of a family member was deemed to be a more terrifying thought. With this in mind I will share my personal tips of what works for me and how best to relax on the big day so that you’re as cool as the proverbial Cucumber and not shaking like a defecating pooch.

The Stag Do is always a good craic in my experience as long as you tailor it to the Groom’s tastes. Obviously you have to take the Michael out of the Groom to an appropriate degree. There are many factors in this, dependant on what the Groom’s used to. I firmly believe that if you nail the Stag Do you will set the ball rolling in a positive light and this will build your confidence and the assurance in the all-important Bride and family members from both sides in your capabilities. This will inevitably ease the tension for your wedding day responsibilities. Destination, props, fancy dress, character assignation/itinerary lanyards, drinking games and activities are important in breaking the weekend up from a total alcohol fuelled haze to an agenda that is memorable and manageable. I have been on approximately 20 Stag Dos and I will share the ‘Dos and Don’ts’, places to go, how best to keep the Bride and Groom sweet and maintain your sanity in the process.

I will share the basic format for putting a Best man speech together so that you can add your individuality to it to make it your own. I will also breakdown the structure of a Best man speech for a variety of different weddings. I have been a Best man for my brother, cousin, a life-long close pal and a best mate. Each speech is befitting to the occasion. For example at my brother’s wedding I kept it sincere, welcomed my sister-in-law into the family and shared a few shenanigans from his younger years. A few wedding guest cards were read out. One of which was planted and shared a ‘Good luck today. We’re going to miss you. Love, all the girls from the Fantasy Lounge.’ For my cousin we rocked it Las Vegas style and duties were short and sweet, for my close pal I was given ‘free reign’ by both in-laws to play it how I wanted. One example of a gag involved a wind up involving a Sea-Shell tattoo on the inside of the Bride’s upper thigh. I shared that if you place your ear against it and listen very carefully you can smell the sea. I ran any dodgy jokes of that ilk (and there were a few more of those rascals) by the Bride’s dad and even the by the Vicar which was obviously vital to not collecting a royal beating on the big day and being banished by the church elders from the shire forever. My best mate’s wedding included an elder and religious contingent which required a monumentally different approach. I ventured upon zilch ocean life tattoo witticisms on this occasion. The speech required a prop-box, Shrek mask, Ukulele, Bongo and the four Bridesmaid’s assistance. I will share a link to this speech in all its glory.

I will also share my adventures down the route of being an Usher. Arguably, bar the speech, this is a tougher job than being a Best man. As the Best man chills at the alter grinning like a Cheshire Cat with the Groom on the Wedding day, the Usher is doing anything from Car Parking duties; showing the guests to their pews; acting as the last line of defence by the church door in case a volatile ex attempts to rock up; to shepherding the guests for photos; to acting as a peacemaker should any evening guests get a little fighty; to even cleaning up the Loo should an excitable, petite guest try to chug two bottles of vino on an empty stomach in an hour and leave ‘Exorcist’ style projectile carnage in her wake. Bless her.

Coming up

‘The Stag Do’. Tailoring the ‘Do’ to the Stag. Top 10 destinations judged on Cost, activities, drinks/prices, chicas, minimal drama, ease of travels, etiquette (Fancy dress, props, lanyards) Away leg and home leg. Live the dream…