A few years ago, I was a best man at my brother’s wedding and had a great time not working for once, but instead having two very important jobs, ring-sitting & a speech. Looking after the rings is always nerve racking, but relatively easy to just keep them in a secure pocket.
The speech is a bit different. It needs to be funny, (everyone expects it to be even if you’re not a comedian) but also heartfelt and should talk about the couple’s lives together from the perspective of a friend. Whether this speech actually did either of these things is up to you as the reader. But I bare it for all to read in case you too have to do this one day, and like me scramble through webpages that actually have original material that is funny and not generic (I’m pretty sure this doesn’t exist…)
The SpeechLadies and Gentlemen, Let me introduce myself, my name is Phil and I am Simon’s Brother and Best Man. Firstly I would like to say on behalf of everyone here a big thank you to Robert and Beverley for arranging and inviting us all to share, with them, Simon and Holly’s special day. Secondly, to the bridesmaids, Emma, Selena and Stacey for their hard work today assisting the bride. Thank you ladies, you have been magnificent! Originally Simon asked me to be his photographer as well as his best man, I’d have to say that I only chose to be the best man because the title ‘best man’ sounded a lot better than photographer although I was quite disappointed to find out that it wasn’t a paid vocation! I’m hoping that the next wedding I go to I will be firmly behind the camera watching someone else in my position; nervous, drenched in sweat and making really bad jokes and all the while thinking the poor guy is doing this for free! I first met Simon about 23 years ago. Although he didn’t really say much to me for the first year and half of our kinship, he was a slow learner…I somehow still knew that we would always be friends. Simon has always been a caring brother and a good friend who is never afraid to put himself out there to help others. Just last summer when we celebrated my Mother’s 50th birthday in a rather nice hotel in the Cotswolds, Simon showed us some true heroics. Unfortunately the fire alarm went off very late at night and just when all the guests had assembled outside; the teacher in shining armour came storming out and slightly drunkenly announced to two hundred or so guests that he had the situation under control. What possessed him to do that I don’t know, but maybe a he was sleepwalking through some sort of weird school fire drill dream. I have to thank Simon personally for that as I was wondering just earlier that day where I might get some material for this speech. Before he met Holly, he and I had quite a memorable argument. It was the end of school and Simon had finished his exams by going out in Malmesbury and drinking lots of things he wasn’t supposed to and I was sent to find him because we didn’t know where he was. He made his feelings clear about how he felt my life was slipping off the rails. Although I didn’t exactly agree with his view (it’s quite hard to agree with someone who has practically hiccupped the fact that he thinks you’re acting out of order) but it was at this point that I knew that he had stopped being my little brother and that he was watching my back just as much as I was watching his. I’ll never forget the courage that he showed me that night. I also must point out, in hindsight, that for someone who was celebrating the end of school I think now that you might have been doing it a bit too early… I’m very proud of my brother as I’ve seen him come from working in Tesco to becoming a successful working teacher, through very hard work and I’m so pleased for him that he now has a great career to look forward to. From the anecdotes I think you’ll also agree that Simon is chivalrous and loyal, which I know he will continue to be as a husband and a provider. The wonderful romance that we are celebrating today started over 5 years ago, in a Tesco store in Tetbury, where Simon and I both worked. Simon was admiring the girl on the deli counter and he swallowed his nerves and asked his beloved Holly, “Are you going to the Christmas party? And would you get the drinks in as I am only 17…” Apparently, and my Mum told me this so if its wrong I’m going to be very embarrassed, that after this party Holly couldn’t remember which Tesco-working Bedford she had kissed that night, is that right Holly? Luckily for Simon, I wasn’t actually there… guess you had no choice, eh Holly? Simon finally managed to persuade Holly to go out with him but first he had a job to convince her as she thought he was still only 16. Five years on through the university years and the placements abroad, Paris for Holly and Jersey for Simon and with their career ambitions. We are here today after Simon finally popped the question last year. Now for those that don’t know, Simon had already chosen the ring with Holly after they trawled through every jewellery shop on Jersey. Now all Holly had to do was get Simon to do it officially. So he plans it very carefully… He chooses a Victorian steam train in the rolling Devonshire countryside, sentimental to Holly’s family, and which is also a little sentimental to his own family as well. And he tries to look lovingly into Holly’s eyes, but she’s staring out the window at the water outside. Simon asks softly “will you marry me?” to which Holly’s answer, because she didn’t hear him is “Oh look, there’s a Jet-ski on the water!” Before Simon had to embarrassingly repeat his question; there may have been two things he could have done to avoid further calamity: 1. He is not down on one knee and 2. He does not have the ring! So after months of planning our Simon repeats his question but is told to get on one knee and do it properly. One can only imagine poor Simon, squeezed in between the seats of the cabin and not really knowing what to do with his hands, other than maybe pretend he has the ring, and asks for the third time for Holly to be his bride! Third time’s a charm, isn’t it Simon? I have a lot of fun laughing along with Holly at Simon, the things he does can sometimes be beyond putting both feet in it and I think it is definitely where we’ve formed a bond poking fun at the silly things he does. But the great things that this man has done for me and his family and now his betrothed are so much more. I know that Simon will make a great husband, and where he makes these mistakes, Holly will be there behind him as his rock (even if the rock has a giggle with me about it later!) So… to Holly and Simon, a Tesco-to-teaching fairy tale with a very happy ending!