One of my best and closest friends got married to the love of his life last week, and I was given the honour of acting as best man for the day. I thought that as I hadn’t posted on here for a while I’d post the speech I made after dinner for anyone who might be interested. You don’t really need to know Michael to understand the speech, I’d say. The first line includes the Polish for ‘good afternoon’ – as the Bride is Polish. Also, the Groom is utterly obsessed with Vimto, hence the references. The pictures were put up on a big screen via Powerpoint.
Good afternoon everyone, dzien dobry.
While doing my research into how to make a good speech, the best piece of advice I read was to keep it short. You clearly want to get on with cracking open the ceremonial vodka and having a bit of a dance. So, I’ll not drag it out.
I’m not very good at making speeches. I really tried to write something great but I’ve had to copy and paste sample speeches from the internet instead, so I’m really sorry about that. Ahem.
So – I first met Frank, and his handsome civil partner Dave, in prison in 1987. Nah OK, not really.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Darren. I’m Michael’s best man, friend, colleague, business partner and, as my mum seems to think, lover……No idea why.
I’ve known him ever since he first matured into an adult, which was, ooooh, about 4 hours ago?
So I’d like to start by thanking you all for being here today, and by raising a glass to the groom’s parents, Janet and Len, and the bride’s parents Eve and Ted, without whom none of us would be fortunate enough to have the wonderful and beautiful Liz in our lives, and we wouldn’t know Mike either.
Second, I think we can all agree that Liz looks absolutely stunning today. I think she was born to be a blushing bride, and I hope you’ve had the most wonderful day so far. As for you Mike, I think it goes without saying, but you look almost as good as I do in this outfit. That joke was brought to you today by the Penguin guide to generic best man speech gags, available now in any terrible bookshop.
I think the point of a best man’s speech is to subject the groom to an uncomfortable couple of minutes. It’s only fair really, as I suppose that’s what Liz can expect on a regular basis from here on out.
I’m pretty sure you’ll notice that Vimto has taken quite a prominent place in proceedings today. We’re joined by the Vimtoad over there, we have sweets, and we’ll be toasting with fizzy Vimto instead of champagne. The reason for all that is that as part of his special day, Michael wanted to share with you all something that he loves. You should consider yourselves lucky – you were all originally going to get a subscription to Playboy and a packet of fags each, but I talked him round.
I’ve never been a best man before. It’s not something I ever thought I’d be asked to do by anyone, so to be asked by somebody I look up to and respect……would have been lovely. But I’m here anyway, so I may as well get on with it.
I think we all know that Mickey has a few ‘quirks’ in his personality, and does a lot of very odd things. This may explain why he decided to give a man with social anxiety disorder the job of delivering a speech at his wedding. And made that same man, who also has a chronic fear of air travel, fly to Spain to celebrate his stag do. Cheers mate, really appreciate it.
When Mickey first asked me to be his best man, I was absolutely over the moon. Not only did I consider it an unbelievable honour, I thought that writing this speech would be the easiest thing in the world, I really did.
• This is not a man who carefully tiptoes his way through life, hoping not to be noticed.
• This is not a man who keeps his thoughts (no matter how ludicrous) to himself.
People who know him have been saying to me “oh, you’ve got the easiest job in the world, haven’t you – there must be LOADS of material you’ve got on Michael”. I found it actually really difficult though to be honest. I’ve found it very hard to find that right balance between the ridiculous things Michael says and does, and the UTTERLY ridiculous things Michael says and does.
There are times I’m lying on the couch at home, enjoying a quiet evening in with my wife, maybe watching a film in front of the fire, and I’ll get texts like…
*Can cannibals talk?*
So Liz, I can’t even imagine the conversations you two must have at home, but one thing I can guarantee, you ain’t gonna get bored.
Michael and I have had what many would consider a pretty ‘unique’ friendship over the years. In fact, I don’t consider Michael a friend at all. I have thought of him for some time as my brother. He’s also been my priest, my driving instructor and my life coach, amongst others. I’m not the most confident of people at the best of times, but if I’ve ever been unsure about something, Michael has become that little voice in my head that goes ‘go on, do it. DO IT’…..I’m pretty sure it’s not just me who becomes a better person when he’s around.
As I said earlier, I am deeply honoured to have been asked to be Michael’s best man. I didn’t quite know how much of an honour it was, until I met Michael’s other mates and his uncle John on his stag do last month. They are, to a man, some of the best company I’ve ever spent time with, and to have been chosen as best man out of the choice Mickey had is incredibly humbling. So for those of you who are here – I win! Cheers lads.
So, we’re here to celebrate a day that’s a long time coming. The wonderful husband and wife I stand very proudly next to have been together now almost nine years and I am delighted for them both on their very special day. I’ve been lucky enough to be good friends with these two amazing people ever since they met, and I’ve never met a couple more perfectly suited for, or deserving of, each other.
So, I would like to ask you all to stand, raise your glasses of vintage 2014 Moet et Vimto and allow me to propose a toast. Nothing could make me more proud than to be the man to wish this amazing couple the most wonderful life together. Michael and Liz, If you two give each other even half as much joy and happiness during your lives together, as you’ve both given to us all over the last ten years or so, you’re going to enjoy a very long and very happy marriage.
To the happy couple! Nastrovie!