Title May best man whine AuthorChristopher Ford Date October 2003 Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A guide of what not to do and say when asked to be best man.
Aside from gourmet food, fine wine and extravagant table décor there is only one reason why wedding reception overshadows ceremony as highlight of day. The speeches.
Food is hurried; nerves are frail, and double amount of booze is consumed on head table than anywhere else in room. Video cameras are set to record and speakers themselves are set to entertain. The best man’s speech in particular must be witty, interesting, and profound. The closing and deciding chapter in his duties as, well, best man.
More often than not, best man will lack public speaking experience, and fear sets in as commonplace reaction. But with thorough preparation and research, anyone can shine. Anyone can rise to occasion.
But what happens when best man hasn’t prepared at all? When best man was never asked to do a speech until a microphone was thrust in his hand at last second, to discover a room full of expectant faces gazing up at him? How interesting can it be? The answer is very.
I flew from Birmingham, England, to land in Atlanta, Georgia, greeted by Shane (the groom) and his bride to be Kirsty with great anticipation. Shane was an old school friend. He’d asked me to be best man, when his only love interest was a 4-ft poster of Yasmine Bleeth, of course I accepted. And now I was to live out honour.
The wedding was two days away, and much still remained to do with little time to do it. Dress rehearsals to rehearse, and seating plans to plan. Yet as trans-Atlantic best man, my call of duty was merely to don tails, hold rings, and wish them all best.
The speeches, I was advised earlier, would be merely a toast. It wasn’t customary in United States, or at least in Kirsty’s family, to deliver anything other than my congratulations. So I relaxed, marinated my pasty skin with sun oil, and soaked up southern atmosphere. The next day was spent golfing with groom’s father, discussing merits of his son’s newly acquired green card, and sending a few Budweiser’s home.
On Shane’s last night as a bachelor, we stayed overnight at hotel far from bride’s eye to satisfy superstition. Though much to my disappointment, it wasn’t spent in a hot tub with college girls sinking Moët, not when there were tables still to be set and ice sculptures to rearrange. On big day, I was disappointed to find out that a mid-afternoon wedding still called for an early rise. Given soaring temperatures expected at mid-day, I wasn’t looking forward to life inside top and tail, and my only immediate worry was how to control unwanted perspiration. That, and not losing two gold rings they were about to swear an oath upon.