I’ve been given the dubious honour of being the best man at a good friend’s wedding this weekend, in a little town called Lucignano, Italy. It’s kind of a low key affair, and initially there weren’t going to be any speeches – much to my relief. Things have changed however, it looks like the bride and groom are getting a bit carried away with this whole wedding business, and now expect me to say a few words. I can’t say that I’m especially looking forward speaking – in fact the prospect fills me with a certain amount of dread, especially because the groom and I have managed to be perfectly good friends for the last 30 years without ever feeling the need to say any nice about one another.
Not that there aren’t lots of nice things to say about him – but just I don’t really want to stand up in public and say them… Anyway, as part of my preparation in writing the speech, I did some research, and have compiled this list of nuggets that definitely shouldn’t be part of a best man’s speech
1. Comparing the honour to being asked to fuck the Queen (a great honour, but who wants to do it). This is funny if you have never heard it, but gets tired pretty quick, and most people have heard it
2. Anything to do with sexually transmitted diseases
3. Previous wives / husbands
4. Abortions! (can you believe some people actually bought this up during a speech!?!)
5. Don’t use the words c*nt, f*ck, sh*t, or tw*t. (no matter how accurately they describe the groom)
6. Don’t finish on a raised-fist salute, saying “Rest well comrades, for tomorrow we march on Rome” (I actually wanted to say this, but mentioning it to the groom’s brother, he told me that would be a bit inappropriate)
7. Don’t make too many personal ‘in’ jokes – there will be more than just you and the groom listening, so try to focus the speech on things that everyone will find funny – not just you and him.
8. Say something nice about the bride. ‘Gorgeous’, ‘warm-hearted’, ‘beautiful’, ‘radiant’ are in; ‘controlling’, ‘ball-breaker’, ‘easy’ and ‘ugly’ are definitely not
9. Do not share a joint with an Italian waiter just before standing up to do the speech
10. In the end, you’ve been asked to be the best man by your friend, presumably because he likes you, and if you accept, then you must like him too. For this reason, don’t worry about being nervous – you know the guy. Prepare, sure, but don’t overthink. Speak from the heart and all will be OK. (In theory)!