Last Sunday I had the honour of being my friend Paul’s best-man. As you will all know, with the honour of being best-man comes the responsibility of writing and delivering a speech. I thought I would share my speech with you all. I want to point out that I did take parts of the speech from Best Man websites so it’s not all my own individual work. However, it might come in handy if you ever have the responsibility of being best-man in the future.
Ladies & Gentlemen. My name is Darren and I’m your best man for today. On behalf of Claire and Paul, I would like to thank you all for attending this beautiful event today. I’m sure you’ll all agree it was a lovely service in this amazing venue.
I promise to keep my words brief, as I know we’re all here to witness the spectacle that is Paul’s dancing. (and I also know what time my wife has in the sweep.)
When Paul asked me to be Best Man, I honestly felt very honoured, right up until to the stag weekend when I was informed that I was at least the third person Paul asked and the only one stupid enough to say yes. So I’d like to blame, sorry, thank Giles and Dave for shirting on their responsibilities.
Regardless of how many people Paul actually asked before me, most of us know deep down, that their could only be one best man. For those that aren’t aware, Paul and Claire actually got together at my wedding over 4 years ago. So without me, today might not be happening. I’d therefore like to apologise to Claire’s family for that but also congratulate myself for finding Paul such a lovely, kind, intelligent and beautiful wife. Claire really does deserve a husband with the similar qualities, so Paul should be grateful he got in there before she found someone.
Now as I mentioned, it is a great honour to be Paul’s Best Man, but with the role, comes the job of writing this speech, and to be honest I wanted to make the process as easy as possible. So where do you begin for ideas?
The obvious place seemed to be the Internet, so with a multitude of resources at my fingertips I dutifully began searching the web. After a couple of hours searching I found some really good stuff, but ….then I remembered I was supposed to be looking for Best Man speeches! I did actually find loads of pre-written speeches, unfortunately none of them were about a couple named Claire and Paul.
As part of my research I discovered that I’m supposed to sing the grooms praises, and tell you about his many good points. Well, for those of you that know me, although I love singing, I’m terrible at lying. I’ve therefore opted to recount facts about Paul which are not only informative, but may also cause Paul a little discomfort. This part of my speech preparation was surprisingly easy, and Paul’s friends and family have been falling over themselves to furnish me with useful information. So, without further ado, I have a collection of wonderful facts to recount to you today.
Paul was born on 19th October 1969, I know, it’s hard to believe, he’s actually a lot younger than he looks. He always struggled to excel with the ladies when he was younger, living in the shadow of his more attractive older brother. I’ve been told on good authority that was definitely Steve that was the ladies man of the family…
Things didn’t improve for Paul when he got to 6th form college either as he couldn’t drink for 6 months due to the super-strength acne pills he had to take. It was fortunate for Paul that he had such a supportive brother and group of friends to help him through this difficult period. *cough*
Despite his haggard appearance, Paul can be described as childlike, naive and gullible. An example of this was when he was told that press-ups were the perfect cure for hiccups. However, he only realised that it wasn’t a good idea to perform them in the middle of a packed bar, as he was forcefully ejected by the bouncers.
Speaking about Paul’s personal qualities, he does even the most patriotic of yorkshire men proud, he is, without doubt, one of the tightest people you’ll ever meet. He’s that tight that he actually made the diamond for Claire’s engagement ring himself, simply by shoving a lump of coal up his backside for a week. It also came as no surprise that Paul chose Edinburgh in Scotland as the destination for the honeymoon, just so he could be surrounded by tight-minded people.
Once, Paul almost let himself down on this front. Following a fantastic open air 80’s concert at Tatton Park, we arrived back at my house and he did offer to pay the taxi driver. I’m not sure whether this was the amount of alcohol he had consumed that led to this out of character show of generosity or just the fact that deep down he knew it was my father-in-law that had kindly driven us home.
I have known Paul for over 10 years now, he has always loved sport, especially running, golf and football. William has followed in his father’s footsteps as Paul always talked about being a natural defender and how he loved to get stuck in. It’s a shame he didn’t carry that over to his working life.
Paul has had many nicknames through his life, a particular favourite of Paul’s is God. Contrary to what Paul would have you to believe this isn’t down to his incredible ability to rise to the occasion regardless of how much alcohol has been consumed.
It was actually people at work who started calling him god, unbeknown to Paul however, this is because they never see him, ….and if he ever does any work it’s a miracle. He’s even managed to cut his standard working day down to 4 hours having invented the concept of term time working.
Continuing with Paul’s sporting prowess, Claire knew that she didn’t need any bridesmaids today. As anyone that has witnessed Paul’s golfing exploits will testify, Paul is always the bridesmaid and never the bride!
As it is customary to toast the bridesmaids I would like you to please be upstanding as I toast the beautiful bridesmaid…
On Claire’s hen weekend, I’ve been reliably informed that a few secrets were exposed during a game of Mr & Mrs. I obviously can’t divulge too much information, however I feel I need to warn William never to eat his Weetabix at the breakfast bar and should sit at the dining table from now on. Let’s just say that little Keith is not one to share your breakfast with…
Following an incident with a paddling pool at a party, Sam had the lucky experience of seeing little Keith first hand, as she walked in on Claire towelling Paul down. I say lucky as she did well to see it by all accounts. As the shocked Sam made a sharp exit laughing, Claire leapt to Paul’s defence shouting “It does get bigger!”
It wouldn’t be a best man’s speech without some mention of the Stag Do. On the whole it passed without incident, despite the fact we went to Liverpool. Particular highlights for me were the look of panic on Simon’s face as he realised he didn’t have his passport as we entered North Wales for the karting. Another highlight being that although Paul was sat on the front row at the comedy club, wearing a full clowns outfit, he remained largely untouched, instead, Scott Carter, the good-looking, poster boy of the group got hammered by every single comedian.
A surprising fact about Liverpool is that it clearly has much better weather than Manchester or Sheffield, given the amount of highly bronzed skin and Ibiza style clothing on show.
As I mentioned earlier, I can’t fail to talk about Paul’s dancing – there was a tradition at HSBC where everyone would go out on the first Thursday following pay-day. One of the first Thursday nights I went on found us in Brannigans in the outskirts of Sheffield. They had a live band on, led by a female singer. To the annoyance of everyone in the place, the band had to stop playing part way through, because Paul was quite literally shaking his tail feathers at her and she couldn’t sing through laughing so much.
Given Paul’s impeccable reputation on the dance floor, I have to say that one of my proudest ever moments was out dancing Paul at Bryn and Karen’s wedding!
I know Paul is really looking forward to the rematch, so I won’t keep you all much longer.
William wanted me to share a few words on his behalf – Dad you’re really old, your music is ancient and you’ve got no hair. The latter is clearly not my sentiments…
I’m sure that everyone in the room and in fact anyone that has had the pleasure of meeting Paul, Claire and William as a family will know, that together they complete each other and make an awesome team. They make everyone around them smile. Their home is always full of love, fun and incredible amount of laughter.
So despite being the 3rd best man, I really do feel honoured to call Paul a friend and to be stood in front of you today as his best man. I would therefore like to finish my speech by asking you all to be upstanding and raise our glasses for a toast.
Paul, Claire and William.