Monday, July 24, 2006

Unaccustomed as I am....

My blogging has been a little light of late as I was preparing for an old school friend's wedding, where I was best man.

The wedding was this weekend and, now that it's over, I can relax.

Chris asked me to be his best man over a year ago. I was on business in Saudi Arabia at the time and I remember the call very well indeed.

Of course, when the main responsibility lies a year in the future, it's very easy to say yes. I won't make that mistake again (only kidding, Chris.... I'll also be your best man next time if you want....) [I wanted to use this line in my speech but I was told that 1) it would make the bride cry and 2) it wasn't funny anyway. Shame]

What I hadn't grasped last year was that there was more to being best man than organising a few drinks a few weeks before and delivering a speech after dinner. It became vividly clear this year that my role would also need to include helping with the planning. Whenever I spoke to the groom, my head started spinning with the random things he was telling me so I took it upon myself to build a schedule for the day detailing what everybody needed to do at every time ("Ushers move ornamental trees from outside church and place on coach; take seats on front row"..... "19:30: First dance; Best man and chief bridesmaid to join Bride and Groom after one verse".... ). We were on version 1.7 by the time the big day came. This document came in for some mockery on the day. I can't think why...

Of course, it doesn't matter how well or badly a best man does the rest of their job, it's the speech that everyone judges you on. I started work on it several weeks before the wedding and went for a traditional approach (Respond to the groom's toast, introduce yourself, embarrass the groom, praise the groom, compliment the bride, read the telegrams, propose a toast to the bride and groom).

As I imagine is normal for such occasions, I rewrote my speech several times until I was happy with it and had a structure that flowed sufficiently well for me to be able to deliver it without notes, whilst still sounding spontaneous.

In the event, all the preparation paid off and the speech was very well received. I even got several laughs. Which was gratifying since those who know me know that I don't do funny. However, the success of the meal - and of the day itself - was down to the bride and groom, their wonderful famiilies, the bridesmaids and the ushers.

Chris, Jacintha: congratulations!

2 comments:

Chris H said...

Richard, thankyou for all your kind comments, but as I said in my speech, they day would not have run as well as it did do with out you and your planning. It was great and thankyou for all your help.....

Everyone else who reads Richards blog should be aware he is now available for any occasion and you should contact him for a price, don't worry about his humour, he is actually very funny....

Richard Brown said...

Thanks Chris... your bribe for writing that is in the post