Being the best man in two of my friend’s weddings, I had the opportunity and the privilege of delivering a toast/roast in their honor. Everybody knows the process:
1. Towards the end of the ceremony, the newly weds, the maid of honor and the best man all get up in front of the guest.
2. Tap a spoon on a champagne glass (remember to be careful, I forgot that part).
3. Keep the speech short.
4. Do not under any circumstances mention former girlfriends when standing next to the bride who has an uncle named Uncle Murder for obvious reasons.
At my first best man gig, I was a little nervous and persuaded the maid of honor to deliver her speech first so that I could get a feel of how long mine needed to be. Now, this young lady should have watched more wedding movies because her speech was nothing about the bride and groom, it was just about the bride and her growing up together and all the memories they had. On top of that it was two pages long. I do not recall the speech due to the fact that I zoned out due to mind-numbing boredom that overwhelmed me, but I do remember that when she pulled out the second page, a little child in the crowd yelled, “There’s more!” That was by far the highlight of her speech.
Mine on the other hand, after I awake from slumber, was about five minutes shorter and comical. I am not saying that because I view myself as a funny man, if anything I have a taste for dry humor, but because the audience told me. I discussed the two meeting in the Texas A&M library, which was weird because Chris was not enrolled there and Erica I believe was there to meet another guy; funny how life works out. Also what was mentioned in my speech was that Chris never went to the library when we were in school together unless we were in trouble or watching the TV. Needless to say, what I learned is to keep my speech under six minutes, make it about the couple, add in some humor and wing it.
Now, what I learned from the first friend’s wedding does not always carry over into the next. Friend two, who was married about a month ago, asked me to be his best man and I said yes; you would have to be a major jackass to say no. As the ceremony was drawing to a close, the four of us went up the stage, I tapped lightly on the glass this time, and we presented them with a toast. The maid of honor went first and nailed it perfectly. When it was my turn, I of course winged it, it worked for me fine the first go around, and I made an almost fatal mistake.
Let me point out that my friend’s bride has an uncle named Uncle Murder because in his home country he actually got away with murder. I do not know how, all I know is that I should have planned my speech better, and possibly found out what this guy looked like.
I had mentioned that while growing up, my friend had a lot of girlfriends. You could literally hear a pin drop when I said that. My wife got a great picture the moment I said that by the way. You see my friend with the expression on his face much like that when you see a rat come around the corner unexpectantly, and then there is the bride’s expression of rage. I recovered somewhat by saying that the bride was the best out of all of them and that my friend could not do any better. At the end, everybody drank the beverage and my friend said thank you, but it sounded a little solemn. I guess he knew Uncle Murder was coming after me. Yet I was spared, the keg showed up and the party went on until 2 a.m. My wife and I did not participate, however; she is pregnant and wanted to go home so we left. At least that is what I tell people, I was just eager to get out because unlike everybody else who forgot that I mentioned the girlfriends, the bride had not.