Farry-Watt Best Man speech


Best Man Speech:

GRAND OPENING

Ladies and Gentlemen, Bride and Groom. For those few of you in the room who are not in the Alliance Party, my name is Allan Leonard.

It is a great honour to be chosen as Stephen’s best man today. And if I do a good job he’s told me that he’ll let me speak in public on behalf of Alliance.

At my own wedding, not too long ago, I announced that “I was bricking it”, giving my groom’s speech. My wife told me that I’m not allowed to say that again. Okay, “I am experiencing slight anxiety and excitement while presenting a formal public address”.

[Read any messages]

THANK YOUS

Please allow me to officially congratulate the bride and groom.

I think we all agree that the bride looks absolutely spectacular today — or as I’m still learning the local vernacular — “she’s a real cracker”.

The groom has found someone not only beautiful, but also sophisticated, kind, patient and intelligent. And what can we say about Stephen? [pause] The boy’s intelligent.

Stephen and Wendy are so wonderful together. It is amazing and gracious that we find that companion in life that we are meant to be with. And we have that enchantment here today, with Stephen and Wendy. [await reaction/initiate applause]

May I congratulate the families and all those involved who made today a truly memorable and special day. [initiate applause]

On behalf of the bridesmaids, I’m sure you’ll agree that they look lovely and have done a wonderful job. Let’s show our appreciation for the bridesmaids. [initiate applause]

THE MAIN STAGE

Stephen brags that he once slept in the Queen’s bed … at Hillsborough … which Her Majesty hasn’t visited in over 30 years. Imagine the condition of an unmade bed for 30 years. I once slept in such a bed — Stephen’s!

You see, I spent my first night in Belfast in the Groom’s bed, while he was attending a Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton — a hovel — that’s Surrey Street — not the Brighton Hotel.

The reason I mention Surrey Street is because this is where I met Stephen and many other great friends, many of whom are in this room now.

And this is where I got to witness, first hand, some of Stephen’s unique attributes.

Like the way he can watch Newsnight and read the Economist magazine at the same time.

Like the way he can alt-tab on his laptop to switch between writing his PhD thesis and the latest Alliance policy document.

And this multitasking doesn’t stop when he retires for the day — because he doesn’t! With the radio kept on through the night, Stephen is the only person I know who can enjoy a cricket test match by listening to it while he sleeps! Or maybe that says more about cricket than Stephen.

Seriously, as all of us who know Stephen, know he has the intelligence, ability and talent to accomplish more than what any one mere mortal can do. I’ll spare you his “Lord is an alien” theory. Perhaps it’s Stephen that’s not of this world. But wait a minute, he is joining good company in his forthcoming work in Washington DC!

WRAP UP

But before you go, Stephen, there are a few things you should learn, to keep you right for the future. And I’d like to ask the bride and groom to participate for this lesson. [To the bride] Wendy, if I can ask you to place your hand flat on the table [demonstrate]. OK. [To the groom] Stephen, if you would place your hand directly on top of the bride’s. Enjoying that? Make the most it, it’s the last time you’ll have the upper hand.

Yes, the key to a happy marriage is to remember those three words: “You’re right dear.”

As they say, a man who gives in when he is wrong is a wise man. A man who gives in when he is right is a married man.

And with this wisdom, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me immense pleasure to ask you to join me in a toast to the bride and groom. Please be upstanding. [Raise glass]

I know how much they enjoy their adventures together, and surely their time in America will be wonderful, yet let this marriage be their greatest adventure of all.

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