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Ladies and Gentlemen – I’ll start by thanking Brian on behalf of the bridesmaids for his kind words.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Hannah and am trying to do as good a job as I can today to be Brian’s best man – rather as good a job as I am able to do given that there was no way I was going to put my name down to have gender reassignment surgery so that I could properly fulfil the role. I was a bit surprised, although naturally honoured, when Brian asked me to do this, but in actual fact, having a girl as a best man makes perfect sense as it shows that Brian has carefully thought ahead to his life as a married man and is happy with the woman having the last word! However if there’s anybody here who feels nervous and apprehensive at the thought of what is soon to come… it is probably because you have just married Brian.
Now I was a bit unsure about the duties of a best man, although I told Brian very early on that there was no way I was going to get off with a bridesmaid – I say that with no offence intended to Claire and Nicola who I’m sure you’ll all agree look lovely, and have done a great job today. So to find out what was expected of me, I turned to the internet and managed to find some really interesting stuff… but then remembered what I had gone onto it for in the first place, and set about plagiarising other people’s speeches from all the wedding sites I could find. So I accept no responsibility if this end result is rubbish. I know many of you will have been to a few weddings in your time, so can I suggest that you entertain yourselves quietly by playing wedding bingo – every time you hear a witty comment in my speech that you have already heard at another wedding, give yourself a point and the first one to five wins a piece of wedding cake.
So going back to what I discovered I am expected to do as the best man:
Organise the stag night. Or in Brian’s case, hen night as Brian insisted on inviting more girls than guys. It was actually a very civilised affair, walk in the countryside, few drinks in a nice pub, then a lovely meal with fine wine and champagne in the evening.
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Next on the list - ensure the groom gets a good nights sleep before the wedding. No problems there because I work in a pharmacy, but in hindsight I probably should have checked that Brian wasn’t allergic to temazepam before putting it in his drinks last night! As a result Brian slept like a baby… he woke up every half hour and pooped his pants
I was also supposed to help him get dressed this morning, but as you know there is really only one woman who should assist in that department –sadly Brian’s mother was herself getting ready so he had to go it alone.
And of course, the hardest job – to prepare a speech, subtly poking fun at the groom’s character. I don’t do subtle, and anyway Brian would not want me to say anything embarrassing without concentrating equally on the rest of his life and some of his notable achievements. So to summarise that, Brian was born, went to medical school, met Peggy, and now he’s just got married. Onto the embarrassing stories!
When they first started going out, Peggy had Brian eating out of the palm of her hand, and as he was still a student this was great as it saved on the washing up. However Brian’s intentions towards his older woman were always honourable – in the words of 18th century novelist Henry Fielding “that is, to rob a lady of her fortune by way of marriage”. He rather naively thought that by bagging a Registrar, he could sit back, become a house-husband and spend his days looking after the cats – however I think Peggy would have something to say about that. In fact – if I could get you two to try something – Peggy, put your hand on the table… now Brian, you put your hand on top of hers. That’s the last time you’ll get the upper hand so make the most of it!
I’ve tried very hard to find scandal involving Brian, but I haven’t really been able to come up with much to say today, because I’m too nice, and I would also like to keep Peggy as a friend after today.
So for anyone who is really interested, you may find pages 9-15 of tomorrow’s News of the World very enlightening – to clarify the photo on page 12 – yes, it is a goat, and no, I didn’t think it was physically possible to do that either.
I’ve known Brian since his first year at university when we were both in the St John Ambulance group – I’d joined because I wanted to get into rugby matches for free and get my hands on the players, Brian for possibly the same reason. He was initially reluctant to do events because white t-shirts and waistcoats were not part of the official uniform, but soon got into it and was quickly led astray and into the Brianharmonic by the end of the first term, which began his transformation from being sensible and studious to what you see before you today. Okay, so I didn’t do a very good job of leading him astray, but there are of course other things I can bring to your attention:
Brian’s fear of flying – totally irrational on the basis that he is not happy to put his life in the hands of another person. Bit hypocritical, don’t you think, for someone planning a career as a surgeon? I am told he bravely overcame this on his elective in India but didn’t sleep for 3 days on the way back when they were delayed, until he was back in Britain.
Brian also is renowned for his love of cats, whether he will be able to leave “his babies” for the duration of the honeymoon remains to be seen.
Traditionally I now have to offer some words of advice for the happy couple – but it’s been a hard week at work and so I struggled to come up with anything original. So I thought I’d just give them the same advice I give to all my patients, which is “don’t smoke”, “eat a sensible balanced diet”, and “exercise for at least half an hour five days per week”!
So finally, on a more serious note, I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Brian and Peggy – Brian has been a great friend over the years and in Peggy he has met someone who makes him really happy, I hope he does the same for her! I have no doubt that they have a great future together and thank them both for inviting me to share this day with them.
It gives me great pleasure to invite you all to charge your glasses, and be upstanding as we toast the new couple, Mr and Mrs Brian and Peggy ******* – The Bride and Groom – ‘The Bride and Groom’.