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Speech by Alan Liddell

Speech Type: Best man
Speech Creator: Alan Liddell
Speech Date: 30/05/2010 10:32:03

I'd like to begin by saying thank-you to Gillian and Brian for being kind enough to let me play a small part in their big day, and thanks on behalf of their bridesmaid Lauren, who did a wonderful job and was a great support to Gillian. I'm sure you'll all agree Lauren looks fantastic, eclipsed rightly by Gillian, who looks, well, just stunning. Brian on the other hand looks, well, just stunned!

 For those of you who don't know me, I'm Alan and I'm Brian's brother. It was a great honour to be asked to be Brian's Best Man but with the role, comes the worry of writing this speech. I can't say how nervous I am but this is about the fifth time today I have stood up from a warm seat with a piece of paper in my hand…

 Now I've been told that a good Best Man speech should be like a lady's dress – short enough to catch your attention but long enough to cover the essentials.

 So where do you begin looking for ideas?

Well the obvious place seemed to be the Internet, so with endless resources at my fingertips I began searching the web.

And after a couple of hours searching I'd found some REALLY good stuff on the net, but ….then I remembered I was supposed to be looking for Best Man speeches!

 I did actually find LOADS of ready-prepared speeches on the internet.… but sadly, NONE of them were about a couple called Gillian and Brian ….so it looks like it's down to me after all.

 I'd like to say well done to Jim, Craig and my son Jack, our ushers today, for doing a great job. It didn't come as a surprise that Jim and Craig had a good sense of direction and knew their left from their right. On Brian's Stag Do we went go-karting and they finished well ahead of Brian and me. Actually Brian as always, was a true gentleman and he stayed near the back of each race making sure everyone got round safely. Out of 33 taking part he came about 27th!

 Well what can I tell you about The Life of Brian? Well he's not the messiah and for most of the time he's not a naughty boy. Firstly he was named after a boy in my class at primary school. My mum and dad looking for inspiration after naming myself and my brother David, threw the question open to a 6 yr old and 4 yr old. What would we call the new baby? Once Paddington Bear and Bagpuss had been ruled out as suitable names, Brian was chosen and the legend was born.

 The 9th November 1974 was that magical day. Movie star looks, an illustrious career, and one of the best footballers I've ever seen. No, not Brian but he shares his birthday with Alessandro Del Piero who plays for Juventus and Italy.

 On the day Brian and Alessandro were born, number 1 in the music charts was Jamaican reggae singer Ken Boothe, with a song called Everything I Own (Boy George had a number 1 with it in 1987- I'm not going to sing it but it contains the line “The finest years I ever knew, were all the years I had with you”. So hopefully that's a good omen for Gillian and Brian's future together. Coincidentally the number 1 on the day Gillian was born was Dancing Queen by Abba. One of the best loved songs from one of the world's best ever groups. Just by chance Dancing Queen is also Gillian's nickname as we'll see later when the music starts.

 Everyone would agree that Gillian looks sensational today and knowing how much effort she put into planning today she would have hoped for George Clooney at the altar instead of our Brian.(he has a home near your honeymoon hotel so you never know, you might still meet him). I was told that one of the roles of a best man is to make sure the groom looks good at the wedding. Well I've tried my best, but if God couldn't get it right first time round, what chance did I have. Brian was a bit nervous last night but after a few drinks he slept like a baby- he pee'd the bed and woke up twice crying for his mum. Thankfully he's scrubbed up well today.

 Now, I've already mentioned a couple of coincidences and whilst doing my research on the internet I found an interesting fact about today's date. Not many people will know this but on this date 76 years ago- on the 29th May 1934 – the infamous Alcatraz prison accepted its first civilian inmates. This was a place where young men were taken away from their families, where they led a life of solitary confinement from which there was no escape. They were endlessly tortured, humiliated and basically forced to do whatever their masters wanted. Now, I'm sure that when Gillian picked today for the wedding it was a complete coincidence.

 One thing that everyone would agree on is that Brian never settles for second best and he has certainly excelled today in making Gillian his wife. My mum and dad are thrilled to welcome Gillian as a daughter- in-law and I'm sure Bob and Patricia are also delighted to welcome Brian into their family. In fact Bob was saying earlier that he's got a ceiling needing painted and he can't find his step ladder.

 Those of us who are married know that sometimes married life can have its ups and downs a bit like a step ladder but if you both take the steps together you'll get where you both want to go. Also don't forget some important steps along the way such as good communication, compromise and mutual respect. A bit of advice Brian “Your wife is USUALLY always right”. Massage her ego every day and tell her she is always right. I like to do this when I make a cup of tea for Jill. I put my cup on the left and when she says “which one is mine?” I say “You're always right” Problem solved and everyone's happy.

 Now you'll be glad to hear I'm coming to the end of my speech and everyone can relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. I wanted to say thanks to Gillian and Brian for being very supportive over the last three years when my son Mark was ill. Brian is a great friend as well as a great brother. I'm sorry I don't have any embarrassing stories to tell. I was hoping that on the stag night his friends and work-mates might have had loads to tell me about the kind of person he is. I was looking for a bit of juicy gossip, maybe for someone to dish a bit of dirt on Brian but alas not one person had anything but praise. He seems almost a father figure to some as it turns out, and overall the consensus was he's just a great guy, a real friend and someone you can depend on. So it looks like Gillian really has got the best man after all.

 I'd like to bring my speech to an end by reading out a few cards- to Gillian, good luck, if it doesn't work out call me- that's from Brad Pitt

To Brian-we're going to miss you at the pool parties; you're a lovely guy- that's from Michael Barrymore

 If everyone can make sure they have a drink, I'd like to propose a toast. To Gillian and Brian may they live long, laugh often and love always. Gillian and Brian…