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Speech by Nathan

Speech Type: Best man
Speech Creator: Nathan
Speech Date: 29/08/2012 15:17:33


I'm the one who drew the short straw – sorry, was given the great honour – of being the Best Man here today. I don't know why Luke chose me. It was either because I asked him to be my best man first (mine's next year, for those who are interested) OR because he thought I'd be much fairer and nicer to him then Craig or Tom would be.

Now, I'd just like to echo Luke's sentiments on the bridesmaids and ushers. I think everybody will agree that the bridesmaids have done a brilliant job of making sure that Claire went against her better judgement and actually showed up. Thanks also to ushers for sorting everyone for the ceremony.

First things first, I'd like to thank everyone for coming today to celebrate the marriage of Luke and Claire. Personally, I wish you'd all stayed at home so I didn't have to do this!


I suppose the first thing the best man should explain is how he knows the groom. Well, my name's Nathan and I'm Luke's older, more talented brother.

I think my parents must have seen what a success they'd made of this having-kids lark and thought they'd have another go and ended up with old Lukey here. Well, you can't win ‘em all.

Now, apparently the best man's job consists of two tasks:

    1. Firstly, the best man should make sure that the groom gets to his wedding on time and in decent form, sober and smart. It's basically my responsibility to make sure his suit, face and hair are in order. Now, I'm always up for a challenge … but that's a tall order by anyone's standards. What can I say – I did my best given what I had to work with. I did try to persuade him to go for the Sonic the Hedgehog spikes he sported through Primary school, but he wasn't having any of it!
    1. Secondly, a best man traditionally sings the groom's praises and tells you all about his numerous good points. Which is all very well and good, but Luke and Claire gave me a minimum of five minutes to fill so I had to think of something else to talk about…

I therefore thought I'd share a little story about how Luke and Claire got together.


Tom – usher extraordinaire over there – reliably informs me that he was the matchmaker of this particular little couple, at a shindig he was having for his birthday in Cleethorpes.

However, the first I ever heard about the fact Luke had a girlfriend was whilst I was living in Leeds. My parents had come round for the day to help with some decorating or repairs or something and were just about to leave when Luke rang mum to find out where she and dad were.

The conversation went on for a bit and we finally established that Luke was actually ringing to find out where the bucket was so that he could wash his car.

It didn't register for a few seconds but then it finally hit us, Luke was WASHING. HIS. CAR.

This could only mean one of two things:

    • He needed to sell it to pay off some horrendous gambling debts, or
    • Someone other than a teenage boy or close relative would be sitting in it.

Obviously, mum and dad were dispatched with specific instructions to find out more detail.

Anyway, it finally emerged that Luke had managed to get himself a girlfriend and that this particular girl was called Claire. And that car must have been mighty clean because, four years later, Claire agreed to marry him and that's the reason you're all here today.


Now, for anyone who has the dubious honour of writing a best man's speech in the future, I can say that it would be incredibly useful if you had a biography of the groom from which you could take the majority of your material.

And fortunately, I have just such a document in my possession. And not just any old biography I can tell you, but an AUTO-biography, penned – as you'd expect – by Luke himself! This isn't just any Luke either. It's a seven year old who was already starting to give us a glimpse into his future self.

Just as an extract, we'll start with Chapter 1: Introduction.

“My family was like a very quiet family before I was born. Before I was born there was already one person in my family and that was my brother Nathan. When I had been born my brother was jealous.”

Now, there's a lot to be jealous of with Luke. He's clever, successful and moderately good at sports. But it's not for any of those reasons that Luke thought I was jealous.

“When I had been born my brother was jealous.  I had a dummy.”

Clearly Luke thinks that having a dummy makes you “the man”. I've therefore got Claire a little gift, to help her keep Luke in line in the coming years.


Anyway, as you'd expect, that's not the only reference I get in this best seller. In fact, I'm mentioned again in the very next chapter, Chapter 2: As a baby.

“When I was about one my brother annoyed me a lot. I had to share a room with my brother.”

Now, I don't know why Luke wouldn't want to share a room with me. For anyone who has ever been to both my house and Luke and Claire's house, you'll have noticed that my house is fairly tidy and Luke's looks like a bomb has hit.

In fact, my dad went round to Luke's house once and dialled 999 – he thought they'd been burgled!

Obviously there's more to Luke then childhood stories, and I know a lot of you will be wondering how Luke turned into this odd looking boy you see beside me.

Well, we've always been an active family and Luke's being in his fair share of scrapes. Certainly mum tells me he always had a scab on his face when he was young, and that they'd never therefore get a good photo.

I've also helped to mess up his face over the years. Along with the numerous fights, I clearly remember throwing a tennis ball at him from about a foot away. It hit him straight in the nose and I've never seen so much blood!

I also remember shooting him with a BB gun. I was aiming for his stomach (which was a much smaller target when he was younger) and somehow managed to hit him near his eye!

Anyway, obviously Luke has grown up since then and would have no trouble beating me in a fight. Fortunately, I've got his school reports, and words can be all the more painful than violence!

The best examples I could find related to PE. Of course, there was no end of innuendo I could have chosen to quote, but, given that there's grandparents present, I thought I'd give him a little build up to something I know he's looking forward to later on today – The First Dance.

From Luke's PE report when he was in year 5:

“Luke enjoys this subject and is able to perform dances with a very good sense of rhythm and style.”

Now I know a lot of people have probably been wondering just what Claire see in Luke? Well I've known him for a long time and, to be fair, I don't know either, but maybe it's his dancing ability?!


The next step in this little route of joy is the advice section, where the older brother talks about how brilliant married life is.

However, unfortunately (for me!), the younger brother beat me to it and got married first. This, apart from causing me a considerable amount of grief with Anna, also means that I've got no personal experiences to pass on to the happy couple, or Luke in particular.

I therefore tried to find some happily married couples who could give me some material. But I couldn't find any, so back to Google I went.

Now, it's pretty likely that Luke will never get the chance to speak for himself again, so I thought I'd give him one final opportunity with some questions that any self-respecting husband would know the answer to.

QUESTION NUMBER ONE: Luke, what's the definition of compromise?

ANSWER: No, Luke, the definition of compromise is an amiable arrangement between husband and wife whereby they agree to let her have her own way.


QUESTION NUMBER TWO: Luke, why is marriage like a violin?

ANSWER: Because after the music stops, you still have the strings.

QUESTION NUMBER THREE: What's the best way to remember your wedding anniversary?

ANSWER: Forget it once.


That last one was just a joke – Luke would never be that stupid.

Now, Luke's infant and primary school teachers have hopefully given us some insight into his first dance and I think there's one more little gem which will set him in good stead for married life.

Taken from the “overview” section of Luke's 1997-98 school report:

“Luke listens attentively to instructions and is prepared to act upon them in an effort to improve his standard.”

Certainly something he'll need to continue to work on now he's married!


Joking aside, it's been a genuine privilege to be your best man. I couldn't have wished for a better brother and we're all very proud of you, and thrilled to see you marrying Claire.

On that happy note, Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me immense pleasure to ask you to join me in a toast to the bride and groom. I'm sure they'll have many happy years together.