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Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the bridesmaids, I would like to thank John for his kind words. For once in my life, I find myself agreeing with him, they look stunning, and only rightly outshone by our bride, Lisa. And, I’m sure you’ll agree with me gentlemen, today is a sad day for single men, as another beauty leaves the available list. And ladies, I’m sure you’ll agree that today’s passing by without much of a ripple.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Stan. I’ve been John’s best friend for nearly 24 years. I’ve known him for a similar period.
And all the time we’ve spent growing up together means that he’s had as much of a part in developing my sense of humour as anyone. So, whilst I have tried to make this speech funny, it’s his fault if it’s not.
I have very fond memories of growing up with John. I’ve been his partner in crime on many a wild occasion and, in quieter times, a close confidant to whom he could tell almost anything. And I do mean anything – which has provided me with ample material for my speech this afternoon.
John and I have done many things together during our almost life-long friendship. Over the years we’ve built go-carts together, rode our bikes together, played football together, bunked school together, tried to chat up girls together – note the word “tried” there – fixed up cars together, occasionally got drunk together and now we are sharing a top table together.
And like all friends, we’ve certainly had our ups as well as our downs. I remember back to times when a petty argument would arise from nowhere. Then John would call me smelly, and I’d call him ‘big ears’. And then it would spiral out of all proportion and we’d each end up running home in tears. But sure enough, the next day, John would drop me an email from work and we’d make up. As good mates do, however old.
But it was particularly in our teenage years that these little spats became quite frequent, and would often arise over a young lady. They’d generally be of the ‘I saw her first’, ‘no, I did’ variety. I’d like to say we worked these disputes out equitably, but John was the smooth-talking, early-developer of the two of us and he genuinely believed he could have any girl he pleased. Unfortunately for him, though, he never managed to please any.
Until, that is, he met his lovely bride. Since then I’ve never known him to be happier. And, considering he’s now spending less time down the pub and less time on the golf course, it’s certainly a testament to the way he feels about Lisa.
Now, as John’s chief golf partner and drinking buddy, it’s not that great for me. But I’m man enough to stand here today and tell you that I don’t resent it. And how could I when I see how very happy they are together.
And I, as much as all of you, want that happiness for myself. Err, sorry, I mean, I want their happiness to last forever. And I do.
So although I’m not actually married myself, I thought it might be helpful if I offered them each a little piece of advice.
Lisa: you can either tell John to do something or tell him how to do something. But please, not both.
And John: getting married bestows upon you many, many obligations. But remember, foreplay is only optional.
Ladies and gentlemen, on a final and serious note, please be upstanding and raise your glasses to my very best friend and his beautiful new wife. To John and Lisa