It’s an emotional time, even the country’s in tiers

At the moment any kind of normal seems a long way off. We are living in a fully masked state of paranoia, where seeing friends and family can all too easily become a criminal offence, and going on holiday is about as fantastical as a trip to the moon. As for weddings, well you can get married but by the time you’ve included the person you’re marrying, 2 sets of parents and a child or two, you’ll soon find yourself choosing between the best man and the hired cellist.

The outlook is uncertain, and thanks to the media and politicians on both sides, it doesn’t look like becoming any less muddier any time soon – if Boris Johnson’s flip flop decision making looks chaotic, it would be nothing compared to Keir Starmer’s desire to lock down every month from here to eternity.

Seriously? Has Mr Starmer or Mr Johnson ever tried to run a business? Do they have any idea of the ever quickening doom that’s enveloping businesses around the country? It’s not just the events, hospitality or wedding industries that are being hit, we’re all ‘getting it’ in some way – retail, travel, sport…it’s all going to hell in a handcart, and nobody anywhere in the government or media is offering any sense of reality, or any counter argument.

The media is going bananas about ‘surging cases’, ramping up the jeopardy to the maximum, and seem to revel in every second of it. We are being told about the ‘very grave’ situation in Manchester where Tier 3 Uber Lockdown is needed as there are 427 cases per 100,000 population.

So, that means that 0.47% of the population has tested positive for it, not suffering from it, not showing symptoms, they just have it. When were we ever bothered about people who had flu but weren’t suffering from it? If you take into account recent ONS surveys which suggest around 80% of those ‘cases’ will be asymptomatic, then the situation begins to look slightly warped…and then if you factor in the false positives produced by testing, our reaction begins to look farcical.

Reducing weddings to 15 people, is as meaningless as it is useful. You’re simply delaying a really important event, which most people use as a pivot for bigger life changes. Starting a family, buying your forever home, are all things which follow a wedding, and let’s not overlook the elderly relatives who might not be around in a year or so time.

There will be some who will follow Matt Hancock’s line of ‘don’t kill grandma’…all the elderly people I know just want to get on with their lives and see their family. They were always going to die of something, and if that something just happens to be Covid, then as far as they’re concerned, so be it. In the winter of 2017/2018, an extra 50,000 people died in the UK over the winter death toll average due to Flu. The country didn’t stop. Nothing changed.

Yes, Coronavirus isn’t pleasant for some, and it will be the last disease a few people will ever have, but the other side….the lives, education, the economy and the NHS waiting list that currently stands at 4.2 million…isn’t it about time we looked at this differently?

Covid 19 Shotgun Wedding

THE COMPLETELY LEGAL WAY TO HAVE AS MANY GUESTS AS YOU LIKE AT YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION NOW.

As we are all well aware, meeting each other and having a good time has never been so tricky. In fact, it’s largely illegal. You can only be amassed in groups of six, which probably works well for things like dogging, but is hopeless if you’re a family of five and want to invite grandma and granddad for Sunday lunch.

However, all is not lost, as the government has made sure there is a completely legal way to have as many guests as you like at a wedding…you just make it a shoot lunch instead.

Yes, quite incredibly, as thousands of hopeful couples around the country have their wedding plans obliterated by a constantly changing idea of what is safe and what is not, Boris Johnson has deemed that there can be unlimited numbers of guests at a shoot lunch.

The passage below is taken directly from the British Association for shooting and conservation, and refers to the stipulated government Covid policy when it comes to a shoot lunch:

“If on a business premises then more than six people may be present in total, but they must be in individual groups no larger than six, must maintain social distancing and may not socially interact with other groups.”

So that’s it. As long as you’ve built up an appetite hosing down overweight flightless birds, then there is absolutely no limit on numbers.

I’m guessing that quite a few members of the current government know what a shoot looks like from the inside. So, they will be well aware that as the bar generally opens at about 9 o’clock in the morning at the latest, the idea that they’re then going to sit down to an even boozier lunch, and not cuddle each other after drinking their own bodyweight in port is quite frankly ridiculous. In fact, it’s complete nonsense.

Why can it possibly be OK to have organised lunches separated into tables of six for a bunch of blokes in tweed going about non essential recreational activities, when there are couples up and down the country whose plans have been decimated?

To limit weddings to only 15 people has simply made the whole event a non starter. Venues, suppliers and the dozens of businesses that are created around the £12 billion a year wedding industry, are all being walloped. And by the way, they are all viable businesses.

The lost revenue will mean those that can survive will have to suffer another torturous 6 months, meanwhile couples are losing huge deposits, and many face a now 2 year wait due the number of cancelled weddings. And that also impacts planning families and question marks that hang over elderly relatives who may not be here in 2 years.

So, it’s easy. Just have a mini shoot on the morning of your wedding, whack a few birds whilst wearing tweed, and then sit down to your shoot lunch, which then becomes the wedding breakfast.

On every level – the privilege, the self serving disparity between who really needs help and who really doesn’t, and the human misery that stems from that – it is entirely unforgiveable.

Boris hasn’t been this confused since Father’s Day

FAKE PLASTIC NEWS

Boris Johnson spoke in Parliament this week, to confirm his belief that even if he doesn’t have clue, and neither does his dad, that most other people somehow understand his Covid-19 restrictions.

It came only hours after his carefully muddled and confused persona collided perfectly with his muddled and confused grasp of his very own CV restrictions.

Unclear as to whether North East humans should be allowed to mix with other North east humans indoors, a lot of head scratching and mumbling ensued, with a source saying he hadn’t seen Boris this confused since he opened his cards on Father’s Day.

He later issued an apology saying he’d misspoken, very much in the same way as the time he referred to the Turkish President as the Wankerer from Ankara.

Boris, who has almost 83 children from over 200 mothers, has found juggling running the country during Covid, with keeping it in his trousers, increasingly difficult. Asked recently whether a long awaited antidote may soon be found, a Boris spokesman simply replied that maybe the most expedient thing to do was to simply get his nuts chopped off.

With the north east firmly in his sights, Boris feared a backlash solidarity from bête noire, Liverpool. However, he was hugely relieved to later discover Liverpool is in a completely different country near Scotland called the north west, and they can’t complain as he’s locked most Scousers indoors anyway.  

On Radio 4, the business secretary said the rules were quite clear and understanding them wasn’t a game show… in stark contrast to his boss’s private life which is a heady mix of Runaround, Love Island and One born every minute.

It comes as mounting pressure grows on Boris to open up about his relationship with a Russian violinist. Rumours that key aides are desperately trying to develop a suit trouser that features no opening fly, can neither be confirmed nor denied.

Man accidentally marries horse

Derek Bludger from Hull was left fuming yesterday after his poor eyesight led him to say ‘I do’ to a massive horse. ‘I’m furious to be honest with you’ he steamed ‘if the bloody government had come out with their lockdown eye test advice sooner, me and the horse wouldn’t be in this situation.’

This comes just a day after the Government expanded on its Coronavirus self isolation eye testing advice. Following the groundbreaking discovery by Dominic Cummins that experimental 60 mile car journeys can highlight eyesight deficiencies, Health Secretary Matt Hancock laid out exactly what the new test looks like.

‘It’s really very simple’ mumbled the pastel shaded Matt ‘all we’re asking the public to do if they feel that their eyes are failing, is to head out in a car, with no more than one other person they’re completely not related to, and drive for no less than 60 miles.’

When questioned about the specifics of the test, the ever physically shrinking Health Secretary said ‘It’s really very simple, if you don’t hit anything then your current prescription is fine…if you knock over a bollard, then again, as you say, we will have to look at that and that is something we’re looking at in a clear and transparent way…if you plough into a school gate, as you quite rightly say, this is something we are doing our best to tackle and we all need to tackle this together…if you wallop a pedestrian then again I quite rightly agree with you as does everyone, you should probably get some of those jam jar glasses.’

When questioned by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg how non drivers could test their eyesight in the current circumstances, Matt Hancock was able to give some insight ‘Yeah, we’ve been working flat out on this, and at the moment it’s either that thing you do with a sharp knife and your hand spread out on a table, or axe juggling…’

This has come too little too late for the hapless Derek ‘This is the last thing I needed. All I had to do was a 60 mile car journey to see if the bloody things worked and now I’m married to a horse. World gone mad if you ask me’

Michael Gove to donate brain for best man robot

Bob Geldof like many wise men, have said all along that although we’re living in straightened times with the Coronavirus, something good would come out of it, and he’s only gone and proved himself right.

Scientists and engineers at London’s Imperial College have been beavering away behind the scenes for the last 18 months to build a best man robot capable of replacing the real thing by 2032. According to insiders it’s been reasonably straightforward replicating a five foot 11 frame with one shaky leg, however, the real issues have been with finding the right kind of brain.

Speaking to us yesterday Professor Brian Storm said ‘we’ve really been looking for a central processing unit capable of spouting complete shit for unlimited periods of time who doesn’t necessarily need a whole load of information to keep talking.’

However, finding that level of sophistication has been incredibly difficult, and making it seem like a genuine best man, almost impossible. ‘It’s true we’ve been looking at all kinds of brains’ the professor continued ‘but you also need a hard wired ambivalence that when everything is going tits up and nobody understands a word you’re saying, you can just keep opening the mouth and continue to confuse everyone. It’s the essence of a classic best man performance’

Things hadn’t been looking great for the team at Imperial until an intern from Heidelberg University’s department of genetic experiments, Messer Schmidt, saw Michael Gove on the LBC interview where he attempted to pretend that he too, just like Dominic Cummings, has made 60 mile car journeys, just to see if his eyes worked.

‘I am so excited on listening to Herr Gove’ Schmidt began enthusiastically…’because to be honest with you I wasn’t sure if I am not understanding this correctly, or if this man really is a Dummkopf!’

‘In Germany we have saying that pleasuring yourself makes you go blind. No wonder this guy must check his eyes, he is the number one self pleasurer for sure!’

The team at Imperial knew they had struck gold after reviewing the interview and witnessing first hand the cabinet minister’s unrivalled ability to talk utter nonsense and to keep going when he realises how much shit he’s in.

‘We got straight on to the cabinet office because a brain like that doesn’t come around too often, and we felt that donating it to science would be just the kind of feelgood story the Government was looking for right now.’ said Professor Storm, ‘hat’s off to Govey though, he said straight off the bat we were welcome to it, as he didn’t use it that often, and when he did, it only seemed to make things worse.’

The team hope to bring Michael Gove in to transfer his brain, within the next day or so, although they have been warned by the cabinet minister they could be taking on more than they bargained for with continuous self promotion and random acts of treachery.

The only type of best man speech

There is only one type of best man speech…and that’s a really funny one. I often speak to guys who say that all they want to do is get up there, say a few lovely words about the bride and groom, toast them and sit down. Well, do so and repent at leisure.

Whether you like it or not, everyone is expecting you to make them laugh. We all know that the best man speech is billed as the entertainment, and if you don’t step up to that role, then there are going to be a lot of confused and disappointed people. In most cases people want to go for a short speech because many best men are paralysed by the thought of making a room full of people laugh, and I completely get that. Making people laugh is a hard won skill, and it takes a lot of thought to get it just right. Those guys that can just rock up and do it effortlessly are few and far between. However, you can’t run from that challenge, because you’re missing the point – this speech isn’t about you, it’s about the groom.

Yes, you might be worried about being funny, but the groom is expecting a comedy send off and it’s your job to deliver. You’ve got to remember that the guests are all on your side, so they’re willing and ready to laugh along with your speech, and if it goes a bit wonky, they’ll love you for trying. And nothing beats the feeling of sitting down to raucous applause and laughter. You’ve got to believe you can do this, and it’s far better to have tried than to give up before you start.

Fake plastic…telegrammes

So many best men that I write for all say the same thing: ‘I haven’t got anything to say!’, and this can be for a whole variety of reason. Sometimes you really don’t know the groom that well, you maybe haven’t hung out with him for years, maybe he’s really boring, or maybe he’s so naughty there’s nothing you can say.

At this point I always advocate a little bit of fantasy to glue the whole thing together, I’m not saying invent stories to take the groom apart, but merely sprinkle some fantasy dust on it to make it funnier. However, it should be all rooted in truth.

If he wanted to be a spaceman when he was younger, then I would use that to create some sort of fictitious application to NASA, or if he keeps crashing cars, then link that back to the fact he’s been born with a big head and this impairs his ability to move and respond in a usual fashion. You can then stretch out both these types of scenarios to write the remainder of the speech – what life was like for a failed spaceman from Didcot. As long as it’s funny and related back to his character, then all is good.

However, whatever you do, don’t be tempted by the fake telegram business, which at best is nonsense and at worst extremely unfunny. There are Chelsea Pensioners that are predated by some of these gags, and as most best men live in fear of delivering a gag and it not working, then this is shark infested waters. Everyone in the room will have heard these before, and they’ve all had to go through the motions of laughing gently whilst sighing and desperately thinking of how to get more wine to the table.

These telegrammes normally come in the form of ‘the girls from the Ping Pong Strip Club in Bangkok say hi’. Whichever way you look at it, it’s seriously unfunny. Maybe when the first guy said it in 1908, it had the necessary comedy clout, but the crucial thing with humour is exposure. The more you’re repeatedly exposed to the same gag, the less funny it becomes, and the bottom line with a best man speech is…it needs to be funny.

Cov-I-Do…IKEA?

Obviously as we’re all sitting at home eating biscuits, watching box sets and trying to work out things like ‘why isn’t Father Christmas a main player in the Bible’, there isn’t much appetite for weddings.

No bride in the world wants to get married when the family photograph will look like something out of Holby City, and elderly guests will start keeling over into the buffet with dry coughs. So, that has brought about the subject of online weddings. It seems that there are some people who would like to think that if you can hold a family quiz online, then why not shrug off the limitations of lockdown, and hold your marriage ceremony online?

First we must address the positives. It would mean that a load of people you felt you had to invite but don’t really like, would still be invited, but you wouldn’t have to endure watching them eat their way through your savings, and then throwing it up into a bush outside. The money saved could then be spent on things that really matter like your own personal air drop of face masks, flour and pasta, and a tanker full of disinfectant. It would also allow you to make your groom speech without the pressure of a live audience whose assessment of your performance can be all too real on the day. And as nobody will have made any effort whatsoever, it will really cut down on the thank yous.

Guests can also pretend to be interested whilst having you on permanent mute as they maintain their semi comatose lockdown state of mental inertia, spreadeagled on the sofa, tongue hanging out getting gradually larger in loose fitting clothing.

The negatives are simply that it would be a joyless, cold, emotionally devoid experience, that would make online grocery shopping look like a good time. Of course there are couples out there who need to get married for more pressing reasons than just wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. Health and family issues make it a very real and immediate problem, and for them it could be a great answer, the main problem is the only people offering this is…IKEA.

Yes, the flatpack fun guys had put together an online wedding service, which if its meatballs were anything to go by would have been delicious, good value and a great cure for a hangover. Unfortunately it’s all in Swedish and you have to be in the same room as each other for it to happen…which sounds an awful lot like a conventional wedding if you ask me.

Bespoke wedding speech writer

Best Man Speech for Brother of Groom

There’s a saying that you should write about what you know, because obviously it’s much easier to be more accurate, convincing and engaging when you’re a slight expert on the subject. So, on the face of it, writing a best man  speech for your brother might seem blissfully straightforward, but as many people out there already know: nothing could be further from the truth.

Many grooms make their brother the Best Man for the wedding – it keeps a lot of people happy and in many cases they are the ideal choice. The problem comes when you’re considering actually how to attack the speech because you’ll have a sudden rising panic that apart from a few incidents as toddlers and on family holidays, you really don’t know the first thing about him, and how on Earth are you going to fill up a ten minute speech? I’ve said many times that a great best man speech is not a collection of stories and it’s not an assassination, it’s a warm inclusive, but very funny look at who your brother is and what he’s about.

So in order to write it successfully you need to have a complete change in your approach.

STRAIGHT LINES

At the moment you’re almost certainly looking at things along straight lines – an intro, a couple of stories and a sentimental ending. The straight line approach works only if all the guests have had frontal labotomies. You need to take the elements form those stories and match it with his character in order to make some witty observations. What does that story say about him? How does it relate to what he became? Extrapolate your thoughts and forget the detail.

IMAGINATION

Stop worrying about what you don’t know about your brother and make what you don know work even better, Use the facts you have about him to generate a description which should be quite happily held together with complete fantasy. In other words it doesn’t matter what you say about him as long as it’s funny and has some sort of basis in fact. Dream up what you like, the guests don’t really care, they just want to laugh.

FRIENDS

A lot of best men brothers I speak to, decide to go fact finding from his friends at university, work or renting days. This can sometimes work but more often than not the information is sparse and confused, and tends to send you down the anecdote route. Nothing will sound more unconvincing than recounting a story about your brother of which you have no first hand knowledge.

The best way to attack it is to look at the following things and then weave a narrative out of them:

  1. Likes
  2. Dislikes
  3. Passions
  4. Career
  5. Disasters

Remember keep it light on detail, as funny as you possibly can and within the magic 1300 word boundary, and you’ll be on to a winner. And when it comes to writ in something funny you’ll know when it happens – if you’re unconvinced what you’ve written isn’t that funny, then I can tell you without reading it – it’s not. You can always visit the best man speech structure page for more hints and tips.

Both the bride and the groom seem to be enjoying his groom's speech, as he carefully reads aloud form his notes.

Groom Speech Help!

Are you ready for the big performance?

 

It’s about this time of year that Grooms the world over start thinking about THAT speech. Christmas, has been and gone, there are no baubles to hide behind anymore. What you’ve been putting off thinking about for a few months now is turning into a hard reality and the sooner you get to grips with it the better. So, where to start? What is a Groom’s Speech all about and just what should you bear in mind?

 

Performance

Well, like it or not the Groom’s Speech is a performance, or at least it should be. Nothing will send a shiver down the spine of newly married bride more than the sight of her beloved unable to string a sentence together and completely incapable of raising a smile. If he can’t do that…what will he be like out putting the bins out, or fixing the tap or even walking and talking? Your genetic make up will be found wanting and quite rightly. If you think this is simply a stand up and say thanks for coming, you should probably apologise in advance.

Thanks

A Groom’s Speech has the most targets to hit of all the speakers, so you’ve got to be on your game and plan it so that the speech doesn’t end up being one huge procession of thanks. Listening to people thank other people you’ve never heard of and don’t care about is about as fun as dropping the toaster in the bath. Think about how to make each acknowledgement funny.

Humour

Don’t think because you’re not the Best man that a warm, humorous speech isn’t expected. It is. Any wedding speech without comedy is an opportunity wasted and simply makes listening to it a complete chore. If you haven’t said something funny within the first paragraph, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re looking for groom speech help and find somebody who disagrees with this, then they are talking nonsense.

Paid Services

Forget thanking the wedding planners, florists, cupcake makers, photographers, ring makers or indeed the guy who sold you the £3000 suit. You have a limited time to talk about the people who are important in your life and mean something to you. If you’ve paid for a service they should be thanking you, not the other way around.

Parents

This is the one opportunity in your life to publicly thank your mum and dad, so don’t gift it. There’s a tendency for a groom to be so head over heels in love with his bride, he falls head over heels in love with her parents. You should mention both sets in equal measure.

Toasts

You’ve potentially got the most toasts to make, although the only one you HAVE to make is to the bridesmaids. It’s always a nice touch to toast the parents and many grooms like to make a toast to absent friends. If you’re thinking about more than three toasts, don’t. Also never make guests stand for them, otherwise the whole thing is going to look like some sort of up and down oompah band performance.

Your Bride

There’s no question that this is her day, she’s the star of the show and all the attention should quite rightly be on her. However, when it comes to the speeches there needs to be some balance because listening to a ten minute ode to my beautiful bride will soon have the guests trying to stick forks into their heads to end the torture. You should always have a decent chunk about her in there but avoid making it a gushing, uncomfortable voyage around my partner.