There were several people at my brother’s wedding who told me that I did a great job with the best man speech. I appreciated the applause, there were a lot of laughs, and thank you to everyone for the post-speech support.
However, I’m hypercritical of myself.
I’m not going to cut and paste the entirety of the draft on here. A speech is a speech, and it should be designated as a you-kinda-had-to-be-there moment. Some of the key talking points were as follows:
- Emphasizing my being older, emphasizing my looking younger.
- Talking about my brother’s Jeff Goldblum-like nervous laugh as Erin walked toward the altar.
- Davy Crockett hat.
- “My brother always dressed well. He wore a suit of intoxication to his semiformal.”
- Bonding while being “grounded” for two hours at a time.
- How/When they met. How he kind of annoyed her.
- That my brother is a romantic at heart.
- That Erin has the baton of officially taking care and looking after him.
- Thanking my parents and Erin’s parents.
- “It’s about damn time.” (Because the priest wasn’t there.)
Still, I don’t think I did enough justice, and I don’t think I gave my brother enough credit. I was nervous, and that fact was fully admitted at the beginning of my oration. Although it wasn’t my first best man speech, it was blissful to realize that I cared about what I was going to say and how I was going to say it.
Mike is my one-and-only brother after all, and I’d do anything for him.
Due to nerves, I didn’t read my speech fluidly. Thoughts in the beginning, middle, and end were shuffled. Some things that I wanted to say were left out. Since they were left out and not read in-the-moment, I may as well continue here.
There was no desire to be comical either. I took some real tidbits and mentioned them. There were no elaborated or embellished stories about getting injured or drinking or anything crass or anything grossly tongue-in-cheek. I’m not a stand-up comic and neither are many people I know. The ones who are comical, have a natural wit. The others, those who try to be funny and adhere to the culture of modern slapstick and embellished humor, fail with flying colors.
It’s about being honest.
Without further ado:
Now that Erin and Michael have gotten married, Tara and I can be grateful that the pressure is taken off of our shoulders for a little bit longer. Although most of you are thinking that the pressure is actually still on and/or as pressing as ever, you might be wrong. Where our friends might be the source of this so-called pressure to find someone and get hitched, we won’t be hearing it from our parents.
No. We won’t. Since this wedding was so beautiful, the bar has been set pretty high. The memories of this will be reflected on for years and years to come. Even if there are three or four years as a buffer, there will be a lot to live up to.
But this isn’t a competition, of course. It’s an expression of love. Every wedding and moment is definitive as each is an expression of love.
Mike and Erin know how to throw a party. Between their 2TG (2nd Thanksgiving) and Parade Day Brunches, there really are no comparisons to how these days are celebrated. For those who are regular attendees, you understand and realize why you keep coming back. For those who have attended twice or thrice, you want to keep coming back and you pinch yourself when no one is looking. For those who attended once, you should feel lucky … and there is probably a good reason why you keep forgetting to come or why you were never asked back. For those who have attended, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.
It’s clear that there are large families here. It’s difficult to get everyone together when they’re dispersed all over the country. In order to entice everyone to make the trip, this couple decided to go big. They sat around one night and thought: “Hey, why not have a wedding? That will get people to come.”
They’ve been together for 12 years. They could have gone another seven years easily.
If you don’t know these two people, well, just watch for how they look at each other. Then you’ll understand.
There were several moments where I think my parents liked Erin more than my brother. This may be one of those moments. However, regardless if it is or isn’t one of those times, they now and officially have her as a daughter.
[Look over at parents] You guys can rest easily now.
This love is the yield of living ‘through thick and thin’ and patience and acceptance and arguments and resolution. This is the relationship that I’d like to have.