For those of you who don’t know who I am, I’m Daves big brother Kev, and I’m honoured to be his best man today. It’s the first time Dave’s let me be best at anything since I was about 12! You can see from looking around this room, Dave and Helen are a couple that have many friends.
First of all I’m sure you’ll agree that Helen looks lovely, as do her bridesmaids and flowers girls.
And what an amazing venue we’re in
To be honest with you all when trying to think of stories for the traditional character assassination of the groom it has been difficult, I was hoping that the stag do was going to give me plenty of ammunition. I wish I could tell you that Dave went wild, got blind drunk, spent an hour chasing a turkey to put in one of the rooms, missed the bus going home after a night out, ended up going back to the wrong farm and topped the evening off by getting forcibly removed by the police, but that was Gary!
Gary they’re still pestering me for your details …
As brother s we’ve spent a lot of time together and like many brothers most of this time has been focused on trying to find the best way to inflict pain on each other or get into trouble, whether that’s being shot in the face point black by a BB gun or wrestling in the grain store (dad used to get quite involved in this as well) and trying not to get caught by mum as we walked grain all round the house, or stealing some kittens and only to be given away by their incessant meowing and the infestation of fleas that we both caught.
Dave was always a little heavy handed growing up. He’s the only person I know who was, genually, almost expelled from playschool and earned the nick name CRUSHER. Mum and dad always tells the story about when he was a baby, barely crawling, he climbed up onto the chair, then table, and then bladdered a plant to death with a plastic hammer –
He says his tree surgery has come on a long way, other may argue it hasn’t…
When Dave and Helen started going out I remember Dave coming back one night with a couple of pheasants that Helen had been given, I think Dave had big plans to dress them and take them back to Helens parents ready to cook, a good way to impress the inlaws. He asked me to show him and went at it like a bull in a china shop, grabbed a load of feathers and ripped off big chunks of skin. I think when he finished it could be described, at best, as road kill. I’m not sure what her parents thought of it when he gave them to them, or if he took my advice to chuck them in the hedge on his way there and pretend the dog stole it.
His heavy handedness applies to other things in his life…
Years ago at Reading festival we were sat round a smouldering camp fire on the first night, the wood we bought just wouldn’t burn and everyone who was trying to light the fire was inebriated. Suddenly a drunken Dave jumps up and shouts “I know what will work – PARFIN!” and he gets a bottle of it and throws it over the fire. Unfortunately I was sat the other side of his little fire lighting attempt and a line of paraffin goes onto the fire, lights and engulfs my legs. I jump up, my legs on fire, people and tents everywhere, All Dave offered was to shout the words “DROP AND ROLL, DROP AND ROLL!” Over and over.
Luckily all he’d done was singed off all the hairs on my legs, like a low level Brazilian!
It was at a previous Reading festival that I noticed Dave had got an eye for Helen and What a whirlwind romance it’s been since then, just ten short years to get to where they are now and I don’t think I’m alone when I say, that I for one could see them here from the first time they told me they were going out, they always seemed to be made for each other.
In fact I’d say that this marriage is more than that, it’s a matter of survival for Dave now. When Helen goes away things go downhill rapidly. In fact one day last year I was giving Dave a hand, he hadn’t been shopping in two weeks, cupboards were getting bare and Claire phoned me up to say that she was going to come over and is there anything we needed. He paused for a while and couldn’t think of anything, then he said “Oh, milk if she wants a cup of tea” and then just as I was about to hang up he shout “TOILET PAPER, TELL HER TO BRING TOILET PAPER!” Good job I didn’t have to find that one out the hard way!
I do have to question Helens sanity in wanting to join our family as well. One night sticks in my mind when we were a little cruel to her. I was getting ready to go and help dad feed the sheep, when I heard Helens car pull up. Giggling to myself I turned off all the lights and hid behind the door way. When I jumped out on her she must have jumped three foot in the air, she was a bag of nerves. What a reaction! I chuckled all the way up to the sheep shed and when I got there dad came over to me with a big grin on his face and starts telling me how I should have seen how far Helen jumped when he booed on her getting out the car. Twice within a couple of minutes, it’s a wonder she ever came back.
It’s tradition to give you some advice for married life in the best mans speech. So I’ll give you this from one of the happiest married couples I know, my own mum and dad. Last year Emma asked them why there relationship had lasted so long. They both answered at exactly the same time.
Dad said “Because I love her”
And mum said “Because we never see each other!”
But in all seriousness I can honestly say that as the father to two young girls I’d be more than happy if they ended up with a man who is as honest, thoughtful and caring as my brother. He’s the best brother I could hope to have and a true friend who I can always count on.
He’s found a truly amazing woman to marry, for a long time Helen has already been a sister to Claire and I and an aunty to my children but it’s great for them to finally make it official.
I wish you many years of love and happiness
Please be upstanding for the new Mr and Mrs Alviti