by Jeremy Griffith
(on the occasion of his brother’s wedding)
Recently I had the pleasure of being best man at my brother’s wedding. It was one of the happiest events of my life, and also one of the most stressful. It was a beautiful ceremoy and I hope to share a little of it with you here on my blog. I’ve published the best man toast speech below as written as well as the video. How did I do?
Angie and Jason, I wish you a hundred years of happiness and more.
Regards: Jeremy Griffith
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wedding celebration of Jason and Angie. My name is Jeremy and as you can clearly see, I am not the brother of the bride. (pause). As I was searching for help in creating the perfect best man speech I came across a lot of helpful Internet advice, the main theme of which went like this; make it memorable, make it brief and then be gone. By the time it’s your turn to speak, the father of the bride and the maid of honor have already given their lengthy spiels and the guests are eager to dive into their Champaign and wedding cake.
I’m supposed to say what a great guy my brother is. I find that I am at a loss for words in that regard. What do you say about a guy you shared a womb with? I’m supposed to say where we met and how we became friends. (Do you really want to hear about that?!) I’ve known Jason since the beginning. Actually it was a little before the beginning. (pause). Jason likes to brag that he was born first. I tell people he was blocking the only exit. (pause).
People ask me all the time what it’s like to be a twin. I kind of get miffed at such a silly question. I mean after all, I have no frame of reference. I ask them back, what is like to live the lonely life you live. I mean sure you may not be an only child, but you didn’t have a playmate precisely your own age now did you? “Oh!” They say, “I never really thought about it that way.” Now you have something else to think about it, carry on with your day!
When I’m a little less smug and a lot more thoughtful I say this in reply. “Imagine being born. And then you get to meet your best friend for life on day one! That is what it was like for me. That’s what it was like for me being a twin.
People ask me if you ever switched places? Did you notice anything amiss about the wedding you just witnessed? The answer is actually no, that became old hat nearly from the beginning. I spent my whole life trying to differentiate myself from my brother, which was tough since our mother insisted on dressing us alike. Some things never change, huh? People always ask me, “which one are you?” I always reply, “I don’t know! Which one are you?!” It’s fun with the older people because they’re not always sure.
People have approached me in all sorts of divergent and interesting places thinking I was that guy. It was fun when we were in college, they’d ask me law enforcement questions. I’d give them what I thought would be the very worst, most ridiculous possible answer, hoping they’d catch on. They never did. Jason has lost more than one friend in this way. I had a guy approach me across of sea of tents, in the middle of a sandstorm in Northern Kuwait, calling out to me, using the wrong name, “JASON!” I’m used to that. In fact as I get older I am mistaken for all sorts of people. People have started calling me by my other brother’s name, Gordon. If I hear myself being called Julie things will have really gone in the wrong direction.
This guy I met up with in Kuwait was actually someone I knew, in fact we’d both served with him in the National Guard. He was going to Afghanistan, I was returning home from Iraq, and we both talked about what a great guy Jason is. I find out a lot of interesting facts about my brother in this way. It doesn’t matter where you served with Jason, what country, what capacity, officer, NCO or enlisted, it’s always the same. Jason is a great leader, friend, someone you can depend on, with your very life. Foreign officers have commented on what a great guy Jason is. He served with coalition forces in Afghanistan this last time and his senior rater was a British Colonel, who also rated the Prince of Wales, Harry, (Big H) who killed all sorts of terrorists with his helicopter. The colonel wrote in Jason’s evaluation, “the bloke has a great sense of humor for a yank!” That’s high praise from the Brits. (They’re all a little dry.) All of these people came upon a realization that I had made almost right from the start, Jason is a great guy. Someone you can depend upon, even with your life.
Recently I find that I’ve been replaced as best friend number one. Jason has found someone else, and today, he made it official. He married his new best friend Angie.(I’m a little sad about that.) I know she’s a keeper because, I can hear it in his voice. He really loves her and is always talking about what they are doing together. He’s so happy. For years Jason and I have been bachelors and we wondered together when we would meet our partners for life. Getting a little hopeless and downtrodden as the years went on. We surmised that if there was someone for everyone than our someones must have both died early. Little did we know that God has a sense of humor and an odd sense of timing. It turns out that his lady was born in Vietnam, and mine was born in the Philippines. Thanks God, very funny! Ha ha! (you big jerk!)
Originally I was supposed to memorize a phrase in Vietnamese to toast the bride and groom in the bride’s language, but apparently Angie found out about it and fired me. This is how I know she has good sense as well as good taste. Little did she know I have a Vietnamese friend who I asked to help me with this part and he gave me a short phrase to memorize. It’s a traditional wedding blessing, goes like this, “Tram nam hanh phuc!” and it translates, “a hundred years of happiness!”
Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a full glass near you please pick it up and this time and toast with me to the bride and the groom. Angie, Jason, we your friends and family wish you the happiness of a hundred years and more. Congratulations. We love you. Cheers!”