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Slighty different best man speech question... do I try and break them up?

BaconParabellumBaconParabellum Registered User regular
edited July 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm the best man at a wedding in about a month. The problem is I barely know the girl my buddy is marrying. They've been together about 5yrs, but I've probably had less than 5 conversations with her in that time. I have no stories about them as my buddy doesn't really get to hang out, and I've never really gone out with them.

So, beside the normal, "Toast to the beautiful bride and this guy," I'm coming up blank.

Part 2:
Not that it makes a lot of difference for the toast but she has basically cut ties with his side of the family (for him and her), and won't except anything from them help-wise for the wedding or gifts. I'm good friends with his parents/sister, and see them pretty often, much more than than I see him or he sees his parents, we're all within 5mi of each other. She's worn the pants the entire relationship, and up until lately he's completely gone with it always referring to decisions as "we decided" or "we're going to do this/that" but lately he's starting to say things like "she decided" or "I have no idea what she's doing in regards to wedding stuff."

Any general advice? Honestly, she's not a nice person, and it's really wearing on my buddy, he just looks tired and stressed all the time, terrible really. I tried to talk to him about 2yrs ago about if he really wants to marry this girl, but had no luck. I think he might be a bit more open to hearing it now based on his state of mind but it's hard to say. On a related note, one of his close cousins just a few weeks ago called off her wedding a couple months before it was going to happen, so that might be some sort of in?

Honestly I'm out of my league here, anything constructive would be much appreciated. This might just be more of a venting thread as I'm not expecting "the answer."
Thanks

BaconParabellum on
«1

Posts

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    For one, weddings are stressful. Cut her some slack. Two, girls do get to decide pretty much everything when a wedding is coming up. It's practically tradition. Don't try to break them up, that's silly and will never work.

    As far as your toast, you don't need to know her well. You could say something like "And I knew they were perfect for each other from the minute *friend's name* first started telling me about her and how his eyes just lit up" .... or something. Talk about your hopes for their future. Make some light hearted jokes. Keep it short if you're not confident.

    Lilnoobs
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Do not under any circumstance use your best man speech as a platform.

    This will make you YouTube famous in a bad way.

    He is a big boy, she is a big girl, and they can make their own decisions. He trusts you to be his best man; give him the support he wants on that day, even if it isn't what you think is "best" for him.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
    LilnoobsWezoinPsychotic OneEsseeDeebaserDr. FrenchensteinSceptre
  • MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    [snip]I take that back. Heavy handed[/snip]

    I'd recommend you have a heart to heart with your buddy. But I wouldn't make it about you breaking him up. Just talk to him about your concerns and let him know it's because you care about him.

    Mulletude on
    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger Steam-http://steamcommunity.com/id/DugDanger/
    Lilnoobs
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    Stop being such a Judge Reinhold.

    You don't know this girl. Either do a best man speech celebrating their wedding, or tell you're buddy that you can't do it and have him get someone else that can actually support him.

    LilnoobsMulletude
  • JHunzJHunz Registered User regular
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Stop being such a Judge Reinhold.

    You don't know this girl. Either do a best man speech celebrating their wedding, or tell you're buddy that you can't do it and have him get someone else that can actually support him.
    Absolutely. If you ever want to talk to him again after the wedding, you either do the best man thing right or don't do it at all.

    bunny.gif Gamertag: JHunz. R.I.P. Mygamercard.net bunny.gif
    Calixtus
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    If you don't support the marriage, you probably shouldn't be his best man.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
    Deebaser
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    If the question is "should I break them up?" the answer is always no.

    No matter how you spin it, you will be the enemy.

    This goes x10000 if you do this as the best man.

  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    While it may be satisfying to stand up and say "I am only the best man because I am the last friend he still has who his wife has not completely forced him to cut ties with. I come before you today not to give a speech toasting the happy couple, but instead to give a eulogy for the friend I have lost. While I know at some point shortly in the future I will likely be attending his actual funeral, at this point it is both an inevitability as well as a formality. I will always cherish the time me and best friend had. He was taken from us all to soon." do not under any circumstances do this unless you are willing to completely burn the bridge and not be friends anymore until she cheats on him or the marriage ends through some other means. In which case you might get one of those phone calls where they tell you they wish they had listened to you.

    I would say to give a nice speech saying all the things you want to say, and tell all the cool stories you want to tell during the bachelor party. During the wedding throw out some polite platitudes, smile like you mean it, and do not give her any ammo to demand he stop talking to you.

    If I was kidnapped, woke up in a lab, told they were going to replace my vocal cords with those of Tony Jay, and lock me in a sound booth until the day I die I would look those bastards right in the eye and say "Alright you sons of bitches lets do this. This one is for the children."
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Just tell the truth that you've outlined here.

    "I would like to give a speech about how awesome the bride and groom are together. However, I don't know since in X years I haven't..." and so on. I know the majority opinion here is to just go bland and generic, but god damn that's boring and you only live once. He wants you to be the best man? Tell him how you feel and then just tell the truth at the speech. Will this be popular? No. But it will be a lot more meaningful than trite shit and white lies.

  • AvrahamAvraham Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    but god damn that's boring and you only live once.

    Being a guest at an expensive dinner party is not the time to be a rebel, it is the time to be gracious like a boring adult.

    Do not act like a sitcom character. Do not publicly humiliate your friend and his fiancee.

    :bz: :bz: :bzz:
    Mortious
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Yeah, that would be about as "meaningful" as dropping a deuce on the wedding cake.

    OP, if you don't feel comfortable giving a speech for your friend CELEBRATING his marriage, step aside. Dont be an asshole. You're supposed to be doing your friend a favor, not hopping up on a soapbox.

    Winning speech template:
    1 thank everyone for coming
    2 compliment the bride for looking awesome
    3 anecdote about the groom before he met the bride
    4 anecdote about the groom after having met the bride
    5 raise your glass and toast the happy couple

    Keep it under 3 minutes

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Like everyone else says, if you didn't want them getting married, you shouldn't have accepted the post of best man. At this point, it's too late to demure off of that, too. So, you have to give a best man speech. Do like Deebaser says, and make sure the anecdotes show an improvement. It sounds like you've already done your bro-ly duty of having a heart-to-heart with him and telling him how you feel about this chick one time, so now it's your job to be there to support him, at least through the end of the wedding.

    Trying to break them up is literally going to ruin their wedding. Their wedding that they and their families have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on, and that they have spent an enormous amount of time planning. It's wildly inappropriate, and you'd be lucky to only lose them as friends, and not have a whole covey of friends and possibly family members who never want to have anything to do with you again.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    No.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Don't do it. If you absolutely need to, try to have a personal conversation again. But if he tells you that he wants to do it, then after that point you need to be as supportive as possible.

    Also, if you've been around H/A for a while, take a look at the list of people who are all telling you not to do it.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    EsseeErin The Red
  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    Let's assume that you aren't going to use a very special role in a wedding as a platform to ruin a relationship. Because, that is what horrible human beings do, and I imagine you'd discuss any misgivings about the relationship well in advance and in the manner befitting an adult.

    I gotta give the speech to my brother's wedding, and from what I have read you are really just supposed to focus on the groom. You can easily get away with some non-specific compliments to the bride here and there. In fact, I'll probably straight-up say something along the lines of not knowing my brother's fiancee all that well (they moved to the opposite coast right after dating), except that she makes him happy and that's good enough for me. As long as you don't fucking insult her you don't have to get that specific. You are brought in as someone who is close to the groom, and your speech is supposed to reflect that.

    YL9WnCY.png
    Erin The Red
  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    Also, there are two weddings I have to attend this year, and they are pretty much run by the fiancees. My brother's is pretty much all-her running the show, whereas my friend is a bit more involved in the planning of his. I'm not saying it has to be that way, but it is not uncommon for women to take the reins of their weddings.

    YL9WnCY.png
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Just tell the truth that you've outlined here.

    "I would like to give a speech about how awesome the bride and groom are together. However, I don't know since in X years I haven't..." and so on. I know the majority opinion here is to just go bland and generic, but god damn that's boring and you only live once. He wants you to be the best man? Tell him how you feel and then just tell the truth at the speech. Will this be popular? No. But it will be a lot more meaningful than trite shit and white lies.

    YOLO is not valid advice. Holy shit.

    I agree with the consensus. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't be the best man.

    a5ehren on
    StormwatcherDeebaserErin The Red
  • TehSpectreTehSpectre @PixelateJake on TwitterRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Just tell the truth that you've outlined here.

    "I would like to give a speech about how awesome the bride and groom are together. However, I don't know since in X years I haven't..." and so on. I know the majority opinion here is to just go bland and generic, but god damn that's boring and you only live once. He wants you to be the best man? Tell him how you feel and then just tell the truth at the speech. Will this be popular? No. But it will be a lot more meaningful than trite shit and white lies.
    man, what

    Sloth_Sig.png
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    YOLO is great for things like "Should I try Thai food?"
    YOLO is not an excuse to fuck with your buddy's wedding.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
    EsseelonelyahavaStormwatcherInquisitor77Captain Eleven
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    YOLO is great for things like "Should I try Thai food?"
    YOLO is not an excuse to fuck with your buddy's wedding.

    People often forget the ancillary to YOLO, which is OPOLOT (Other People Only Live Once, Too).

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    StormwatcherAldo
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Yeah, I guess lying is the best advice for this guy.

    My bad.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess lying is the best advice for this guy.

    My bad.

    Most people are telling him to step down from the position. Which is as far as he can go without being labeled as an asshole by people he cares about.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
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  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess lying is the best advice for this guy.

    My bad.

    How old are you that you think the proper time and place to air grievances is during a traditional wedding speech? Seriously have you ever been to a wedding? Because that is some immensely immature reasoning.

    It is utterly unconscionable to betray the trust of someone who thought enough of you to make you their best man by literally sabotaging their wedding.

    Erin The RedEsseeStormwatcherHeir
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess lying is the best advice for this guy.

    My bad.

    No, it's called tact and picking your battles wisely.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
    Heir
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess lying is the best advice for this guy.

    My bad.
    YOLO may be fine advice if the only life you're likely to screw up is your own.
    "Hey, I'm easily susceptible to heartburn, should I try the Devil's Ass hotwings?" YOLO it up, big man.

    When it comes to a position where other peoples lives may be ruined, it's a lot less applicable.
    "Hey, I'm thinking about destroying my friend's wedding because I don't like the way his fiancee has cut off contact from his friends and family". Not the place to YOLO.

    I've now written the term YOLO four times in an H/A thread. I'm pretty sure that's my quota for the rest of my life.

    To the OP; if you can't, in good conscience, support the wedding for any reason the time to step down as best man was about a month ago. At this point, the sooner you let him know the better so he can find someone else who is able to stand by him at the alter and they can have time to put together a speech. It's not your place to break them up. If it was your place to do so, the best man's toast at their wedding is not the time or place to do it.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    It's important to realize that a good chunk of people attending this event don't have any clue who you are (half of them know the bride a hell of a lot better than you), and yet have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars to fly to and book lodgings to attend this thing.

    If you have misgivings about their relationship you bring it up to him outside of this ridiculously expensive event that many people have sought to accommodate.

    If he goes through with it you be gracious.

    EsseeStormwatchermysticjuicer
  • sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    Plus, when you get married, you tend to cut way back on buddy-time and friend-time and your family. Otherwise, your wife tends to suffer from the lack of attention (and all the attention you're giving everyone else). That's just a fact of life that you will (probably) realize when you get married, but before that its hard.

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess lying is the best advice for this guy.

    My bad.
    Yes, lying is, in fact, the best advice for this guy. The fact that you can't see that points to a staggering lack of social grace.

    It's a month before the wedding, so unless the dude knows for a fact that they can have a new best man in with little trouble, it's too late to demure. Further, you don't show up at somebody's ridiculously expensive wedding that they have put hours upon hours of their life into getting set up, and then shit all over it, while saying "well, I'm just being honest, maaaaaaannnnn."

    Seriously, people that pull that kind of shit end up the friendless pariahs they deserve to be.

    Thanatos on
    Stormwatcher
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm getting married in May, and if my best man tried to break us up in his speech, that guy would no longer be a friend of mine.

    If you're going to talk to him, OP, at least do it before the wedding, privately. But don't be surprised if he wants to find a new best man.

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • LanchesterLanchester Registered User regular
    I agree with pretty much everyone here. Either step down or do things in respect of the couple getting married. One thing I wanted to add though:

    Any general advice? Honestly, she's not a nice person, and it's really wearing on my buddy, he just looks tired and stressed all the time, terrible really. I tried to talk to him about 2yrs ago about if he really wants to marry this girl, but had no luck. I think he might be a bit more open to hearing it now based on his state of mind but it's hard to say. On a related note, one of his close cousins just a few weeks ago called off her wedding a couple months before it was going to happen, so that might be some sort of in?

    Honestly I'm out of my league here, anything constructive would be much appreciated. This might just be more of a venting thread as I'm not expecting "the answer."
    Thanks

    What exactly does "had no luck" mean? It sounds like you've already expressed to him how you feel...and he obviously doesn't agree because he's still getting married. Saying something now (or at worst, at the wedding) isn't going to open his eyes all of a sudden. You'd just be setting fire to any kind of friendship you still have with him.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    BacPar, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

    Even if you're right, even if this isn't a great choice for him, he has to realize that himself. You tried to give input and apparently he doesn't agree, but shitting on his wedding (and being anything but gracious here will not go over well) is not acceptable.

    So either step down or do the best you can with the material you have to be positive and uplifting. If you are convinced he is making the absolute worst choice here then go with what @kuhlmeye suggests and sit him down somewhere before the wedding and explain that you can't give the speech and give very clear reasons why not. And yes, the best case scenario here is that he'll probably remove you from the wedding party. Worst case is possibly more like "he'll never speak to you again", but the latter seems pretty likely if you go through with trying to make their supposed 'happiest day' into a bad rom-com.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    Essee
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    using the best man speech to get on a soap box about the groom's marriage is a great way to get punched in the mouth by somebody. either give a nice, or step down.

    Essee
  • MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    I just wanted to add for the sake of the OP...A lot of people like to blame the GF or wife or whatever when they see changes in their friends. You need to stop and realize that your friend is making the decisions in his life willingly. And apparently loves this girl enough to marry her.

    The best you can do is voice your concerns to him privately, as has been said. But remember that he has free will to make the choices that affect his life. It's not always someone elses fault, if there is even any fault to be layed here.

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  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    To echo other people - would you want someone to do this to you in a very public way that will be the focal point of the entire night? A night that is supposed to be the focal point for you and the woman you love?

    If you want to make comments, that what the bachelor party can be for. Get him drunk and see if he complains about her. 99% chance he won't, and then you shut your mouth and be happy about it.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    Sometimes guys do settle when they get married, my friend in college did, and he was divorced within 3 years. But the wedding is not the place to try and have that conversation. I wouldn't do it at the bachelor party either (unless the groom initiates it or something). Either have a straight talk with him, and be prepared to lose your best man position, or grin and bear it. It's not your call.

  • KiasKias Registered User regular
    Ease up a second folks. Unless I am misreading the OP, I don't think the two concerns are immediately connected as he starts the bit about the relationship with:
    Not that it makes a lot of difference for the toast but...
    So yeah, its worded poorly in the thread title, but I think this is a two part question. If I am wrong, then revert back to the previous advice, as a wedding, regardless of the level of dysfunctionality, is no time for getting on a soap box and alienating your buddy from the few friends he may have left.

    My impression is that you are more concerned for your buddy, and that is fair. There is nothing wrong with having a one on one with him where you broach the subject and see if your buddy reciprocates. This is not "trying to break them up," which is always an awful plan, but letting him know you are worried about him and you have his back. It doesn't have to automatically be some conflict, just have a drink, comment on how big a thing marriage is, and then ask if its really what he wants. Follow that up with the promise to support him whatever he chooses (so long as you can mean it) and then let it go forever and amen.

    If he is really a close friend, then make the effort to establish positive diplomatic relations with the new wife. You may have to dig, but you can find something you two can relate on, and that will make it easier for you to spend time with your buddy.

    steam_sig.png

  • BaconParabellumBaconParabellum Registered User regular
    Like Kias said, I had NO intention of using the best man speech to try and break them up, that would be entirely separate and NOT a public event.
    Sorry for the poorly worded title. The question was originally going to just be about suggestions for the speech, then in morphed...

    Back to that first thing, the speech. I'm terrible at complimenting people when I don't mean it. Basically I suck at lying, even when trying to be nice, it just shows on my face. Honestly I think it's going to be quite difficult to just make something up about how I think they are great together without looking totally awkward. Maybe a couple drinks will help...


  • MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Just say something nice about how she looks? (I'm sure she'll look good, it's her wedding) and that you're happy that your good friend has found someone that makes him happy? That can't be a lie, no matter how you twist it.

    Morblitz on
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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Morblitz wrote: »
    Just say something nice about how she looks? (I'm sure she'll look good, it's her wedding) and that you're happy that your good friend has found someone that makes him happy? That can't be a lie, no matter how you twist it.
    Talk about the groom and how great a dude he is. If you can't say anything nice about the bride, how so great it is that she is making your good friend happy. Tell a funny story about him, bang you're done.
    If you absolutely must air your grievances with him, slant it more towards reestablishing relationship with his family (assuming he had good a relationship with them before) than breaking up his new one. You've already had your shot at stopping the wedding a couple years ago.

    steam_sig.png
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    usually (in my experience) the best man speech is basically

    "tell funny anecdote about groom, embarass groom about something dumb he did as a young single man, express happiness in his marriage, clink glasses, profit"

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