How to write the best, best man speech

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Even Bear Grylls reckons a best man speech is one of the hardest things a bloke can come up against. Yes, a fella who circumnavigated round the British Isles on a jet ski and drinks his own wee, thinks wedding speeches are difficult.

And despite the plethora of online templates and advice, delivering a best man speech is not getting any easier.

A decade ago you could wing it. You could Google some gags and expect granny hadn’t heard them before. You could roll out the Powerpoint and embarrass the groom with some childhood photos and guests would think you’d made an effort.

These days, not so much. The best man speech is still the most eagerly awaited but they’re often meet with good-natured groans rather than genuine laughter. They’ve become a caricature, with the traditional characteristics exaggerated to grotesque effect.

Seriously, that line about the honeymoon and the groom ‘going to Bagnor for two weeks’. Or the ‘humorous’ fake telegram from the football team saying they found the groom useless in most positions but wish the bride good luck. Cringe.

Cheesy gags and meaningless one-liners is not what a best man speech is meant to be. So here’s Speechy’s guide to writing a speech fit for a wedding in 2018. Take note comrade.

Humour

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If you can take your jokes and use them in a speech about another groom, then you’re doing something wrong. Yes, we’ll allow you a few one-liners to break the ice but other than that, you’re on your own.

Certainly take inspiration from other best man speeches, but only the good ones. Check out how others have taken the personality of their mate and used that as the basis of their humour. As Homer Simpson so sagely says ‘It’s funny because it’s true’.

Start thinking about the things that make the groom unique. Everyone’s a nut-job, so what are the traits that his friends and family will recognise as truly ‘him’.

Ask yourself lots of questions – what’s his worst habit (wearing skinny jeans), what’s his guilty pleasure (Dire Straits), what might he love more than his bride (Abduls kebabs). You get the idea. Once you have good content to play with, the comedy should flow.

Don’t be scared to take the mick, it’s how British blokes show we care. Do, however, be scared of mentioning exes, stag do tales, in jokes and anything crude (innuendo’s fine, dirty isn’t). Also don’t tell any stories that might mean your mate needs to apologise to his wife.

Find a Theme

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This is how your speech goes into the Premier League. Rather than just a trail of anecdotes, think of a way to theme your speech and tie everything together. This way you’ll capture the audience and no one will be checking their Whatsapp under the table.

So how do you think of your theme? Think about the groom’s personality traits. For example…

  • Is he a pseudo-intellectual? Use quotes from great thinkers throughout history to contrast with your mate.
  • Is he a bit of a geezer? Present the bride with an insider’s guide to understanding how his bloke-brain works.
  • Is he a football fan? Give a post-match analysis on his courtship with the bride and predict how well he’ll score as a husband

The theme doesn’t need to be overly clever to work.

Prove, don’t tell

Cut the clichés that most best men fall victim to. When it comes to ‘the nice bit’, rather than use adjectives, make sure you provide the evidence.

Don’t just say ‘he’s been there for you’, explain that he picked you up from the Hogs Head at 2am when every taxi refused to take you home. Tell everyone how he helped you get to grips with pensions and confess that you still owe him fifty quid. Highlight the real reasons he’s a top bloke and your speech will sound refreshing.

Big up the bride

In 2018 the bride needs to be more than an afterthought and you need to say more than she’s ‘made your mate happy’ and ‘looks beautiful today’. If you don’t know her well, then make an effort to do some digging. Find out about her and reflect that in your tribute to her.

Don’t feel you need to be overly gushing or pretend she’s a perfect princess. A good tribute can still be affectionately humorous.  It should reflect the sort of girl she is – even if it is a feisty Pinot-fiend with an adult-addiction to Monster Munch!

Props

Don’t bother. Most props just feel tired these days. Write a good speech and you won’t need them.

(Though one bit of kit you might need is a microphone. Check the groom has hired one if the acoustics of the venue require it. So many speeches are ruined simply because people can’t heard them).

Videos

It’s a total cop out from a delivery point of view but if you’ve got the skills and resources to invest in creating a cool video, then we’re all for it. Reconstruct moments from your past exploits together, visit the seminal locations from your teenage years, interview past teachers or ‘witnesses’ to bad behaviour.

There’s lots of good best man videos online but remember, like the traditional speech, less is often more. Even with a kickass soundtrack, you still want a duration well under ten minutes (though, in reality, that would take A LOT of filming!)

We hope this advice helps you nail it.

Speechy is the one-stop-shop for all your wedding speech needs. Whether it’s a template or a bespoke speech you’re after, Speechy can help you craft an awesome speech that will add a special moment to the wedding day. Visit speechy.co.uk.

You’re more than a cliché…

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If you’re one of these guys, who relies on the cliche of popping the question on Valentine’s Day, brace yourself because around 15,000 women will say ‘Yes’ to a marriage proposal – and 3,000 of them will accept an engagement ring they actually hate!

While researching his best-selling book on how to pick the perfect engagement ring for your partner, diamond jewellery expert Lewis Malka found that a fifth of all women were less than impressed with the ring they were expected to wear for life.

Not that it came as a surprise to Lewis. He wrote ‘The Engagement Ring’ because over the years he had been asked by so many women to make alterations to the ring their fiancé had given them. With St valentine’s Day just around the corner, Lewis says guys need to do lots of research before making a purchase.

A new, up to date edition of the book has now been published and contains a wealth of straightforward, clear advice to help people through the decision-making purchase.

Lewis, a well-known figure in Hatton Garden where his workshop is located, said:  “The book is an essential guide for people looking to buy their dream ring and goes behind the scenes in the diamond trade in an attempt to dispel the myths around engagement rings and guide purchasers on their journey.

He added, “After a house and a car, an engagement ring is often the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your life. Choosing the perfect ring doesn’t have to be complicated. It requires a basic understanding of what to look for in the diamond and its setting – and a comprehensive understanding of the person you’re asking to marry you.

“I can help you with the first bit. The second bit is down to you!”

The Proposal

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If the ring is naff and the proposal is on the most obvious day of the year, you better make the actual engagement special. How about whisking her away to a romantic city break?

It’s the ultimate Valentine’s gesture. A romantic weekend away in a chic hotel, a delicious candle-lit dinner followed by a marriage proposal. What could go wrong? The surprise could be ruined at the airport. Not intentionally of course. Hand luggage searches in security could accidentally unveil the ring.

This is where East Midlands Airport (EMA) step in. Anyone taking an engagement ring with them through security at EMA can now contact the airport in advance of their travels to obtain a ‘secret code’. When this is mentioned to security staff on arrival, the passenger carrying the ring will be directed to a separate security lane, away from the glare of travelling companions.

Matthew Quinney, East Midlands Airport’s Head of Security, says: “It would put a big damper on someone’s meticulously planned romantic trip if their big surprise was revealed even before they’ve boarded the plane. Arguably, there are more romantic places to be proposed to than in our security hall. So, out of courtesy to those who have been planning this moment for weeks or months, we have put in measures to ensure we’re not the cause of failed marriage proposals. After all, we want customers to return again and again.”

To find out the secret code, passengers should email love@eastmidlandsairport.com in advance of their travel or, alternatively, send a direct message on Twitter to @EMA_Airport.

Choosing the right underwear to impress

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A quick Google search will tell you that romantic underwear for men is all kinds of creepy and embarrassing. Buying a pair of pants that have hearts on them isn’t romantic and it’s definitely not sexy. Even worse, if you’re the “funny” guy, you may consider buying some sort of ridiculous thong that you’ll come out of the bathroom wearing, only to take off immediately in order to get your groove on, imminently.  Don’t do it! If that’s your idea of romance, you really need to sit down and work your way through Matthew McConaughey‘s back catalogue (before he decided to take acting seriously).

Ideally, most women’s perfect man would take his underwear queues from any David Beckham underwear campaign, rather, than go for something a little more Rocky Horror. Don’t do it! YOU DO NOT LOOK LIKE DAVID BECKHAM, and that’s cool. If you do, you’ll be part of the joke, because a fun game to play on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays, is watching how many people are adjusting their bits and bobs in their special bras and pants, that they’ve donned to impress – forgetting that they really need to think of what suits them as opposed to what looks raunchy.

The fact of the matter is lads; yellowing, overstretched and outdated tighty whities do not get anyone’s pulse racing. If amore is on the docket, set the mood with man-drawers—boxers, briefs, manties, we’re not picky—that befit the occasion and the planet.

With the above in mind, we’ve teamed up with Deadgoodundies.com to highlight some of the key trends in underwear in 2018. It’s the perfect time for making the perfect romantic gesture…

DOING IT FOR YOURSELF

Men will be buying their own underwear far more in 2018. Growing confidence, interest in fashion, appreciating quality, enjoying shopping online – all of these could explain a rise in the purchase of underpants for men by men.

Sales at Deadgoodundies.com have shot up in the last year and the proportion of male buyers is higher than ever. As DGU founder Adam Davies explains: Being online we have always had a predominantly male audience but the percentage of female shoppers has reduced to single figures. Men like the choice, freedom and privacy of shopping online, especially for something as personal as pants.

COMFORT ALL THE WAY

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Men have always bought comfy kecks, right? Well, levels of personal comfort have rocketed with the use of soft but supportive fabrics, clever yarns such as Coolmax and combinations like cotton modal, but most of all through dedicated design, focused on the pouch. Brands like Comfyballs, which just debuted on DGU, make big promises on this score.

Shop comfort undies here.

ERGONOMIC OOMPH

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The thought of ball-boosting underwear has some men running for the hills, but now there are levels of this category is increasingly popular. Ergonomic designs can actually enhance or just make the most of what nature gave you, sometimes by; slightly differently in the same pair. The joys of ergonomics include aeration thanks to a bit of lift, a good shape under clothes, avoiding constant adjustments and, if you want to, great opportunities for showing off.

Shop ergonomic designs here.

COLOUR COLOUR COLOUR

high street gent, men's underwear, underwear, best underwear to impress

Brands say 2018 really will be the year of colour in men’s underwear, rivalling the male swimwear sector. Fancy colours, contrast waistbands, lively prints, you name it, they have it. Of course, white and black are always top sellers, but bright and subtle shades – everything from neon to pastel – are on the cards.

Shop colourful undies here.

CAMO AND ANIMALS

high street gent, men's underwear, underwear, best underwear to impress

Camouflage and animal prints never go out of style for gent’s undies. These days camo can be muted neutral tones rather than military khaki or blue. Watch out too for camo created from a uniform pattern of one image. Animal prints might be classic tiger or zebra, or a collage of pictures of the actual animal or its face. Remember the Chinese Year of the Dog starts in February. And make sure wild prints are grown up for the full effect, not strategically placed elephant’s trunks.

Shop for prints here.

CLASSICS NEVER DATE

high street gent, men's underwear, underwear, best underwear to impress

Classic underwear for men isn’t the boring stuff your Dad wore when he was young. A 2018 classic will have earned its keep as a consistent best seller bought over and over again by men who can’t give up that particular look, style, feel, colour… Think of safe brands like Jockey and Sloggi but also HOM, Doreanse and British Boxers.

Shop the classics here.

WHY CHANGE YOUR UNDERWEAR?

Looks good.

Feels good.

Old underpants are not a comfort blanket.

Be bold and be romantic.

Enjoy treating your loved one with some top tips on choosing the right underwear to impress.

For other articles regarding High Street Gent’s top tips on choosing under, click here.

Men’s hair and beard trends for 2018

Now we’ve taken our first steps into 2018, AND we’ve got January and the skintest month of the year out the way, we can’t help but wonder what it might bring: A smooth and effortless Brexit withdrawal? Don’t hold your breath. How about jetpacks? We hope so. Perhaps a full blown Twitter war will break out? With Trump around, who knows!

Here at The Bluebeards Revenge, the one thing we can accurately predict is the amazing hair and beard trends that the next 12 months will bring. Below, we’ve asked some of Britain’s most influential barbers to embrace their clairvoyant sides and provide the all-important hair and beard insights for 2018.

Is long hair coming back into fashion?

“Recently I’ve had quite a few clients asking to keep their length on both the top and the sides,” says Adam Rossington-Smith of Scissor and Comb UK. “This opens up 2018 to some very versatile styles, with a blend of clean tapered edges and soft, textured waves on top.”

What does this mean for the super popular fade styles of 2017?

Adam says: “I highly doubt that we will see a massive reduction of fades next year. Part of the reason they became so popular was because they are clean and super easy to maintain, and lots of men still don’t like the thought of having to prune too much.”

Meanwhile, Tom Chapman, award-winning barber and founder of the Lions Barber Collective charity, believes that, “fades will remain fashionable, but more men will start to favour tapers; looking for a finish that is less sharp. More men will start to ask for their edges to be left a little more natural too.”

What hairstyling products will be in popular demand for 2018?

Adam says: “Medium and long hairstyles will give men more opportunities to experiment with products. Personally, sea salt sprays are my absolute favourite right now. They add texture and a light hold to fine hair, and volume to thicker hair. They help to create a natural look as well, which is very fashionable right now and will continue to dominate throughout 2018.

““Volumizing powders have become a big hit for men seeking a natural look too. They’re easy to use and pretty cost effective – a 10 gram container should easily bulk up flat styles for a few months.”

Tom says: “With the right education, I think a lot of men could return to hair gels this year. As a product, modern hair gels are massively undervalued for their styling capabilities: softer gels can be used as pre-styling products to give styles structure all day and barbers often use them while sectioning medium and long hair.”

[The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray: https://www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/product/the-bluebeards-revenge-sea-salt-spray-200ml/]

Will barbers struggle with any of the new trends?

Adam, who graduated from Toni & Guy before specialising in barbering, says: “Barbers who have joined the industry in the last few years will probably find themselves facing styles that they have never really had to deal with.

“Shorter styles have dominated the barbering scene for so long now that new barbers have likely had little experience with anything longer than a clipper cut on the sides.

“Of course, with longer haircuts comes the chance to learn endless new techniques for adding texture and creating movement. The new fashions will help barbers to develop their scissor skills and will provide practice in handling and sectioning longer hair. They will also show the importance of proper blow drying techniques and require a better understanding of less conventional styling products.”

2018 beard trends

With the trends for the hair on our heads covered, it’s time to concentrate on the stubble and scruff that sprouts from our chins.

Will beards still be popular in 2018?

The masculinity, maturity and respect that beards give to men means they will never completely fall out of fashion, no matter how far into the future we go. Simon ‘Bones’ Bethel, from Sandyman Chop Shop in Exeter, believes we will still continue to see a steady flow of beards throughout 2018. He said: “While there are fewer men sporting big bushy beards these days, we still do a lot of short beard trims in the Chop Shop. I don’t expect this to change for 2018.”

Beard styles for 2018

Over the past few years, rough-cut, lumberjack styles have dominated the look books, but the next 12 months will see changes according to Bones. “Men are starting to wear their beards shorter and with more shape,” he said. “These styles mean that creating strong cheek lines with razors, and tapering these into the sideburns and hair line will be the way forward.”

As beards get shorter, designer stubbles are likely to gain a little more traction too. Ex-serviceman and current Master Barber Liam Hamilton, from Hamilton’s Barbershop in Cornwall, says these looks are “ideal for men who want to add a little masculinity to their look.” They also work particularly well for men who are attempting to achieve a more “rugged” style, without the same timely maintenance of a full beard.

Beard products for 2018

“The men’s grooming market is receiving huge investments at the moment, and products that were previously unknown to men are now becoming essentials,” said Managing Director of The Bluebeards Revenge, David Hildrew. “Now, more than ever, men are taking an invested interest in their appearance and this is causing beard oils, brushes and waxes to boom in popularity.”

Liam, a bearded barber himself, says: “The best beards have a shine and healthiness to them that can only be created with high-quality beard oils. A few drops of oil, combed through from the roots to the tips, will enhance any man’s beard and leave it smelling irresistible.”

[The Bluebeards Revenge Classic Blend Beard Oil: https://www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/product/the-bluebeards-revenge-classic-blend-beard-oil-50ml/]

Moustache styles for 2018

2018 might just be the year for full and fuzzy moustaches. Finally, they’re seen less like Charlie Bronson’s and more like Tom Selleck’s.

“The humble moustache can help to add balance to the right man’s face, soften a more dominant jawline, and compliment a man’s eyebrows,” says Liam.

However, lots of men still struggle to confidently wear this facial accessory. “If you’re lacking the confidence to wear a moustache in 2018, why not wait until Movember comes around? Then you can hide in the crowd,” suggests Liam. “Or, if you’re feeling brave, try growing your stubble out around it. This helps to frame your moustache and won’t leave your face feeling so isolated and bare.”

For the most up-to-date hair and beard trends, and for 2018’s most sought after products, visit www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk.