(I'm the nervous looking one with the dodgy dip-dye.)
Last weekend, something magical happened. My best friend Kirsty got married and I was privileged enough to be one of her five bridesmaids. Being a bridesmaid was an incredible experience. I got to help the beautiful bride at every step of the way and I feel as if our bizarre friendship (that's an entirely different blog post...) has been eternally cemented because of it. Huzzah! FWEENNNNNNNDDDS.
However, there was one aspect of my bridesmaid wedding day duty that I was not looking forward to at all. Kirsty had asked me to do a speech. When the initial question had been presented about a month prior to the big day, I'd enthusiastically accepted, imagining myself confidently delivering an epic, hilarious spiel that would go down in wedding history. Unfortunately, when enthusiastically accepting the task, I'd failed to recognise that I am a) terrified of speaking in front of 200 strangers unless I am thoroughly intoxicated, b) not a stand up comedian, and c) at least 500% better at writing than I am at speaking. Gulp. Yup, approximately one hour after agreeing to do it, my bridesmaid wedding speech haunted me so much that I offered my entire friendship circle £20 each if they forced a laugh in-between agreed sentences. Blackmail is after all entirely acceptable if you are at risk of humiliating yourself in front of an expectant crowd. (Life rules folks; life rules.)
Anyway, it turns out that something incredible happened. I did my speech and the strangerfolk actually laughed. (My friendship circle laughed too, by the way, and I didn't even have to pay them.) Granted, they may all have been laughing at the fact that my right arm was nervously shaking so much that I was practically caressing the father of the bride's scalp (I'm a subconscious saucepot), but either way, I was proud of it. And so today I thought I'd share my bridesmaid speech with you. Also, if you're delivering a speech at a wedding any time soon, I have only one piece of advice. Contrary to popular belief, imagining your entire audience naked will not make you feel better. Shize. Let's not even go there.
'For anyone who doesn't know who I am, my name is Kathy and I am one of Kirsty's bridesmaids. Kirsty and I didn't get off to the best of starts. When she first moved into my road in 2000, we spent four years completely oblivious to each other. Those were the best years of my life.
When we did finally notice each other, we took an instant dislike to each other and spent an entire pre-pubescent summer scowling at each other across the street. Eventually, my mum forced me to invite her round and Kirsty offered to style my hair. After one hour and an entire can of mousse, I looked into the mirror to find that my hair had been sculpted into a particularly defining part of the male anatomy. I have no idea how we became best friends after that, but somehow we did and have been ever since.
Over the years, Kirsty has bought many things to our friendship which I'm sure she will also bring to married life. Kirsty is affectionate and sensitive. When I experience my first break up and started crying in the middle of Matalan, Kirsty consoled me with a violent slap across the face. Kirsty is creative and imaginative. Once upon a time, when we were particularly bored, Kirsty challenged me to a game of I Spy. After over an hour of exhausting every 'GM' I could possibly think of, Kirsty revealed that her 'GM' was in fact 'Grill Maintenance.' Finally, Kirsty prides herself on being honest. She once convinced my Granddad that she was an Olympic athlete.
So now for the serious part. As one of Kirsty's best friends, I have had the displeasure of meeting all of Kirsty's exes, all 106 of them. When I first met Ben, he came as a massive relief. Ben is an amazing, kind, funny human being with a heart of the finest gold. Treasure that image because I'm sure the best man will ruin that for you shortly. I've never seen Kirsty happier than she is today and for that I will always be grateful to him.
And despite everything I have just told you about Kirsty, it is such a privilege to be able to call her my best friend- I couldn't imagine a life without her. On behalf of all of the bridesmaids, I would like to tell you that you look beautiful today Kirst; this is a definite improvement on your usual attire of Ben's pyjamas. And on behalf of everybody in this room, I'd like to thank you both for letting us share in the happiest, and soon to be drunkest, day of your lives. Finally, Ben, on behalf of your sanity, there are three things that I ask you to remember...
1) Kirsty is always right.
2) Kirsty always needs new clothes...
And finally, Kirsty is always right.
So if you could all please raise your glasses to my best friend Kirsty, and the lovely Ben... Thank you!'