Last year Moffett asked me to be his best man, I accepted of course... Then a year went by and I didn't pay it much attention - most fellas don't. After Christmas the date came running around like a steam train.

I have had this blog in several guises since 2001.. I think it apt that now I am starting to blog again (well more technical than personal blogging) that I write something about this. At the time of writing I haven't ported anything from 2003-2007 but Paul is in several entries. So hopefully in a few years it will be nice to look back on this.

One of the most important things as best man is the speech. I didn't worry to much about this. Talking in front of people has never bothered me, I don't like doing it much but I will do it if I have to. I took the mickey out of Kate and Paul about this - saying I was going to say something inappropriate. In truth I was never going to do this but it was fun to do and added a bit of banter about it. As a male you don't really get that excited over weddings or at least I don't.

I loved the day to be honest. The most important thing was that both Paul and Kate were happy. I think I did everything required of me and tried to look after Paul as best I could.

I don't like to take pictures when I am out, taking them diverts attention from the actual event. However I did take some on my old 3GS phone. There is a public set on Flickr here.

As for the speech... Well I like to think it went well. Below is a copy of it. Obviously it is not word for word. I ad-libbed parts and used it as a general guide more than anything. I would say it is about 75% accurate though. I am not ashamed to admit I got a bit choked up towards the end but Moffett was in tears at it - so I think I am in good company :)

I had a lovely day and it was an honour to be Paul's best man.

The Speech
Good afternoon. Before I start on Paul I want to thank you all for coming today and to say that so far what a brilliant day it’s been and also how beautiful Kate looks today...  I would like to thank Paul and Kate on behalf of Shirley Anne and Niall and I wouldd like to a moment to appreciate and raise our glasses to Ethel and Alan for what has been a wonderful celebration on such a special occasion. 

Ethel and Alan.

For those of you who don't know me. My name is Stephen and I am the 'best man' for want of a better term. For those of you that do know me, I know - I don't know what the hell Paul was thinking either. Its not as if he didn't know me, so Kate this is his fault not mine.

Now when Paul asked me to be best man I had the exact same thought as everyone that knows me.. "WHY?". Its not as if I am exactly politically correct, I’m a little rough round the edges. But asked me he did and of course I accepted. You see I've known Paul now for 23 years well almost 23 years... During this time I’ve got to know him quite well. 

Paul likes to give the impression he is a refined person with good taste in literature, films, art, food. You name it the man will have a pretentious opinion on it. However its not until you get to know him that you know that he's not really all that refined, not deep down. You can't have a friend like me and be that refined... For example this time two weeks me and Paul were in Lisburn cinema watching the newest Quentin Tarantino film. He would have you believe he was at the QFT watching some North Korean, black and white subtitled, films about some woman carrying a bowler hat 20 miles walking backwards because her cat died. But no - there was Paul laughing away at people getting blown up with dynamite instead. 

Also a few years ago me and Claire (that's his sister) were in Paul's house and if you've been there you'll see that he has a very impressive display of books on his shelf - all the classics.. There was one book I remember picking up and it was about a man that woke up as a cockroach or something daft.. Now usually Paul wouldn't fight me on this but his words will haunt me till I die as he put on his 'squire' accent and said to both me and Claire "I intend to read all those while having a bath". Now that accent is like a red flag to a bull with me at the best of times. So at some stage that night he went out of the room to do something.. And I don't know if Claire remembers this - but I put a post-it note, signed and dated in one of the volumes.. So a few weeks ago when I was staying over for the stag - when you went to bed I went on a wee guerilla mission and went through the books and low and behold.... There it is! See... that post-it note is dated Thursday 27th August 2009! Good book was it? 

Now according to the best man manual I have to tell you an embarrassing story about Paul... And this is where it gets dicey.. As I've said I've known Paul for 23 years.. When I first met him we were both 11.. he's now 34. That is a lot of acreage for embarrassing stories.

I'm a programmer so am quite methodical.. I got a whiteboard and put down every funny story I could think - weighed it on appropriateness, funniness and out of all that I came up with four... I've been battling hard to pick one and in front of me is a note that reads “depending on the mood of the room pick one”.. Sorry Kate this is really Paul's fault..

So here they are in subject form:

1. The time Stevie cured Paul's two hour hiccups.
2. The time Paul jumped from a two storey building.
3. The time Paul got molested by two old women in Lisburn.

The fourth one is a bit dodgy... Through some unfortunate circumstances me and Paul... Well we had to end up sharing a bed once when we were up in Portstewart. And one of us was completely naked.. Sorry to tell you that before you eat.. Now to help you with that visual image this was years ago and I had hair *and* a waist back then.. Now to make it clear the other person (me) didn't know the other person (Paul) was in the buff -  not until it was too late... Did Paul ever tell you that story Kate???? No.... you ashamed of me? 

If anyone wants to know these stories then please do come up later and I'll tell you them. I’ll not go into them here, not really the time or place but please feel free after to ask.

In all honestly though, Paul has been as close to a brother to me.. In the time I've known him there hasn't been a cross word between us, no fall out and it’d be very rare for a week or two to go by where we weren’t in contact in some way. And I am sure anyone in the room would agree if you ever had a problem he'd be there in a heartbeat to help you out. I trust the man 100% and without going on about it too much I couldn't ask for a better friend.  

I'm quite forgetful, Paul wouldn't give me the rings right up until the last second earlier for fear that I might lose them. I am very forgetful but I remember what I would deem to be important things. I remember the first time I met Paul - was the 2nd of September 1990 we were standing just outside the tennis courts, first day of secondary school. He was standing beside Gareth Beagley, Chrissy Wright and Colin Rowan and we were awkwardly talking like 11 year olds do.. And that's how we met.. I remember three years later sitting at lunch and meeting his sister for the first time who is also one of my best friends. I don't remember the date I just remember him talking to a girl in a familiar manner (which was odd for Paul back then - being the nerd he was). I asked him who that was and he said "my sister" and I turned round  and there was this wee girl with terribly shiney shoes and a fringe that could cut glass. I remember meeting his parents Beryl and William for the first time, I went round one Friday after school and right enough William and Beryl were more than welcoming to me and they watched the MTV Music Awards with us.  It has been a pleasure to grow up around the Moffetts around me. And Kate you couldn't want to join a more loving family they really are the salt of the earth, I couldn’t say enough nice things about them... And now I have a new story to tell the first time I met Paul's wife.

It was the 10th of April and I was in Larne for some godforsaken reason and I dropped by to meet you.. You and Paul were in clements. I tried to take the mickey out of you - but didn't get close - not once - you had an answer for everything, and you still do.. I left you and Paul off on the Lisburn Rd after that and I headed home. But being a mate you have to give your opinion.

So I dug through my texts and I found that actual text, believe or not.. It is quite apt for today in what I wrote, or at least i think it is.. It said:

"Kate seems lovely,  there’s something about her... She’s a keeper... "

Now traditionally, as best man, it falls to me to offer Paul some general advice for a happy and long lasting marriage. But really there is no point. I think everyone will agree what a lovely couple they make. All I would like to say about that is from my perspective is to thank Kate for making Paul the happiest I have ever seen him. And as an added extra please keep making him do daft things like walking up mountains in new years eve when its -3 outside. 

So then, It gives me immense pleasure, not to mention relief, to invite you all to stand one more time and raise your glasses, in a toast to Paul and Kate. The new Mr & Mrs Moffett. We wish them well for the future and hope they enjoy a long and happy marriage

Paul and Kathryn.