The Last Hoorah

(April 2018)

The idea of the groom's 'last night of freedom' is part of wedding lore, synonymous with the excessive revelry of the traditional stag night. But let's be honest, if grooms were ever truly afforded a last night of rampant bachelordom, then those days are well and truly over. It wouldn't say much about your attitude to your impending nuptials if you rolled into bed with the girl from the kebab shop counter at the end of your pre-wedding pub crawl, would it?

That said, assuming your mate can actually behave himself like a civilised and 'woke' human being, it's still an idea that any best man can have a lot of fun with in their speech. The entire audience, married or otherwise, will be able to sympathise with the notion of last minute wedding preparations, so painting a picture of the night before - whether factual or a pure flight of fantasy - is a great way to connect with the people in the room.

Try these lines for size. You know the themes; drunkenness, debauchery, general male stupidity. I don't suppose you'll need to veer too far from the truth…

  1. We couldn't see Gary get married without one last hoorah, so last night we went bar hopping. We might have pushed the boat out a bit far, in fact. I say that, because as we staggered home, Gary started moaning about how many steps there were, how steep the stairs were, and how cripplingly low the handrail was… Then it was pointed out that we were crawling along the railway tracks.

  1. Of course, everyone knows it's bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before the big day, so just to be on the safe side, I had Gary stay over at my house last night. We cracked open a few beers… you know how it goes. Anyway, this morning, all he could talk about was my amazing high tech toilet with the light that turns itself on and off when you open the door… It took me a while to realise he'd peed in the fridge!

  1. I think this morning's wedding preparations went well. I've tried to fulfill all of my best man's duties. My one regret is that I was unable to help grant his last wish as a single man. Sorry, Gary, but Taylor Swift's telephone number is hard to come by, and to be honest, I don't think she's the sort of girl who'd perform that particular act anyway. It's kind of 'niche'.

  1. I suggested that Gary start today with a sauna or a jog, to sweat out all the stress of the last few week's planning and preparations. He said there was no need. If he wants to work up a sweat, all he has to do is think about the wedding car and the honeymoon flights that he forgot to book, and how on Earth he's going to break the news to Carol.

  1. I was totally on it with the best man duties this morning. I needed to get Gary back on his feet after a bit of last minute bachelor drinking last night. I got him to eat a hearty breakfast, and I made sure he got in some exercise to sweat the booze out of his system… Of course, Gary's idea of exercise is to sit in the bath, pull the plug, and fight against the current, but you do what you can.

  1. Went drinking last night, obviously, what with it being Gary's last night of freedom. Got absolutely steaming, then took the bus home, which might not seem like a big deal to you lot, but neither of us had ever driven a bus before, and sneaking it out of the depot was hard enough.

  1. You'll have heard of the yard of ale, no doubt. Well, on Gary's last night of freedom, I challenged him to drink a yard of vodka! It was a long shot, but he did it.

  1. Maybe it was last minute jitters. Maybe it was fear of being jilted at the altar. But for one reason or another, Gary spent his last night of freedom drinking, before trashing his hotel room. Of course, this being Gary - that amounted to downing two cans of Heineken from the mini bar, then leaving a scathing 1-star review on the hotel's comments card.

  1. *Yawn* Sorry… we were out late last night. Gary insisted on one final trip to his favourite bachelor haunt. The place where he always got the most action back in the day… And I did manage to get a bit of kip while I was waiting for him in the carpark, but even so… Clapham Common and back isn't exactly a short trip.