Acknowledging notorious members of the family

(May 2018)

Every family has that one person whose reputation precedes them wherever they go. Be they an alcoholic aunt, a ditzy daughter or a slightly racist grandpa; these characters can't help but be the centre of attention, but boy do they ever provide you with some excellent speech material.

Referencing the newlyweds' family is a sure-fire way to ingratiate yourself with the audience from the off. However, your aim must always be to raise a smile, not a frown. Take care to avoid upsetting anyone, and make sure that everyone, including your target, is made to feel part of the joke. Here are a handful of examples that demonstrate this balance perfectly:

  1. "Before I start, Gary asked me to make sure his Aunt Judith could see everything alright from the back. You okay there Jude? She's 86, you know. 86 years old and she still doesn't need glasses. I mean, why would you when you drink straight out the bottle!"

  1. "I love people watching. Not in a weird way. But just look at Gary's parents. You can see on their faces how proud they are of their son. Isn't that beautiful? And they're right to be proud, because over the last year Gary's really made a name for himself - although he had to do that so Lucy couldn't find out about his saucy past."

  1. "Now those of you who were at the last Reynolds family wedding will know Gary's Brother Tim got a little tipsy. I'll be honest, he was a right state. We all talk about it still today, but Tim wants to make sure that stops and people forget what he did. And he says he will achieve that by getting even drunker tonight."

  1. "They say you should look to your elders for advice on matters of the heart, but I don't think Nicky would want me to follow my grandparents' example. You can tell what their marriage was like by hearing just one story. When she was 32, Grandma Jean won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Hawaii - and she went twice."

  1. "Some people think weddings are just an excuse for a big family reunion. Those people have never met my family. The only thing that could make this get-together more dangerous is if we started talking about Brexit while playing Monopoly."

  1. "This chap stood next to me is my brother Phil. I know what you're thinking. We don't look at all alike, do we? Everyone always said it. In fact, when we were kids, I used to tease him and say he were adopted. Turns out I put my foot in it as always. didn't I? He went and asked our mum if it was true. 'Yes, you were son,' she said. 'But it didn't work out and they brought you back'."

  1. "Now onto the most exciting part of any wedding, the presents! On behalf of the newlyweds I have been asked to thank Sarah's aunt Elizabeth in particular for her wedding gift. She gave them a ball of yarn, knitting needles, and a how-to-knit book. Her card read 'Scarf, some assembly required'.