Many guys decide that the person they can rely on most to make their best man speech is the very person they’ve grown up with: their brother. This tends to be a convenient solution as it means you don’t have to publicly decide which of your friends you like the best, and more often than not, brothers will have a more sympathetic approach to wholesale embarrassment in front of the family. However, there are issues, and they can be pretty big ones too.
Many brothers, despite the fact that they share parents and a home together, don’t actually know each other that well. Very few brothers that we write for have spent their childhoods hanging out together – chances are that most older brothers see their younger sibling as an annoying inconvenience, and so develop games of jeopardy as a form of punishment. That’s not to say you don’t love each other and enjoy each other’s company; you just don’t know the stories or what he’s really all about. Age differences can really accentuate this problem, as very often the older brother has left home by the time his baby brother has teenage years. So, what do you talk about, when on the face of it there’s nothing to talk about?
In these situations we like to stick to what we do know rather than worrying about what we don’t. You will have a better idea of his character than most people, so a simple comparison of the early memories compared to latter day brother is a great policy. However, more than that focus on his likes, dislikes, hobbies, jobs, haircuts, fashion sense and semin disasters. All of these topics can provide limitless opportunities to have some fun and also create a picture of your brother from a very personal perspective. If you can draw parallels with his current likes, dislikes and hobbies etc. then so much the better, as this will resonate with his friends from more recent times.
What you’re not able to do is list a lot of stories, and this is no bad thing. Endless stories of the groom in compromising situations can be tedious if the story telling isn’t spot on, and it caan all too easily lead to toe curling embarrassment if you really get it wrong. You could try to get some material from his school/university/work friends, but in our experience it’s way easier to get blood out of a stone, and in the unlikely event they do come back to you with something, it could be so delayed that fitting it in is going to add last minute chaos.
So, forget what you don’t know and celebrate all the bits about your brother that you do, and nobody will realise for an instant that you haven’t recounted 4 stories about him trashed with a traffic cone on his head.