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Complete Best Man: How to Turn a Terrifying Prospect into a Piece of Cake [Paperback]

John Bowden
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Mar 2006
I know exactly what you are thinking. It seemed such a good idea at the time, but now you are beginning to realise there's going to be more to it than just turning up on time and handing over the ring. Am I right, or am I right? Fear not. Whether the happy couple has a traditional white wedding vision or a modernist view of their big day, this handbook will show you how to become their perfect best man...a best man who knows how to combine the best of the old with the best of the new. The groom will be glad he chose you. So pour yourself a cold one, sit back and get ready to learn how to turn a stressful honour into a piece of (wedding) cake.

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Frequently Bought Together

Complete Best Man: How to Turn a Terrifying Prospect into a Piece of Cake + Making the Best Man's Speech 2e: Etiquette;Jokes;Sample Speeches;One-liners + Being the Best Man For Dummies
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Product details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: How To Books (14 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845281047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845281045
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


`This book certainly makes the speech a pleasure rather than a terrifying prospect.'
-- Asian Groom & Man

From the Author

This book will help you turn a terrifying prospect into a piece of wedding cake!

It's in two parts. Part One tells you everything you need to know to become an impressive, efficient and effective best man. In Part Two you'll find out how to prepare and present a unique and memorable speech that will sparkle like vintage champagne. I've also included lots of checklists and website addresses which will make life easier for you.

While the basic responsibilities of a best man have remained largely unchanged over the years, the world has moved on. The key is to respect traditions of the past but also keep up with the times. Unorthodox interpretations of your role are no longer a breach of social etiquette.

Similarly, while your speech should include a few time-honoured crowd-pleasers which people will expect to hear, there remains plenty of scope to stamp your own personality on it. I'll tell you how!

It's a serious business being a best man. There's a lot to do, a lot to remember and a lot to say. You owe it to the bride and groom - and to yourself - to give it your best shot. With this handbook at your side you can become the complete best man!

Let's make a deal. I'll give you all the advice, tips and strategies you'll need to do a fantastic job. In return, all I ask of you is your time, your mind and your commitment.

I really enjoyed writing this book and I hope you'll enjoy reading it. I've written loads of other books on weddings and wedding speeches, but I genuinely believe this is my best. I'm delighted to say my publisher agrees! I've kept it simple and chatty because that's the language of easy communication. If you have any comments on the book, I'd love to hear them. Write to me at How To Books and I promise to reply.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So, the speech, have you started yet? 23 Aug 2010
Now, obviously there was a wedding approaching, and I had been asked to be the best man, which in itself is a dubious honour. A honour yes, but it comes with the responsibility of keeping that bloody speech. And since you are looking at this book now, I'm assuming you are in the same boat as I was.

The biggest challenge of being the best man is, no doubt, the speech. And that was the reason I got this book. Sure half of the book is dedicated to the other responsibilities of the best man, but that is just common sense, that doesn't require a book. The other half of the book is about the speech, which in the end isn't too much information. It gives you a flexible structure for the speech with some examples, what to mention, what to avoid and some example speeches.

Now considering we are living in the time of the Internet. There are plenty of web sites out there offering example speeches, even for free. And YouTube is full videos about this. So all the information in this book can be found from somewhere else, and I would highly recommend you to look into those places. But then again, it is nice to have something in writing, and the outlay in the book is ok, if only to give you a hint on how to organize your speech, but this by itself won't be enough.

Now, about the speech itself, looking at this book, Internet and YouTube, it seems to be that the same jokes are repeated over and over again, ad nauseam (if you didn't recognize the joke in the beginning of he review, you haven't done your research yet). The one good advice that this book gives, is start collecting material early, and I do mean early, months before the actual event. And whatever you do, don't try to wing it. We are talking about the best day of your mate here, put some effort into it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It really does help 16 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is a lot of rubbish written in Best Man guides, but this book is pretty good. I found that it gave me decent pointers on the speech and it is a good resource to go back to.
Being the best man these days can be quite a significant task to undertake and for many it can be a real challenge. This book covers most of the areas that are expected. Having a resource such as this book to use does help and should make you feel a little more confident that at least you have covered most bases. As for the speech itself, well best of luck, you'll need it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Got the ball rolling... 11 Jun 2009
I've found this book to be very helpful so far. 1st time being best man so I had no idea what I was supposed to do. It's been very informative - big day hasn't arrived yet but this definitely got the ball rolling and has given me many ideas for the speech; which is the main reason I bought it. The advice is down to earth - explains the traditions but has a contemporary outlook, encouraging you to get creative and personalise your speech. Would definitely recommend.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible for any Best man 19 April 2006
By Stuart
This book is absolutely brilliant. The author tells you all you need to know about a best man's duties (and his all-important speech!) in a straightforward and really humorous way. I found it invaluable and cannot recommend it too highly. Thanks, John, as you promised in the blurb of your book, you turned a terrifying prospect into a piece of (wedding) cake!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this will help you make a decent speech 6 Aug 2011
A perfect companion for someone preparing a best man's speech. I bought it about three weeks before the big day and managed to cobble together a speech that got a few chuckles and seemed to make the bride and groom happy.

The first half of the book covers the 'other duties' of a best man i.e. role in supporting wedding plans, organizing stag etc. (this section got a 10 minute glance from me - as I didn't see it as particularly relevant to the stage I was at. The bride and groom had already spelled out where they needed my support)

Part 2 of the book: The Speech gives you - in a short number of pages- all the guidance you need. i.e. Structure,strong opening and closing, Dos and Don'ts, tips for delivery, confidence tips etc. It includes apprx 10 sample speeches which you can pluck relevant funny one liners from and make them your own. The author provides heaps of food for thought to facilitate you in producing your own original speech.

To make best use of the material takes a little bit of time so do purchase with some time to spare before the wedding........
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Best Man 31 July 2009
All in all this was an average read. It has some useful little bits of information that you may need to know for the big day.

Advice on speech writing is very difficult as it's such a personal thing. You can try and take pieces from this book and incorporate them in your speech... but to be honest most of the jokes, bridging words, introductions etc. are all on the internet.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Last year my brother asked me to be his Best Man and initially jumped at the idea because it meant I wouldn't have to wear a hideous bridesmaids dress and could have an active role in the biggest day of his life. Then a mild panic set in when I realised that it was a huge responsibility and you only get one shot at doing this well and making it as memorable for him as possible.

As a girl, I thought I'd need some help getting this right, so I bought this book to give me some tips about the process and what's expected from a man's point of view.

Most of the book is common sense and written for the level of a man who's never had to organise anything important in his life. So having organised a few group holidays and activities in the past I'm pretty okay and gathering a large group and rallying the troops for a stag do. The hard bit was getting the balance of pranks vs fun right for the stag to make sure he enjoyed his day and everyone had a laugh.

Then came the more nerve racking part - writing the best man's speech. This is where this book comes into it's own. There are about 10 templates at the back that are written from every possible point of view - brother, sister, best woman, gay weddings, best mate etc. So you can read all the templates and steal the best bits that apply to you and your groom. It gives you a structure to follow so you cover off the main points you're supposed to and finish in under 10 minutes. I spent a few weeks gathering my thoughts about what funny stories to include about my brother, and then used this book to structure my speech which took me the best part of a saturday afternoon to finish. I can't tell you how much it helped me. It's worth the money just for that part.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great help
Published 28 days ago by Stephen Leonard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gave some helpful ideas
Published 3 months ago by sue harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars It's never complete - but his comes close...
The Best Man's speech carries such a lot of responsibility. it can make or break ...or even brake the festivities. Read more
Published 16 months ago by R. J. Hobby
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain!
I purchased this book for my boyfriend as he has the difficult tak of writing a best mans speech. The book was a bargain as it was second hand and he has found it so useful.
Published 17 months ago by littleshopper
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of money
There has to be a better book than this for best man duties. Save time and money and keep searching for it
Published 19 months ago by chrisb
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
A really useful guide for any best man, particularly essential for me as I was a best woman. Couldn't have done it without it and have lent it to (male) friends since.
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by jcrpage
4.0 out of 5 stars As the title suggests
We bought this book for our best man as a way to actually ask him to be the best man! So, although we didnt actually read it from cover to cover, my fiacne did have a good look... Read more
Published on 19 July 2010 by sportyerikakaka
3.0 out of 5 stars Very useful helper, but not perfect.
A useful, possibly essential companion to the build up to this seemingly colossal responsibility - I certainly benefitted from this entertaining and practical book. Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2010 by Mr. Aj Des Forges
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must!
Anyone who has been given the honour of being best man must buy this book.

You can never start preparing too early and this book will break down the duties and... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2009 by D. Grey
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