Clothes maketh the man, they say, and never was it more true than on his wedding day. Marital fashion takes the concept of Sunday Best and turns it up to 11, to ensure that the happy couple are looking their best while all eyes are on them.
Of course, things don't always go to plan. Even a wedding, with all its months of planning, isn't immune to the occasional wardrobe disaster. Taste, figure, fashion, all can combine to create a nightmare vision of frilly excess.
And then there's the unavoidable fact that some people, no matter whether they're in Primark seconds or a Saville Row suit, will always look as if they've rolled in glue then jumped into a dressing-up box.
The point is, if you have a Best Man's speech to deliver, then poking fun at your mate's wedding day finery is a great way to lighten the tone. As always, however, there are some golden rules to observe:
Never, ever target the bride. A dig at her dress is only going to upset. Either she's happy with it, and your gag will undermine her self-confidence, or she has her own nagging doubts, and you might just tip her over into sobbing in the bathroom territory.
And, though a little ribbing is fair game, and you can expect a thicker skin from the groom, make sure that any jokes about his attire fall short of actual criticism. Target the man, not the expensive, ill-fitting suit, or face the consequences!
Consider a little self-deprecating dig at your own get up. If you can share the spotlight as the focus of your jokes, your audience will instantly understand that your intentions are playful and friendly, not malicious.
Got it? Great! Let's have a look at a few choice lines that you can weave into your speech, starting with a little dig or two at your own outfit…
"What do you think of my wedding suit? I got it off the peg… That'll teach my neighbours not to leave their washing on the line at night."
"Some people look great in a suit, but I'm not sure the look works for me. I had to walk past the magistrate's court to get here, and I spent five minutes fighting off the bailiffs."
Now, with the crowd softened up, let's turn those funnies on the groom!
If he's wearing a kilt...
"Some people might think it's weird that we're all wearing kilts when there's not a Scottish bone in Steve's body… but you didn't see what Jock McTavish did to him on his stag do."
"You know, even on a cold day, there are advantages to choosing traditional Scottish costume for your wedding… For starters, unlike the ladies, you're unlikely to have a nervous breakdown if another bloke turns up wearing the same skirt… in fact, it's something of a relief!"
If it's a traditional morning suit affair...
"I must say, Paul, you did a lovely job picking out our suits for today. But I'm worried that yours and mine got switched this morning… This one's very loose around the waist, and it's absolutely strangling my unmentionables!"
"You know, most people spend ages planning their perfect wedding outfit, but Paul's never been one for fashion. He bought the figures for the cake first, then shopped around to find something that matched!"
If the groom has a reputation for vanity…
"Paul's always been a good looking guy, as you can tell from his immaculate appearance today. In fact, when we were kids, his favourite forms of entertainment, in reverse order, were TV, his Playstation, and mirrors."
"I'm not saying Paul's vain, but before he met Linda, he'd already asked for his own hand in marriage."
If he's known for being image-conscious…
"Of course, Paul's always been very fastidious about his looks, but this morning was off the scale! He spent three hours in the bathroom! Three hours! If you want to know what that's like, try agreeing to give a speech at a wedding. I was in there for three and a half!"
And if his fashion sense is legendarily bad…
"'Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999!' sang the late, great Prince. And a glance at Paul's hair and clothes suggests that he took it literally!"