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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Hart

Matt Hart, Best Man? This Better Work

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

Mr. & Mrs. McLaughlin

There is a lot of pressure on the best man speech. Last month, in the shadow of the Capitol in the great State of California, I had the honor of being under pressure to deliver that speech for a friend of 25+ years. And it isn't something you can pull off cramming at the last minute. The pressure.

How do you capture almost 3 decades of friendship without rambling?

How do you get everyone laughing? Slightly roast your friend? Deliver a sweet message?

And, how do you effectively sell through the close for your friend with his wife and new family looking on?

With months of planning, collecting notes, requesting ideas, rounds of feedback sessions, and A LOT of editing, I delivered for Bird.

Gary and Margie, after all these years, we’re all just happy you are able to join us for one of Evan’s parties.

Thank you for having sympathy for all of us devils over the years….

When Evan asked me to be the best man, I immediately thought… “Really? Me? Knowing there is a best man speech and open bar?”


Then I started to thinking about the responsibility, mostly the speech.

I have come to some very sobering realizations:

  1. He has an outstanding group of friends. Real gentleman… I reached out to several for some ideas on what to say, I was overwhelmed by the responses. Nothing that can be used but man, was I entertained.

  2. I can really set the tone for this marriage ---- the heat, a few cocktails, a hot mic and everyone’s undivided attention - is anyone else nervous?

  3. It is also incredibly difficult to think of a single story to from a friendship of 25+ years. But thankfully, I received a text last week from Evan being informed that I am limited to 2 minutes.

There are a lot of things we’ve had in common over the years - sports seemingly the common thread - The Oakland A’s. Ironically, we first met one another on a Little League Giants baseball team coached by a guy named Dewey…

About a month after that, Evan fell out of a tree and broke his wing….

But that is not when he received the nickname, “Bird” as we all affectionately call him. Aside from being the kid who fell out of the tree and clipped wing, to my memory, Bird showed up to every single practice and game that year to support the team.

We continued as friends through middle school through CYO basketball and CCD.

Then there were our high school years at Foothill.

Jenny, I’m sorry. When Evan told me there wasn’t going to be a wedding cake, I felt bad. After the end of basketball season, I celebrated by smashing a piece of cake in Evan's face… twice and can’t help but think I may have caused some kind of cake related ptsd.

Jenny - what can we say, you are an amazing woman and you just look absolutely beautiful today.

Like everyone here, it has been great to see how happy you’ve made Evan and to watch your love story unfold over the last few years.

In fact, the whole world has watched... through the 9,523 selfies Evan has posted to social------ we've described this as Bird’s nesting phase.

And you’ve stood by his side…

Which is incredible knowing he has watched “I, Tonya” over 8 times.

I have known Evan to be a lot of things: Cross-country runner, an Alter Boy, journalist, helluva crooner, class president, politician, he was the best damn school mascot in Foothill Falcon history, a lemonade salesman, the list goes on...

But perhaps the best and most impressive thing of all, is that thanks to you Jenny, we get to add “cat person,” to that list.

With everything Bird has been over the years, the guy gives it 100% and then some. Your unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence, has been something for us all to admire.

Especially, the year you dressed up as Forrest Gump for Halloween - from the box of See’s Candy to the suit and well…. the resemblance - you were a spitting image.

Right here at the steps of the state capital and this classy hotel, we all get to live through the ending everyone wanted - for Forrest and Jenny to live happily ever after.

And now, like in the movie and Evan’s real life, he will give you 100% and then some.

You two are just getting started and I am lucky to be a part of it as your friend.

To Bird and Lady Bird, Cheers!

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