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Best Man’s Speech during our Wedding – Kach and Jonathan Howe

By Kach Umandap July 14th, 2016 Posted in Inspiration and Love Stories 10 Comments

I was able to ask Jonny Williams, Jonathan’s mate and his best man, to send me the copy of his Best Man Speech during our wedding! HAHA! Hilarious but really appreciate how much he prepared for this! Just in case you missed this or you’re just curious about Jonathan’s life (the guy who doesn’t like social media but ended up being a blogger!).. read this! (If you’re Jon Howe / Kenya’s friend and you have something more to stay, feel free to comment… I wanna know more! haha!)

Jonny Williams and our UK Wedding
Jonny Williams- Ed Anthony – Tom Bobs after our ceremony!


For those of you here that don’t know who I am, my name is Jonny and I’m a friend of Jon Howe’s. We actually used to live together so unfortunately for Jon Howe, I know him probably a bit too well.

Jonathan Howe in Cardiff 1He invited me via Facebook and said he wasn’t having a best man, he was just having MEN. Interpret that however you want but thanks for asking me to be a MAN. You did stupidly state that anybody that wanted to make a speech could do so……you idiot!

SO people of the wedding party, I’d just like to start by laying down a couple of ground rules. Firstly, no heckling please – this part is mostly aimed at Cousin Alan because he has a severe case of verbal diarrhoea . And secondly, if you do have a mobile phone…please, leave it switched on; keep yourselves entertained. I think if you keep your spirits high and your expectations low, everyone will be happy.

Right then, let’s see if I can get through this speech without making any enemies or being banned from any future Howe family gatherings.

[ PLEASE don’t be afraid to use your imagination, however, I will not be held responsible for any psychological damage incurred ]

The Beginning of Jon Howe

For those of you that don’t know what my relationship with Jon Howe is like, you might immediately be wondering why I’m referring to him as ‘Jon Howe’ and not simply Jon or even Jonathan. To be honest there’s no real reason for it – it’s just what we’ve always done since knowing him.

Jonathan Howe in Cardiff 3I’m originally from Wales and typically everybody has some kind of nickname there; Dai the Milk (the milkman), Jones the bread (the baker), Tommy Two Pints (because he can’t handle his beer). Then you’ve got the REALLY Welsh nicknames; the ones that incorporate the place you’re from; sometimes these even include your house name….Jamie Blaenffos, Evans Maenclochog, Tristan Bryncleddau.

If you think I’m veering off track already, don’t be fooled – this all ties in because the majority of our friendship group have been awarded nicknames. We’ve got such legends as Tom Bobs, Squinty, Cousin Alan, Face, Cogwyn etc. Some of these chaps are in the room and if previous wedding parties are anything to go by, you may be lucky enough to experience some mild nudity and possibly crying. Remember, use your imagination!

Ok, so Jon Howe was a late addition to the gang, therefore we needed a proper nickname for him to make sure he became fully integrated. I think it was the summer of 2009 when he graced us with his Northern presence for the first time. He moved into one of our shared houses in Cardiff at the last minute after seeing the room advertised on the internet. He viewed the room and had a sort of interview I guess – much like a terrible dating agency. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite the hot girl we’d all hoped and prayed would move in, but he seemed alright so he got the job as housemate number 5 in 167 Cathays Terrace.

Anyway, Jon Howe was now in our friendship group so we started hanging out, going for drinks, skateboarding, surfing etc. We all got on great so he was soon ‘one of the lads.’ He still needed a nickname though – he (and we) weren’t satisfied with plain ‘ole ‘Jon Howe’. It wasn’t until quite a while after he arrived in Cardiff that he started earning a few initial nicknames. [So, for anybody that’s ever been drinking with Jon Howe, you’ll be familiar with some of his standard drunk ‘faces.’]

Use your imagination………

The first sign of Jon Howe being smashed…….he grins – it’s as if someone has hooked the corners of his mouth and pinned the string to the ceiling! I don’t know how his jaw doesn’t ache in the morning because his slightly odd grin doesn’t move for hours! It’s as if he’s secretly plotting to kill you whilst you sleep but keeping up appearances on the front end. He looks and grins at you as if he’s thinking; “yeah you might be my friend now, but I’m gonna cut you up later.” It was this odd grin that earned himself his first nickname, given to him by a girl in a bar. In her EXACT words; “what’s wrong with your mate – he looks like a Cheshire Cat?!”  And so Jon temporarily became The Cheshire Cat.

Nickname number two; again, awarded for a second drunken distinguishing quality of his. After a few beers, Jon Howe blinks A LOT. He therefore became known as ‘Blinky’. Just picture Jon Howe staring at you with his massive grin and his blinky eyelids all night – I’m surprised we’re still friends to be honest, Jon…..ya weirdo!

This is where the nickname thing gets pretty hilarious……

YEARS AGO (don’t worry, Kach), Jon Howe was seeing a girl that lived in our friend’s house, across the road from mine. Don’t worry – I’m not going to that typical best man thing and destroy you with stories of exes (I would love to though). She was a nice girl and we all knew her. I don’t think it was anything serious but she took a bit of a shine to Jon for a while! [ She obviously doesn’t mind Cheshire Cats with overactive eyelids! ] Anyway, I somehow heard through the grapevine that she and her friends had been referring to Jon as ‘Hot Jon.’ Now, I’m not entirely sure how true this is but I like to think Jon started the rumour himself and made sure it got back to us! This is totally plausible, as you will find out in the next bit! TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE! So whatever, Jon Howe has now turned into ‘Hot Jon.’ Good for you, Jon Howe. Good for you!

One night there was a house party at this girl’s place, over the road from mine. We’re all there having a nice time. The drinks are flowing and our friend Dan Skyrme has just gotten naked again – it’s all pretty standard stuff. Bare with me…..this is where my memory gets a little hazy so I’m just going to tell it how I remember. The details may not be totally accurate but there’s no point letting the truth get in the way of a good story at this point – I’m in too deep. I remember it being pretty late into the night and we’re all in the kitchen of this house. The music is blasting and everybody is having a nice time. I look over and Jon Howe is sat on a wooden bench on the far end of the kitchen. He’s leaned over playing tonsil tennis with who I assumed was the girl he’d been seeing………it’s not the girl he’s been seeing! At this point, you’d think that considering he’s in HER house and he’s quite BLATANTLY kissing another girl, things may turn sour pretty soon. You’d be right in thinking that, of course. Now, you might think this situation is not ideal for anybody involved and it can’t possibly get any worse. However, apparently it can get worse. This other girl is the house mate and best friend of the girl he’s meant to be seeing! Believe me, I’m not remotely interested in watching Jon Howe eating some girl’s face, BUT this is now actually hilarious! As you can imagine, this event has now created quite a situation in this house, especially between these ladies.

If I’m totally honest, I don’t really remember what happened immediately afterwards (too many lemonades) but what happened in the days post-scandal is genuinely funny. If I was in Jon’s shoes, I think I’d probably feel a bit guilty and ashamed of myself. Not……Jon Howe. Instead of hanging his head in shame, he instead now thinks he’s an absolute lad and has given himself a new, apparently appropriate nickname. Hot Jon was dead, but in his place a legend stands tall……….BAD JON HOWE. Not Bad Jon, but BAD JON HOWE!!!!!! The funniest part of this is that he gave the nickname to himself – nobody else was involved in the naming ceremony, only Bad Jon Howe. If you’re that much of a badass, you’re allowed to name yourself, right? Is that HOWE it works? He’s the guy some women fall head over heels for but he’s also the guy all men should fear. BAD JON HOWE!!!!!!!! All girls love a bad boy, right?!

As you can imagine, that one didn’t catch on. Back to plain ‘ole Jon Howe…….much better!

Jon Howe and the Facemask

Jon has always been quite serious and I think maybe we were probably a bit ‘much’ for him at times. That’s quite alright though – somebody has to be the sensible one! HOWEVER, if anybody remembers when he had that ridiculous facemask, it was literally impossible to take him seriously. Obviously, we shouldn’t laugh at somebody else’s’ misfortune, and Jon’s previously-wonky nose isn’t something I would laugh at or make fun of….but the facemask he wore after the operation……Jesus Christ. As if the dodgy grin and the blinking wasn’t frightening enough, he now spends all day in a Hannibal Lecter-type mask. HE ACTUALLY managed to chat up a girl wearing that thing. I don’t know whether she was of sound mind but fair play, Jon Howe! You’ve got better chat than I’ll ever have, evidently.

Jon Howe; The Ideas Man

For anybody who’s known Jon for a good amount of time, you’ll know he’s full of ideas . They’re usually terrible, mind. When we lived together, he decided we NEEDED a swimming pool in the garden. He was adamant he could build one, you know, with all that swimming pool building experience he’s acquired from a long history of building no swimming pools EVER! It never materialised.

Another one of his brainiac ideas was to build a large shed in our garden! I know what you’re thinking…..how big was that f**king garden?! Let me put it into perspective for you – it was about the size of _______________________ – we lived in a 4 bedroom terraced house in Cardiff – it was not large. Now then, why did Jon Howe want to build a shed in the garden?! I’ll tell you why he wanted to build a shed in the garden…..he wanted to build a shed so he could restore vintage motorcycles in it. Ok, bare in mind, at this point he didn’t even have a motorcycle license! He had ZERO mechanical experience and no tools. Sounds like you had it all planned out there, mate. Again, the shed need happened.

Jon loved the garden! He loved it so much, he used to spend time burning all his stuff in it. I came home one night and he’d made a fire to burn stuff! We didn’t have an incinerator or any kind of fire pit – we just had a grassy garden…….emphasis on HAD a grassy garden. The former grassy garden evolved into a patchy, ashy mess thanks to Jon Howe and his love of burning old documents and other various bits of crap. Any normal person would’ve invested in a shredder…..not Jon Howe! Shredders cost money, ya know?!

Jon Howe; The Sensible Guy

As I briefly mentioned earlier, every friendship group has the sensible member – our sensible guy is Jon Howe!

Jonathan Howe in Cardiff 2Here’s an example of how sensible Jon is……by the way, for anybody that doesn’t know me, I work in the music industry and spend my time touring. I often get friends guest list places for shows but I do have to be careful about who I invite incase they get me into trouble for misbehaving. Anyway, I took Jon and some other mates to a gig in Bristol once and we all went for drinks with the band afterwards in a nice little pub. So we’re all there and everybody is having a nice time, just chatting about the show and music in general. As I’m chatting away, I realise I’ve left Jon Howe UNATTENDED with the lead singer of the band. Oh God. I go over and it seems Jon Howe had struck up a slightly different kind of conversation to the rest of us. I leave him for five minutes and he’s talking about double glazing and cavity wall insulation! I’m like Jesus Christ, Jon Howe! You’re talking to the singer in a rock band – talk about girls and drinking or something! DON’T DO THIS TO ME!!!!!! I need you to make me look cool. come oooonnnnn.

As you can imagine, when you do things that aren’t entirely sensible and they may slightly inconvenience the sensible guy, it doesn’t always go down to well. Being the immature, pain in the arse individuals we were, we sometimes enjoyed winding Jon up because it was so easy. I’m a fine one talking, I know – I get annoyed at everything. When it was time for Jon to be wound up, it was like my holiday.

Jon Howe used to drive a bright green/turquoise Peugeot 106 and he used to park it outside our house in Cardiff. Our living room was at the end of the hallway and you could see the front door from the sofa. One morning, Jon opened the front door, coffee in hand and stepped outside for his morning fag. As I lay on the sofa watching him, he lit his cigarette and look out across the street. He looked to his right, to the end of the street and took it in – the sun was shining and the birds were tweeting…..how lovely. He looked to his left and starred down the street; his eyes fixed! The cigarette may have even dropped out of his mouth [ even if it didn’t let’s imagine it did ]. What was he looking at I hear you ask?! Haaaaaaa. What I haven’t told you is that the previous night everybody in the house had gone out on the town, except Jon. As “punishment” for being a real person and having a good job, we decided Jon’s Peugeot 106 didn’t look so great parked on the side of the road. Being drunk, we obviously couldn’t move it via driving – that’s just stupid and damn dangerous. BUT being drunk, we now had superhuman strength so we could lift it. Grabbing a wheel arch each, we manage to actually lift his little hatchback onto the pavement, completely blocking the path! THE LOOK ON HIS FACE AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh Jon, I bet you started to regret moving in with us! It was too easy.

One of the most hypercritical (if that’s the right term) things Jon Howe has ever done is delete Facebook because he didn’t want people knowing what he was doing. “I don’t want people knowing where I am or what I’m up to. The Government blah blah blah…..” I switched off right around then. Now, that’s all very well if that’s what you want, however, it’s incredible to think that Facebook is largely responsible for your new-found fame because you now WANT people to know what you’re doing and where you are. In fact, isn’t that how you make a living?! You tell people what you’re up to and show everybody pictures of yourself?! But you don’t want the Government spying on you or whatever that bullshit was?…..ok, Jon! I do love you, Jon Howe!

I don’t need to tell any more stories of Jon and potentially embarrass him – you’ve all got the picture! What I do need to talk about is the most important story of all….

Watch our full wedding video above, by Forpix.cz, check out their website for more amazing videos! 

Jon Howe Leaves Real Life and Meets Dream Girl

In March 2013, Jon ACTUALLY FINALLY got his arse in gear, ditched his respectable office job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. I was actually due to fly to Thailand the same day but instead had to go to the US with work and cancelled my flight.

The outbound journey wasn’t as plain sailing as Jon had hoped because the stupid idiot booked a flight for 10am but turned up at Heathrow thinking it was for 10pm and subsequently missed the flight by 12 hours. You absolute tool. Only Jon Howe could do this.

However, he eventually got there and his life then changed forever – the new chapter had begun. I’m sure you all know the story, but this led to him meeting the wonderful Kach whilst exploring Laos a few months later. If you don’t know the full story, I’m sure Jon or Kach can send you a link to their blog on it. God knows how many times I’ve seen it posted in my Facebook feed. I probably know it inside out – I probably know it better than Jon does. Stop making me hate my life or I’ll have to delete you from our online “friendship”!!!!!!

In the years that we lived in Cardiff, Jon talked about quitting everything and leaving all the time. We’d be like, “yeah, yeah Jon….another one of your fantastic plans.” When he finally did it, I was over the moon for him – he might not admit it but you could tell he hated what he was doing….stuck in Cardiff, wearing a suit every day and sitting in an office. Jon’s the adventurous, outdoorsy type so architecture and Cardiff just wasn’t for him. He needed to leave. He did it.

We skyped and chatted on Facebook when he first set off so I was up to date with most of the goings-on. The drug running, the pimping……only joking – he taught English in a school – how very Jon Howe. He told me he’d met a Filipino girl in Laos and she was coming to meet up with him in Vietnam. “I thought JON HOWE you absolute hero.” Getting Filipino girls to travel across countries to meet up with you. You bloody player! Who knew this girl would be the sweet, beautiful, wonderful Kach. Who knows what she sees in him! [ I’ve tried to fancy Jon but I just can’t do it! He’s not my type, maybe. ]

To be honest, I did not ever imagine Jon Howe to be travelling the World and writing blogs for a living. I mean, it’s Jon Howe…….this is BAD JON HOWE we’re talking about!!!!!!!! I really, truly, honestly did not imagine Jon to meet the love of his life whilst travelling through Asia; not because I didn’t think he was capable of it – of course he was! To me it just seems like something that only happens in films or dreams. I envy everything Jon and Kach have together and one day, I hope all of us singletons can experience the magical experiences Jon and Kach have shared and will continue to share in their days, months and years to come.

They are the most perfect couple with the most romantic, dreamy story, and those of you that know Kach will know how wonderful she is. She’s caring, polite and beautiful inside and out. She definitely wears the trousers in this relationship and SO SHE SHOULD; somebody needs to look after Jon Howe!

JON, you’re an extremely lucky guy and I know you will treat Kach better than I have treated you in this speech. I feel immensely honoured that I’ve actually been “allowed” to give this speech and I feel immensely honoured to be a part of this momentous occasion. As the saying goes, you’ve got yourself one helluva KACH there!

KACH, look after him. Don’t leave him unattended for too long – he might talk to someone to death with his knowledge of cavity-wall insulation.

Thank you Jon and Kach for inviting me and thank you for being a part of my life. Thanks for filling up my Facebook and Instagram feeds with pictures of white, sandy beaches – I REALLY, REALLY enjoy them!!!!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, will you please join me now in toasting two young – well, quite young (Jon’s getting on a bit)! – two young people who have everything, because they love each other, and at the end of the day, no matter where you are or what’s going on, that’s all you need.

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN…..JON HOWE (say the full name) and KACH


Monkey Dividers

Thanks Jonny, we’re now waiting for your turn…. hahaha!


Jonny Williams

Monkey Dividers

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10 thoughts on “Best Man’s Speech during our Wedding – Kach and Jonathan Howe

  1. He is really the best man ever…. Cool and ohhhh good luck in looking for your future, in everything and off course one day you’ll have your own woman too, the sweetest, most beautiful and most caring in the universe…

  2. OMG…!!! Such a funny bestman ever ???
    Anyway..congratulations both of you..may god bless you all the time…Good luck..!

  3. This is absolutely a legendary funny best man speech ever! I’d been to a lot of weddings, and this is bloody raw and honestly hilarious! I had a roller coaster ride while reading this post! Absolutely made my day!

    And oh! Johnny’s single?! Seriously? With all the humor and good looks? haha! I can’t buy that info he’s still single tho!

    Thanks a lot Kach for the newsletter and awesomeness overload! Enjoy your honeymoon, I’ll forever wait for updates, You know, #mayforever! Even if it means waiting forever! haha!

  4. OMG I’ve never (heard) read such funny bestman speech. That was full of humor and sense lol

    Congratulations & Best Wishes Jon & Kach! God bless ?

  5. Hi Kach!

    Congratulations! I’ve been following you two and I’ve read almost every blog you wrote. Seeing you finally married is like one of those moments where you feel that everything’s going to be fine after all the bad times you go through. You’ve been the biggest inspiration to me. You’ve inspired me so much to the point where I booked a trip to Vietnam, but I cancelled at the last minute. I got scared.

    After reading this speech, I can see how you’ve been a great impact to Jon’s life. Quitting your jobs led you to each other. Keep inspiring! Keep being awesome! Hope you’ll be blessed with young’uns.
    Never stop caring for each other, never stop putting the other first. I wish you both love that will last a lifetime.

  6. Speech like that is so perfectly amazing! Made me smile like a Cheshire cat till the end..
    Best wishes to the newly weds..! 🙂 🙂
    And congratulations!

  7. found myself laughing while reading his speech Ms. Kach! hahaha and I realized you have the same story as your hubby does. Look how the universe brought you together? Such a great love story!! Best wishes and God bless you always!

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.