While the ladies will remember your wedding day for the dress you wore, most guests will remember and repeat sections of the speeches from your wedding reception. This is the best man’s (or woman’s) opportunity to get it right, but so many fail abysmally. Therefore, it would be beneficial if the the bride had a quiet word early on to ensure that the speech is remembered for all the right reasons.
Diving in right at the deep end, the bride will expect to find out a few new stories from the groom’s past, but they should not be anything that could ruin the day for the bride and groom, especially if they refer to his, how should we say, past girlfriends – or boyfriends.
Tips for the best man’s speech
Finding the right balance that includes humour and still sounds fresh while avoiding the usual clichés or strings of four letter words best left in the bar, is a difficult task.
The good news is that the best man needs to present the groom in the best possible light, perhaps with a minor mention of past indiscretions, but not related to previous lovers. The best man is usually the best friend or the brother of the groom so he (or she) should know the person well.
The best man can collect examples of speeches online, although originality is a good thing!
The speech isn’t designed to embarrass anyone at the reception, so personal messages about anyone else present are best avoided if they are likely to force someone to need to leave the room.
Get off to a good start
A good tip is to learn the first line by heart – and make it a good one. This will provide the best man with confidence to continue the speech from easy to read notes, perhaps bullet points.
If your best man is going to use notes (it as a good idea unless he’s a professional speaker) then double spaced lines are much easier to read when standing than trying to use Arial font at size 4 just to get all the words on one sheet of paper.
Making the point
There is no point in the best man making references to events that occurred where only a couple members of the audience can laugh unless the event is explained for all to understand.
Of course, the best man should complement the bride during the speech, but he shouldn’t go so far as to cause embarrassment. Over the top personal opinions of the bride might cause humiliation all around.
Planning the speech gives it the best chance to be remembered for all the right reasons. It can be relatively short and still have great impact, but it should never insult the people paying for the wedding or any of their relatives.
The best man should, without exception, respond on behalf of the bridesmaids (and himself) thanking the bride and groom for allowing them to be part of the big day.
Your best man can also offer a toast to the bride and groom, although this task is properly reserved for the father of the bride.
It is also the best man’s duty to toast the bridesmaids. Miss this task and your best man will be remembered forever – and not for the right reasons.