Congratulations! You’ve been named the best man, and there are many responsibilities to go with that title. One task, in particular, will place your name among those who lead their friends into battle: giving an epic toast!
Here is the ultimate guide to prepare you for this once in a lifetime task.
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Best Man Speech Do’s & Don’ts
The best man’s speech is a standard component of the wedding proceedings, and it provides an opportunity for you to say some sweet words about your relationship with the couple.
Although the Best Man speech is one of the day’s highlights, you should only make your speech around 10 minutes long.
Don’t feel the need to be funny, as you’ll create too much pressure on yourself.
If you have no idea how to start, write down a list of tales and meaningful quotes that you would like to say and begin to form your speech around that. You’ll soon see that the funny stories will lead to jokes and maybe even tears!
Be creative with it! Don’t fall into the old clichés or feel that you need to be traditional. The bride and groom will appreciate the lack of formality for a short while, listening to memories and the nice things you’re going to say.
I’d avoid the obvious jokes related to the bedroom department as that will just embarrass everyone, and you might get a look from the bride’s father.
Remember your audience! Please don’t tell any embarrassing stories that the bride and groom don’t want the world to know. You know, stories told in confidence or memories that really shouldn’t be shared with the parents or grandparents.
Don’t make the speech too long. The Best Man speech is a highlight of the day, but no one wants to listen to a speech for 45 minutes. The best speeches are short, sharp and light-hearted.
Don’t waste any time talking about the time the groom asked you to be the best man or what you’ve been doing in your role; this is only ever filler and should be avoided at all costs.
Remember this speech is only about one person: the groom. If you keep that in mind, it should make things a lot easier.
It’s a common mistake for best men to talk about themselves, mainly because they are the focus of the story. Don’t let that happen.
Don’t panic! If you’re looking for some inspiration, our failsafe best man’s speech structure is the perfect place to start. With its straightforward format and easy-to-follow instructions make it easy to navigate all situations. This will be an Oscar-winning performance without you trying so hard!
A best man speech is an integral part of the wedding day that needs to be done right. You only get one shot at this, so make sure you’re prepared with our easy-to-use template for crafting your own unique story and speech jokes!
You want to make sure your speech sounds casual and effortless, but it still needs an outline. Some simple rules will help you achieve this balance between formality and fun.
Start with a solid and amusing opening line to get your audience on the same page from the off.
A classic way to put wedding guests at ease is by mentioning how you’re feeling about giving this speech. It’ll make them feel empathy while still believing in your ability. Making lighthearted references such as self-deprecating humour makes it not seem daunting after all. Just don’t talk about yourself for more than 30 seconds.
Once you’ve said the first sentence, your speech will feel a bit more comfortable and can get into full flow.
The most important thing at this point for all speakers is to welcome their guests – which could be done with just one simple sentence:
“Welcome! Thank you so much for coming here tonight on behalf of myself (name) and the bride and groom.’‘
This also gives them a chance to mention how honoured you are a part of the happy couple lives. Use a light-hearted tone when complimenting them.
This is the part where you tell the room your name. There is a chance that there may be some distant relatives, which may have no idea who you are!
Tell the story of how you met. Try and make it humorous; you want a little chuckle here.
Tell a light-hearted, un-offensive memory of when you were all together and how you knew then that (the bride) was the one for your best friend.
You could tell a couple of stories here if you wish, wrapping it up with how you think that they’re a great couple.
You really should say something about the bride here – perhaps about how she is such an amazing woman, how beautiful she looks, her choice of husband or how you are grateful to have her in her life too.
Finish your speech with a toast and a heartfelt last sentence.
Best Man Speech Tips
If you’re speaking at a formal occasion, keep things short and sweet. It’s better to leave people wanting more rather than having nothing left to remember you by.
If you feel like sharing an anecdote, wait until after the speech instead if you feel it may be inappropriate for the wider audience.
It’s always good practice to include anecdotes and a funny story throughout your speech. This keeps your listeners engaged and interested in what you’re saying.
Keep your eye contact when telling funny jokes! Your jokes will get lost if you’re not engaging with wedding guests. Try avoiding bad jokes as you don’t want the groan that follows them.
You need to give a toast before you finish your speech. But do try and avoid making jokes about the bride and groom themselves. Instead, focus on thanking everyone involved in the ceremony and telling them why you believe they deserve to be happy and, indeed, will be.
When you speak from the heart, you tend to forget everything around you. So take advantage of this opportunity to express your feelings towards the bride and groom. You might find that doing so helps you relax and deliver a flawless speech.
Never let the bride and groom down during your speech. They’ve worked hard to plan the perfect evening, and you mustn’t ruin it for them. Keep your comments brief and positive.
There will undoubtedly be times when you can use humour in your speech. However, don’t go overboard. Remember that not everybody shares your sense of humour. And even those who do won’t appreciate hearing inappropriate remarks.
Finally, never change yourself to fit into someone else’s mould. Be true to yourself and stick to your style.
Ask friends and family members to read over your speech and offer their feedback. If possible, get some professional help as well.
The most important thing is to practise! Practice makes perfect. Don’t worry if you make mistakes along the way; just learn from them and move forward. You can use Cue cards until you feel comfortable without them.
Drinking alcohol isn’t recommended while giving a best man speech. Not only does it affect your ability to concentrate, but it also affects your memory.
So limit yourself to one drink per hour. That means no cocktails either.
A lot of people dread giving a best man speech because they fear being boring. Well, there’s absolutely no reason to be nervous. Just enjoy yourself and talk naturally.
Relax and just have fun with your speech. After all, it’s supposed to be enjoyable. So smile, have a sense of humor and tell stories, whenever appropriate, and you’ll have the perfect speech.
What does the best man pay for?
Traditionally they pay for the Stag do and any Travel Accommodations. In some cases, they are also expected to pay for the attire of the groomsmen. But nowadays each pays for their own suit.
Who does the best man thank?
The Groom. The best man thanks the groom initially but will thank the wedding party on behalf of the groom.