How to Write a Best Man's Speech
When it comes to writing your best man’s speech remember the three P’s
- Preparation Taking the P out of the groom
Get it right and its free drinks all night and the bridesmaid of your choice. Get it wrong and you’ll be spending the night outside in the car park wishing you hadn’t included that joke about the stag do stripper.
How to write a Best Man's Speech – The Basic Phases
When writing your speech break it down into 7 key phases;
- Introduction Introduce yourself and your relationship to the groom. Start with a joke to set the tone of your speech and relax yourself and your audience.
- The Formal Bit Reply to the groom on behalf of the bridesmaids, ushers. And don’t forget to compliment the bride.
- The Roast A few gags or a relevant story at the groom’s expense. This will probably form the central part of your speech.
- Words of Wisdom Offer some words of advice or insights into marriage, this is another chance to add a few jokes.
- Time to be Nice After giving the groom a hard time, offer some sincerity and best wishes for the future.
- Postman Read out any messages, emails or cards from those who couldn’t make it on the day.
- Toast Finish your speech by asking everyone to stand and raise their glasses to the “To Mr & Mrs...”
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The perfect length of Best Man's speech is roughly 7 minutes. That’s plenty of time to deliver some killer jokes but not too long so that people get wrestles. The worst thing you can do is drag it out, if the guests start to get bored or fidgety they won’t listen as well and you’ll lose your audience.
The basic rule on language is, “Don’t swear, it's not £@#$ing big and it's not £@#$ing clever.” Remember this will be a mixed crowd including older and younger relatives so keep your language family friendly.
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The same goes for any gags you use, yes it's your job to ensure the groom gets thoroughly roasted in front of his nearest and dearest but what might seem hilarious down the pub on a Friday night with your mates probably isn't going to go down well with the bride's grandparents. A wedding isn't the place to tell how the groom ended up with that bruise/tattoo/rash. "What happens in Vegas..."
Is There Anything I Have To Include In My Best Man Speech?
Traditionally the Best Man answers on behalf of the bridesmaids and ushers for the kind words and thank you's from the groom. Also it's really important to introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the groom at the top of your best man’s speech as not everyone will know you. "Hi for those of you I haven't met my name's Tom and I'm Dave's best friend/cousin/parole officer, etc."
Don't Forget the Bride!
Yes its traditional to give the groom a hard time but don’t forget to compliment the bride and include her in your best man speech. This might seem really obvious to you but you’ll be amazed how many best men forget this vital part of their speech.
Keep it Light
When it's time to be sincere keep it light. It’s nice to say what a great mate/bloke the groom is but too much sentiment can be a bit sickly for an audience that have just eaten so much. This isn't the Oscars, so remember your role is principally to provide the laughs rather than a matrimonial version of Les Miserables (if you have just "Dreamed a Dream" tell a therapist not the wedding guests).
Traditionally it falls on the best man to read any messages from guests who couldn't make it on the day, so before the wedding speeches check with the couple’s family or anyone else who might have received messages that should be read out.
How to Write a Best Man's Speech
- Timing - A good speech should run around 7 minutes.
- Introduction - Remember to introduce yourself, not every will know you.
- Language - Don’t swear. There will be guests of all ages so keep it clean.
- Jokes - The same with jokes. Save the pub jokes for the pub.
- Thank You’s - Answer the groom’s ‘thanks’ on behalf of the bridesmaids.
- The Bride - Roast the groom but don’t forget to talk about the bride too.
- Keep it light - It’s not the Oscars so keep your speech upbeat.
- Postman - Read any messages from guests who couldn’t make it.
- Toast - Finish your speech by toasting the bride and groom.
The Best Man's speech is usually given 3rd after the father of the bride and the groom and there is often an expectation among the guests that the best man's speech will be the main act after any dull speeches before.
But be wary of using the same old jokes everyone has heard before. If you find a free jokes on the internet so has every other best man so the guests will probably have heard it before.
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