Being asked to be the best man at a wedding is an honour and it shows that you’ve impacted on somebody’s life so much they want you to play an important part in the biggest day of their lives. It does however bring with certain responsibilities and duties that must be performed on the day, with maybe the most nerve-wracking of them being the best man speech.
Writing the best man speech is all about finding a great balance, it needs to be witty and informative, whilst not offending the groom or his family or becoming too clichéd.
Not offending people in the room is a fine art so it’s best not to pick on the bride or grooms families for any reason unless you have a very close relationship with them personally and know they are up for the joke, save all your energies for giving the groom a bit of a ribbing as he’s chosen you because your close, you know you can get away with it with him. A nice opening line is always: “Ladies and Gents, I don’t need to take the Mickey out of the groom today – nature has already beaten me to it.”
Try to ensure that your speech is designed for the whole audience, if you are consistently referring to acts that only you and the groom know about or a very small group know about then whilst you’ll get a few laughs from them, most of the room will not know what your talking about and it’s going to sound very quiet standing there with only 2 or three people laughing.
Giving a good best man speech is so important and will be remembered as part of the wedding so it is best to try and not get drunk before giving the speech, whilst it’s OK to have a drink or two beforehand, if your planning on drinking heavily at the wedding then save it until after you’ve given the speech, no matter how nervous you are. The majority of the worst best man speeches given at weddings are due to alcohol intoxication.
The biggest thing you can do in order to get your speech right and ensure that it goes down well on the day is to ensure that you do your research. Speak to the grooms friends and family and work on your speech with them, they will undoubtedly have some great stories (and photographs should the need call) and on the day everybody will be right behind you as they will feel that they have helped with your speech and will feel that sense of belonging as your giving it.
The last thing to note is to mind your language. The room is going to be full of people of all ages, so if your whole speech is you swearing every other line, your going to offend a few people there, this can easily be avoided by keeping it clean, save the trash talk for drunken nights out with the newly married groom.
Remember, the aim of the best man speech is to rib the groom a little, share a few jokes with his friends and family but most importantly of all, ensure he can enjoy the rest of the day with his head held high.