The best man stands to give his speech……
The guests are silent, waiting for the revelations that are about to come from the best man in his speech. They want the stories, the gritty details about the groom’s shady past, the ex-girlfriends, the day he was so drunk that he woke up in a telephone box wearing someone else’s coat and minus his trainers…. but never the stag do stories, after all those are sacred and what happens in Cardiff stays in Cardiff!
The best man comes to the wedding with all the best intentions though. He’s spent weeks perfecting it and reading and re-reading it, pulling bits out, adding bits in, tweaking here and there. There are soooooo many stories he could have used and it’s been a trial in itself deciding which ones should make the cut. He wants to amuse people, but in a way that amuses people and doesn’t offend the family at the same time. The bride is a good sport right? She’ll appreciate a good joke at her new husband’s expense. And then the best man suddenly realises that he actually doesn’t know the bride very well at all. Will she appreciate a laugh and a joke…… or not?? Good grief, this is harder than it seems!
So back to the day, the best man stands, the crowd hushes and with a croak and the clearing of a throat he begins. “I first met James at a house party…….” There’s a dangerous line right there. Cue the hilarious story about how they came to find out that they were soul mates and to become best buddies through their mutual love of beer. Here is the point where anything can happen. It can go brilliantly and he’ll be a legend forever, or he can make a right old mess of it and he’ll be a talked about forever for a completely different reason. We’ve all been to that wedding where the speech was horrific. You cringe at the poor guy as he battles his way through it. It’s too long, it’s not funny, you can’t hear properly, and quite frankly you could do better yourself.
So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen to you and you do end up with legend status? We’ve put together some tips on how you prepare and how you present. Make notes guys, this is important……
DO work on the speech in good time
The night before the wedding is really not the time to start working on your speech. “You don’t say” I hear you all muttering at your screens, but it happens, a lot! It’s put off and put off and then before you know it it’s too late and you’ve got to knock something together a bit quick. It’s a daunting task and it’s important to start on it nice and early. It’ll give you time to allow for writers block, for you to put it down and come back to it when you think of bits and pieces you’d like to add, time to read and re-read it and practice presenting it.
DON’T over egg it
Everyone loves a good speech but even the best speech gets tiring if you’ve been listening to it for half an hour. Keep stories and anecdotes concise so that people don’t have to concentrate on the entire back catalogue of friends that appear in the story. It’ll also give you chance to get more funny things in the speech, and will reassure you that if one story isn’t going well it’ll be over and on to the next one soon!
DO have a dig at the groom but DON’T go overboard
Of course you’ve got to poke fun at the groom, that’s the point of the speech isn’t it, but don’t step over the line with it. After all, this poor guy is supposed to be your best friend, or close family, and you want him to really enjoy it and want to relive it later on down the line. Every groom wants the legendary best man, not the one that crucifies him on his wedding day. Also have some thought for the bride at this point. Steer clear of the ex-girlfriends in this speech. As brides we know they’re there, we know they’re in the past, and that’s where they need to stay!
So you’ve got your speech and you think you’re happy with it. Fabulous news. The hard work is done. Before launching it to the public though please practice. Practice standing up and talking, even if you’re talking to yourself in the mirror or to the people on the TV. You will almost certainly have to project your voice so the people at the back can hear you otherwise you’ll have lost half the room before you’ve started. Read it to someone else who will give you an honest opinion – not just someone who will tell you it’s hilarious. Get someone who can give you a good honest critique to listen to you, and listen to what they say. If they tell you something is overstepping the mark then you should probably take that into account, after all you don’t want to offend the guests.
On the day DO make sure you’ve got a drink to hand
You’ll need one to keep your dry mouth at bay while talking, and one to toast the happy couple with. Don’t get seriously drunk first though. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or the bridge and groom.
DO take your time and remember to breathe
Sounds obvious but you may find that you stand up and the voice in your head is screaming “talk faster, get it over with”. There’s no hurry, and you want people to enjoy it. Why not enjoy the limelight yourself for a few minutes. Be natural and let your personality come through. These are your words, not someone else’s script.
DON’T forget to mention the bride
Tell her how amazing she looks, and how happy she makes the groom. You don’t need to mention the big blow out arguement they had last year, today is all that matters.
DO finish your speech with a toast to the happy couple
There! Easy wasn’t it! Well done you for giving the most amazing speech any groom has ever heard.
Have a fabulous day, Terri x
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