The Best Man Toasts are, some say, the highlight of the wedding reception. I know when I was asked for the first time to be Best Man I was thrilled and very nervous at the same time! Everyone kept asking me all day, “don't forget you lines", “hope its funny", “don't forget to thank the bridesmaids" and it goes on. . .
As a Best Man you are expected to be courteous, funny, charming and sometimes cheeky. You are the last to make toasts and speeches, and more often than not, the best man speech is what everyone remembers. So no pressure then.
But being Best Man needn't be too scary, after all the day is about the bride and groom (not you). And you'll be pleased to know there is certain degree of etiquette that you can and should follow. This etiquette can help you plan you speech, offer guidance on toasting and with a planned Best Man Speech you won't stumble on your lines.
So where do you start?
Here are a few pointers for you to follow:
- You will be following the Groom, so make sure you're there for the speeches! Once the Groom introduces you, or you are introduced by the Toast master, you should start by thanking the groom and the father of the bride for their speeches and in turn thank all the guests for attending the wedding.
- Thank the bridesmaids and page boys; try not to forget their names. Always a good thing to write them down at the beginning of the day.
- The compliment the bride on her beauty.
- Thank the parents of the groom and the bride on their behalf. After this, give a toast to both of the pairs of parents.
- Now it is time for a short humorous anecdote about the groom. Remember you have probably been asked to be Best man because you and the Groom have been friends for sometime. This gives you plenty to be funny about! But whatever you say do not embarrass him!
- It is enough just to mention or comment about something you both got up to, with actually giving too much away. This form of humor is lighter and everyone, including the Groom, will thank you for it.
- But for those that don't know the Groom, do comment on his life efforts or achievements etc.
- After you have finished with the Groom, now is the time to say something about the bride. Depending on how well you know the bride will determine what you can say. In preparation for the speech, try talking to the Groom to seek out any anecdotes. Please, discretion must used here, stay away from jokes as it could easily go horribly wrong!
- Then it is time to say something about the bride and the groom as a couple.
- Conclude with a toast on the groom and the bride.
A few things you must keep in mind:
- Keep the speech between 5 - 12mins. Nobody likes a long speech; it's hard to keep everyone's attention. Plus, you'll be surprised how quickly you run out of time.
- Although you'll be nervous, do not drink too much before your speech. It's OK to have a few drinks but drink plenty of water. There'll be plenty of time for partying after!
- Your opening lines are very important, chose them very carefully. They are probably the hardest to write. To start these early in you preparation. Remember to don't embarrass anyone, as the joke will fall back on you. Your are there to honor you best friend. Make him proud.
- Brainstorm your first draft; don't stop to read it back until you are finished. Usually the best words come first, naturally.
- Always read the draft(s) back to yourself and time them.
- When you are ready, invite another friend round who knows the Groom and read it out loud to them. If you can't read it out to one person, what will you do on the day?!
- Lastly, relax and enjoy the occasion. You have been bestowed a great honor, just be yourself.
All of these are just a few pointers that you might find useful. Just remember to prepare the speech in advance, relax and enjoy yourself.
If you want more ideas for classic best man speeches, head over to Make Homemade