Following on from our well received article from a few weeks ago which was all about the important role a Maid of Honour provides ( you can read that article by clicking here ), we thought we would take a look at some tips on how to write a perfect Best Mans Speech.
Let me make something clear before you spend 5 minutes of your time reading this! I have NEVER been a Best Man, BUT I have been a Groom and I have been a wedding photographer for over 15 years.
I have seen some amazing Best Man speeches and unfortunately some awful ones. If you are already feeling unsettled about having to write a Best Mans speech, or if you are worried about what your Best Man may say, let me give you my thoughts on the gig based on my experience.
Firstly, there's no hiding from it, the Best Mans speech is the most difficult speech out of all the speeches made on the day in many respects. The first tip is, remember you are at a wedding. A room full of family, friends, children, parents, grandparents and work colleagues. What's funny between the lads isn't funny to Aunt Jean or the Brides Father. Choose the stories you tell carefully, do they need censoring? Play safe! Have you ever heard Ant and Dec say "F**k" on I'm a Celebrity....? No! So keep swearing out of it or to the absolute minimum. Keep personal jokes out of the speech. What's funny to 10 of the lads and leaves the remaining 85 guests puzzled is probably only funny to you, the 10 lads and the Groom.
Use Google for ideas for your speech and you can then try to form a structure then shape and mould the words to make them your own. Having seen so many speeches you can tell the downloaded ones within the opening lines. There's nothing wrong with this, it's just not personal and it honestly does show. Don't forget to talk about the Bride. The day is all about the celebration of the love the Bride and Groom share, so don't worry about talking about it. Start writing the speech well in advance of the wedding, at least 4 weeks before the big day. You don't need the final draft in this time, but start to plan it and ask peoples advice. Try it out on your partner etc. It is a very important speech, so you want to make sure its right.
When the big day arrives and it's time to stand up and read, remember millions of people have done this before you. Everyone in the room is on your side and although it's easy for me to say sat at a desk typing away, try not be nervous. Once you start to read, the words will start to flow. Take your time and pause in between sentences. What feels like a 20 second gap as you compose yourself will in reality be about 0.5 seconds. Take your time! Use a printed copy of the speech to read from. Scrap the idea of using your phone or Ipad. It just doesn't work as the device tends to lock itself and you'll be fumbling around to put your passcode in. Or you'll get a Facebook notification and the app will launch. Even worse your mum will call to see how the speech went and your guaranteed to lose your place. Keep it traditional, use paper.
That said, keep a copy on your phone in case you loose the hard copy! Aim for an overall running length of no longer than 15 minutes. Anything past this will bore your photographers........... I mean guests :) DONT DO A QUIZ IN YOUR SPEECH! It doesn't work! I've seen it a number of times and yes it's fun for the first 2-3 questions but come question 10 it becomes too long winded. By all means use props, old photographs, prints, little bits of video, but again use these wisely. Remember, it's not a business presentation and your speech is there to slot seamlessly into a rigorously planned event. Its an emotional day with a lot of activities, so make sure your speech doesn't intrude into the running order. Dont drink too much before the speech! A bit of dutch courage is cool, but a drunken Best Man only makes a fool of himself. I've witnessed this many times and it was once so bad the Best Mans wife had to take over and read the speech!
It may seem obvious, but don't mention any ex girlfriends or drunken encounters that have gone before. It just isn't right for the atmosphere. Don't treat the speech like a works presentation, more of an informal chat with a group of friends. I have seen some speeches that develop into a CV for the Groom, bringing up work, colleagues, corporate achievements, quotes from the company CEO. Everything you say has to be relevant to the mass crowd! Having seen so many of speeches, it really is easier than you think to smash it. Just make it from the heart, add the odd joke in there, some funny stories of years gone by, a bit of romance and don't forget to say how beautiful the Bridesmaids look! There's so much information out there on how to write a Best Mans speech, so do the research, take your time and keep it family friendly.
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