The Best Man Speech: 5 Things To Avoid…
Let’s be honest, if you had to pick the most challenging of wedding speeches, it would have to be the best man speech. We’ve got speech experts at greatspeechwriting.co.uk to reveal their top tips and advice to all those nervous best men!
Whilst the father-of-the-bride can fill his speech with pride and gush, and the groom with love and gratitude, it’s the best man who is left to amuse, regale, and entertain! And perhaps more crucially, the best man has to do this without offending the bride, groom and their guests – no easy endeavour when you are addressing four generations of friends and relations from at least two families in one room.
The trick is to be what you’ve quite literally been asked to be – the ‘BEST’ man, and not the crude, abusive and self-centred mate; a role you may perform admirably the rest of the time! Give yourself plenty of time to plan the speech and keep it original, relevant and appropriate. At all costs, AVOID the following…
Anecdotes from the stag do
Whilst your memory of the event may be a bit hazy, it is a fact that only a small number of the guests attended the stag do. A handful of the lads in the room may be very amused by your story of the groom in his Bart Simpson outfit trying to enter a strip club in Amsterdam, but the majority of guests will feel uneasy and excluded. And importantly, you won’t get the laughs you were expecting.
Humorous or Offensive?
Avoid jokes and anecdotes that are likely to offend guests, in particular, the bride. Best man speeches are renowned for being a bit coarse, but it’s easy to let them be taken too far. Before telling any shocking story, get the opinion of more than one person as to whether it might not come across so funny as offensive.
Don’t judge a potential story on whether you and your mate find it funny, but on whether the majority of the guests (including Grandma) will be offended. And let’s face it, you won’t improve your chances with the bridesmaids either!
However chilled out the bride is about the groom‘s past, she doesn’t want to be reminded of any ex-girlfriends on her wedding day, even if there is a good story behind it.
It’s easy to let your own friendship with the groom be the main focus of your best man speech. But if you talk about ‘yours truly ‘ too much, it can start to sound egotistical and be a little tedious for everyone else.
Over Abuse Of The Groom
Whilst this is certainly the time for a joke or two at the expense of the groom – don’t take it too far. Character assassinations are never popular and you don’t want to come across as cruel. It is all about how you phrase things! You can mock and tease without being unkind.
An effective way of doing this is to weave in contradictions and opposites – if the groom is very intelligent then reference his less clever moments; if he’s particularly macho, make fun of him being a bit camp. You don’t have to go easy on him, but remember one of your roles as best man involves telling everyone (albeit in a jokey way) essentially what a great guy he is.
Avoiding these speech spoilers will help ensure your speech is well received and memorable for all the right reasons. Don’t forget the best way to work out whether your speech is appropriate or not it to read it out to others – but not just the lads from the stag do!
Alternatively, get in touch with professional wedding speech writer Lawrence Bernstein from greatspeechwriting.co.uk. He and his team are always happy to give free advice, act as a sounding board, or indeed help, edit or write the speech for you!