Massive respect to all the best men out there. I've been in the position myself and in terms of the "bro code" it's a tremendous privilege to be chosen for this role. It's a time when its acceptable to hug your pal for more than 0.5 seconds and of course you can give as many manly back slaps during that emotional embrace as you like. It's a guy thing, and as soon as the hug is over and you've gone back to talking about FHM and football, the dreaded realisation that you need to stand up and talk in front of lots of people sets in...and so do the cold sweats.
Have no fear, your auld pal Ross is here to give you tips on how to nail the speech and get that nod of approval from your best friend.
Follow these tips and you'll be golden.
1. Set A Time Limit.
I'm not joking when I say that this first tip is absolutely crucial! There is nothing worse than a long speech (slight exaggeration). Weddings are fantastic, its a special day for lots of people. Spirits are high, people are in a great mood and your guaranteed to get laughs during your speech but if you prolong the dinner, people get "HANGRY" (when you're so hungry, you get angry) and those laughs will become far and few.
Keep it to about 7-10 minutes and your sorted. It's not too long and not too short and you should be able to fill that with good content without having to scrape the bottom of the barrel for funny stories. Quality over quantity and all that.
2. DO NOT INSULT THE BRIDE!!!!!
There's a good chance the bride thinks your an idiot anyway, after all, the groom has most likely told her some embarrassing stories about you, so keep her sweet. Funny wee jibes are fine but nothing too personal and always back up any dodgy comments with something nice about her. This goes for the groom too. You can be a bit more cruel to him but always throw in some nice comments too.
3. Keep It Clean
I've heard a lot of speeches in my time as a wedding photographer and dirty speeches are very cringy. Don't get me wrong, a bit of blue can be welcomed with almighty outbursts of laughter mainly from shock value, but i'd definitely say keep the dirty chat for nights out with the lads. On a side note, avoid swearing. Your audience is varied and Grandparents, kids etc don't want to hear it. Keep it classy.
4. Props Are Good.
I think this may be down to personal preference but I've never seen anyone not get a laugh when using some funny props during the speech. It keeps things diverse and interesting and stops people from zoning out, after all, the best man speech is the last speech before dinner. People are hungry and may drift off if things are a bit stagnant.
5. Don't Reminisce Too Much.
It's nice to go back a few years and tell a funny story from the past but no need to go down memory lane and drag up lots of "good ol' times" stories. Half of the guests probably won't really know much about the other half. The speech should be interesting to everyone.
6. Use Que Cards
Do not have the entire speech written down in front of you. I recommend writing the full thing down when initially writing it but when it comes to practicing it, use que cards and try to remember as much as you can without reading it from the cards. This is awesome if you can do this. It makes you look confidant (talk loudly) and also gives you lots of respect as you have clearly taken the time to practice the speech. If you're reading it like a kid in school, it's boring. DON'T BE THAT GUY!
7. End with a Flourish
Think about the headliner at a music festival, they don't just end the last song with a b-side that nobody likes and walks off. They end with a fan favourite and leave people feeling good. Take this philosophy in and make sure the last line is a beauty. It could be something nice or something funny but make sure it hits home.
I know this is a hard thing to do but remember what I mentioned earlier, people are in high spirits at a wedding, they love the best man speech, It's what the groom and father of the bride have been support acts for. They're ready to laugh and your the man for the job! Follow these tips and you can't go wrong. You've been chosen because your important to the groom and you won't disappoint.
I would love to hear from any best men out there and to hear some more tips to help future best men. Write you experiences in the comments below and give us a laugh.