Happy New Year! How's your hangover? Oh well; with a bit of luck, it will have worn off before you take to the mic at your best friend's wedding. You haven't forgotten that, have you? Obviously not, or you wouldn't be here… So, in the spirit of the season, how about a few New Year's Resolutions, tailor-made for the Best Man, to help your buddy's big day go with a bang:
You've got a license to play for laughs, but don't forget that etiquette also requires you to thank your hosts, as well as the groom himself. And, if you're feeling particularly thankful, by all means widen the net…
I'd like to thank all of you who made it here for Paul and Linda's big day, and especially Paul's Great Uncle who nearly didn't make it because he was 111 last week… Sorry; that should be 'ill'... I can't read my own handwriting.
The Groom himself is, of course, a fair target for gags. But unless you know his family very well and are sure that will can take it in good humour, don't make anyone else at the top table the butt of your jokes. Is the Groom's Dad a miser? Keep it to yourself, even if the free bar has a two drink limit. And if there's even a grain of truth in this gag, just ditch it, dude…
Look at Paul's sister. She always cries at weddings… She cried at her own, actually, though you can hardly blame her… nobody wants to get ditched at the altar.
It's wonderful to be here today. There was a time when I thought the prospect of Paul getting married was about as likely as Donald Trump becoming US President… Wait… if Paul… that means… oh dear God!
The only thing worse than a drunk Best Man is a drunk wedding photographer… or maybe a drunk bride… or groom… or a drunk priest... Okay, so there are worse things than a drunk Best Man, but that's not the point. I don't care if you're the bastard child of Tara Reid and Tony Montana. the least you can do is postpone your personal party until the speeches are out of the way. Your lasting memory of the day should not be rinsing puke off a rented tux in the gents bathroom.
You know that thing I said about the Groom being a fair target for gags? It's fair to say that the Best Man's speech is traditionally one part toast, two parts roast, but there are still lines that shouldn't be crossed. Certain subjects should be considered off limits for your speech, among them, ex-girlfriends, previous marriages, misgivings about the bride and that story about that one girl in that bar in Thailand who turned out to be offering a little more than was advertised, if you know what I mean.
After you've roasted the Groom until the juices run clear when you stick a fork in him, take a moment to dial things back and do a little damage limitation. A heartfelt salute to your best friend will underline the spirit of love and good humour behind the pummeling you've just given him. And if you find yourself facing a tough crowd, it's always easier to get an 'aaah' than a 'ha-ha'.
Give yourself a pat on the back for visiting this website; you're well on your way to keeping this resolution already. Public speaking can be a nerve wracking experience, so make sure you prepare your speech properly in advance of the big day. If you've found it particularly difficult - even with our expert help - don't be afraid to poke fun at yourself with a quick one-liner about the trials of speech-writing; like this guy, who absolutely nails it…