A great way to demonstrate that you've really done some research for your speech is to include some jokes about dates. No, not blind, double or speed-date references (they're often best avoided unless they're about how the Groom wooed the Bride); we're talking about quips from the calendar.
'On This Day' jokes
The Big Day is obviously historic for the Happy Couple but what other significant events happened on the same date in years gone by that could form the basis of a joke, preferably one linked in some way to the wedding?
"I've been looking to see what happened on May 3rd in other years and I see that on this date in 1979 Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister so, for the first time ever, the UK became accustomed to there being a woman in charge of all the important decisions. Today's a bit like that for you, isn't it, Ashley?"
"May 17th is a significant date. For example, did you know that it was on May 17th 1988 that 'Hello!' magazine was first published? Rob and Tina haven't tried to sell the photographic rights from this event to them; on the contrary, I believe that Rob has offered quite a sum to try and stop pictures from the stag night appearing in Cross Dressers' Weekly."
The Groom's date of birth
As you begin to speak about the Groom, you might mention when he was born. This will be a lot more interesting for the audience if you can include some humour about what else was going on in the world at the time and connect this with him/the wedding:
"The Groom was born in Bristol on the 6th January 1976. I did try to link this with some big world event, but it seems that nothing of much significance happened on a global scale. However, the staff at Bristol Royal Infirmary still refer to it as 'Monkey Birth Tuesday'."
If you cannot find anything to make a joke out of from the news on his exact date of birth then try just the month and year or even just the year:
"When Phil was born in 1974, Britain was working a three-day week, a practice which he continues to this day."
Sometimes looking at the whole year means that you can consider the trends, fashions and milestones from that period:
"Gareth came into the world in 1982, a year when an Australian team became the first to row to the South Pole, and Gareth may be able to learn from their heroic example as he embarks upon married life. Be prepared for rough seas and cold weather. When you hit a rough patch, pull together and you'll make it through. Remember that the challenges of today are also the 'good times' you'll look back on later. I know you'll make a great husband to Hayley, Gareth. Just don't expect to be dipping your oar quite so often ten years down the road."
Sharing a birthday
The Groom sharing a date of birth with someone famous could lead to a gag:
"Paul was born on May 22nd 1978, which means that he's exactly the same age as Katie Price. Well, bits of her anyway."
It's not exactly related to the event itself but it is at least about a much-engaged/married celebrity!
The famous person, incidentally, doesn't have to be from the present day.
"Mark shares his birthday, the 2nd of April, with a famous person - the fairytale writer Hans Christian Anderson. So it's only fitting that his courtship with Suzanne should culminate with a fairytale wedding here today!"
If the dates of the wedding or the Groom's birthday don't produce any ideas then why not look at when other significant events occurred in his life? How about the date he started university, graduated or first met the bride? Such references will obviously come at a later stage in the speech and will enable you to include much more recent events, for example:
"Mark met Suzanne in the summer of 2001, just around the time Goran Ivaniševic became the only person ever to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon as a wildcard. So, Mark wasn't the only no-hoper who did astonishingly well that year."
"The Bride and Groom met for the first time on September 1st 1994, which is one of those dates that always sticks in your head for some reason, along with the sinking of the Titanic, the Battle of the Somme, and the shooting of John F Kennedy."
Explore the date hook section in our best man speech content database for more ideas!
LMAO (Laughing My As-trology Off)
There is one further way in which to make humorous use of the Groom's date of birth and that is with a gag about the alleged characteristics of people born under his particular star sign. The logical place for this joke is immediately after any birthdate reference and here is an example for each sign:
"I was very aware when preparing this speech that those born under the zodiac sign of Aries are said to take offense at imagined slights. As a result, I've gone to great lengths to ensure that all the insults I'll be directing at John are absolutely genuine."
"Joe's astrological sign is Taurus 'the bull', which is rather appropriate in view of the CV he invented for himself when he first chatted up Sophie."
"Geminis are reputed to have a thirst for knowledge and I can honestly say that Glyn is one of the most curious people I've ever met. Actually, 'peculiar' would be a better word."
"One of the characteristics of those born under the sign of Cancer is that they're incredibly patient listeners, which is a good job, because the very shortest I could make this speech is one hour and seventeen minutes."
"Leos demand admiration, flattery and praise. Boy, did Kevin pick the wrong Best Man!"
"Having a birthday on the 19th of September makes Jack a Virgo - it's about the only thing that does - and they're supposed to be very analytical. Well, the first four letters of that are right."
"People with the star sign Libra are thought to be very indecisive and Ryan is no exception. In fact, during the ceremony, we all expected him to say 'I might' instead of 'I do'."
"Terry is a Scorpio and they're said to be dangerous enemies, which is why, knowing what's coming up in this speech, I plan to emigrate immediately afterwards and start a new life under an assumed name (TURN AWAY FROM HIM AND WHISPER LOUDLY) 'It's Sharon'."
"Sagittarians are terrific optimists, as demonstrated a few minutes ago when Jez whispered 'You're not going to give me a hard time with your speech, are you?"
"Gary is a Capricorn and they're considered to have a good sense of humour but to be very unforgiving if they're ridiculed. (AT THIS POINT PAUSE THEN REMOVE A NUMBER OF PAGES FROM YOUR SCRIPT). Just to be on the safe side!"
"Aquarius-born people are unorthodox, original, highly individual and always prefer to be doing something totally different from everybody else - so Sam and Karen's first dance should be really interesting."
"Robbie was born on March 19th and is a Pisces - or he will be after a couple of shandies. Many Pisces people are great believers in reincarnation, which could explain why he is so determined to bring back eighties fashions."
Including some humour based around the Groom's timeline really can add that extra, tailored touch to your speech.