By Sarah McBrien
As best man you share in all the most memorable moments of your best friend’s wedding. From the stag do to giving your brother-in-arms the ring that will bind him to his true love forever at the altar. The best man speech is the staple of any wedding reception, and while the task may seem daunting at first, you’ll figure out exactly what to say to inject some humour while reminding everyone of the love that has brought them together for the day. To help you get started, we’ve put together some handy prompts and tips to nail your speech and prepare everyone for a wild night of libations and celebrations.
Introduce yourself – A clever opening line is essential, but it’s important to remember that while many of the guests will have known you for years, others will not. Be sure to say your name and give a short recap of how you know the groom/couple.
Shout out the main players – It’s good to take a moment in your speech to congratulate the couple on the success of the day and the beauty of their new spouse. Also mention their parents, bridal party, caterers and venue managers who worked hard to put everything together, the courtesy will be appreciated.
Be selective – And keep it clean! There’s no need to rehash every pub crawl or crazy antics you and the groom got yourselves into over the years. Pick a couple of your best moments together and be sure it’s appropriate for his grandmother to hear about.
Be sincere – Anecdotes are great but to give your speech some substance try to include some moments of real emotion. A good way to do this is to include what it means to you to see your best friend find his love and your hopes for the couple’s future. Another way to make your speech extra special is to collect messages from friends and family who couldn’t make it and read out their well wishes for the newlyweds.
Keep it light-hearted – Remember that this is really only the beginning of the celebrations, and you want it to kick off on a high note. Including some serious sentiments will add depth to your speech but don’t let it drag the mood too much.
Practise your timing – Once you have your first draft, record yourself reading it so you know exactly how long it will take to get through. Try to keep it under the 10-minute mark so everyone can keep up and the dinner service isn’t delayed.
Get feedback – Now that you’re happy with the structure and timing, perform your speech in front of an audience who know the couple, and who you know will be honest. They’ll be able tell you what works and what doesn’t and the practice will help you improve your diction and pacing too.