Could there be anything more terrifying? For many people speaking in public is the ultimate fear while others consider being in the spotlight their rightful place and crave any audience. However most guys fear having to write and deliver a wedding speech.
Traditionally the Father of the Bride gives the first speech, during which he ends by toasting the happy couple. It also seems to be tradition for the Brides father to give the longest and dullest speech possible and talk for longer than the ceremony lasted. This can be easily avoided with a few simple tips. Second comes the Groom who will publicly thank the bridesmaids, ushers and acknowledge both sets of parents. The Best Man’s speech is usually given 3rd and there is an expectation that this is the main act of what can sometimes be a rather dull part of proceedings. This speech will either be celebrated as the high point of the wedding or he’ll be removed bodily from the building by the bride’s angry brothers while the bride’s mother looks on scowling. The best man should not only mention the bride but he also answers on behalf of the bridesmaids and ushers for the kind words of the Groom.
At many weddings the father of the bride’s has been known to drag out a bit, well it’s only fair, he is the one that laid out all the cash so that a load of relatives he doesn’t like and strangers he’s never met and will probably never meet again can have a free meal and party at his expense. However there is no need for him to be dull and there is help at hand (see below). Most Grooms don’t prepare their speech and try to rush through it as quickly as possible, seeing as its his party the Groom can get away with delivering his speech however he chooses. The perfect wedding speech should last around 7 minutes.
Swearing is a big “no no”. Just don’t do it. Remember this will be a very mixed crowd.
Most of the time the real fun stuff comes from the Best Man however although he is there to ensure the groom gets a comedy roast what might seem really funny to a the Groom and his friends down the pub on a Friday night might not be the kind of thing that’s going to amuse the bride’s grandparents. If you are undecided about whether something is too close to the knuckle then its best to err on the side of caution.
The Basic Phases
All three of the wedding speeches can be broken down into phases, stick with this basic rules and you can’t go wrong. Here is an example of the Best Man’s speech phases.
- Introduction. Introduce yourself and your relationship to the groom. This is a good place to try your first joke to relax yourself and your audience.
- The formal bit. Reply on behalf of the bridesmaids, ushers, etc. Compliment the bride’s parents on the great day and their hospitality. And compliment the bride.
- The Roast. A few gags or a relevant story at the groom’s expense.
- Words of wisdom. Offer some words of advice or insights into marriage, this is a good place to deliver some killer jokes or quotes.
- Time to be nice. Before you wrap up and now that you have given the groom such a hard time its then time to offer some sincerity and best wishes for the future.
- Postman. Read out any messages or cards from those who couldn’t make it on the day.
- Toast. Finish your speech by asking everyone to stand and raise their glasses to the newlyweds. This might have been done by the father of the bride but no one will mind toasting the happy couple a second time and it’s a great way to bring your speech to a close.
Speech Writing Services
The internet has numerous companies that offer to write your speech for you and while this may seem an easy option it isn’t a great idea. Firstly these “writers” don’t know you, everyone has a particular way of speaking and so there’s no way they can write for your speech patterns. Also they have never met the happy couple so how can they be qualified to speak to them? No matter whether you are the Father of the Bride, the Groom or the Best Man your speech should come from you.
If need be there are plenty of sites that can help providing you with a bonanza of one liners and ice breakers that you can weave into your speech without losing your own important words. But don’t be afraid to mix good humour with a hint of romance, there are many great quotes on love and marriage which can give your speech a touch of class. Let’s face it most guys have never had to write a speech before let alone ensure that it is littered with a few laughs to keep the crowd entertained.
Using databases to help bring your speech to life is a useful tip and can certainly fill in the blanks and give you some humorous hand grenades to throw when needed but keep in mind that ultimately it must be YOUR speech and YOUR words, it’s a special celebration and your chance to pay tribute to a couple who hold you in such high esteem.
Most of all don’t let the nerves get to you. A famous English comedian once commented that giving a wedding speech is a bit like making love to the queen, it’s a great honour but nobody really wants to do it. People recognise how hard it is to have to give a wedding speech, everyone at the wedding wants you to do a great job and so is on your side willing you to do well. So relax, enjoy and don’t let it give you too many sleepless nights. Stick to the basic rules and you will be celebrated as the hero of the hour. The Father of the Bride will have the adoration of his wife and beautiful daughter and admiration of his friends and relatives. The Groom will show why his new wife chose so wisely and be welcomed into the arms of his new family. For the Best Man…. Well get it right and you could well wind up with your pick of the bridesmaids!
For more expert tips and advice go to www.simplythebestman.com