So at last! You’ve been asked to be a best man. About time too. Someone had finally seen fit to recognize your charismatic personality, organisational skills and the fact that you cut rather a dashing figure in a suit.
If your initial reaction is to feel flattered, hold onto that feeling, because the two sentiments that usually follow are uncertainty and panic. That is where good planning, superior knowledge and extensive practice can ease your worries and make sure that you are the best best man you can be. You owe that much to the couple who asked you to take on the role and you owe it to yourself.
Effectively the best man is responsible for most things but in charge of very little. In other words, the couple makes the decisions and it is your job to make sure their choices run smoothly. That means getting yourself organised, so write down details of dates, times, costs and contacts that affect you in a notebook or better still start a file on your computer and keep every piece of information you collect.
Some of the initial information may be ….. How many guests, the name and location of wedding venue.
Who will supply buttonholes and where will they be delivered (or picked up from, and by whom), are there orders of service and who will be taking delivery of them. What financial obligations are yours on the day so the Groom is not distracted by money worries. Who is the main contact person amongst the catering / venue staff. Will there be a Master of Ceremonies ? If so who and make sure you have a contact number.
Being a best man is not just about preparing a speech and organising a wild bucks night.
A best man also quietly smooths out all the little wrinkles in the background without making a fuss.
Much of a weddings focus is on the bride. This means that at some stage your mate (the Groom) may begin to experience isolation, anxiety and insecurity; it’s up to you to look out for these signs and be ready with a lot of confidence boosting banter. Whatever his concern, a really good best man needs to listen like a therapist and answer like a diplomat. Take this role seriously and you will be rewarded ten fold for your efforts.
First things first, cut back on caffeine and alcohol, both de-hydrate you and alcohol dulls the senses, filling you with a false sense of security. Avoid (mucous producing) dairy products 24-48 hrs before the big day. Clean your teeth prior to your speech, a clean mouth is a happy mouth and it helps you articulate.
The speech is not an extension of the buck’s night…. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Under no circumstances whatsoever should ex-lovers or former spouses be mentioned. It may embarrass family and children from these previous unions. I repeat, under no circumstances what-so-ever!
Avoid In-jokes, you are speaking to everybody not a select few and of course swear words have no place in a wedding day speech so choose from the millions of other words in the English language.
A few well chosen props such as a blown up photo of the groom as a baby always gets an “Ahh!” but be sure to include the bride as well as the groom. Get creative, just don’t try and steal the show and don’t rush it.
Go half the speed you feel you want to. There is likely to be older people present so speak loud and clear.
Finally – Practice! Write, re-write, condense and re-write again and again until it says all you want to say and only what you want to say. Practice it out loud as this allows you to hear yourself and get used to the rhythm and flow of your speech. Breathe and do so deeply and slowly, add a pause rather than an Um or an Ah.
There are many books available specifically written to help the best man and many good book stores carry a range of them. The internet is also a great source of ideas. Google best man and be amazed by the results.
Good luck and best wishes with your best man duties… now go out there and show to all concerned why you were chosen for the job. If your couple have chosen me to be their celebrant then you can expect to receive some additional information with a few ideas for the big day; and a few well chosen jokes to help you out. I hope they are of assistance to you. Of course you know the couple better than I so use what you want, disregard the rest and above all try and make it an enjoyable day for all concerned. I hope to see you at the wedding, feel free to let me know if any of these ideas were of assistance and of any ideas you have for future candidates so I can add to this information and make good men …BEST MEN!
BEST MAN SPEECH – Ten Commandments:
1. Try to say everything you need to say in less than 1000 words or 7 minutes.
You don’t have to cover every year of the groom’s life.
2. Your speech needs humour, but no real detail. Think about whether you really need to recite a whole story.
3. Don’t include more than one anecdote or reminiscence. At a typical reception half the guests don’t know the other half. The speech must be entertaining even to people who have never met the characters you’re talking about.
4. The speech should contain plenty of humour and friendly digs at the bridegroom. But it should also include an equal number of congratulatory and optimistic remarks.
5. As stated elsewhere under no circumstances refer to previous girlfriends or spouses of either Bride or Groom.
6. Compliment the bride, the mothers of bride & groom and of course the bridesmaids.
7. As stated elsewhere under no circumstances are swear words or any profanity acceptable.
8. Consign the opening line and the next two lines of your speech to memory. Then, if necessary, read the rest word for word, but try to raise your head and speak to the audience as much as you can.
9. Speak loudly and slowly, and use pauses between sections of your speech or to let the laughter die down after you’ve delivered a killer line.
10. End with a flourish. People remember longest the last thing they hear.
Spend time finding the ideal concluding remarks for your speech.
“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen – Let me first say that the bridesmaids look absolutely stunning today, and only rightly outshone by our bride, ______. And, I’m sure you’ll agree with me gentlemen, today is a sad day for single men, as another beauty leaves the available list. And ladies, I’m sure you’ll agree that today’s passing by without much of a ripple……… ”
The above is simply a few basics for best men. (Just a few ideas to get you thinking, gather your own and make it all yours)
You may also benefit from reading the Bride and Groom pages as well.
If I can be of further assistance do not hesitate to contact me: https://www.yourcelebrant.com.au