Best Man Speeches, Examples and Advice
Best man speeches are examples of the least formal and most humorous of all the speeches given at a wedding reception. If you're dreading the experience of giving your best man speech, this thought should cheer you up: as the best man, you have the exclusive privilege of making fun of your best friend or brother in front of a lot of people on his wedding day. Take advantage of that fact, and have fun with it (but don't go overboard). Below are some examples of ways to incorporate some playful teasing into your best man speech.
Before you can work humor into your speech, you need to establish a structural outline. The exact order in which you present the points of your speech is entirely up to you, but it will help the flow of your writing to open (after introductions, of course) with a glimpse into the past and then transition into the present in the middle of your speech. Finally, direct the audience's attention forward into the future with your closing toast. You can't go wrong with that basic format.
It's extremely popular, even expected, for best man speeches to contain some sort of story from the groom's past. Such material is easy to come by and is interesting to listen to. Depending on how long you've known the groom, you might look back on about him. Need a few ideas of funny stories you might use? Try on some of the following first opening for size:
a"John and I hated each other when we met."
a"I'll never forget the day we blew up my parents' toilet."
a"I had the pleasure of knowing John in college, and I can tell you, he wasn't always such a lady killer."
a" (Groom's parents), you don't know this, but when we were in the ninth grade, wea"
There are a few limits on the types of stories that are appropriate for your best man speech. Some of the jokes or stories you want to tell may involve the groom's former love interests, crude humor, or content that may be inappropriate in the company of children or grandparents, all of which should be avoided in wedding speeches.
As your speech transitions into the present, and you talk about the relationship between the bride and groom, the humor will come more from tone and witty remarks than from the material itself. If you don't think the groom will take you too seriously, it's fine to turn the humor on him. Below are some forms humor might take in the middle section of your speech:
aCompliment the bride at the groom's expense: "Sarah is amazing, and she deserves the greatest husband in the world, but I'm glad she settled for John here."
aOffer humorous advice to the bride: "As his former roommate, I can tell youa"
aUse a funny quote: I recently came across this quote by Rita Rudner: "I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life." Sarah, you are that special person for John, and I don't doubt that he'll hold up his end of the deal beautifully.
Note: The aforementioned humor techniques should only be used on the groom. Never put down the bride or make sarcastic remarks at her expense.
Play with the balance between sincerity and sarcasm, always qualifying your jokes with a more serious comment so that everyone knows that you're aware of the importance of this occasion. One of the best ways to achieve this seriousness is to end with a sincere toast, expressing your heartfelt wishes for their marriage.
Even before the toast, it's important to remember that humor should not override all emotion. Also remember that your own sense of humor will work best in your best man speech. Gather examples if you need them, but be yourself!
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