The best man speech is the one everybody remembers, and the one that must be the hardest to prepare for. I have had the pleasure of being asked to be a best man three times, and that makes me feel I’m well positioned to share my thoughts and feelings on this subject.
There are only really three things which a best man must mention in his speech and the first is to echo the groom’s kind words about the bridesmaids. The second is to tell the bride she looks lovely – it’s ok that you’re writing the speech weeks in advance as she will look lovely, whether you think it or not!
This will usually continue with a witty few lines during the best man introduction, and lead on into stories about the groom’s younger days including how the best man and groom met, early girlfriends and maybe a little about hobbies, interests and profession. References to the torment the groom faced on his stag weekend can be made at any point and are always of great amusement to those who attended.
The third and final part of the speech that is expected of the best man should take on a more serious note, as you wish the bride and groom a happy and prosperous future and finally toast the new Mr and Mrs.
Now all of that is far easier written than said! Of the three times I was a best man, the first was a complete success, with each joke flowing smoothly into the next and delivered so well that even I was pleased. The second was an outright disaster. With fluffed lines and mumbled sections, nerves got the better of me. The third speech was delivered to a group of around 16 people and went very well indeed. It was shorter than my previous two, as I didn’t want it to run on for too long due to it only being a small group but it still had a decent opening, a good story to embarass the groom and a cheerful end. I’ll look to add the speeches I’ve made to the resources section over the net few weeks.