Wedding reception toast ideas, for the best man and others
How to write a great Best Man speech for that important day.
The brilliantly burning lights focus on you and someone shoves a microphone in your face just as the music stops. Everyone’s attention turns to you as you clear your throat. You take a sip of water and begin, the Best Man Speech. What will you say? Should you be funny? Should you embarrass the groom? Should you just say, as one Best Man at a wedding I attended did, “I love you man.” Then sit down. What should you do?
Giving a speech is not the easiest thing for many people. They have tremendous fears of public speaking. My Best Man lost all color, broke out in a cold sweat, and almost collapsed before he got through. It was a fear that I knew he had and, actually, it was inconsiderate of me to ask him to do it, but he did. The things we do for our friends.
But how do you prepare your speech? First, think about what you want to say. Think about it for at least a week. Then write it down. Let it sit for a day or two. Then, read it out loud and see if it still sounds how you thought it would. Everything sounds different in your head. If you have a hard time speaking in public bring the written speech with you and read it. No one will care and you’ll be able to get through it.
How long should the speech be? Remember, this is not your wedding. You should not be the center of attention for long. Therefore, make the speech no longer than two or three minutes max. You’ll be amazed at how long that actually is.
Should it be funny? A nice anecdote or story about the bride or groom can be entertaining but, your job with the speech is not to entertain the guests. You are not a stand up comedian as some would believe. This is not your one golden opportunity to make a name for yourself, your fifteen minutes does not begin here. The main reason to avoid humor is that comedy always has a target or a victim. It has too. We laugh because we’re glad the story or joke isn’t about us. Therein lays the problem. If you’re giving a speech about the bride and groom then it is about them, making them the target. Any story or joke will likely embarrass one or the other, or both. And it’s their perfect day, so just don’t ruin it by telling stories that no one should hear.
So what should you say? First, thank the bride’s family and the groom’s family for hosting the wedding. They spent a lot of money on this day, acknowledge their contribution with a heartfelt thank you.
Next, say something nice about the bride. Say something about the first time you met her, and not that you thought she was hot. Say something about the way she makes the groom feel or the way she looks at him. They’re in love, so even something totally corny will go over really well on this day.
Next, say something nice about the groom. This person you have likely known for a long, long time. You should know them very well. Don’t talk about past girlfriends and finally finding the right one. He doesn’t want to be reminded of failed relationships on his wedding, and the bride won’t want to hear about all the other girls he’s seen.
You can say something about how the couple acts together. How they’re perfect for each other. You can talk about love or borrow a quotation from a poet or famous person, even from a greeting card. Sappy is good here.
Then, end it. Get the speech over with. Sometimes less is more. If you’ve covered all the thanks and nice things then don’t drag it on. People will think your speech was great even if it was only 60 seconds long. And don’t forget, your second job is to give the toast before you relinquish the microphone.
So, raise your glass to the happy couple, may they have many more happy years together.