Published on October 12th, 2015 | by Staggered0
10 Things to Avoid Saying in Your Best Man Speech
Although it’s a real honour to be asked, the prospect of giving a best man speech is enough to make even the world’s toughest man perspire under his morning suit.
It’s one of the biggest moments of any wedding day and with so many people to please, striking the perfect balance of humour and sincerity can be tricky – especially when you’ve already had a few ceremonial sherbets.
People are always telling you the things you should say, but never things you shouldn’t. So, to make sure you don’t make a total boob of yourself – or reduce the bride’s mum to tears – here are 10 things you should avoid saying in a best man speech.
Don’t mention the rough start
Announcing to a whole room of the groom’s loved ones that you didn’t actually like him at first is sure to go down like a fart in a lift, so don’t do it. You might achieve a couple of smug chuckles but you’ll get things off to a really bad start with that sort of cyncinism
Don’t go into detail about bodily fluids
Not wanting to be hypocrites, we won’t go into any gross detail here, but let’s just say, keep the pee and poo stories to a minimum. If there’s an anecdote attached to a tale of bodily ablutions that’s worth telling, make sure you do, but spare the gruesome details – people will have just eaten their main course.
Don’t forget to edit your stories
Generally speaking, we’d recommend that a best man speech last no longer than 7 – 8 minutes. No one likes a never ending story so make sure your personal anecdotes are funny, snappy and have a definitive punchline. If you go on and on, people will get bored. With a best man speech, brevity is key.
Remember, “Write drunk; edit sober” – Ernest Hemingway
Don’t mention the previous break-up
Most couples endure at least one temporary break-up during their relationship; this doesn’t need to be mentioned. Your speech is supposed to be a celebration of the bride and groom’s union and if you don’t want to get stiletto wrapped around the back of your head, make sure you avoid talking about any past domestic bust ups.
Don’t talk about other girls the groom has slept with
This should be fairly obvious but there have been many occasions where the best man has publicly announced a time when his best mate had an intoxicated roll around with a pair of cabaret dancers in the back of a minivan (or something like that), only to be met with theatrical gasps and a hundred angry faces. It’s okay to be a bit blue, but crossing over the line will kill your speech stone dead and probably your friendship.
Don’t be sexual towards the bride’s mother
‘Cor, if she looks like Mrs [insert name here] in 20 years, he’s in for a real treat. Just look at those…’ By all means, compliment the bride’s mother, adjectives suggestive of her beauty such as “gorgeous/stunning/attractive/wonderful” are always welcomed, but don’t get too pervy – you may have a post speech lynch mob on your hands.
Don’t analyse the groom’s stamina
Talking about how long the groom may or may not last in the sack at the end of the night is terribly cliché. It’s been way overused, it rarely goes down well with the bride’s family (people don’t want an image of a naked daughter seared into their brains) and frankly, you can do better than that.
Don’t hog the limelight
Just remember, everyone has their moment in the spotlight and all eyes will be on you, but it doesn’t mean the speech is about your life and how the marriage will cause you to lose your drinking buddy (unless it’s mentioned briefly and in jest); force you to re-evaluate your own circumstances, or anything like that. What’s even worse is blurting out an exciting piece of personal information about yourself during the speech, like you’ve just got engaged – you’ll have your turn, so wait!
Don’t be too sloppy with the ‘s-language’
What this means is, be sparing with your use of slang terms and offensive words to avoid upsetting or alienating your guests. Typically, guests at a wedding reception span many generations – and in many cases, geographical locations. A regular word to you might be offensive to someone else so you must be careful when doing the final edit. Also, using too much of the ‘geeza’, ‘duck’ or ‘keks’ (depending on where you’re from) will confuse some guests, therefore, taking the impact out of your speech.
Don’t spill the beans too early
It’s vital to start strong and grab the room’s attention with something magical, but don’t forget, it’s just as important to end with a bang. Kick things off with something sweet and succinct to avoid telling your best story or gag too early. By blowing your beans too soon, you run the risk of fading out and losing attention which is never good. Ideally, you want your audience to be spitting out their risotto in fits of laugher, or welling up with pure emotion at the end – not picking their noses and wishing they were somewhere else.
A best man speech is really difficult to get spot on, but you can do it. Avoid making the above bloopers, make thorough edits, speak from the heart and you’ll have the whole room eating from the palms of your hands.