You’ve been asked to be Best Man, or your the Groom or Father of the Bride…and you know you need to write a speech. It’s that feeling of dread, the ‘what should I include in it’, ‘who should do their speeches first’, ‘who should I thank’. The ‘let’s get it over and done with so we can have a drink and relax’.
Whilst many of you feel honoured to be asked to be a Best Man, or want to speak about your Bride or your Daughter, it is difficult to put into words what you’d like to say. You put pressure on yourselves to come up with some funny anecdotes.
Often, the men of the Bridal Party ask me about their speeches – I can see the obvious feeling of nervousness or dread on their faces. So I’ve written below a few words of advice for you men…
1) Please don’t put yourself under extra pressure to become a comic genius – if you’re not a born entertainer, a comedian by career, you are going to find it difficult to tell jokes at a special occasion.
2) Don’t try and write reams and reams of words to prove how much someone means to you – really it is quality over quantity.
3) Yes thank people…but don’t worry if you inadvertently miss someone out on the day…include within your speech an all encompassing thank you just in case. But as a reminder, the main people to thank depending on who you are include….parents, siblings, Bridesmaids, Maid of Honour, Best Man, Ushers…anyone extra who may have made the cake or table decorations….perhaps the venue…but most importantly the Bride and Groom.
4) Use props if they are appropriate – you could do a This is Your Life prior to me type speech, but if dealing with the facilities and equipment is going to stress you out, don’t bother.
5) Try not to copy and paste from the internet – whilst you might have covered all the ‘correct’ points, it might not seem like it’s from the heart, and people don’t want to listen to something too formal or prescribed.
6) The main thing to remember for a:
Groom – you are marrying the person you truly love, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and you know what…tell the Bride that. Tell her why you fell in love with her, how you fell in love with her, how you will make that love last…etc – make it warming and emotive to your Bride. Yes there are other people in the room, but they’ve come to a wedding, they expect it to be romantic…and why not…if you can’t tell your Bride how much you love her on this day when can you. If you really, truly tell it from the heart, there will not be a dry eye in the house!! I know I’m a Wedding Planner and I’m not supposed to become emotionally attached, but sometimes even I have to look away, bite my lip, as some words are just truly heartfelt!
Father of the Bride – you are letting go of your tight hold on your special daughter to a man you have welcomed into your family. That is the focus for you – tell the world about how proud you are of your daughter, how much she means to you…and tell your son in law what you expect, how you feel about him in your family (be nice), and again say it from the heart.
Best Man – your speech is the one that can be more light hearted and anecdotal. But focus on your best friend – remember he has asked you to be his Best Man, as he sees you as his ally, someone he trusts, someone he really values. Don’t betray this trust by saying anything that could upset his Bride. You will know the Bride, and understand her personality – some women don’t mind hearing about previous girlfriends, but others really don’t want to hear about it…or… there might be that one person from your Best Friend’s past that makes the Bride nervous and uncomfortable – if you can, try to find out if this is the case prior to the day. Remember, your speech is about your life with your best friend before he was married, but now he is married and so you are sharing him with his Bride, so maybe mention how you will stay close in the future. For many men the fear is that they will lose their friendships…show your friend that even though he is now married he is still your Best mate, and you are looking forward to many more escapades with him…just perhaps on the slightly tamer side!!! And don’t forget to compliment the Bride and welcome her into your circle of friends.
So for all of you, my one main piece of advice is ‘say it from the heart’!!!