But then the realisation sets in. The speech. You need to write a speech and proclaim it to an audience of the bride and groom’s closest friends and family. All eyes will be on you, and your best man speech could make or break the day. You could forever be in the newly wedded couple’s bad books, doomed to hear the fake reply of “Can’t tonight mate, I have to fit some doorknobs” when you ask him out for a beer. But get it right and you’ll be the hero of the day.
Here’s how you do that.
50% Funny, 50% Feels
You may get the urge to just rip your pal to shreds like it’s a comedy roast, which is completely natural. But avoid going in too hard and making your speech like a Piers Morgan Tweet.
I’d suggest going for a 50/50 split of humour and emotion. A good structure is talking about your relationship with the groom and how you know him/how long you’ve known him, some safe anecdotes from the stag (enough for some laughs, not gasps or mouth vomits), and then finish on the bride and groom as a couple.
Make sure you do the last and most important part in your own style so it’s completely honest and true to yourself though, because people will see right through it if you just start gushing out some soppy, cheesy poem when in reality the only prose you’ve read was a dirty limerick when you were 13.
Talk about how they met, how they look at each other, the moment you knew they were meant to be together, their future etc. Just keep away from the clichéd dictionary descriptions and keep it real, drawing from your own personal experiences with the two.
Keep your notes in front of you in case you lose track, but try and remember most of it a few weeks prior to the big day. If you want to engage your audience you’ve got to maintain eye contact and move around, not stand there frozen stop-start-stop-starting like a sweaty robot.
My advice would be to read it out to your other half/flat mates/family beforehand and get your timings and delivery right. This also gives an outsider a chance to sense-check it too so you can avoid anything too grim that’ll make the day end in divorce.
Don’t Forget The Bride
ALWAYS open up with how beautiful the bride and bridesmaids look and get your audience to give them a round of applause. They’ve paid for your dinner, so dish out the complements like you’re throwing out drunken likes on Instagram.
Don’t Be Obscene
Know your audience. There’ll most likely be a number of children and grandparents there, so talking about how you made the groom drink beer out of your butt crack on the stag will not go down well. It’s fine to hint at some atrocity you and the groom have been involved in, but avoid going into heavy, descriptive details.
Also avoid swearing, this is a classy, memorable occasion that doesn’t need the F-bomb dropped. No parent wants their child running up to them shouting “Gimme a piece of f*k*ng cake, mummy.”
Don’t Do It Drunk
A drink or two to calm the nerves is fine, but leave it at that. Any more and you risk the chance of slurring your words, going bright red, having droopy eyes, or even worse, drunk crying about losing your mate.
Remember: your speech will be filmed and photographed, so look and sound your best.
When you’ve gotten through it all, remember to get everyone to raise a glass to the bride and groom, naming them as the new Mr and Mrs XXX. Then you can relax and get on the sesh.