Choosing the right material

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

To make your best man’s speech appeal to a wide audience, you need to select your subject matter very carefully

The bride

ItÆs possible that you may have ambivalent feelings about the bride. Keep these firmly under wraps at the wedding. DonÆt make any jokey remarks about her diet either! Compliments to the bride are the only permissible things you can say about her in your speech.

Be kind

Sure, your speech is about teasing the groom, but mix the mockery with some sincerity. Talk about how highly you think of him, what a good friend he is and how his relationship with the bride has enriched him. Give the couple all your very best wishes for the future.

The wedding

Behind‐the‐scenes stories about preparing for the wedding, especially any amusing incidents and narrowly averted disasters, make good ingredients for speeches.

However, you might be surprised at how sensitive these subjects can be. The family doesnÆt exist that doesnÆt squabble over wedding arrangements. Sometimes these disagreements seem amusing by the time the big day arrives ‐‐ but sometimes they donÆt, so take care.

  • Tell guests áHow fantastically the day has turned out and how itÆs all down to the hard work of all the organisers.
  • DonÆt tell them áAbout how the brideÆs mother almost had a nervous breakdown over the seating plan ‐ unless youÆre absolutely sure sheÆll think itÆs funny. As always, run your speech by someone close to the family first.


Making everyone feel included is one of the jobs of the best man. To make sure no one feels left out, think of all the people who might be listening when you write your speech. You need to explain references to people that not everyone may be familiar with, and if this takes too long, itÆs better to think of another anecdote.

  • Tell guests áAbout how, one year, the groom broke three dozen eggs in the school egg and spoon race.
  • DonÆt tell them áAbout that hilarious time in metalwork when the groom got told off by that mad Mr Smith, you know, the metalwork teacher, he was really mad, and he sent him to see Miss Green, the one who all the lads fancied… you really had to be there.

Tailored to fit

The material you decide is suitable for your speech will depend on your audience. ItÆs up to you to find out about who youÆll be talking to and to check beforehand that what you want to say wonÆt cause offence. If you can rehearse your speech in front of your mum and granny without them feeling uncomfortable, or you feeling embarrassed, youÆre probably on to a winner.á

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