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What your best man needs to know

The Wedding Singer
On the list of Things That Make Brides Wake Up at 3am in a Cold Sweat, the thought of your best man going rogue with his speech is up there with tripping down the aisle. That's why we've enlisted the help of Chris from popular UK site thebestmanspeech.com, who's put together some tips especially for Bride.

So your wedding day has gone to plan; the service was lovely, the food delicious, even Uncle Pete managed to stay sober. You settle down for the customary speeches and everyone’s having a wonderful time… when suddenly a chill runs down your spine, as your husband’s mate steps up to deliver a best man speech you know you’re going to hate.

There’s nothing worse than a best man who thinks this is his chance to try out his stand-up routine, especially if he’s wasted and trying to wing it. Most blokes fail to understand that what’s funny down the pub isn’t translatable to a room full of grey hairs and kids. So what advice can you make your other half pass on to his best man?

The most obvious but rarely followed advice is to keep it short. After anything more than 10 minutes, people will start chewing their own fingers off, so ideally aim for around seven to nine minutes to prevent boredom and rigor mortis setting in. Most speeches can be pared down by trimming or removing lengthy anecdotes. The story of how the groom got his donger stuck in a birdhouse may be hilarious, but is it relevant or suitable for the audience to relate to? I’m going to guess not.

Getting the tone right for a wedding speech is crucial. We Brits have a similar style to you Aussies as we’re quite happy to rip into ourselves and others, but tread lightly. Make the groom wince by all means, but if there’s even the slightest worry about turning the bride into a tear-strewn mess then steer clear. Mocking yourself and your social circle is a good source of comedy, provided you keep it relevant.
The story of how the groom got his donger stuck in a birdhouse may be hilarious, but is it relevant or suitable for the audience to relate to?
You also don’t need to drench your speech in sentiment - let the bride’s father enjoy the job of tugging at the heart strings. He’ll take care of thanking everyone too, so you can simply compliment the major players and make people smile. Also, it may surprise you to know that nobody is looking to the groom’s mate for sage advice on marriage. Drop in a few cutting remarks about married life for sure, but go for clever angles that will make the audience laugh, instead of pearls of wisdom you Googled at 3am that morning.

If you remember that you’re there to entertain everyone, not just your friends, then you’ll do a better job than most. A great speech should be rip-roaringly funny without resorting to swearing or gimmicks. Fact: nobody ever sang a great wedding speech.

So that’s our advice. Feel free to post this to the best man’s Facebook every day until he gets the message. And if he’s still in need of some advice, or he’s about as funny as a funeral on a Friday… send him our way.

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