How To Deliver A Funny Best Man Speech That Won’t Cause Offense

The following is a guest post from David Doran , an expert on best man speeches and is the co-founder of BestManApp.com the web app for best men. Enjoy!

Everyone expects a best man to be funny, the humor in his speech may be the yardstick with which the success of his speech is measured.  However as best man you need to ensure that the humor does not come at a cost.  If you make jokes about the past love lives of the bride and groom for example, you will not only lose the support of the wedding guests but you will almost certainly lose the friendship of your best friend (or brother), the groom.

Topics that the wedding guests will find offensive include jokes/stories that humiliate the bride, stories told using vulgar language, inappropriate stories about the bachelor party and any reference to former girlfriends/ former wives.

There are a lot of ways to deliver a humorous best man speech by using tasteful humor, as opposed to resorting to adult humor that will almost certainly offend some of the guests at the wedding.  In this article I have highlighted 6 areas of your speech where you can add humor and have the wedding guests in fits of laughter if done correctly.

  1. Jokes
  2. Props
  3. Wedding advice
  4. Quotes   
  5. One liners
  6. The toast

Jokes

Funny jokes are a fundamental aspect of a best man speech and as such you need to have 3 or 4 short jokes included in your speech.  Remember to provide jokes that everyone will get, as opposed to “in jokes” that only you and your buddies will find amusement with.  Choose funny wedding-related jokes that are short, long jokes won’t have the same impact.  Make sure the jokes you select are funny, as nothing will dampen your confidence quicker than the sound of silence as you reel off the punch line to a lame joke.

Props for a best man speech

Props can turn ordinary best man speeches into sensational speeches if chosen correctly, that is how important they can be to a funny best man speech.  The great thing about props is that you can create the illusion that you have in your possession something that you don’t, for example a letter taken from an envelope in your pocket can become the groom’s college report, or his Facebook profile. 

 Another great prop is to have a funny photo of the groom blown up to a lifesize image (many photography shops will do this).  The laughter your speech will receive as you unveil this prop will be a memory to treasure for a long time.

 Marital advice for the groom

Another very funny section of the best man speech is when the best man provides his own unique insight on marriage for the groom.  This should be good-natured humor implying that as the groom is now married he will be under the thumb and his wife very much the decision-maker in the relationship.

 Best man stories

As the groom’s best friend / brother, the best man should have some embarrassing stories about the groom that the wedding guests will find funny.  Begin your story with a teasing beginning, such as “I am going to tell you a story about the groom that I have never told anyone before”, or “Want to hear an embarrassing story about the groom?” before going on to share your funny story with the guests.

 Witty wedding one liners

One liners are very effective in a best man speech and allow the best man to maintain his theme of humor in the speech.  These quips and puns can provoke laughter in great measures so make sure that you include a couple in your best man speech.

 The Best Man toast

When ending your best man speech you can choose to finish with a humorous best man toast or a sincere one.  A humorous toast should be lighthearted yet still get the message of love and hope across as the bride and groom begin a new life together as bride and groom.

If your funny best man speech is a hit then you will have memories to last a lifetime and you will have people congratulating you for the entire day.  The feeling of exhilaration after giving a best man speech that people enjoyed will stay with you for some time so practice and rehearse your speech, all the effort will be worth it.

About David Doran: Dave lives in Dublin, Ireland, is a cancer survivor and is the co-founder of Best Man App the web app for best men.

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Wedding Question: Memorizing Vows?

 

Couple saying their vows, photo from The Wedding Lens!

Here’s the latest wedding question from our reader:

I am getting married in a couple weeks! I can’t believe it. My fiance and I decided we each want to write out own vows to say to each other during the ceremony. But I’m so nervous that I’ll forget something that I want to say, I’m not sure what to do. Do you have any suggestions? Is it inappropriate to have a piece of paper to read from? Help!

Take a deep breath! Remember your partner is standing across from you, loving you, regardless of what you actually say (unless, of course, what you say is that you don’t want to be there! But since you’re asking, I dont think that’s what you’re planning!).

This is your wedding and you should do what makes you feel comfortable. So, if you and your fiance are committed to sharing vows that you’ve written, do it in a way that makes you feel at ease. For some, this means just talking off the cuff and saying whatever comes to mind in whatever manner it gets said. For others, this means memorizing a speech that says what you want to say. And others find that it’s more comforting to have something written down. I’ve seen people do both!

If you decide you need something in front of you, of course you can just use paper or note cards or whatever works best for you. If you use note cards, NUMBER THEM! Just in case you drop them! That way it’s easy to put them back together.

You can also use technology to have your vows in front of you. One friend ditched the paper idea and used an iPhone application for her wedding vows. Similarly, most phones have a “notes” section that you can write on too. My only request for the technological route is that you not take your computer up there with you! It can be heavy. 🙂

Good luck! And congratulations!

~ Natasha

Have a wedding question? Email me! natasha@theweddinglens.com

How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech

One of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do is write a Maid of Honor speech.  I was flattered to be chosen as one of the MOHs and I was excited that I would be able to tell all the guests what a great friend the bride is, how much I adore her, and how fabulous the bride and groom are as a couple.  But once I opened up the blank Word document to start writing, I couldn’t think of anything.  I came up with a lot of stories, but I wanted to be cautious about what I said — after all, there was going to be family there!

I reflected on some of the speeches I had heard at other weddings and tried to draw from them.  In the end, I came up with some great stories and the speech went well!  Both the groom and I cried during the speech and I received many compliments afterwards.

Here are some tips for the MOH speech:

  • Make the speech family friendly! I kept picturing myself telling the speech to the bride’s parents. It ensured I stuck to appropriate stories and didn’t have too many inside jokes. 
  • Don’t forget to thank the families. Regardless of who’s paying for the wedding (and sometimes it is the bride and groom), the families should be mentioned. After all, they’re responsible for bringing both the bride and groom into the world and/or raising them!
  • Tell stories about the bride, the groom, or the bride and groom.  Sound obvious, right?  But once you start telling a story, it’s very easy to end up speaking more about yourself than the couple.  One of the worst speeches I ever heard was a Best Man who told stories about how he and the groom used to compete in high school sports and how he (the Best Man) was a much better athlete than the groom.  Remember: it is THEIR day, not yours! 
  • Make it personal.  I know I just said to make sure the stories are about the bride and groom, but you should be sure it has to do with you! After all, you were selected because you are a good friend and vice versa.  Share stories of times when you were with them.  That’s much more meaningful than a list of reasons why marriage is sacred.
  • Keep it relatively short! It doesn’t need to be a minute, but it shouldn’t drone on either. A few quick stories, maybe a how you met the bride or groom, and a toast should suffice!
  • Try not to read.  Obviously you’re nervous and you’re afraid you’re going to forget something, but do your best not to read.  Some people like to take a few notes up to the microphone, while others feel more comfortable with the full speech written out.  I did not bring anything with me because I didn’t want it to sound too rehearsed.  I was talking about my friend, not doing a closing argument!  In retrospect, sure, I forgot some things — but no one knows but me!  
  • Try not to be nervous! The Wedding Maid of Honor Speech Blog suggests introducing yourself, talking about how you met, and introducing humor to make the speech more relaxed.  

If you happen to start crying in the middle of the speech, like I did,  or if you forget what you were going to say, then just take a minute, breathe, and move on.  It felt like ages when I paused to wipe the tears, but when I saw the video afterwards, I realized it wasn’t nearly as long as I thought it was.  Good luck!

~Natasha