As you might have guessed, there is even a “for Dummies” book for the Best Man, covering all matters of Best Man duty minutiae. The official duties of the Best Man encompass more than a toast and a speech at the reception, but the speech is clearly the one duty that is the cause of sleepless nights and endless agonizing. More than a few Best Men have met with ignominy, glares and stares, and social devastation because of some misstep during their remarks. Admittedly, most of the real tragedies occur because of the Best Man’s decision to wing it or because he has enjoyed too much of the free champagne before his speech instead of at least waiting until the conclusion of his official duties.
Earlier this year we wrote about the duties of a groomsman and were reminded that, while not without the need for chivalry, the role of Best Man no longer entails kidnapping or physically protecting the bride or similar such duties. You can leave your sword at home. Still, a lot of men would much rather have to put up a fight than give a speech of any kind, so the following will provide a few suggestions that may calm your nerves.
My one and only Best Man Speech occurred a few years ago at my Brother’s wedding. It was not a great success. One of my attempts at being funny brought more gasping sighs than delighted laughter. As it turned out, what I thought would be a familiar reference to most of the crowd was instead one of those “I guess you had to be there” moments.
A lot of other blogs and advice givers suggest that the goal of the speech is to systematically embarrass the groom, pointing out his every flaw, as some sort of free-pass moment of retribution. Sounds like a good way to end a friendship if you ask me.
As for my part,if I had a do-over, I would:
- Run the speech/toast past a couple of other people….to give it a test.
- Better consider my audience.
- Make sure to be favorable to the Bride, affirming that I and everyone else know that the Groom just made the best decision of his life.
- Tell a funny, personal story that explains my relationship/friendship bond with the Groom.
- Cause the audience to listen to me but want to look at the Bride and Groom.
James R., from California, sounding like the voice of experience, offers his Top Ten list to anyone thinking about their best man speech:
- Know your audience.
- Be yourself.
- Remember that parents, friends, and maybe even some ex’s will be in the audience. The last thing you want to do is offend anyone so keep your stories funny but not insulting.
- If you are not a funny person, no need to tell jokes. If you have a hard time being sincere, make it funny.
- Remember to thank the parents/hosts of the wedding.
- Score extra points by calling out those who came from long distances to attend.
- Remember that it’s not about you, it’s about them!
- Tell a quick story that ties in their love for each other or demonstrates the commitment of the groom. (Now that’s being a good wingman!)
- Unlike this list, KEEP IT SHORT. 2 – 3 minutes is best.
- Lastly, wait for the booze until after your speech is done!
Every situation and relationship has its unique qualities to pay attention to and capitalize on. Ask a lot of questions during your preparation. Give it a test run. Above all, have fun and enjoy the moment.
A toast to you, Best Man!
Making your Wedding Day uniquely Yours
If you have been following this blog for a while you may recall that we wrote about weddings earlier this year. We even included some thoughts for the all important Father of the Bride. Weddings are a topic we like (and that we are good at), so we are at it again. Rumor has it that lots of people are still tying the knot and are, in fact, more enthusiastic than ever about every detail and nuance that will ensure a positively memorable occasion.
Get ready this month to learn how to craft an awesome Best Man’s speech, how to be a Wedding Crasher (actually just how to be a really great guest), and to hear from a few recent “Real Grooms” about their experience. But for now, all you would be grooms, consider how you want your day to unfold.
“This one is authentic,” said the art dealer. “It’s not a copy. It’s a true original.” That was music to the ears of the owner of the painting in question. The value we place on an original almost always far exceeds that of any copy. In fact, certain kinds of copying, plagiarism in particular, we despise and reject. Duplicating and copying can provide the virtue of consistency but also the safe and forgettable qualities of conformity, the near opposite of authenticity and idealism.
Albeit more rare than common, any amount of originality and authenticity that we perceive in another person is endearing and heightens their likeability. It also tends to walk hand in hand with more courageous and purposeful living, a willingness to conform less and risk more. In the microcosm of weddings, modern couples are progressively breaking with a strict conformity to tradition and getting married in ways that uniquely and authentically express what they believe and envision for their lives together. (Note: Judging from the pictures we are getting, more kissing appears to be a trend. And really, who could blame them?)
Are you getting married in the near future?
If you were to break it down, how would you describe your ideal day?
Sarah and Oliver said that they wanted their wedding to be about love and community, and, of course, to be EPIC! The epic element (could have been a super secret wedding dance, but I’m not tellin’) no doubt required some extra effort on the part of someone, but more than worth it for the lifetime of memories.
A Wedding Day is tailor made to be a day full of idealism: a day full of beautiful people and clothing and other things; a day punctuated by magnanimous promises and magnificent gestures; a public expression of how two individuals intend to unite their lives and progress toward a shared vision.
And what is the most important visual element in this idealistic drama?
- The place? Important, yes.
- The props? Crucial in any drama.
- But, the clothes (costumes) worn by the wedding party, and particularly the bride and groom, are a true extension of the couple’s individual personalities and collective personality.
For the groom, the options to customize and personalize your wedding clothes are vast and numerous. Depending on the venue and the personality of the couple, grooms are wearing a broad range of color and more of it. And while always elegant, the look can run from beach party casual to the height of formality.
As you think through the details, elements, and features of your special day, leave no stone unturned. From the rings, to the party favors, table centerpieces, reception activities, the possibilities are there to put your personal stamp on it in way that will create a day for the record books and be a most fitting kickoff to your life together.
Do you have a wedding story to share? Don’t hold back. Please share you epic tale, simple tip for the groom or best man, or favorite wedding memory.
Applauding your authenticity,
Street Smarts by TomTalks features real people, real style. The TomTalks Street Team is always on the lookout for style that we admire and think that you will enjoy seeing.
Our first look totally nails a modern classic ensemble. The white shirt and simple, solid tie perfectly support the bold expression made by the blue plaid jacket.