From Best Man to Worst Man: 10 Things to Avoid When Planning Your Speech

  • Time to read: 5 min.

It’s that time of the year – wedding season is almost upon us and we couldn’t be more excited! We love that weddings are all about celebrating romance and unity, but we can’t deny that we also love to get dressed up, eat and drink to our heart’s content, and dance the night away.

Spending the day with friends and family watching two loved ones tie the knot is wonderful – with so much happiness in one room, what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, quite a lot! For the groom, one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the evening is when the best man starts his speech…

We spoke to wedding goers to find out if they had any good stories about weddings they had been to where the best man rendered the room silent and boy did we get some good ones! Here are some of the best in a handy guide to pass on to any best-men-to-be you may know:

1) Don’t Expose Yourself to the Guests

“I went to a wedding in Scotland which was beautifully themed and decorated to reflect the bride’s Scottish upbringing. The groomsmen all looked very smart and were, of course, suited and booted in kilts made of the family tartan. As the best man stood up to deliver his speech, nerves clearly got the better of him and he declared he had nothing on under his kilt and flashed all the guests. I think some of the older women thought it was the best speech they had ever witnessed and a few even started chanting ‘encore’!”

2) Don’t Mention any Previous Convictions

“The best man’s speech was going really well and the guests were all tearing up at his heartfelt words. The speech came to a close and before sitting back down the best man shouted “Would anyone like to buy any cocaine?” to which most of the guests looked confused and laughed nervously. It was only the look on the groom’s face that gave away the whole story, as it was revealed that the groom had previously been charged with possession of cocaine and the bride had no idea!”

3) Don’t Quote Advice from Homer Simpson

“I went to a wedding recently and the best man’s speech was going brilliantly. It was heartfelt and funny – enough to make even the coldest hearts melt until he decided to end the speech with a famous quote. While we all love cartoons, and the Simpsons is up there with the best, the father of the bride looked horrified when the best man quoted Homer and shouted ‘Marriage is great. It’s living with your best friend, but you get to touch her boobs!’”

4) Don’t Hire Exotic Entertainment

“It’s important to prepare your speech before the wedding and even better to rehearse it until you know it off by heart. Unfortunately, I went to a wedding where the best man opened with the line ‘I haven’t had time to write a speech’ and proceeded to welcome a Roly Poly stripper to the floor, who carried out a very inappropriate dance in front of some children and the bride. He ended his ‘speech’ by proclaiming he had ‘lost his wallet’ and the stripper was ‘yet to be paid’. Needless to say, the bride walked out.”

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5) Don’t Try to Show Off your Dance Moves

“The best man at a wedding I recently went to has always been known for being a bit ‘out there’. The groom is fairly quiet, but he had been friends with his best man since they were kids. Halfway through his speech, which consisted mainly of jokes about the groom, the best man shouted ‘let’s dance!’ and proceed to slide across the room on his knees, spilling a whole pint of beer down the bride’s beautiful white dress as he went. I’m not sure how good friends they are now…”

6) Don’t Write Your Speech in Klingon

“We were all hoping for the best man to deliver a nice, heartfelt speech and to make a few jokes that we hadn’t heard before. Well, at a wedding I went to recently, it would have been nice to understand the jokes being made full stop, but due to being a bit of a Trekkie, the best man decided to deliver the whole speech in Klingon. The only clue it was over was when he raised his glass and toasted the happy couple, before returning to his seat.”

7) Don’t Fake a Medical Emergency

“I went to a wedding last week and it was a fairly raucous crowd. Everyone was talking and laughing, and the best man was struggling to get the guests’ attention over the hum of their chatter. Instead of clinking a glass or using a microphone, he decided to get all eyes on him by pretending to faint. The bride screamed and a hoard of people rushed over to him before he revealed it was just an ill-thought-out stunt!”

8) Don’t Mention Your Prior Sexual Escapades

“At a wedding of a relatively young couple, the best man decided he wanted to play a game of ‘I Have Never’. It started harmlessly enough, but soon became clear that the best man knew exactly what he was doing, as he finished with ‘I have never had a threesome with the bride’. As the remaining standing guests took a seat, only the groom and best man were left on their feet. I don’t know who was more horrified, the bride and groom or all of the guests!”

9) Don’t Mention the Couple’s Emotional Baggage

“At my cousin’s wedding last year, the best man was midway through what started as a brilliant speech. It was funny, emotional, and truly heartfelt – everything you want at a wedding. However, it got to a point where he seemed to forget what was classed as ‘funny’ and he proceeded to detail every one of the couple’s breakups and arguments and even said he was surprised the groom had actually made it down the aisle at all. Needless to say, the bride looked furious.”

10) Don’t Stock Up on Liquid Courage

“My brother was a best man recently, and he had been worrying about his speech for months. He had rehearsed it over and over again, but when the big day actually arrived, he grabbed a drink (or five) for some Dutch courage. Unfortunately, he drank so much before the speeches that he passed out in a chair and started snoring – as you can imagine, he wasn’t fit to make the speech. The most awkward part is that he was later found asleep in the bar with a big wet patch on his trousers!”

So there you have it, some top tips on how to avoid a disastrous best man’s speech from those in the know.

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