I am very picky - borderline anal - when it comes to Best Man speeches. Brian has been given the honor of Best Man for his buddy's July wedding. I've already started to hound him about starting his speech because I LOATHE ill prepared speeches and believe me I've heard some pretty horrid ones.
From the TMI:
"....And then she hit him over the head with a curling iron....."
To the pity party:
"....I was the brother that always screwed everything up...."
To the completely unprepared:
"Errr, uh, I wish them alot of love.....and uh, alot of happiness...and um love..."
And lastly the snoozer:
"Let's start from when we were babies...."
Best Man speeches should be brief, concise, heartfelt, and subtly focused on the bride. There is a way to do this without making it obvious. For those of you who think it should be about the couple, think again. The groom is probably only half listening because 1) he's probably starving 2) he's drunk or wondering when he will be drunk 3) he's hotter than hell and 4) he really has to pee. The bride is the one who is eyeing the Best Man like a hawk hoping and praying that he doesn't say anything embaressing - because admit it - if we could provide the Best Man a guide of what he can and cannot say in his speech, we would. Chances are, some of you have.
I believe that if the following guidelines are followed, both the bride and groom will walk away from the reception happy about the speech.
1) Start off the speech by welcoming everyone. Thank them for sharing this wonderful day with so and so. If a particular guest is worthy of praise, do so now. For example, if the groom's 123 year old grandmother is in attendance, acknowledge her presence. If Uncle Joe & Aunt Sue celebrate their 87 wedding anniversary this year, mention it. Just remember it has to be extremely worthy of praise in order to mention on this day, and it has to somehow be connected to love or dedication. Comment on the beautiful weather. If the weather isn't favorable, comment on the moving ceremony. Find something about the day that will add to how special it is.
2) Steer right into complimenting the bride. Let me rephrase that; compliment the bride in a POSITIVE way. Commenting that the bride "cleans up well," doesn't quite cut it. Keep it specific, and use a word that isn't used everyday to describe someone. Stay away from awesome, or beautiful, or pretty. Typical, boring and dull. Tell her she looks exquisite or stunning or breathtaking. If you can't do this part sincerely, then immediately go to step 3.
3) Share a little blurb of how you know the groom and maybe throw in a BRIEF story that encompasses the realms of your friendship. Leave out stories that involve drinking, hookers, ANYTHING spring break related, and most importantly NEVER bring up past loves, exes, wives, etc. Even if you think people would get a kick out of it, NEVER EVER talk about other woman. Period.
4) Comment on how the bride has enhanced the groom's life. For example, you've never seen him this happy, so dedicated, so in love, blah, blah you get the gist
5) Wrap it up with a well wishing, or an old Irish Blessing. It's important to start the night off with some sort of "may you love each other forever and ever amen."
Most importantly, leave the mushy, gushy, girly speeches for the Maid of Honor. As women, we are just better at the tearjerker stuff. Stay far away from this area as you will most likely crash and burn.
And never, and I mean never, say "I never thought he'd settle down."
So if you could dictate how your Best Man speech was going to play out, what would you include? What would you omit? What would you change about a speech that was already given?