a word for the best men...... if you please
Ok so I really felt i needed to write this because, as a wedding photographer we get to see the speeches. A lot of them. Good ones, bad ones, truly bloody awful ones and occasionally, just occasionally, incredible ones. Now don't get me wrong, anyone who knows me would say I'm a bit of a practical joker and I do love a good chat (My wife says I could talk the hind legs off a donkey!) but unless you get it right you could find yourself on the wrong end of an unhappy mother in law! At best, you're the hero of the day and people will be talking about how great your speech was for years! So here goes. Oh and this is for the grooms as well as the best men so we'll start with them!
Ok so first things first. Heres a list of things to include.
- Say how nice it is to see everyone here (even if you truly detest smelly aunt Margaret in the back). Now is not the time to start offending the awful members of the family you've inherited.
- Mention your Lovely Bride. How beautiful she is and how thankful you are that she let you marry her etc. Say how hard she has worked (Even if it was you that did all the work and all she did was choose the cake and book the band!)
- Mention the bridesmaids. Thank them for their help and say how lovely they look (even if the grumpy one looks like a pig in a blanket!!!).
- Tell a funny story about how you met. Keep it free from crudeness if at all possible or else make it extremely funny.
- Talk about how happy you are to become part of the family and thanks both sets of parents for the financial (if applicable) and morale support during the planning and the execution of the wedding.
- Talk about the best men, mention how nice they are and how they are apt to making up stories.
- Don't forget to give out the gifts to mothers of the bride and groom (If you have them) Flowers are traditional but we, like many other photographers stock some lovely picture gifts that will last for years and remind them of the fantastic day they have had)
- Be sincere. Don't be afraid to show emotion. Try and memorise all that you can so you can look people in the eye. Connection with people is so important.
- Speak loudly and clearly, if they can't hear you at the back or understand you then they aren't going to laugh at the joke you've made about the time when the bride drank too many vodka jelly shots and threw up over her best friends dress! Get a Microphone from the MC if there is one available
- Kiss the bride dammit.
Here you go this can be a minefield if done wrongly
- Avoid the cliched quotes (even the cake was in tiers, you know the score - if you've heard it before chances are everyone else has too!) Don't go straight to the internet, if you're really bad at speeches consider getting one professionally written.
- Firstly introduce how you and the best man met (any stories that may embarrass him are great, however avoid any that might call in to question a)his sexuality, b)his fidelity, c) his mental stability..... you get the gist)
- Say how genuine he is (even if he's as genuine as an east end chinese tea set!)
- Say how lovely the bride and bridesmaids look and how nice the groom has scrubbed up.
- Try to avoid any stories that have in-jokes - theres no point in getting half the audience laughing if the other half are questioning what you mean by "having a rugby tackle off a korean hooker"
- Introduce props such as photos of his 80's Mullet (it looked cool in them days i promise you girls!)
- Recount stories of heroism to make the bride and groom's mother confident that he will look after their little girl (think cats in trees and children in burning buildings etc)
- Look at your audience - if they aren't laughing - change it up quickly
- Keep it Real - never less than 5 minutes long and wind it up before 10 minutes is done
- Make it light hearted and fun and if there's 2 or more - work together and feed off each other.
So all in all theres a few tips should keep you going. Most of all Good Luck