When it comes to appointing a Best Man a groom goes for a person he counts as being a great friend, not necessarily the person he thinks can make a great speech. Grooms are in the middle of an emotional maelstrom; suddenly everything is viewed through incredibly dewy eyed beer googles, every moment in their past becomes pivotal, every meal memorable and every friend, new or old, somebody who’s played a part in their epic story. They want their choice of best man to mean something to the wider world. Maybe it was the childhood friend who stopped them from getting their head flushed down the loo on the first day of school, maybe it was the guy who showed them on their first day at work how to top up the toner on the photocopier or maybe…you’re his brother.
Whoever they choose there is one thing they all have in common: the groom wants you to be funny and he wants you to make him look good. Really good. And therein lies a huge problem – even if the Groom is the nicest guy in the world and has climbed Everest whilst raising money for orphans, you’re not going to know about huge chunks of his life and feel you can’t possibly do him justice. Schoolboy friends frequently know nothing about his twenties, work friends know nothing about his school days and brothers tend to know little about anything outside the home. This can cause abject panic amongst Best Men as they worry about how they’re going to fill in the blanks to a life they hardly know.
There is no need to worry.You are simply looking at things in the wrong way.
A good Best Man speech is not simply a trail of anecdotes. Nothing is more dull to listen to than yet another story about how the groom, when drunk, did something reasonably funny and then woke up in his clothes. We’ve all done it, and to be honest we’ve probably done it better. As a Best Man you’ve got to be inclusive and so should avoid any stories where a group of half cut guys he went to school with will be slapping their thighs and the rest will be ironing out imaginary creases in the tablecloth. In fact my policy is to just avoid stories full stop…and I hope my reviews speak for themselves.
Don’t worry about what you don’t know and instead focus on what you do – it’s enough. A good Best Man Speech is around 1000 words so there’s not a whole heap of room to play with. Think what qualities he had as a child and see of there’s a funny way to extrapolate those into adult life. You can do the opposite if you’ve only known him through work.
Remember you only have to be funny, not accurate, not detailed, not fawning. Just funny. So, if you’re struggling for gaps in his life just make them up and nobody, least of all the groom, will care in the slightest. The best Best Man Speeches I’ve written have all had a little fabrication and a huge dollop of imagination in them, so don’t let the boring truth, or lack of it, hold you back. For more inspiration and advice why not visit the Best Man Speech Examples page?