It’s no secret that best men the world over ‘enjoy’ a patchy reputation. For the most part, best man speeches are entertaining, moving and enjoyable, and a much loved part of the wedding day. However, there has always been the more miscreant element in their ranks, and they are undeniably the ones that everyone thinks about when they think about best men. The stories of the groom’s romantic conquests in granular detail, lewd comments about the bridesmaids, and a level of intoxication most vagrants would be proud of.
And when it comes to thinking about best men, nobody thinks about them harder than the bride. Yes, most grooms pick their best man all by their grown up self, however, in some relationships that is done by committee with the bride to be, because she is thinking about one thing: the speech.
Clearly many grooms can’t be trusted to extrapolate their thoughts to the big day and decide whether their first choice best man can be trusted not to crash the car. Therefore, the bride gently steers them in the direction she wishes it to go, so that nobody is caught up in the wreckage of embarrassment and regret. This does provide one issue that I see time and time again: a safe pair of hands elected as best man, who really doesn’t know the groom that well. All I can say is: be careful what you wish for - these dubiously elected best men struggle incredibly with a dearth of content, and considerable imposter syndrome.
The only alternative is to ask the best man to send their speech over so it can be vetted by the bride, in some kind of Stalinist state censorship. To me, this is an unacceptable lack of trust in the groom and the best man, and having a third party decide on what you can and can’t say is complete nonsense. Only very few best men get it wrong, and if they do, it’s generally not life changing; even the most challenging of characters realize this is not the time to get it wrong. So, unless you want to go down the North Korean censorship route, or load some poor guy up with being a best man when he really didn’t expect it, go with your first choice and let him do his thing. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.