I always tell my clients that the best speeches have to do what they need to do in the most efficient way. There are no prizes for staying up there longer than necessary, and everyone will love you for not outstaying your welcome. Usually this happens because the speaker tries to include far too much detail into a speech which I've covered in other blog posts. However, the best speeches also do what they need to do in a humorous way, and that includes pretty much every type of speech. Humour is a massive part of all wedding speeches, and not just the remit of the best man. Anyone attempting a groom speech and thinking they're going to get away with 20 minutes of thanking people, and then a quick mushy paragraph on the bride, is seriously underestimating the patience of the guests.
Everyone loves to laugh, and to be made to laugh, but that's not the primary reason for its inclusion. The humour is there in all wedding speeches for one important reason: to balance out the more meaningful things you might like to say, and never is that more important than in the father of the bride speech. This is a really big day for the fathers of the bride; it's a line in the sand, the end of an era, and suddenly all those images of feeding babies, taking the buggy to the park, bedtime stories and the excitement of Christmas, comes flooding back. Your job is officially done, and for many that can be an incredibly powerful moment. Try making a 6 minute father of the bride speech as one big wave of emotion, and both you, and the guests, will be struggling.
That's why you need the humour, and by humour I'm talking original funny ideas and memories etc, not dodgy wedding gags. If you can sprinkle those throughout the speech, then everyone will love you for it, and it will make your job a lot easier. Once you've delivered an emotional line, you can roll straight into something lighter and funnier, and save you from becoming a blubbering mess. It's great that grown men are in touch with their emotions today, just not when they're standing by a mic which is wired up to a powerful PA system.