Bespoke wedding speech writer

Best Man Speech for Brother of Groom

There’s a saying that you should write about what you know, because obviously it’s much easier to be more accurate, convincing and engaging when you’re a slight expert on the subject. So, on the face of it, writing a best man  speech for your brother might seem blissfully straightforward, but as many people out there already know: nothing could be further from the truth.

Many grooms make their brother the Best Man for the wedding – it keeps a lot of people happy and in many cases they are the ideal choice. The problem comes when you’re considering actually how to attack the speech because you’ll have a sudden rising panic that apart from a few incidents as toddlers and on family holidays, you really don’t know the first thing about him, and how on Earth are you going to fill up a ten minute speech? I’ve said many times that a great best man speech is not a collection of stories and it’s not an assassination, it’s a warm inclusive, but very funny look at who your brother is and what he’s about.

So in order to write it successfully you need to have a complete change in your approach.

 

STRAIGHT LINES

At the moment you’re almost certainly looking at things along straight lines – an intro, a couple of stories and a sentimental ending. The straight line approach works only if all the guests have had frontal labotomies. You need to take the elements form those stories and match it with his character in order to make some witty observations. What does that story say about him? How does it relate to what he became? Extrapolate your thoughts and forget the detail.

 

IMAGINATION

Stop worrying about what you don’t know about your brother and make what you don know work even better, Use the facts you have about him to generate a description which should be quite happily held together with complete fantasy. In other words it doesn’t matter what you say about him as long as it’s funny and has some sort of basis in fact. Dream up what you like, the guests don’t really care, they just want to laugh.

 

FRIENDS

A lot of best men brothers I speak to, decide to go fact finding from his friends at university, work or renting days. This can sometimes work but more often than not the information is sparse and confused, and tends to send you down the anecdote route. Nothing will sound more unconvincing than recounting a story about your brother of which you have no first hand knowledge.

 

The best way to attack it is to look at the following things and then weave a narrative out of them:

 

  1. Likes
  2. Dislikes
  3. Passions
  4. Career
  5. Disasters

 

Remember keep it light on detail, as funny as you possibly can and within the magic 1300 word boundary, and you’ll be on to a winner. And when it comes to writ in something funny you’ll know when it happens – if you’re unconvinced what you’ve written isn’t that funny, then I can tell you without reading it – it’s not. You can always visit the best man speech structure page for more hints and tips.

 

 

Both the bride and the groom seem to be enjoying his groom's speech, as he carefully reads aloud form his notes.

Groom Speech Help!

Are you ready for the big performance?

 

It’s about this time of year that Grooms the world over start thinking about THAT speech. Christmas, has been and gone, there are no baubles to hide behind anymore. What you’ve been putting off thinking about for a few months now is turning into a hard reality and the sooner you get to grips with it the better. So, where to start? What is a Groom’s Speech all about and just what should you bear in mind?

 

Performance

Well, like it or not the Groom’s Speech is a performance, or at least it should be. Nothing will send a shiver down the spine of newly married bride more than the sight of her beloved unable to string a sentence together and completely incapable of raising a smile. If he can’t do that…what will he be like out putting the bins out, or fixing the tap or even walking and talking? Your genetic make up will be found wanting and quite rightly. If you think this is simply a stand up and say thanks for coming, you should probably apologise in advance.

Thanks

A Groom’s Speech has the most targets to hit of all the speakers, so you’ve got to be on your game and plan it so that the speech doesn’t end up being one huge procession of thanks. Listening to people thank other people you’ve never heard of and don’t care about is about as fun as dropping the toaster in the bath. Think about how to make each acknowledgement funny.

Humour

Don’t think because you’re not the Best man that a warm, humorous speech isn’t expected. It is. Any wedding speech without comedy is an opportunity wasted and simply makes listening to it a complete chore. If you haven’t said something funny within the first paragraph, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re looking for groom speech help and find somebody who disagrees with this, then they are talking nonsense.

Paid Services

Forget thanking the wedding planners, florists, cupcake makers, photographers, ring makers or indeed the guy who sold you the £3000 suit. You have a limited time to talk about the people who are important in your life and mean something to you. If you’ve paid for a service they should be thanking you, not the other way around.

Parents

This is the one opportunity in your life to publicly thank your mum and dad, so don’t gift it. There’s a tendency for a groom to be so head over heels in love with his bride, he falls head over heels in love with her parents. You should mention both sets in equal measure.

Toasts

You’ve potentially got the most toasts to make, although the only one you HAVE to make is to the bridesmaids. It’s always a nice touch to toast the parents and many grooms like to make a toast to absent friends. If you’re thinking about more than three toasts, don’t. Also never make guests stand for them, otherwise the whole thing is going to look like some sort of up and down oompah band performance.

Your Bride

There’s no question that this is her day, she’s the star of the show and all the attention should quite rightly be on her. However, when it comes to the speeches there needs to be some balance because listening to a ten minute ode to my beautiful bride will soon have the guests trying to stick forks into their heads to end the torture. You should always have a decent chunk about her in there but avoid making it a gushing, uncomfortable voyage around my partner.

 

The Happy Couple toast great best man speech

The Best Wedding Speech Advice Ever

Anyone reading this thinking that I’m about to give you the magic formula for writing a great wedding speech is going to be a little disappointed but I can give you some advice which WILL save you a lot of stress, trauma and sleepless nights. It’s very simple: start now.

As a wedding speech writer I work with people from all over the world, from all walks of life, every ethnicity and religion, and they all have one thing in common – they all leave it until the last minute. From the moment most guys propose they simply put off thinking about the speech, deluding themselves it’s just a case of thanking the parents and saying how much they love their new wife. And for most Best Men, they remain resolutely in denial about the impending speech, convinced that they’re caught in some kind of virtual reality nightmare, from which they will soon emerge, blissfully carefree. These scenarios are not the exceptions; they are the rule. And both groups are doomed to failure.

You cannot wing a wedding speech unless you are an exceptional talent, and most of the guys I speak are very talented individuals, just not the bit where it comes to standing up and making people laugh for ten minutes. The Grooms will realise halfway through their speech that little dissolves the mind and will to live more than listening to one million thank you’s and some gentle sobbing. You have to think of your guests, these are the people you’re communicating to because they are the ones whose imagination and interest you have to capture and that requires planning, development and writing, lots of writing. Success, for the average Best Man, cannot be achieved with less than a week to go unless they have professional help, because they simply don’t have the time to make their speech all it needs to be.

So, my advice is to start now. Ok, it’s January, but it will soon be Easter and then you’re only a few weeks from the summer. Believe me – the time will disappear. I speak week in, week out to guys who have left it until the very last minute, sometimes the day they’re actually meant to be giving the speech. All of them are terrified, all of them wish they’d started it sooner, and none of them are in the frame of mind where they can actually say their own name confidently, let alone a ten minute speech.

Give yourself a break, start thinking about the speech now. Either you’ll give yourself enough time to write a cracker, or you’ll find out that speech writing isn’t for you, and you’ve given yourself enough time to commission a speech and have it well and truly nailed for the big day.

Adrian Simpson | best manx speech writer

How To Write Wedding Speeches

Wedding Speeches – two little words, that actually cause an awful lot of frustration, trauma, and pressure for those involved. If you think that that’s an overstatement, I talk to people every single week of the year who have to make a wedding speech, and whose lives have been completely destroyed by it. Over 75% of us fear public speaking more than death, and that doesn’t factor in the added dilemma of public speaking and being funny at the same time, so it’s no wonder many people would rather juggle with sharpened throwing axes.

 

So, it’s time to rationalise that fear, understand it, and do something about it, and without sounding too obvious the problems all stem from the content. The reason you’re not looking forward to standing up and speaking is that you feel whatever you’re about to say simply is good enough; nobody will laugh, nobody will be interested. And chances are, if you’re feeling that way, you’re probably right.

All wedding speeches thrive on the same basic things: lack detail, humour, and length. If you get all those three elements right, then you will have success. You will stand up ready to make your speech knowing that the content, balance and timing are all spot on, and victory will be yours.

DETAIL

This is something that many many wedding speeches get wrong, and is is the single biggest contributing factor to wholesale guest boredom. Do not be tempted to go into any detail whatsoever.

If you’re a groom we don’t need a real time account of how you met your wife, best men avoid granular description of incidents, and fathers of the bride don’t give us every single qualification your daughter has notched up. The aim of a good wedding speech is to demand as little from the listener as possible, and nothing turns them off quicker tun having to sit through boring detail, when really you should be making them laugh.

Wedding speeches are an entertaining overview, not a job application.

 

HUMOUR

Every speech in the world works better for having humour in it, and wedding speeches are no exception, but there does have to be some careful consideration. Humour is never scripted jokes that have nothing to do with the people involved, it’s not one liners you’ve grabbed from internet sites, and it’s certainly not anything that is edgy and borderline obscene. Humour in wedding speeches is warm, inclusive, and genuinely very funny.

Being funny, if it doesn’t come naturally, is a hard won skill, but like most things in life requires time and practice. The real humour can be found in observations around people, what they do, what they like and how they act…it just takes time to think of the best way to describe things so that people will laugh.

LENGTH

The length of wedding speeches is absolutely critical, and something which most speaker get catastrophically wrong. A great speech should never go over ten minutes, if you’re talking beyond that point, you’ll be talking to yourself as the majority of the guests will be tweeting selfies to people they hardly know.

Guests have an attention limit and ten minutes is where it’s at – so many guys I speak to want to shoe horn in more, but it’s really counterproductive, and grooms are the most guilty of this. Do not think for one minute that everyone loves you so much they really want to hear exactly how you met each of the ushers, it’s simply not the case. Less is more. However, if you’re talking for less than 3 minutes, it could take some explaining  afterwards.

 

So, if you can get the three magic ingredients right for your wedding speech, then I can guarantee it will be a winner. Treat all wedding speeches as a good dollop of entertainment and not an opportunity to lecture and people to death, and you’ll be on the right tracks. And if you read it out and aren’t tempted to laugh at least once…then keep working on it. For more tips and hints on the comedy visit the Best Man speech Jokes page.

Avoid anecdotes at wedding speeches

Wedding Speeches – Death By Anecdote

 

 

Most of the people I write wedding speech jokes for for are not afraid of standing up in front of people and speaking. Many jobs nowadays require everyone form IT heroes to construction site managers to communicate en masse, whether you’re letting everyone know just how whoopy doo the latest software is or guiding people through the finer points of the coffee machine that’s just been installed, it all means speaking out loud to a group of people.

 

However, these same people have an automatic and overpowering fear of the wedding speech because in corporate life there’s no room to be funny. In a wedding speech there’s no room not be.

 

Being funny, either or paper or out loud, is not easy. People build a lifetime’s work around the art of making other people laugh and it’s hard won experience. Some out there are naturally funny and others will have a delivery style that will carry them, but for most it is undeniably difficult. Everyone from stand ups to wedding speakers live in fear of delivering a joke which lands flat; it’s hard for the person making the speech and very often harder for the guests.

 

But Wedding speech jokes are not about anecdotes. There is very little that’s genuinely funny about a procession of tales about the grubbier details of the stag do or about that time he landed up in a foreign jail. Funny really is about observation; looking at the bigger picture and thinking about how you can comment on that in an amusing way. When I’m writing a best man’s speech I’ll only ever have room for one genuinely fully recounted story, unless the client demands it. In the rest of the speech I might allude to them but there’s simply no room and no apetite to hear them.

 

Instead of leading us through the time when the groom was found with his pants on his head, think what that says about his character in a funny way and then make a slight reference to the story. Nobody wants to see both sets of parents openly shocked and nobody wants to see the guests bored out of their minds. If you venture down the Avenue De L’anecdote, that’s what you’re guaranteed to find.

 

So if you’ve sketched out some wedding speech jokes and they read like an extended feature from Loaded Magazine, then start again and incorporate thoughts from those stories in a much more subtle way. Either that or be prepared for some serious yawning.

Two Best Man Speeches

Two Best Man Speeches – The Worst Idea Ever?

 

 

It’s becoming quite common these days to have more than one Best Man. The reason for this is mainly just good old fashioned plain cowardice; you’d rather not offend somebody, who up until that point had been laboring under the impression you liked him the most. Or maybe you’ve been told you have to use your brother and knowing that he’s not really in a position to do your greatness justice, have employed another much more racy character to sell you in as well. Or maybe you’re just deluded enough to think that death by anecdote is a pleasant way to go.

Multiple Best Men speeches, where our heroes are performing on stage together, are notoriously tricky to pull off. In order for them to really work, the two characters must have a well rehearsed repertoire, that bounces along and never stumbles. Think of the way rappers hit off each other – that’s the kind of relationship you’re going for. By introducing two nervous people on to the stage, you’re simply introducing more problems and potential for things to go wrong. The best outcome, if it’s not throughly worked through, can only be speech tennis where your head gently moves from one speaker to the other every few minutes as they wait nervously for their next cue. If you’re going to go down this route then the only answer is stacks of practice, don’t just come together on the day and try to make it work. It won’t.

 

By having two best men you’re also going to increase the length of the speech and this is never a good idea. Everybody, unless they’re made of wood, loves the speeches but nobody loves a long speech. If yours is running at anything over 10 minutes, you’re on dangerous ground and should really be subbing things out of it. Getting two guys to make a speech can end in catastrophically time consuming routines and some uncle will be punching the air as it nudges past the 20 minute mark having just snagged the sweepstake.

 

There is also the concern by the Groom that by having just one Best Man the guests won’t get the full picture of who he is, and has been, throughout his life, up until this point. To be frank: they don’t care nearly as much as you do. Of course, they’d like to hear a few snippets from various stages but they’re not studying for a degree in the groom they just want some easy laughs and then a disco dance with their tie wrapped around their head.

 

There is, however, a far worse scenario: separate multiple best man speeches. I have just written for a guy who is a second best man and is last on the stage out of…wait for it….six speakers. Six? By the time he gets on, the guests will be several years older, interest rates will have gone up and everybody there will want to kill him. If he gets out of the place alive it will be a miracle. Hearing yet another speech about the groom but from a slightly different era is heartless, selfish and very uncool

 

If you do insist on having several best men, do everyone a favour and make sure they’ve got sharp and succinct précis of your life in their hands. They’ve also got to really communicate with each other to make sure they’re not crossing any common ground. It’s also worth considering giving the speech duties to only one of them. One of them, usually the non speaker, is going to love you forever and the other, once he’s done his speech, is going to love you forever. The speeches are a celebration not a form of torture and not an opportunity for self aggrandisement. If you love yourself that much  then get married to yourself – it’s almost certainly possible in America and probably way cheaper.

 

Funny Best Man Speeches

Funny Best Man Speeches

 

Forget the internet 

Forget the internet. If you’ve reached this point because you’ve been made best man and now you’re looking for a template to copy or cut and paste joke to steal – stop. One of the fundamental facts of life is that what we do and how we do things is way funnier than some guy who’s sticking contrived jokes online for you to plunder. If, for example, you’ve decided to start your speech: ‘it’s an emotional wedding even the cake is in tiers’, then you need help. Not from me necessarily but from the voice in the back of your mind which is saying ‘the groom’s a funny guy, he deserves better than this’. You’re right. He does.

 Observations

The thing that makes people laugh in funny best man speeches is observation, and no matter how great Google is, it can’t quite yet come up with amusing observations on your friend and his life to date. But you can, and you don’t have to be a stand up to do it. Let’s think about those stand up comedians; they make a living out of simply relating everyday things, which when we hear them back make us laugh because we can relate to them. You are one step ahead of these guys because many of the guests already know the groom and his foibles so reminding them of those will be enough to bring the house down. There’s an easy way to go about this…

 

Funny Best Man Speeches Example

 

  1. Take one anecdote from the groom’s life
  2. Extract exactly what it is that makes it funny
  3. Construct a sentence that eludes to this quality
  4. Revel in the laughter

 

This may sound overly straightforward but here’s an example of a speech I wrote recently and took a seemingly mundane anecdote and gave it some zip.

 

The Best Man had written to me and amongst other facts had told me that in Australia the groom had gone from delivering the sandwiches to a company to running their accounts department. On the face of it, there’s nothing there. No meaty pay off, no story, just a mundane fact, but in the background we can all see it’s got its humour.

 

So instead of thinking about what it says about the groom I thought what does it say about the accounts department? And then things started to fall into place. Playing on cultural stereotypes, I came up with this:

 

“Not only did he have amazingly bad dress sense and a fairly good grasp of the English language but he could also count without using his fingers. The Aussie accounts team held him up as a modern day god.”

 

That’s exactly the type of funny you’re looking for; an observation rather than an anecdote. You’re relating verbatim a story about the time he was at work….blah blah blah. You’re giving an overall humorous observation and the only trick to that skill if you’re not used to it is…time.

 

We all think our mates are funny and they are and that’s for a good reason so simply think what it is that tickles you about them and describe that as an observation. No long winded anecdotes and explanations.

 

Let’s face it; you’re friend has asked you to do him the honour of giving the best man speech, if all you can do is Google funny best man speeches, let this be where that search stops. Got out and get ‘em kid.

 

 

 

 

Practice makes speeches perfect

Wedding Speeches: Practice Makes Perfect?

 

 

Well, the short answer is: nearly always yes, but sometimes no. If this sounds a little bit confusing then bear with me. There is one sure fire way, when it comes to wedding speeches, of giving yourself the best possibility of landing them,  and that’s to make sure you know what you’re saying inside out. Once you’ve read it through several times, the blocks of content should start to form in your brain and then with a few prompt cards on the day you should be home and dry. Only reading through the speech as often as you can puts you in that position.

 

However, there are some big ‘no no’s’ in my book when it comes to wedding speeches practice and the fundamental one for me is reading it to other people. If this is going to form part of your practice then you are making a challenging task way more difficult than it has to be, and I’ve seen this happen many times. If your girlfriend looks puzzled at the joke you loved, or questions a play on words you’re really chuffed with then it becomes speech writing by committee and you’re now relying on the sensibilities, and indeed sense of humour, of another party. And who’s to say they’re right and you’re wrong?

 

Wedding speeches should always be pitched at the level where you neither offend nor isolate anyone present, there is absolutely no room for crudeness or rudeness. But that doesn’t mean the guy’s ones have to lose the masculine edge that defines them. If you start trying to write things that your girlfriend (and it is always your girlfriend) thinks suitable then what is likely to result is paler version of what you really wanted to say. And the same goes for the girls – don’t start letting the boys interfere with your speech on the big day because they’ll want to start shaping into the speech they were never asked to make.

 

The second fundamental rule of wedding speeches is: don’t change things that you were perfectly happy with at the beginning. If something makes you laugh first time round then go with it because that’s exactly what’s going to happen on the day. What can happen is that you read it so often that you’ll start to question the humour and sentiment of things that really work. So don’t mend something that doesn’t need fixing. At the very start get a version that you’re really happy with and stick to it. Changing it is counterproductive and unsettling.

 

And finally, if your idea of practice is to memorise the speech, then good luck and I’ll see you for counseling afterwards. I have to learn scripts as part of my broadcast work and I’ve got pretty good at it, but 1200 words? Not a chance. Unless you have circuit boards where your brains should be, memorizing a speech with either send you mad, or result in at best, a monotonus delivery. The most likely result is that you’ll just become so utterly lost in the forest of words, you’ll come to a grinding halt and the guests will have the opportunity to watch a very public breakdown.

 

Only you really know what’s going to work for your speech; what you want to say and how you want to say it. So have the confidence to go with something you believe in, because if you’ve got that, then the rest is easy.

Best Man Speech Brother

As a Best Man Speech Writer I have a gifted insight in to how grooms operate the world over. I know that the Empire State building is pretty much de rigeur when it comes to proposals, I know that well over 85% of my clients still ask for permission to marry from the father and I know that from the minute the button is pressed the girls take over and you become a passenger on a rather fast, furious and pricey roller coaster ride.

So, pretty much all the groom has to do is choose a best man and organise the cars, except when I say choose…it’s very much one of those situations where there IS a loaded revolver to your head and it WILL go off should you make the wrong decision. There are expectations from your wife to be and your family. One doesn’t want you to ruin everything by choosing the close friend she’s never liked with the potty mouth and drink issues, and the other wants you to choose your brother. So you choose your brother.

This of course keeps both parties happy but doesn’t necessarily make anything easier for you, as most brothers won’t have lived or indeed socialised together for many years by the time the wedding comes around. In fact the only really good stories he has about you are over 25 years old and he really hasn’t got know your girlfriend yet as he lives in Australia. This is a very familiar scenario for me when I’m writing best man speeches. Over 70% of the best man speeches I write are for brothers and they do bring about their unique issues – mainly that they know very little about the groom’s real life after the age of 18.

This is not as worrying as it might first seem because I never really use anecdotes anyway as they’re boring, exclusive and not usually that funny, so you’re forced to think of things in a different, more inclusive and hopefully funnier way. Actually this is how every best man speech should be written – forget the anecdotes and tell a story instead. We don’t care about EXACTLY what happened in his life to date, I want daftness, I want fun and I really don’t care about detail. So don’t worry about not having any information on your brother past the point of puberty – it doesn’t matter.

Instead think about what his dreams were, think about what kind of character he used to be growing up and think how you can use that in a funny way. What were his hobbies, passions and disasters? Put your thinking cap on and make that funny. A good best man speech for a brother should be written in exactly the same way as that for any other best man – with warmth, intelligence and a great dollop of imagination.

 

A groom holding a bouquet and looking as though he's about to practice his groom speech

Groom’s Speech – Death By Thanks

There seems to be a commonly held opinion that the groom’s speech is really just a quick rifle through everyone you have ever known and thanking them personally and in precisely the same way for the part they’ve played in the story of your greatness. Now, nobody is saying you’re not great, and not for a minute am I suggesting that some people in your life don’t deserve recognition but in order for your groom’s speech not to become a tsunami of acknowledgements you really need to think carefully about who you’re going to thank and how you’re going to thank them. 

There also needs to be a healthy balance. Even the most stable of grooms can get a bit carried away and treat it as an opportunity to spend 15 minutes talking about how great their new wife is. Whilst most people there would probably agree with you, nobody wants it on heavy rotate, so keep it sincere, warm, funny and ultimately snappy. 

 

Procession

The most common mistake with the groom’s speech is just making it one huge procession of thanks. It’s incredibly dull to listen to and usually the thanks end up being as heartfelt as a gas bill. Limit the number of people you’re going to acknowledge to a maximum of three people and then work out a funny way to include them in your speech. Simply saying thank you to Aunt Hilda for the cupcakes simply isn’t good enough. 

 

Paid Service

The golden rule is: if you’ve paid for a service they don’t need thanking. You haven’t got the time to thank all the people who really mean something to you let alone the florists, wedding planners, car suppliers and cake makers. Unless they’re giving the proceeds to starving orphans, then forget about them. 

Parents

I’ve worked with enough grooms around the world to understand just how important their parents are to them and I’ve seen enough draft speeches to see just how spectacularly they seem to cock this one up. Dismissing your beloved parents in a sentence is poor but then, as so often happens, spending two paragraphs talking about how great your new in laws are is nothing short of thick. Make sure you thank both in equal measure and with a dollop of humour. 

Toasts

There are really three you could make but the only one you have to make is to the bridesmaids. A good idea is to toast the parents, although complicated family situations might see you having to word this carefully and often a groom would like a toast to absent friends. Never ever toast the bride in isolation – it’s weird and uncomfortable, and never make people stand for the toasts – it’ll break your flow and to be honest they’re happier seated. 

 

Best Man

Say something funny and genuinely heartfelt about him. It’s amazing that most grooms will either forget to mention him or simply reference him with regard to the stag weekend. It’s one of the most important and meaningful positions of the entire event so acknowledge, but don’t forget to get your punches in early.

 

Stag Weekend

I’ve never included a stag weekend reference in any of my groom’s speeches as they’re always cliched, dull and not very inclusive. I don’t care if you were dancing with a traffic cone on your head in Prague, I wasn’t there and deep laughs from those that are trying to galvanise their association with you are just going to rile me. 

The Bride 

Don’t forget to have fun, girls like laughing too and there’s no reason why it should become an overwrought declaration of love. Of course she means the world to you but try to break things up with something funny from your first date or when you met here parents. The you can get a bit mushy. 

 

Fun

A wedding speech without laughs is a wasted opportunity so think funny all the way through. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the best man is the only one they’re expecting laughs from. The guests are sat there, quite merry and need entertaining. You’re second on the bill. Don’t disappoint. 

 

For more hints and tips on how to lay out your Groom Speech then visit the Groom Speech Structure page.

 

 

  • 1
  • 2
  • 5