On paper there’s not much that’s attractive about a man becoming so entangled in his wedding plans that he begins to actually believe the minutiae of detail such as the matching socks for senior male wedding mafia, is actually just as important as life itself. Of course everyone can be forgiven for getting a little bit carried away, and that’s why we have such sights as small dogs delivering the ring to the alter with a cushion strapped to them, like some mini elephant. But there is one specific area where grooms SHOULD be more in charge and direct, and that if course the speeches.
It is your wedding and by one of the most defining moments of that day is going to be the speeches. Far too often they become defining by just how how tedious, unfunny and crass they are. Several thousands of people each year probably consider ending it all whilst surviving to the half way point of a 45 minute Best Man Speech. However, this abject torture and misery can be managed and marshalled…and it needs to be.
If left to their own devices a father of the bride or best man will undoubtedly get it wrong. I see this time and time again, week in week out. The best man will actually believe the day is about him and quite ignore the fact that long stories and poor humour aren’t really the order of the day. The father of the bride will become so gut wrenchingly nervous whilst constructing his speech he will write 2000 words and still make no mention of his daughter. Now, whilst you as the groom can’t vet what they’ve written you can at least ensure that the length of their speeches falls into line with your own, and it will make all the difference to the day.
If we’re dealing with a classic father the bride/groom/best man line up, then nobody should be talking for more than ten minutes, rendering the speeches as half an hour of fun and laughter, rather than 2 hours of your life you’ll never get back. All grooms should instruct the other speakers that this is what they have to hit, because any longer than that and the whole thing is going to unravel as a wordy, boring ‘death by anecdote’ extravaganza. And there is also another really useful thing that all grooms should do, and that’s ensure that nobody is doubling up on toast and thanks.
It’s great for the father of the bride to welcome everyone, but why on earth, half an hour later, would the best man do the same thing? The groom should be toasting the bridesmaids so he doesn’t need the others to mention them…and so it goes on. Make sure that none of the toasts are related, there is only one welcome, and ushers/best man/flower girls etc etc only get one look in. With hard and fast timings and no repetitions, you’re giving yourselves the best possible chance of success.
So, grooms get out there and take charge of the speakers, it will be time well spent.