Let’s be honest, no matter who you are at a wedding, when they announce that it’s time for the best man and maid of honor speeches - your heart drops a little bit. As a bride or groom, you fear of what your best friend is going to say about you in front of your new family; as the best man (lets call him BM) or maid of honor (MOH) you fear if people are going to laugh and understand what you’re saying and as a guest you dread the thought of how potentially long these could be. Speeches are known to go either way, extremely meaningful and successful or a huge flop.
Being in the industry that we are in, we have seen a lot of speeches. We know what's best for a great toast but cannot make magic when your toasts just fall flat. We want to provide you with the most beautiful footage for your film without having drunk Cousin Bethy rambling about nothing for thirty minutes.
As a bride or groom, you can and should talk to your BM and MOH prior to your wedding and explain the importance of a good toast. Let them know that’s it not cool to bring up embarrassing stories from your past or talk for too long.
Whether you are a bride or groom that want to talk to their BM and MOH before your big day, or you are the BM or MOH for an upcoming wedding, here are some tips for your Wedding Day Toasts.
Don’t Embarrass Yourself
You’re the BEST Man and Maid of HONOR for a reason. It’s in the name if you aren’t too sure what they mean. You want to prove yourself as the best friend and treat your titles with respect and honor. Before your speech, keep your drinking to a minimum. You don’t want to be known as “the wasted guy that was rambling the entire time.” Also, stay away from profanity. You are speaking at a formal event in front of parents, grandparents, bosses and other people who are important to the bride and groom. Keep in mind that you will have to see these people again in the future at birthday parties, christenings and other life events. It’s okay to take a shot or two, to feel good and settle some nerves, but keep it at just that. Be nice, be tasteful and bring out the best in yourself and in the couple.
Stay Away From Inside Jokes
Sorry girls, this is mostly geared towards you. However, this doesn’t mean the men aren’t guilty of doing this as well. MOHs and BMs tend to include a lot of inside jokes during their toasts. To you, they’re hilarious and some the best times that you two have experienced together, but to the audience, they literally mean nothing and they add nothing to the story of the bride and groom. Throwing in one is fine but a speech full of insiders is just terrible and will leave space for crickets to enter the room. Remember, you are making a speech to honor their marriage, not a speech entirely about your friendship.
It is always nice during a toast, when you hear the BM and MOH thanking everyone for helping put together this special day. Give thanks to the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, shout outs to grandparents are always sweet, the bridal party for being so great, friends and family coming from near and far, any other important people that helped you. This is a way to make the individuals feel extra special, so personalized shoutouts are the way to go. For example “Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Logan and Mr. and Mrs. McGeegan for hosting such an amazing event tonight. “ Lastly, don’t forget to thank the bride and groom for getting married...and providing an open bar.
Be Funny, Be Cool
To start off your speech, say something funny to capture the audience’s attention then transition into something more serious and heartfelt. Funny always works and gets people to like you and makes them want to listen to what you have to say. Be cool though, you don’t want it to seem like you’re trying too hard or wing something off the top of your head. Don’t try to be a hero; having something written down or typed up on your smartphone is encouraged and perfectly ok. No matter how confident you are or how much you think you’ve memorized your speech, you definitely should have it written down to fall back on just in case you get tongue tied or draw a blank. There is no shame in having a print out. I typed and printed out my MOH speech for my sister’s wedding and I totally killed it.
Keep It Short And Sweet
Your toast should not be an epic novel but also shouldn’t be a one liner. There really isn’t a set amount of time that you should cap it at, but typically a five-minute speech is plenty. If you’re going to recite a quote, make it a short. If what you want to say isn’t particularly nice, don’t say it. If possible, coordinate with the other toast giver(s) so you are not repeating yourselves and boring the crowd. And always make sure the focus is on the bride and groom as a couple and not narrate their entire biographies. Just think, the sooner you get it over with, the sooner you can hit up the bar.
It’s A Toast, Not A Roast
“OMG remember Spring Break ‘06 when you…” No. Just no. This is not the appropriate time or place to bring out the hammer. This is your chance to say something meaningful and to prove why you were chosen to make a toast. You should talk about why you have been friends for so long and express your love for the bride and groom. It’s also not cool to talk about exes or any past relationships. If you feel like you MUST reveal what the bride or groom did during Spring Break 2006, you can plan to make a little speech at your private bachelor/bachelorette party, where the families and most friends are not present. No one really wants to hear about Becky with the good hair, I can promise you that.
Putting together your toast shouldn’t be too hard but if you’re having some difficulties finding the right words, ask the bride and groom to sit down with you and have them discuss some sentimental times together or reach out to a good friend for some different perspectives. Remember to take a deep breath, be nice, take a shot, act cool even if you aren’t and keep it short. You want to provide insightful information to keep the audience engaged and not talk over you while you’re speaking. The main goal is to share some laughs, provide a love story and end with a round of applause.
If you have any other advice, feel free to share in the comments below!
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