The Best man is the chief assistant to the groom at a wedding and (along with the Maid of Honour) is the third most important in attendance after the bride and groom. The groom extends this honour to someone who is close to him, generally close friend or relative. When the groom wishes to give this honour to a woman, she may be termed the best woman or best person. The bride’s equivalent of the best man is the Maid of Honour. Again, if this honouree is male, he may be called a “Man of Honour”.
During the wedding ceremony, the best man stands next to the groom, slightly behind him. The main duties of the best man on the day of a wedding would be:
- Assist the groom on the wedding day, get him to the ceremony 30 minutes before the time
- Act as a confidant for the groom as he might have pre-wedding nerves
- Be in charge of the ushers
- Keep the wedding rings safe until needed during the ceremony
- Stand next to the groom during the ceremony
- Act as a legal witness to the marriage and therefore sign the marriage certificate
- Prepare a "best man's speech" to be read at the reception
- Take care of the wedding rings on the day
- Pay the officiant, Singers and musicians
- Help gather guests for photographs
- Pay the band, photographer, DJ, and any other suppliers
- Take care of the wedding cards on the day if required
He would also plan the stag party for the groom; assist with luggage or gifts or unexpected complications. They may also decorate the newlywed couples’ car.
Attend Suit fittings, attend the wedding rehearsal and buy a wedding gift for the couple.
You only get one chance to give your speech so don’t blow it! There is no doubt, speeches can be tough and the best man’s speech is expected to be one of the highlights of the wedding. The best man is normally the last of the speakers and will usually open his speech by welcoming all of the guests to the wedding, introduce himself. He usually mentions how he got to know the groom, recall a couple of memorable stories about his past. The best man is sometimes under pressure to be funny and witty but really the secret is to have a short speech. The following may help you if you are going to be the best man in the near future:
- Thank the groom
- Toast the bridesmaids and say how beautiful they look
- Thank both sets of parents for their kind words
- Compliment the groom on his excellent choice of bride
- Compliment the bride on how beautiful she looks on her wedding day
- The speech should be no longer than six minutes
- Do not get your speech from the internet
- Be yourself, don’t drink too much!
The Do’s and Don’ts of a Wedding Speech:
Whether you are the best man, father of the bride, bridesmaid, the tips and tricks of making a memorable wedding speech is to speak from the heart and keep it short.
Wedding Speech Do’s:
- Introduce yourself and say how you know the bride or groom
- Remember there will be older relatives present, so best to keep your speech appropriate
- Read from your notes if you are a little nervous
- Thank people who helped to make the day so special
- Try to smile even though you are nervous
- Look at the happy couple when you are speaking about them
- Check with others before the day who are making speeches, to ensure that you are not overlapping with the same speech. Guests can get bored easily.
- Be sober for your speech
- Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
- Toast the Bride and Groom
Wedding Speech Don’ts:
- Don’t tell inside jokes where only a few guests will understand them, it will put the guests off. Try to mention something funny or amusing about the wedding couple
- Don’t talk about yourself. It is ok to mention how you met the couple but don’t keep the spotlight on yourself for too long
- Do not mention past relationships or marriages that the bride and groom might have had. Focus on how happy you are for the bride and groom, how perfect they are for each other.
- Do not speak about the stag or hen parties as all of the guests were not there, not the appropriate time
- Don’t ridicule the bride or groom. Embarrassing either one of them is a definite no-no.
Tip of the Week:
Jot down a few keywords for your speech. Have little cards rather than a long page.
The secret is to begin your speech in a sincere manner, be funny in the middle, sincere again at the end.
Encourage your speakers not to hit the bar too early: a tipsy toaster will be on the verge of sharing too much. The speech should be no more than 6-8 minutes; any shorter they may think you didn’t put enough thought into it and any longer, you may lose their interest. Short and Sweet.
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