The Mandatory Best Man’s Guide to Giving a Wedding Speech Nobody Will Forget
We’re at the peak of wedding season (whatever that means under the social-distancing umbrella of COVID-19), and a handful of best men are feeling the pressure— it’s time to make that speech. Not just any speech, the one that will shock and awe, the one that your soon-to-be-married best friend will reminisce about years from now on the porch with his significant other…if their “mawwiage” lasts that long.
That said, we’ve learned one very important thing from 2020: everything is fair game and expectations have been thrown out the proverbial window. That’s right, don’t worry about being a liability or a wildcard; feel free to enjoy the open bar a little bit too much. Fueled by bottom-shelf booze, tap into your jealousy, resentment, douchebag-ery, and give them a wedding speech nobody will forget. Have some fun with it. If you find yourself lacking creativity, here’s a guide to assist you in your intrepid quest.
Cover Photo: Corbis/VCG (Getty Images)
Drink Your Weight in Beer Before Having to Stand Up in Front of God and Everyone
As previously stated, that open bar is a godsend; indulge in more than a little bit of liquid courage before your best man speech. The pregame is just as important as the party itself (sometimes more). Bonus: face-planting onto the floor not only steals the spotlight but is one hell of a way to make an entrance.
R.IP. Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Prepare a PowerPoint
Most of us have been chained to PowerPoint for the bulk of our academic careers. So, of course, it’s an admirable piece of software that we remember fondly and not a mind-numbing exercise. Prepare one, equip yourself with a clicker, and present slides to your audience outlining each part of your speech (which you will then act out). Slide numero uno will explain the importance of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in the structure of your best man speech: every time your stumble, you’ll immediately break out into the chorus of “Sweet Caroline” — to which your audience will be required to respond: "Ba, ba, ba!" That should eliminate any awkwardness.
It is often advised to imagine the audience in their underwear to cope with nerves. Redacted. Get into your underwear. Buy over-sized pants, don’t wear a belt, and rip those puppies off at the beginning of your speech (or whenever you feel the urge) like you’re Chris Pontius on an episode of Jackass.
It's Not a Race
No, like really. You're about to rival Fidel Castro's "The Denouncement of Imperialism and Colonialism."
Remember to smile.
Don’t Recite, Read
When’s the last time you remember having to learn lines? The annual Nativity play? In the age of auto-correct, Google, and the internet, memorization has gone out of style. Your best man speech should be a reflection of contemporary society. No notes or prompt cards, just you and your PowerPoint.
Include Super Embarrassing Stories
"There was a whore in Las Vegas a couple of years ago..." Don’t just throw in a few playful jabs at your buddy, dive deep into some embarrassing stories. But the audience includes grandparents and people who respect and admire the distinguished couple, you say? We’ve all lived a life. Feel free to say something about the groom’s ex while you’re at it—plenty of material there.
Be Overtly Philosophical at Times
"By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." — Socrates
Berate the Groom
A little ribbing? No. Destroy him. Did he use to be fat? Say it. You don’t understand why the bride is with him? Thoroughly explain your position on the issue. Don’t worry about balancing your speech with praise, well-wishing, or self-deprecating jokes. People appreciate sardonic honesty.
The Bride is Not Off-Limits
Yes, it’s her special day. She’s been dreaming about this day since she was a little girl. However, we’re all adults here, right? She can handle it. Not like she can tell your buddy to just not be your friend anymore...So, yeah, admit to having a threesome with the bride a few years back, that should warrant a reaction or two.
Swear a Lot
When it comes to cursing, the generation gap is very pronounced. Guests over 40 may not even understand that some words you use in your daily life aren’t necessarily even offensive anymore. Consider your speech an exercise in rhetoric. You’re going to convince the wrinklies that vulgar is better. Besides, toning your language down could compromise how organic your speech feels. So, deal with it, Aunt Karen.
Pa' was a whore in Las Vegas a couple of years ago...
Pretend to Be Sherlock Holmes Solving a Crime
Audience participation always livens things up. Spoiler alert! Great Aunt Petunia did it with a candlestick in the conservatory.
Channel Dramatic Movie Monologues
Channel Mel Gibson William Wallace-esque charisma from Braveheart. Embrace Maximus’ rage and defiance of the Roman Empire. Imagine yourself as Aragorn, in front of an army of all races, motivating your army to take on the evil forces of Middle Earth. Try to make your speech an amalgamation of every great cinematic speech and convince the groomsmen to hum an inspirational melody as you deliver your epic monologue.
At Some Point, Incorporate 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Carlton Dance
It's iconic for a reason.
Throw in a Little 'Trump 2020' at the End...
And wear your MAGA hat, because people love that.
Be as Patriotic as Possible
Nothing deserves a "USA! USA!" chant more than a wedding.
How else will you reinforce aforementioned patriotism?
Take a Bow and Make It About Yourself
At the end of the day, remember, they gave you the mic for a reason. Feel free to overshadow the bride and groom’s partnership with your own accomplishments, bromantically or otherwise. You might think of an anecdote about yourself that is particularly hilarious or sentimental, and there will not be time for mingling at the reception. You're hightailing it out of there after this speech. Do drop your mic when it’s all said and done.
Some better advice: 12 Actually Great Tips to Giving the Best Man’s Speech No Guy Can Top
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