One of my favorite things about a wedding would be the best man speech. It's always the shining moment to throw your friend under the bus in front of all his friends and family.
I didn't realize this till this past year how much fun it was to watch the best man get up and roast his best friend. Often I would get to watch the groom sink in his chair, the bride bury her face in her hands and the parents give awkward smiles. One of the big things that I never realize is how much emotion is poured into these speeches (the bridesmaids speech is equally potent). I will say that the majority of the times I am glad I have a camera in front of my face, I often get teary eyed at weddings, either the vows or the speeches.
So a few words of advice for the best man during his 3 minutes of fame.
1. Whatever you say can't be unheard. While it might be funny to throw your friend under the bus, don't screw him over royally. No mentioning of ex's, drug usage or how much porn he has on his computer. While you are trying to embarrass him a bit you don't want to make his family cringe. You also don't know if he's told his wife about the time he.... (you get the drift).
2. Keep it short. If you have a mind blowing story that takes 4 minutes, sure. If you're just talking to hear your self talk, don't. Think SNL monologue, they get out the information that needs to be heard; they usually avoid rambling. Try to keep it around 2-3 minutes and try to keep it funny or heartfelt.
3. Bonus points. A good speech at a wedding is usually because it's heartfelt, something we didn't know about the person and maybe incredibly insightful. It's also great when you get some serious laughter out of that wedding crowd. Make sure to thank the ramies for coming and also do some name dropping of people in the crowd. (Seinfeld is funny because he involves us in his stories, things and people we can relate to) If your story just involves random people that no ones met from college or his work then it might seem a bit boring to everyone.
4. Format is everything. Don't ramble, whatever you do don't ramble. So i'm going to list a simple writing format for your speech. (Excuse the words) The crap sandwich, okay very simple format this way.
You start off with the bread (something easy).
Congrats to Mr. ******. I never thought I would see the day.. ect
(keep it at a minute or so). Now you can roast him a bit. (the crap)
So not a lot of people know about this but ******* once thought that... (story begins).
(keep that 1 to 2 minutes)
But you know, I couldn't believe that ******** met someone so perfect for him.
(The last piece of bread, now you pepper the
conclusion with lots of compliments about the bride and groom).
So here's another way to do it. Start off with the roast right away, throw the friend off the bridge, destroy! But then at the end you say twice the amount of nice things or at least try to.
A big smile and long pause at the beginning of your speech while looking at the groom goes a long way. I know I have a few good friends who's secrets I'm holding onto for such a day. You want to make that groom sweat.
5. Talking points. The main things to concentrate on would be the story, your speech. If you've never heard of this, it's simple. When you see David Letterman interviewing someone and he looks at cards every once and awhile, those are his talking points. While i'm sure he would love to have a mini wikipedia page printed out for every single guest that would be a little tiresome. Talking points are a few words or a sentence to help jog your memory.
Your talking points for best and speech would look something like this.
b. How we became friends
c. Getting in trouble together
d. When you met your future bride
e. How happy he's been since meeting the wifey
f. When he got in trouble with the wifey
g. Thank the families for raising two lovely people
h. What a beautiful wedding.. so far, we still haven't seen ****** and ****** dance
i. You've never seen two people so happy
(BTW, totally getting teary eyed even writing this. I've sat through a lot of speeches the past couple years and they've all been pretty awesome.)
6. Silver linings. The silver lining would be for the groom, no matter how bad you've embarrassed him or tormented him in the past few minutes you have to remember one thing. He's going to get you back someday. He will have the same opportunity at his wedding or april foods or a random Tuesday,
Give him hell but also don't forget to make him shine, this is his day after all.