When delivering a Best Man speech, it is crucial to know what to leave in (for entertainment) and even more important is knowing what to leave out (one wrong move could ruin the day!). Listed below are the don’ts that all Best Men should read and remember.
Best Man speech don’ts
- Don’t mention the stag party. Nothing good can come of this. Allude to it, or simply say that ‘what happens on the stag stays on the stag’. There is no need to ruin people’s lives in a vain attempt to be funny.
- Don’t mention past relationships! It’s fine to allude to ‘many past exploits’ or other exaggerations but for the love of God don’t mention anything that could upset the Bride. Don’t be an asshole.
- Don’t get too drunk. In all likelihood the speeches will be post-meal. This is a long time to wait, but don’t be tempted to overdo it on the booze. I would recommend having a total of three pre-speech drinks, and a minimum of two drinks… to loosen you up. Let’s be honest, it does work. A couple of Jack Daniels & Coke should do the trick.
- Don’t be creepy. I think this goes without saying, but just in case.
- Don’t think it’s okay to be vulgar. If you really want to tell a non family-friendly story about the Groom, you could tell 90% of the story, and leave the audience hanging and say ‘I best not go any further… unless you want me to.’ If it’s a resounding YES, it may go down brilliantly, if not then move on quickly, or use an innuendo.
- Don’t overdo it on the ‘in-jokes’. One or two for the lads is fine. They are the loudest members of the audience.
- Don’t speak about yourself too much. This can happen if you don’t prepare.
- Don’t swear. There is simply no need. We are better than that. If one or two slip out for effect that’s not the end of the world.
- Don’t forget to compliment the Bridesmaids and the Bride. It is a Best Man speech death sentence if you forget this. If you can remember one thing on the day it is to compliment the Bride.
- Don’t read directly from the cards when you are being sincere or heartfelt. It will seem forced.
Get the Best Man Speech Guidebook
If you are thinking about your upcoming Best Man duties or need to draft your speech in a hurry you can check out the book the Best Man Speech Guidebook for even more tips and a full list of Best Man speech hacks. It contains the important do’s and don’ts in wedding speech etiquette, some great one-liners, visual gag options, but most importantly a clear speech structure and tried and tested speech templates.
The Best Man guide
For more advice and ideas for all of your Best Man duties, check out our Ultimate Best Man Guide page.