Please Best Man, Don’t Bore The Guests! 5 Tips For Giving the Toast at a Wedding

Every best man should have wit, charm, and that kind of smile that draws automatic lines on the lips of his listeners…. but above all, every best man should be proud and feel honoured with the gift that has been bestowed upon him by the groom. The gift of ‘telling the story’

You see, the best man may be seen to be the enviable “man”, he is seen to have it all put together… this is false. It is only with an inner eye, or one who has experienced the sweaty palms, the rising up beats of the heart and the most feared syndrome of the best man phobia-“the wedding toast” that truly understands the effects of being bestowed with the necessary evil of anchoring the couple’s toast

The wedding toast is by far the hardest formal affair the best man has to deal with as the groom’s guide.

Months after your guy has announced his desire to take his lady to the altar; you are super excited- sharing manly handshakes, laughter, guy stories of blah, blah and blah. He tells you, his ever understanding childhood friend, that he would like you to do him the honour of becoming his best man as he journeys into wedlock.

Years run into months as you visit each other’s family houses, flip through school albums over champagne glasses clicking, late nights on the couch watching a football game with several cans of Star beer. You are happy, he is happy, everyone is anticipating the marriage of true love.  You feel you have the right to testify to this love story- your best friend marries his child hood sweetheart and you were there from the start!

Ha! You’ll be damned if you cannot come up with the most moving, funny and exciting speech ever! But wait o… as months start running into weeks you realize it’s a few days to your best friends wedding! You have totally, totally forgotten that one of your roles as the groom’s guide is to put into writing your first draft for the toast.

You say to yourself that it will be an easy one…”I was there after the inter house games in college as Jimmy walked up to Sisi full of pride with his football jersey hanging from his right shoulder…bouncing like a stud he approached Sisi and “started toasting her”” … this doesn’t sound right as you look at the scribbling on paper…it started off nice though but “started toasting her”?

You realize that your palms are sweaty; you’re chewing at the cover of your pen. You have forgotten how to tell the story of your best friend’s child hood first love.

You start counting down to the wedding. You are afraid of mutual friends laughing at you because you’ll make a fool of yourself and embarrass the couple. Worst still, you dread that your toast may switch on the snooze button instead of adding that extra spark you had fantasied in your head about the wedding.

To be a man is not a day’s job they say but to be a best man, well? Here are a few pointers to note as you prepare for your big day as The groom’s guide!

Prepare and Practice
Even the excellent mastery of oratory comes from constant preparation and practice. Avoid any urge to freestyle the toast. Months before the wedding, go through your past pictures, diary, phone messages. Try and collate fun memories and write it down. Ask mutual friends to share with you interesting but not embarrassing moments that will make the couple look and feel good. Come up with a short script to act out with the maid of honour. This is unique and will awe the couple and guests. You can do this with a slide show capturing all you have to say on a screen. In all, never under-estimate the power of honesty, jokes, and on a lighter note champagne and music!

Be Yourself
While it is every best man’s wish to show that he has some level of wit, charm and endearing coolness, it is also important to know that people can see through a lie or fake attitude. Relax; you are holding a glass of champagne aren’t you? Who says you can’t sip a little? Enjoy the moment. Captivate the audience with stories and jokes. Get into the act like it was your stage and nobody cared if you read a poem to the couple, told a short story, smiled as you walked up and down the hall…just be you!

The Gentleman
Be courteous; begin by expressing gratitude to the groom for giving you the opportunity;  his bride for not getting mad at the groom when you made him keep late nights. Acknowledge, the couples parents for bringing up well-mannered, beautifully trained adults, you could raise a toast to honour the parents. Thank the guests also for taking the time to be part of the wedding. Like they say -
“words seldom go quite deep enough when thanks should be expressed.”

Stay Sober
As a gentle man, I need not mention the importance of being sober. I know the bachelors eve was the night before, but you don’t want to say something offensive because you are under the influence of alcohol, do you? You may regret it for years to come.

Keep it short
Your speech should be interesting and above all make a connection. Being brief is one of the most difficult aspects in oratory. Once geared into the rhythm it is hard to switch off. No matter how tempted you are to go on and on about a certain college experience or a fun camping experience, try and keep the toast short but interesting. Above all what ever story you share let it be connected to the couple, their wedding and let the guests feel in the loop. A good way to do this is to avoid inside jokes only known to you and the groom. People often feel annoyed by this and this could kill the connection you tried so hard to build up.

Raise your glass and make that toast to the couple.

As the best man, you can toast to God’s grace, everlasting happiness, strength and love in the couple’s marriage.

If you are able to follow these baby steps you may never switch on that snooze button!

Cheers!

Photo Credit
: ashleysbrideguide.com
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Oaken Events Limited is an event planning, management, design and logistics company committed to the flawless delivery of corporate luncheons and dinners, destination weddings and special events from start to finish. Oaken Events ensures that all their events represent the client’s personality and style leaving lasting memories and cherished moments.

 

33 Comments on Please Best Man, Don’t Bore The Guests! 5 Tips For Giving the Toast at a Wedding
  • Iamme June 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Helpful tips! Would gladly pass it on to any friend of mine chosen to be someone’s best man.

  • X-factor June 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Nice One!

  • Hilda June 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Nice..makes me remember a wedding I attended where the best man n his speech talked about getting drunk with the groom! it was a cringeworthy moment.

  • loveth .O June 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

    oh oh

  • MDE June 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    very helpful lol ppl do need lessons

  • Dearie June 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    @Hilda Oniranu bestman niyen men! I’m glad hubby’s best friend isn’t our best-man. Dude’s mouth runs like a spoilt car horn. He’s ever ready with a corny university days’ gist. How my fiance got drunk and puked for hours in their dorm, or how he cooked beans and the taste was so horrible they stooled for days (my fiance can’t cook to save his life). I’m so glad he won’t be in anyway close to mic that day.

    Thanks Oaken Events for this piece!

  • tos June 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    i can relate to the statement of doing the count dwn to the wedding as it gets closer…did one in december, and trust me it came with tension at first..specially since am not good with the crowd…but in all, i ended up giving a very good toast that got everyone laughing..at the end i became a mini-celebrity, everyone pointing like; dats the lady dat gave the toast! btw Oaken events, is not only the best man dat gives a toast..is someone that knows the story of how the couple met…btw am a lady, neither was i the chief brides made!x

    • true June 24, 2013 at 9:29 am

      I concur, I gave one too, was not a man, nor was I chiefbride’s maide – I was a maid sha.. first B maid duty..

  • Bimpe June 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    This should be for best man and maid of honor since the MOH also gives a toast.

    The funniest i’ve heard was from a best man. it goes ” They say the best man’s speech should be as long as the grooms performance so I’ll stop now”.

    brought a lot of laughs before he gave the real speech.

    • magh June 20, 2013 at 4:35 am

      lol that was funny..he better stop.. nice one

  • Iyke Chillz June 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Very incisive and educating. Best Man now knows more thanks to this beautiful piece. Thumbs up.

  • Mz Socially Awkward… June 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I think anyone that’s granted the honor of giving a toast at a wedding needs to understand they’ve been given an important duty. I’ve attended too many weddings where the best man just foolishly rambles into the mic and it pisses me the heck off.

    And family members of the couple are culprits of the same crime. Prepare something meaningful (and short!) in advance, you can’t just be ruining the bride and groom’s memories of their big day. At a wedding I recently attened, the groom’s brother gave the speech and it was such a brief, shoddy, lazy jumble of words that you could tell this man didn’t prepare at all. I think a bride and groom should tactically agree on which of the groom’s family/friends is the bestman because I ain’t got time for unnecessary loyalty to family members. Na me go dey watch the video in years to come and I will be mad as heck if someone we choose to be an important part of our day just doesn’t do his or her job.

  • Ann June 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    i attended wedding where best man sympathized with grooms ex present, saying how they didn’t know groom was even seeing the bride until from no where he said he was getting married to the babe. He ended by saying how he prays that God would bless the ex with a hubby. :(

    • nwanyi na aga aga June 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      OMG!!!! Looooooool! this is as funny as its painful. What kind of person is the Bestman? Craze dey worry am ni? Chai! i can only say Chai! this is incredible. hehehehehe!

      • Ann June 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm

        lols, u can say that again..truth be told, i was actually the ex that was present..ok, ok, ok, i know i was crazy to have gone for the wedding, i even heard abt the wedding from a mutual friend and wanted to see for myself.

    • Iamme June 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      What was the best man trying to achieve by saying that? Dang! Talk about not knowing how to talk…

    • Nice Anon June 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      DEAD! Oh wow

  • My friend’s ordeal June 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    My friend told me how the man the husband chose to make the toast at their wedding run mouth like tap without control and spoil the day for her and each time she watches the wedding video she always get mad at him and regretted their choice of chosen him to give the toast of their big day. The man ended up saying how he was the one that saw the lady first and how he told her husband that they should eat her and clean mouth and move on to the next victim and how the husband of my friend ended up backing out of the planned game and eventually married her. Hmmn! what a toast on a friend’s D day.

    • natty June 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      WTF, mehn that friendship should end after the wedding

  • Naveah June 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Excellent tips and applies to the maid of honor as well! I would also add that the best man must remember that not all stories are meant for all ears and neither are all jokes, this is not the time to practice your comedy routine. Keep It Clean!

  • Zayt June 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Some best men sha! Smh. Recently attended a wedding where the best man was telling the wife not to nag her hubby too much as she knows he’s a ladies man nd there r several women who would do anything to be in her shoes. Meaning better behave before u push him to the arms of another woman. And hubby was just grinning sheepishly. Was so pissed. Her mum dint find it funny nd told her off immediately after d speech! Felt for the babe. And hubby and other friends saw nothing wrong with the speech. Infect they kept hailing d best man!

    • Nice Anon June 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      WTF? What kinda rubbish, disrespectful toast is that? Goodluck to the bride. She’ll need it.

      • magh June 20, 2013 at 4:39 am

        no way!! I would have called security to escort him out!! like what the hell! women sha we don suffer oh.. and yea, good luck to that bride..

  • whispernaija.com June 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Nice tips there hope to implement them during my wedding

  • Carole Spiers June 20, 2013 at 7:04 am

    It is certainly a privilege to be invited to be a best man but don’t leave writing your speech to the night before the wedding with a can of beer in your hand! You may think it will all just happen but it wont and you want to make a speech that will be remembered for all the right reasons! Don’t you?

  • Miss Mo June 21, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Ann and the others with gangsta best man speech stories, are y’all shitting me? Lmaoooo, abeg Ann pls why did you do amebo to you ex’s wedding? Rotflmaoooo…. I kent, I just kent….lol

  • ceetoo June 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

    My hubby gave the toast at our wedding… he is a powerful orator and felt nobody would have done it better. He did a good job and left everyone laughing for days (no exaggeration). However I was shy when he said i was dating someone else when he was asking me out, but he kept hoping and that when my ex-boyfriend suddenly stopped picking my calls he quickly said to me … “No be God”. I think Grooms should learn to do the toast themselves…than be at the mercy of some drunken best man.

    • June 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      I think it’s a good idea for the groom to give the toast. If couples meet through a mutual friend then it is ok for the mutual friend to give the toast. I could also relate with your story. I was dating someone while my fiancé and I were friends… I will advise him to give the toast. Lol

  • Nice Anon June 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Grooms should be careful before some loose bman starts running his mouth like empty basket trying to be funny. All the best

  • Knut June 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    You definitely don’t need such best man for your event`Dude talks anyhow, lacks manners and so disrespectful… guy you FAIL big time
    ps: even to your so called wife and inlaws you will jabor cos they cant take that away from you. momo pe won ko e ni, but oo gba.

  • She formerly known as Knut June 24, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Dear Knut, why now? How come you couldn’t find another username? I’ll assume you didn’t realize that someone else already had Knut as a user name. For anyone who is interested, Knut who posted here is NOT the same Knut who posted in previous threads. Now I have to go think of a new user name….. #I wish people would attempt to be original#

  • Nice Anon June 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Ah someone’s nicked my name abi? Hia! Time to change it up I suppose.

  • lalaska June 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Great tips for a best man to be. I find them really helpful…

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