Tuesday, August 9, 2011
How to Write a Best Man or Maid of Honor Wedding Speach Toast
Writing a great best man / maid of honor toast requires patience and creativity. Most people cannot just wing it. If you are in the position now where you need to do this, fear not. You can do it, especially if you do not overlook the often-overlooked part of the writing process.
As a DJ home-based out of in the Troy, NY area, I have witnessed some really splendid best man speeches and some others that really missed the mark. Therefore I feel I can identify shortcomings and comment well on this topic. Moreover, as a high school English teacher as well, it is even more so immediately obvious for me to identify which person has done their homework, and which person has not.
The most important advice I can give to a best man, maid or matron of honor has to do with preparation. The keyword to success is PRE-WRITE!
PRE-WRITINGBefore you actually sit down and start writing, sketch out some ideas that answer the BIG QUESTIONS that people might not know. So ultimately, take a look at the following questions I have provided below and maybe write down a few even more personal questions that you think people would ask you about the bride and groom, if they could.
1. Why did the bride and/or groom choose you as best man?
2. How do you know the bride and groom?
3. How did this couple meet? How did the groom first tell you about her?
4. How has the groom changed since meeting the bride?
5. What are five good adjectives that describe the bride or groom?
6. What is some good marriage advice you’ve received or witnessed?
7. What is a great little story that illustrates the personality of the bride and/or groom?
At last, once you have the big questions figured out, the hard part is really finished. Your next step is putting these answers down into some kind of order that will make sense to your audience. Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that when you are writing you need, “a beginning, a middle, and an end.” …Therefore, here are a few tidbits to bring your pre-writing ideas together with organization in mind:
WRITE & ORGANIZE IDEAS1. Your Beginning – Start with an introduction. Get your audience’s attention, and immediately let them know who you are to the brode and groom. Because everyone loves to laugh, it is often great to start with humor. This is also a great way to build up the courage to speak well in public.
2. Your Middle – This is where the pre-writing questions that you worked on before will really be of great help. Everyone loves to hear a good story, so try and do just that. However, avoid ex-girlfriend stories and keep it appropriate for everyone, especially the parents and older folks in the room!
Writer beware. As the best man you probably know the groom better. Be careful not to only talk or tell stories only about the groom. If you do this, you will leave out half of your audience. A really great toast will be evenly balanced adressing both the bride and groom.
3. Your Ending – When you finish, it is best to wrap up your toast with some kind of wish of happy future for your bride and groom. This way everyone knows that you are done and have reached the end of what you are going to say. Then, they can act accordingly. So finally, raise your glass in tradition to close with, “congratulations”, “cheers”, or “salud." Also, do not forget to drink from your own glass!
DELIVERY OF MESSAGEFor more tips on the actual fine-tuning and delivery of your best man toast - check out my other blog at BEST MAN TOAST
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