Best Man Speech

The speech of the best man comes last of the wedding speeches and thus carries an additional emotional charge. Historically (in the epoch of Germanic Goths), the ‘best man’ was a groom’s supportive friend who helped him kidnap a bride and take her to the groom’s settlement (if the girl’s parents were strongly against their relations). In early Middle Ages, the best man stood alert and fully armed at the groom’s side during a clandestine wedding ceremony in order to protect him from the bride’s parents who might have insisted on her return. Although the image of a best man has evolved considerably since the time of ancient Goths and medieval knights, we can reconstruct his essential characteristic traits. The best man should be a reliable old friend who knows both the groom and the bride. Besides, he should be witty, inventive and courageous. Today, the best man is expected to use these unique features in a peaceful manner, for example while writing and presenting his wedding speech. The best man’s speech is very much bound to the historically established role of a convivial personality who manages to show the groom’s essential qualities from a humorous and unexpected side. To this end, the best man traditionally starts his speech by telling how he first met the groom and only interrupts this narration line while thanking to the groom’s wishes and toasts on behalf of the helpers (bridesmaids, ushers, etc.). In his light-hearted and merry story, the best man sheds light upon the groom’s life, intentions, expectations, and features. All the attendants are looking forward to his anecdotes and funny sketches about newlyweds. Highly appropriate here is to present a witty sketch of the groom and the bride’s first meeting. The best man finishes his speech with a toast to parents and so unites all the wedding speeches in a notional circle. In the very end of his appearance, the best man acts as a reception host and reads greeting cards, telegrams and e-mails from people unable to come to the wedding ceremony.

Marco Douglas