Speech advice for the best man

The best man for my wedding has made some jokes about what his wedding toast will be like. I'm a little worried that he isn't sure of what he is doing and will end up offending our guests. What can I tell him so that I don't end up hiding under the reception table?

We've all witnessed it. The best man stands up to give what should be a touching and meaningful speech, but instead his words make the bride blush and the groom shake with anger. Yes - he did dare to bring up bachelor party escapades.

Don't be too hard on the best man, though. He might not have given much thought to his speech duty and, now, with 200 pairs of eyes staring at him, can only ramble nervously. So be sure that your wedding speechmakers know what is expected of them well before the wedding day. Flicks Package Liquors' website, flicks4fun, gives some great tips for preparing and giving toasts. First, it says, be prepared. Thinking about whom you are toasting, why, and who will be listening will help your speechmaker figure out what kind of tone to take. Remind him/her that your grandmother will be sitting at the front table. And no matter how foolish they feel, speechwriters should practice their toasts in a mirror sometime before the big day.

Next, let your best man or maid of honor know that they should be themselves. If he or she is usually brief with words, the speech can be a simple three-line poem. But if your speechmaker is a natural born comedian then he should force himself to be sentimental. But of course, he must remember to keep the joking clean. However, those making speeches don't have to use an original toast if speech writing is not their forte. There are many web sites out there that offer prewritten toasts and speeches, including wedding speeches. If you don't want to pay for a speech you can also look on the Harlequin Romances section of Women.com.

Make the toast into a story about the couple. Wedding guest love hearing about how the couple met-many guest might not have heard the story of how the first time they met, Sue hated Tom so much that she threw a drink in his face.

Timing is everything so make sure your best man knows when he is supposed to give his speech. Oftentimes, the DJ or MC will announce to the guests that the toasting will begin. This is usually after all the guests have been seated for dinner, but before food has been served. It is important that the bride and groom discuss with the DJ how many speeches will be given and in what order. Traditionally, the best man is the first to speak, then the father of the bride. They are followed by other members of the families, wedding party and guests. Once everyone has finished speaking, the groom toasts his new bride and her parents.

Following these pointers, your best man will be able to make a lovely toast that will keep you out from under the table and in your seat.