Best Man : Tradition, Duties and Speeches

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New Traditions for the Best Man - No More Kidnapping the Fair Lady to Become the Bride

 

The Best Man Toasting the Bride and the GroomAs the best man, you're now the commander in chief of the wedding party. This honor gains you an unknowing amount of power!

You get to receive all the hugs and kisses and grandma cheek pinches. People will want to stay close to you and will laugh at all your jokes, sometimes even before you deliver the punch line. You'll be the life of the party, the keeper of ancient secrets of the best man. Sound great, doesn't it?

However, if you really think you're going to run the show, think again! The bride's mother has that role but your role as the best man is that of the hero. When something goes awry, others will be standing around doing nothing and you'll jump off the balcony in your cap (tuxedo) and make everything all right. Quite the job, isn't it?

 

 

So what exactly are your duties as the best man ...

Lucky for you the old traditions no longer apply to the best man (too bad, the sword is great)

Pay attention here - someone at the wedding will ask you if you know the history of the best man. Be prepared!

Back in "ye olden' days" the main responsible of the best man was to guard the bride as well as provide protection throughout the wedding ceremony. The best man was a great friend of the grooms and he depended on him to protect his bride. They were called "The brides knights" and included the best man and groomsmen.

The best man would gather his troops (groomsmen) and they would provide protection and fight off any suitors that tried to take the bride and make sure she got to the wedding ceremony on time and unharmed. It was a time of arranged marriages and potential suitors would be fighting each other for the hand of the bride, sometimes fighting to the death.

And you thought your job was to throw the bachelor party and kiss the maid of honor, huh?

Luckily, today's more modern best man doesn't have to provide the protection or fight off any suitors but you do get throw the bachelor party as well as helping the groom with wedding preparations and correlating the groomsmen at the wedding. Taking charge of your troops...

Another of your duties as the best man is the "keeper of the wedding ring". You get the responsibility of holding them until they're needed or you pass them off to the ring bearer.

Your biggest responsibility and the most fun is the decoration of the wedding car. Although some might not think this is important, it's as important as your wedding toast. So do the best you can!

To recap your duties as the best man, you:

  • Assist the groom on the wedding day,
  • Keep the wedding rings safe until needed in the ceremony,
  • Act as a legal witness to the marriage, and
  • Make a speech or toast to the bride and groom at the reception.

Easy, don't panic over the best man speech! It's dead easy once you know how.

There's no shame in copying a best man speech from someone else to get your inspiration. As long as you don't repeat it word for word, it can be a great help in focusing and clarifying your thoughts. Not everyone is a great public speaker and you don't have to be.

Just Practice! Practice! Practice! It's what will make your best man speech sound natural, as if you're shooting the breeze with someone. Have a few index cards with the highlight so you don't forget anything you want to say. See, dead easy!

Use these 3 easy points to arrange and focus your best man speech :

  • Open with a relevant story or quote: It helps grab the audience from the start and sets the mood of your speech. Make them short stories and the kind of stories everyone can relate to (knowing the bride and groom as they do).
  • Let the audience create a mental picture: Use action verbs and metaphors to help them visualize the story you're telling them. Not all of them will know the bride and groom as well as you do. It keeps them from getting bored and losing their attention.
  • Give them a chance to breathe: You might want to get through your best man speech as fast as possible but everyone else needs time to process what you've said. Give them time to laugh at your stories and annotates.

Your best man speeches will be more meaningful and memorable if you just take a minute to breathe yourself and let the words flow.

In the past, the best man, wearing armor and wielding a sword protected and escorted the bride to the wedding for his best friend. Nowadays, the best man is still the best friend but instead of a sword and armor, you get a champagne glass and a tuxedo. The best man's role may have changed in our modern times but one thing remains - the best man is an important role for the success of the wedding!

 

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