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Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Toast To The Happy Couple

A best man once said…”I've heard that a best man speech should be as long as it takes for the groom to make thanks everyone, enjoy the night”

Why is a best man speech usually so much funnier than a maid of honor speech?
And now that rehearsal dinners are the mandatory pre-game event, there are entire nights dedicated to men trumping women. With rehearsal dinners popping up as often as Internet photos of Adam Lambert, we thought it was important to inform women why their speeches are lacking the male pizazz. As women, we are bummed to make this sweeping generalization, but it is the truth.

The problem with many speeches by bridesmaids is that they are filled with cheesy quotes, off-beat rhymes or inside jokes. Cheesy quotes and poems were cute while you were making your Senior year collage, they were adorable for your sorority rush skit and are even still fitting for your parents anniversary gift.

However, listening to 6 girls alternating rhyming lines is even less enjoyable than that new Parks and Recreations show. Because a poem is made up of fragmented sentences, listening to it sounds like the teacher in Charlie Brown (wah wah wah). If we actually do hear what you are saying, we can bet it goes something like “we have been friends for so many years, through the laughter and through the tears.” By the time you get to sentence 4, everyone in the room has already stopped listening and asked for 2 more shots to numb the pain.

If you think you are a good poem-writer, and you can have someone other than your mom verify this, then you might be an exception to this “please don’t torture us with a poem” rule. We consider ourselves exceptions to the “no poem” rule, but only because we practiced for many years at camp, writing multiple alma maters/cheers and receiving compliments for our writing. So if you can write a good poem, please stand up there alone and recite it, use some witty humor and speak very slowly.

If you aren’t funny, which, 60% of you probably aren’t, we suggest you just be sweet and nice. Being sweet and complementary goes a lot farther than corny. Tell one nice story about your friendship with the bride and say what a lovely couple she makes with the groom. Complement them and hand the microphone to someone funnier.

For everyone, funny or not, tell stories that everyone can relate to. Be general and do not tell inside jokes. If you want to tell the bride/groom inside jokes, save it for the wedding card – or any other time when you aren’t in front of 50 people. Don’t be too inappropriate, its awkward for the grandmas.

Lastly, a big no-no - do not make the speech a personal attack on the bride/groom if you happen to not be their biggest fan and do not bring up unpleasant situations from the couple’s past. Wedding Crashers was totally on point - “ the whole funny-because-it's-true bit only works if the truth is a *small* thing like "everyone knows Jennifer likes to shop, ha ha ha".

Before deciding to have a rehearsal dinner, you should really evaluate your bridal party’s speech-giving capabilities. It might be the difference between a great night and a snoozefest.


Anonymous said...

So so true!! I also find it offensive and unnecessary to be asked to give a speech, at the rehearsal dinner or wedding. There are enough speeches as is, and while its traditionally required of the Best Man, Maids of Honor, siblings, parents - I think that's often enough! Let anyone else who wants to speak do so because its likely they have some funny thing to say, otherwise they'd probably never even ask.

Anonymous said...

In my experiences, and I could star in "27 Tuxedos", men are typically closer friends with the groom than the women are with the bride. Also, from what I've seen, most men have more close friends than most women. Therefore, the men collaberate and know how to make fun of the groom (in good taste, knowing what buttons to push, while never making fun... Read More of the bride) while women are restricted to silly innocuous annecdotes, poems, rhymes, songs, etc. Just one wedding verteran's opinion. I wish you could have witnessed the 3 delivered last weekend. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Mr. 27 Tuxedos is a *little* slanted on this one- I think most women have close female friends- ones that actually made after the age of 16. In my experience, the best speeches are the ones that are short, to the point, and funny only when the person is actually humorous (as you noted in your post). Always under three to four minutes and never bring notes. Never, ever. I agree with everyone that poems are better left to church or the ceremony. Even then I can't stand them, usually.

futbolgoddess said...

One quick tip... Speeches are for rehearsal dinners, not the wedding unless you are the best man or father of the bride. I went to a wedding where there were ten speeches... needless to say, we danced to one song and snoozed for the rest of the wedding. Sucked!