Help a brotha give his brotha a good wedding toast!
September 15, 2008 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Weddingspeechfilter: OK...So im gonna have to give a short speech/toast to my brother this upcoming Saturday for his wedding. Im not the best man, just a groomsmen.Heres the problem, i fall short on coming up with a good short toast/speech.I really dont want to be to personal about it cause im really not that good of a speaker so i want it real general and fairly short, Could you guys please help?? Im the older brother so i just want to say "Congrats" but in a little bit more elegant way.
posted by flipmiester99 to Human Relations (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've given three wedding speeches in the last five years, all three got a good response from the crowd - MeFi mail me if you'd like copies to use as a template.

General rule - keep the direct jokes about the groom to a minimum.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:58 AM on September 15, 2008

my favorite toast: "May the best of your past be the worst of your future."
posted by jammy at 6:03 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

You might find some material you can use here.
posted by orange swan at 6:10 AM on September 15, 2008

I just recently gave a best man speech for my younger brother. I was completely terrified about giving it, because i didn't know what tone to set, and i wasn't comfortable with the kind of material that I found in books and online. but as soon as it was over, i knew exactly how i would give advice on how to do it well.

first, ignore COMPLETELY all the pre-prepared speeches and jokes. especially the jokes. these speeches are written for people who've never spoken before, or people who have no sense of humour whatsoever i guess. they were all awful, or not funny or frequently awful AND not funny.

if you're looking for a single sentence about what you actually have to say then fine, have a look online at who you're supposed to say thank you to. i think thats the main thing that you should have written on a card so you don't forget. everything else is up to you. as the groomsmen, you probably have to say thank you to the bridesmaids, say thank you to the parents for organising. something like that. probably a single sentence about how beautiful the bride looks. you can check with the best man who says thanks to who.

anyway, the best thing you can do, is relax and tell a short story about your brother growing up. one that perhaps illustrates that this is the reason you're all proud of him and all love him. it doesn't need to be funny. it'll probably be funny enough if you tell it well. remember the people there will be ready to laugh anyway, so they don't need a one-liner. it certainly doesn't need you to write down and tell a joke, it just needs to tell people why you appreciate your brother. it will be a good speech if its a short personal story. it'll be a good speech because you're his brother and this is one of the few times where you can say something honest and nice about him. I ended my little story by saying that the reason that my family all thought of the same incident, was that "my brother is nuts...but we love him".

- also, i gave my speech in a kilt which frankly, helps with everything. i higjly recommend it.
posted by galactain at 6:29 AM on September 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's the speech:

1. Hi, my name is whatever, I'm whatever's brother.
2. You know, whatever and I have been brothers for a long time. I remember when [some story from his childhood that's funny, but not too embarrassing. If you're the younger, then something he got you to do. If you're the older, something you got him to do. Like jump the pool with the bike and then he got all wet but you weren't supposed to be doing it so you convinced your mom that it had just rained. Something cute like that].
3. Not every choice my brother made has worked out for him, but he made a really great choice with bride.
4. Tell story of when you first met bride or when bride did something nice for you or something. This story isn't funny, it's supposed to paint the bride in the best light possible.
5. I'm really proud of my brother and bride is amazing. I'd like to raise my glass and welcome bride to our family. Congratulations brother and bride.

Should take like 3 to 4 minutes. 1:15 per story, :30 for the other stuff.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 7:13 AM on September 15, 2008 [8 favorites]

Whatever you decide to do, it's vital to know exactly how you will start, and how you will end.

Knowing how to start keeps you from stumbling about and getting lost. Knowing how to end keeps you from trailing off and gives a strong strong "I'm done" signal.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:52 AM on September 15, 2008

Echoing the above...keep things as short as possible and always portray the bride in the best light possible. Minimize or eliminate inside jokes as your audience won't have any clue.
posted by mmascolino at 8:07 AM on September 15, 2008

1 week is an greatamount of time to get something together.
start today, even if you don't like what you have, it will clear up quickly.
Make sure it fits in largish print on a index card or two.
You will likely find that you won't need the cards, but its nice to know you have them.
I did a best man speach twice in my life. One I bombed since it didn't reallt prep thinking I could wing it. Nope.
The other I spent a couple hours on over the course of 2 days before the wedding and did REALLY well.
I found the web sites good in order to get something started, but didn't use anything from them after some edits.

GET SOMETHING ON PAPER TODAY. One you have something started, it will finish itself. The first 10 words are the hardest. Try with the intro and closing. and then fill in betweem.

Go over your emails, see if you can find out the first message you got from from him mentioning his new bride.

I hate jokes in toasts, go for the heartfelt tone.
No bad/mean stories or stories about Ex girlfriends or stripper are anything like that, it makes people cringe.

Once you get it together, practice practice practice!
Practice in front of someone, even if it is just once, you will burn off some anxiety and stage fright just by doing that once

Good luck, everybody will be on your side!
posted by bottlebrushtree at 8:34 AM on September 15, 2008

Let me tell you a couple of things that it would have benefited toasters at my wedding to have known:

1) Congratulate BOTH members of the couple.
2) Don't congratulate other parties on their marriage/baby/new job/whatever during your toast
3) If you use the phrase "lucky to have" - then for god's sake, say they're lucky to have each other. If x is lucky to have y, y is going to feel like crap.
4) Don't talk about why you're sad that friends q/r/w/g/p can't make it and then discuss what each of them would have brought to the celebration. This will only matter to those who know the friends, and will make everyone else go "WTF?"
5) It may be helpful to say, let's toast to Bride and Groom - no one at our wedding sipped their toasting liquid until after the toasts were over because they weren't sure when they were supposed to.

Sounds pretty obvious, right? Well, adhere by those rules, make it heartfelt, and it's all gravy after that.
posted by alpha_betty at 10:43 AM on September 15, 2008

while it's written more for Best Man toasts, there was a great entry at The Art of Manliness blog awhile back. It may help make things simpler for you.

posted by durin at 4:34 PM on September 15, 2008

Response by poster: Just to follow up.....I gave the speech and all went well. Thanks for everyone contribution.
posted by flipmiester99 at 10:26 AM on September 26, 2008

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