I spent all of New Year’s Day writing and stressing out about my best man speech. My college bestie gave me a few good ideas the night before, but the evening was over before I could churn out even a first draft. With Lisa’s advice from months ago open in my browser, I spent many hours trying to come up with an overarching theme that would connect several small and seemingly meaningless aspects of my friend’s personality. The theme changed a few times before I finally stopped over-thinking and just wrote a speech from beginning to end. Both my mom and college bestie said it was good, so my first complete draft of my speech became my final and only draft.
My high school bestie invited me to stay at his house that night because he had the house all to himself (the bride and groom can’t see each other the night before the wedding). Figuring this was part of my responsibility as the best man (and I hadn’t done much else up to that point), I kept my friend company while he did some last minute work for the wedding. Right before bed, I went over my speech in my head a few times. I didn’t practice it out loud, but I made sure I knew the flow and the key words to stress.
The wedding had a morning ceremony with a lunch reception. The ceremony was held outside. It was very cold, and there was a forecast of rain for the day, so the ceremony was kept brief (but it was still lovely). The food was good, but I didn’t eat much of it because I was so incredibly nervous about my speech. Eventually, the DJ announced that the matron of honor and the best man (me!) were to give special toasts. I drank a couple sips of champagne (the only alcohol I drank beforehand) and went up to the mic.
Even though I felt extremely nervous, I tried to make my speech sound natural. I looked at my paper a lot (I had the entire speech typed out, not just highlights), but I made sure to look up every once in a while. I mostly looked towards the bride and groom, because I didn’t want to see how many eyes were actually on me.
I was surprised that the audience actually laughed at the funny parts and said “aww” at the heartfelt parts. At the end of my toast, my high school bestie (the groom) gave me a big hug and told me it was an amazing speech. Afterwards, I received a lot of compliments about my speech from both friends and acquaintances. Everyone said I didn’t sound nervous at all! Over the last couple days, my bestie has thanked me many times for my “awesome speech” and everything else I did for him before/during/after the wedding.
For months, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything to fulfill my best man duties. I dreaded everything about being a best man at first, but now I really feel honored to have been given such a title. I’m glad my friend thinks I filled the role well!
A special THANKS to Lisa for her great advice! Yay!