Congrats, girly!! I can’t believe that you are actually married! I mean, obviously, I knew it was coming. I was there for the engagement reveal, the engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and then, of course, the wedding. So we were all very aware of what this was all leading to. I am so honored to watch you, my best friend from college, marry your college sweetheart. I was able to watch this beautiful love grow from the very beginning into what it is now. But no matter how many times you say it, I will not be able to wrap my head around the fact that your “husband” is John From Kappa Sig.
IDK, I guess growing up, everyone who had a husband seemed so old. And not just old—like also, established? That’s not to say you’re not established; your very stable nursing job and mortgage both speak for themselves. But “husband” just carries so much weight to it. On paper, you are married, but in my head, he’s still the guy that you would put on makeup to send a Snapchat to when we were freshmen. The nights that you and I used to get stupid drunk and walk home barefoot at 2am rain or shine seem too close for you to be a wife and potentially soon-to-be mother.
Ok, now that I think about it, it’s less about you and more about him. You definitely have the poise and maturity to be a married woman. Those aforementioned Thirsty Thursday Shoeless Shuffles may have been one of those things where I thought everybody was doing it, but I was too drunk to notice I was the only one. He’s the one that I can’t believe holds the title of husband. We’re talking about the same John, right? The one who showed up to every event already a six-pack deep? The one who would go on rants about how the real world is a “scam” every time he got high? The only fraternity brother in history to be impeached from his position as social chair? That John?
Yes, all right, it’s not fair of me to highlight just the wild things he did in college. I know he’s much more than just a fun guy to party with. There was that time during Greek Week when I totally ate shit in tug-of-war and he ripped his shirt off to use as a tourniquet. I mean, I wasn’t even bleeding, but it’s the thought that counts. But that’s beside the point. I’m not even going to bring up the time when John said he “wasn’t sure he wanted to get tied down just yet” when you first started dating. We’re all allowed to change our minds. Level with me here: After seeing him at his craziest, don’t you agree it’s kind of weird that he did a full 180 and signed legal documents binding the two of you together?
I feel you getting mad at me. I’m so happy for you! I swear! I think the two of you make a perfect match, and truly I can see you spending the rest of your lives together. And I promise that I will just call him John from now on and not John From Kappa Sig. I’m just getting caught up in the semantics. Anywho, enjoy your honeymoon with your new hubby! Ew, actually, hubby is somehow worse.
Image: Samantha Estrada / Stocksy.com
If you’ve been asked to give a wedding or rehearsal dinner toast, there is one very important thing you must remember, no matter what: It is NOT a roast. No matter how tempted you are to throw out some inappropriate jokes, lock it up for the next few minutes and try to act like an adult. You’re not a stand-up comedian. Please just keep it short, sweet, and unlikely to embarrass the bride’s extended family. I know that giving a speech is hard, especially in front of people you don’t really know, but this is not really the time to trot out the strategy you use on awkward dates and just deflect with inappropriate humor. The good news is, if you avoid saying the following things, your toast is likely to be a huge success.
Imagine having the responsibility to give a toast at Kanye West’s rehearsal dinner.
— Matt Dentler (@MattDentler) May 23, 2014
1. “I Never Thought This Day Would Come!”
While this may actually be true because your BFF literally had no game in college (did you, though?), avoid this one. There’s no way for this comment to be taken as a compliment, and the crowd won’t know how to react. After all, this day did come, so clearly you were wrong.
2. “Funny Story, The Bride Used To Have A Huge Crush On The Best Man!”
you want me to write a wedding toast? oh, i thought you said wedding roast…
*slowly crumples up 18 savage pages worthy of Michael Scott*
no, it’s no problem at all…
— Kaitlyn Pyle (@kvpyle) June 14, 2019
Can we say AWKWARD? That is definitely a story that should not leave the bachelor/bachelorette party (regardless of whether it took place in Vegas or not). It’s weird to hear about anyone the bride or groom dated in the past in a wedding or rehearsal toast, and even more so when he or she’s sitting right there. Also, it accomplishes nothing except making everyone really uncomfortable.
3. “50% Of Marriages Today End In Divorce”
While this is factually accurate, Lizzo said it best: Truth hurts. And a wedding is not a day you want people to feel hurt. It’s a day to be hopeful, optimistic, and excited about the future. Maybe, just this once, don’t keep it real.
4. “I Am FEELING These Signature Cocktails.”
The bartender might be making those Moscow mules very strong, but try to save the binge drinking until after your speech. A few glasses of champagne for liquid courage is not a bad idea so you don’t sound like you’re giving a presentation to your boss, but save the hard stuff as a celebration for nailing your speech so you don’t make an ass of yourself in front of 200 people.
5. “People Always Thought I Would Get Married First.”
Writing a toast for my buddy’s wedding rehearsal dinner tonight… Need some last minute pointers to bring the house down
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) September 15, 2017
Generally, talking about yourself in a wedding speech is a no-no, unless it’s related to the couple, and advertising that you were initially ahead in the race to the altar is just plain weird and irrelevant on your BFF’s wedding day.
6. “Who Wants To Take Bets On When They’ll Have Kids?”
The only thing more annoying than people asking when you’ll get engaged is being asked when you’ll have kids. There are so many reasons why this is NOT okay, so just avoid the topic altogether and save yourself an ass-kicking from the newlyweds.
7. “It’s Been A Rocky Road Getting Here…”
No relationship is perfect (except probably J.Lo and A-Rod’s) and everyone who’s been in a relationship knows that, so there’s no reason to bring up the on-again, off-again phase so many couples have endured. Clearly the couple is in a great place now, so there’s no reason to reopen old wounds.
8. “He Was So Hammered The Night He Met You, I Can’t Believe He Even Remembered Your Name!”
Again, save this for the bachelor/bachelorette party. The couple’s grandparents don’t need to know that they met during an intense game of flip cup that ended in a one-night stand. Something like “they met at a college party” is about all the information they need to know. Keep it PG and save the couple from some major embarrassment.
9. “We All Know Dave’s Parents Didn’t Love Jenna Right Off The Bat.”
“If you think about it, technically you can’t ruin a rehearsal dinner.” –Me to my cousin after ruining his rehearsal dinner with my toast
— Max Raskin (@maxraskin) May 21, 2018
Again, this is just you asking for an awkward silence. It’s not funny, it’s completely irrelevant to whatever you’re going to say next and will most definitely put a damper on the rest of the night.
10. “Mic Drop!”
This is just a terrible way to end a speech and you should absolutely NEVER do it. EVER.
Above all, if you have to get a second opinion on whether your joke is too “edgy”, just don’t do it. Anything that is going to make the bride or groom feel self-conscious or bad about themselves, definitely don’t do it. And also, don’t get so drunk that you are incoherent. The bar is actually not that high! You can do this.
Images: maxraskin, RyanSeacrest, MattDentler, kvpyle / Twitter
Giving the perfect speech at a wedding is like making a joke on Twitter in 2019: it’s difficult to think of something that reads as funny and original to everyone AND doesn’t offend anyone at all. You have to balance joking with being sentimental, make sure what you’re saying fits the whole couple and not just the partner you’re closest with, and please the bride/groom while pleasing the entire crowd as well. Your friend may think the story about the bride blacking out on spring break in Cancun sophomore year is hysterical, but the bride’s grandmother probably won’t. On top of all of this, a room full of both strangers and familiar (but not necessarily friendly) faces is listening to you. On the latest episode of the U Up? podcast, Jared and Jordana broke down the dos and don’ts of giving a great wedding speech that will make everyone ask YOU for help writing their speeches for the next wedding.
1. Don’t Speak As A Group
As a bridesmaid or groomsman, having others up there by your side seems like it would make the speaking process way easier and more comfortable, which would in turn makes for a more effortless-sounding speech. But it actually ends up making everything sound way less cohesive and even more awkward. Jared points out, “Every time you switch people, you lose momentum. We don’t even get used to the tone of the speech because it changes seven times.” A few drinks in, people won’t be able to keep up with the changes. Just as they all get warmed up to the person speaking, you move onto someone new and they’re left to readjust all over again. Your part will just blend in with the crowd. You don’t want your best friend’s annoying college roommate to taint the entire speech because of how terrible her part is, or worse, dull the effect of your part. Step off, Emily, she’s been my best friend since KINDERGARTEN.
2. Don’t Make It Too Personal
It feels nice to give the bride/groom a speech that is very specific to them and include inside jokes that make you feel special, but when you’re speaking in front of a whole audience, you need to keep them in mind. Whoever’s listening wants to feel like they’re in on the joke too, or else they won’t think it’s funny. Avoid the “had to be there” stories and stick to making references about the bride/groom’s personality that everyone in the room will understand and identify with, because that will get a reaction from the most people. If the bride is notoriously obsessed with her dog, write about the time she brought Fluffy to brunch and you guys got kicked out because she peed on the floor. (The dog, not the bride.)
3. Don’t Be Too Self-Important
It obviously makes sense for you to introduce yourself when starting your speech, but people don’t need to know every detail about who you are, how you met the bride/groom, what you do for a living, how far you traveled to get there, and what you ate for dinner last night. Everyone’s there to celebrate the couple getting married, not the weirdo who cares way too much about everyone knowing exactly who she is. Chill, dude. I know you want every groomsman to know you’re single, but there’s this thing called introducing yourself (which you can do later). Get the speech moving and keep the focus on the people the wedding is actually for.
4. Tell That “One Great Story” You’ve Told A Thousand Times
Everyone thinks it’s better to be original than repeat a story you’ve already told, especially because people get called out for telling the same story over and over again and you want to do something unique for this special occasion, but there’s obviously a reason you associate this one story with the person so strongly and have continued to tell it time and time again. Since you already know it backwards and forwards, you are able to determine what parts work people think are funny and build on those instead of using material that may or may not land.
5. Don’t Use Generic Jokes You Found By Googling “Wedding Speech Jokes”
As Jared pointed out, everyone has heard the line “Thank you for making me your best man, I hope I can be the best man at your next wedding, too” before, Not only is it not funny, it’s sooo cringeworthy. Whoever thought joking about how long the relationship will last at a couple’s literal WEDDING was a good idea? Using that line is a good way to make everyone feel uncomfortable and judge you. Just don’t be that guy.
6. Bring It Back To The Couple
No matter what you say, you always want to find a way to tie it back to how perfect the bride and groom are for each other. However funny or incredible your speech is, it’s not going to hit home with everyone unless it somehow connects both people getting married. How great the couple is together is something that every wedding guest can get behind (at least I would hope). Save the love fest for just your best friend until her birthday, when you know everyone is there for her and only her.
7. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Even an impeccable speech has a time limit. Everyone can only pay attention for so long, and especially if there are more people up after you, you have to be quick. Get in, say what you gotta say, and then GTFO of there. Short didn’t become associated with sweet for nothing!
For more of Jared and Jordana’s expert opinions on how to give the best wedding speech, listen to U Up? below.
Images: Alasdair Elmes / Unsplash; Giphy (2); Tenor (5)