Why Is A Brother of The Groom Speech Special?
It’s all about the ammunition you have. Yes, you’re the best man, so you inevitably have the drunken stories and questionable fashion sense to bring up. But you’ve also got the childhood anecdotes; the ones that will put the father of the bride’s potty training tales to shame.
Even if you live in different countries these days, you have decade’s worth of evidence on this dude, so your first job is to collect it.
Get your folks involved. Shove dad up the loft and get out the old report cards. Have a brainstorm with your mates over some Magners. Find his beloved old teddy. Consider yourself a Scandi-noir detective hunting down the most embarrassing anecdotes known to man.
Of course, ask yourself some probing questions…Did you grow up squabbling or were you always as thick as thieves? Was one of you ALWAYS the favourite growing up? Or who was it who got all the grubby hand-me-downs? Who was always the funnier / smarter / sportier brother? It’s time to dish the dirt and get your own back.
Of course, it’s not only an opportunity to tease your brother, feel free to also make fun of your parents and the way they brought you both up. Remember how they wouldn’t let you watch Hollyoaks or eat sugar after 4 pm? ‘Well, mum, there’s a three-tier cake over there with our name on it, and YOU can’t do anything about if we choose to shove our faces in it later.’
Brother of the Groom Etiquette
As a glorified, best man speech, there aren’t any of the boring, administrative speech things for you to concern yourself with.
The groom or father-of-the-bride will deal with welcoming the guests and thanking individual members of the wedding party. Yours is PURELY about the fun. You have almost free-rein to write the perfect, ten-minute toast to your brother.
Ignore the idea of ‘telegrams’ if you can. What can’t be said by text isn’t worth saying really.
Find out if the groom and the father are already mentioning the bridesmaids. If so, there’s no need to mention how gorgeous they are unless you fancy them.
Of course, there is a MUST DO for any best man. Compliment the bride and try to do it sincerely. Extra points if you can talk about her awesome personality, drunken party tricks, and ability to put up a tent quicker than you can, rather than just saying the normal best man cliches about her looking gorgeous (though she will appreciate that too!).
How To Structure Your Speech
Firstly, as there’s so much to learn from the typical best man speech, it’s more than worthwhile to read Speechy’s Best Man Advice Page on writing the ULTIMATE version. Here’s a summary…
- Prove, don’t just tell. Don’t just use adjectives. If he’s a sensitive chap, reveal how he always cries at ET – even in his 30s.
- Find the qualities that make him unique – his photographic memories of the Nando’s menu, his unusually short T-rex arms. It may seem like you’re taking the mick but that’s how us blokes show we care.
- You don’t need to put every story in. You’ll hopefully find a common theme, a narrative thread, so only use the ones that fit, rather than go off on several tangents.
- About two-thirds of your speech should be roasting your brother, but that final section is when you get nice. Pay tribute to what a stellar bloke he is. Again, prove, don’t just tell. When you say he’s always there for you, remind him of the time he picked you up from the train station at 3 am after you lost your wallet. For the second time that year.
- Of course, you have to talk about how pleased you are he’s got married and what a wonderful woman the bride is. Don’t feel you have to pretend she’s a princess if she isn’t. Celebrate her for who she actually is – even if it’s a Jagerbomb fanatic with terrible taste in hip-hop music. As long as it’s said in a genuinely loving way, it’s okay.
- Your speech, of course, needs to end with a toast. It should be directed to the bride and groom but make it personal if you can. ‘Here’s to the bride and groom – and a love made from Jagerbombs’. Whatever suits it.
The Do’s and Don’ts
DO – talk slower than seems natural
It will make you appear more confident and will allow people to get the jokes easier
DON’T – talk over the laughter
You’ve worked so hard to get the laughter, why would you cut it short?!
DO – Get some humour in within the first few sentences of your speech
It will immediately relax you and your audience.
Read our How To Make Your Speech Funny Guide to make sure you deliver original humour and don’t resort to wedding jokes or googled gags.
DON’T – push it
While it’s tempting to roast your brother to the point of a nervous breakdown, remember to some this might come across as bullying. So, if you think you’re pushing things a little close to the edge, rein it in.
DO – use quotes
While you shouldn’t Google gags (even granny’s heard the one about honeymooning in Bangor these days!), you are allowed to use funny, witty or sentimental quotes from people smarter than you. Just make sure you credit the author or someone else will! Check out our best man quotes blog for inspo.
DON’T – make the bride cry
Unless it’s happy tears obviously. No ‘edgy’ humour directed at her. Nothing about your brother’s ex-girlfriends.
DO – keep an eye on the time
The speech should be around ten minutes long. Practice it a lot before the big day and if it feels like it’s dragging, don’t just speak faster. Edit your speech!
DON’T – resort to stag do stories
Boring. All grooms are meant to be an utter embarrassment on their stag do.
DO – prepare to deliver
A confident delivery is essential for your speech to be well received. Read our ultimate guide to delivering your speech like a pro.