Let's be honest, however great an honour it may be, your best buddy has just saddled you with the biggest speech of the day. What better way to exact your revenge than to give the groom the roasting he so deserves?
That said, nobody wants the wedding party to go straight from the reception to the divorce courts, so your humour will need to be pitched just right. You want them rolling in the isles, not wrestling. Stick to this simple guide and your best man's speech will be remembered for all the right reasons …
Nobody wants to hear about exes at a wedding. Not girlfriends, and especially not wives. You might have the funniest story in the world (remember the time Dave got blind drunk on peach schnapps and accidentally joined the Belgian Navy?) but if it involves his ex, save it for the stag night.
It's safe to say you know the groom pretty well, but not everybody in your audience will. Keep your humour broad, and pick on traits that are obvious to everyone, or at least easily explained …
If he's 6'4" and built like a bomb shelter -
"I hope you like the venue for today's celebrations, as it wasn't easy having it taken down and reassembled around Gary for the day."
If he works in sales -
"I have every confidence that Phil will make a terrific husband and is suited for marriage … he's been in sales for the last three years so he should be used to taking orders."
If he's the quiet one in the couple -
"I asked Steve when he first knew that he was in love with Penny. He told me knew from the very first moment she told him he was."
Don't They Look Lovely?
Convention dictates that regardless of the truth of the matter, guests at a wedding are required to acknowledge that the bride is the most physically enchanting and beautiful specimen of feminine humanity present. This is not always easy, but it is doubly important for the best man, even if - no, especially if - she looks like a doner kebab wrapped in net curtains. The groom, on the other hand, is fair game …
If he's usually a scruff -
"Doesn't Tony brush up well? In fact, he looks so smart today that the head waiter keeps telling him not to bother the guests."
If he's been trying to get in shape for the big day -
"In preparation for the wedding, Nigel's been watching his weight. He's had it right out in front of him where he can see it best."
The Big DayAs a theme for humour, you can't get better than the day itself. Weddings are common ground for everyone present, so work in a gag or two that's guaranteed to keep everyone happy …
If you're still single -
"Helen and Oliver look so happy today and have so much to look forward to. Me, I'm a bachelor by choice. Sometimes my own, but mostly the choice of the woman I've dated."
If they're planning a family -
"Wedding is an Old English word derived from "Wed", meaning to unite or bring together, and "Ding", which is the sound the timer makes when your eggs are ready."
Know Your LimitsYou're not out to shock, or to damage budding inter-family relations. With that in mind, avoid real-life sensitive subjects. A joke about doing jail time, for example, isn't funny if the groom's out on parole. Don't play on his looks if he's missing an ear. Don't tell them about the time he was mugged by girls. Money troubles, embarrassing tattoos, erectile dysfunction … all no-nos.
Share The Pain
Finally, if you're going to dish it out, save a slice for yourself. A little self-deprecation will get the crowd on your side and reduce the likelihood of the groom knocking your teeth out after the speeches …
If you're a bit of a Hell raiser -
"I started this speech by writing a list of all the wild times from the last ten years - the strip clubs, the drug dens, the dog fights, that time we stole a dolphin … Andy! Where were you, man? Always too busy. And it's not going to get any better now you're married, is it?"
If you're a reluctant speaker -
"Being the Best Man isn't all it's cracked up to be. You get the same nerves as the groom, only there's no-one waiting for you in posh knickers at the end of the day. If any females would like to disagree with that statement, I'm in Room 314."