Finishing On A High

What you say at the end can make all the difference in your toast's overall success

There is a growing tradition of ending Best Man's speeches with a piece of light-hearted or comical marriage advice or by making a comical marriage observation. For me, this is more suitable Father of the Bride material and should be avoided, particularly if you yourself are single. Marriage insights from a single best man don't carry much weight. It can be pulled off if the best man is married, but most Best Men, single or married, would be better sticking to other areas. Here are some to consider:

Wedding gifts …

  1. "There is an old wedding day tradition saying that the bride must wear something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue. To ensure that tradition is followed I would like to make a special presentation to Linda. It's old, borrowed and blue, and I figure Paul is new enough as her husband to cover the new. These should come in especially handy tonight when the newlyweds retire to their hotel room. Linda, here are some slightly used blue socks for you."

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Telegrams …

  1. "I have a telegram here for Paul from his Bank Manager, who sends his deepest apologies but he sadly can't be with you today… but will definitely be seeing you after the honeymoon."

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Honeymoon destinations …

  1. "In a few short hours, Paul and Linda will be making their way to the airport for a wonderful two weeks in tropical paradise. But whilst they are sunbathing on sugar-white sand, or paddling in a bath-warm ocean, my advice to them is that a good honeymoon is far more like something much closer to home - a dining table with a roast chicken on it ... four bare legs and no drawers, with some breast, some leg, and plenty of stuffing."

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The Reception Disco …

  1. "Later on tonight, when the music starts, you might get to see Paul's limbo dance. He learnt it trying to get into the paid toilets at Waterloo station."

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There are plenty of other ways you can connect your closing words to the particulars of your occasion. For more examples click here.

Finally, as you lead into the champagne, it's time to offer your congratulations and well wishes to the happy couple, express your hopes for their marriage or sincerely sum up the occasion. Just one moment of heartfelt emotion will do. Consider your toast carefully as these will be the words you finish on.

If you want to end with a chuckle …

  1. "On behalf of the bride and groom, I would like to thank everyone here for sharing in this unique and special day, particularly those who have travelled long distances. I know that Paul and Linda will never forget it. But speaking personally, and perhaps slightly selfishly, I wish that you had all stayed at home because things would have been a lot easier on me."

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If you'd like to end on a serious and sincere note …

  1. "There is nothing more noble or admirable than watching two incredible people come together as one in the unity of marriage. As your friends and family, we delight in your marriage and offer our encouragement and support. Here is a toast to a long life filled with adventure, love, and cherished moments."

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Follow the links throughout this guide for a host of relevant suggestions. And when your speech is ready, try to leave yourself enough time to learn it, or at least be familiar enough that you can give a smooth and comfortable read. Good luck and enjoy yourself. It's your big day too!