One of our charming and witty groomsmen from The 7th Atlanta NotWedding got to thinking about the implications of being a groomsman and took it upon himself to contribute some of his thoughts for the good of the NotWedding community. Joe Jones Jr. is a jack of all comedic trades, from stand-up to videos. Mega-huge thanks to him for contributing some testosterone to our estrogen-filled blog!
– Joe and his wife Tiffany tearing up The NotWedding dance floor –
Giving the perfect wedding toast is no small feat. It’s a classic high-risk, low-reward scenario. If your toast goes perfectly, the couple leaves fully convinced of your genuine love for them. If the toast goes badly, everyone at the wedding leaves fully convinced you’re a crazy person. But just because giving the perfect wedding speech is an important part of your friend’s special day doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. The a simple formula crafted by author Bruce Feiler called the 3-1-2 method.
3 minutes in 3rd Person
Start your speech with a short story in 3rd person that highlights either your friend or the couple at their best.
“David and Julie were the two best players on our very bad kickball team last year…”
“Emily was the most fun babysitter my kid ever have had…”
Pick a single anecdote that everyone will enjoy and can be clearly stated in 3 minutes or less. If you’re naturally funny, this is also the best time to include a joke, but make sure your entire story is still under 3 minutes. Your goal in this section is to be enjoyable and to keep the audience wanting more. The wedding is not about you. It’s about the couple. So tell them and their friends why they’re great and move on.
1 minute of 1st Person
Take 1 minute to explain in 1st person how your friend or the couple has impacted you.
“David & Julie, watching you two be so terrible at kickball together taught me that love can make anything fun — even losing.”
“Emily, your love for people has always inspired me to love the people in my life better.”
If possible, draw a connection between the 3-minute story and their impact on your life today. Use action verbs (e.g.., taught me, showed me, helped me understand) to paint a picture of why you are better because of the experiences you’ve shared.
2 minutes of 2nd Person
Wrap up your toast by taking two minutes to wish the couple well in second person.
“May God bless and keep you always.
May your wishes all come true.
May you always do for other and let other do for you.
May you stay…forever young.”
Your comments don’t have to be poetic, but they should be thoughtful. Talk directly to the couple, and remember to assure them of your confidence and hopes for continued success in their many years of marital bliss to come.
That’s it. Drop the mic, and walk away of into the dance floor sunset. You’ve done your part. And there’s a Wobble out there with your name on it.
– Joe Jones (follow this funny guy @iagreewithjoe)