When it comes to giving the best man toast, the goal of the best man should be to deliver a speech that is meaningful to the groom and entertaining for the guests. As such, jokes are often an important part of the best man toast, because they can punctuate serious sentiments with lighthearted comic relief, creating a well-balanced speech. Regardless of whether the best man is comedically inclined or a natural public speaker, he can still easily incorporate humor into the best man toast by relaying anecdotes about the groom.
The first thing a best man should do to prepare good jokes for his toast is to jot down any funny observations that come to mind when he thinks about the groom. What was the groom like when they first met? Did he have any funny quirks, such as strange collections, hobbies or habits? Did he have any funny features, such as a mullet, large glasses or tie-dyed clothing? If the best man hasn’t known the groom since childhood, it would be a good idea for him to ask the groom’s family what he was like as a child, and to get a hold of some old photographs or stories from family members. Virtually all stories and photos from the past have comedic potential, and appeal to both young and old alike.
Jokes that relate to the groom’s relationship with the bride from the best man’s perspective are also well-suited to a best man toast. The best man should ask: Was the groom nervous when he first began dating the bride? Did he do anything funny to impress her? How has he changed since he and the bride became a couple? Anecdotes related to the groom’s vulnerability and sensitive side can be both romantic and funny at the same time, and also reveal a different side of the groom that the audience might be unaware of.
As a general rule of thumb, the best man toast should contain little to no references to the groom’s past relationships. Although this scenario is common fodder for TV shows and movies, jokes about the groom’s ex-girlfriend or ex-wife should be avoided – particularly if any of his exes are in attendance at the wedding. One joke which is popular during the best man toast, however, involves audience participation from female guests. Prior to his speech, the best man distributes keys to various female guests. At some point during his toast, the best man confirms that the groom is now “off the market” and asks for all of the “women who have keys to his room” to please come up to the front and return them.