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Ask Emilie: No Speech Please

Welcome to Ask Emilie, here you can ask any question to our wedding planner Emilie. Emilie will answer your question no matter the topic. It can be about anything from styling, general wedding questions, cultural customs, planning, wedding budget and more. This week we are talking about asking the best man “No Speech Please”.

Today’s question is from Joanna C who asks:

Hi Emilie, my future husbands best friend will be his best man at our wedding. He is a great guy but he kind of ‘shoots off from the mouth’ and doesn’t know when to stop. At his brothers wedding he was also the best man and was a total embarrassment not by what he said but was also off his head drunk. We still want him as part of our wedding and is a great guy but just not the speech part. Is there any was to ask him not to speak that will not upset him? Thanks J

Hi Joanne,
This one is an interesting question. On the one hand you have someone (from your experience) would potentially ruin your wedding day. The problem is that a best man speech is considered an integral part of the wedding. Do you risk ruining a friendship or your wedding day? Many couples have feared the best man speech and while the vast majority are fine there are the few rogues who ruin it for others. Before we say ‘no’ lets see what options are available first.

No Speech Please

Cringy speech is not good for any wedding

Speak To Him Beforehand

While this may be hard at first. Either with you and your future husband or your finance by him self, talk to the best man. While each person is different many people are quite receptive if you pull them aside and have a quite chat. If you give the best man a little chat in private chances are he will be more receptive. He may not have realised how he acted previously and maybe even regrets his prior actions at the other wedding. Many people respond quite well with this method.

Make It A Group Effort

One way to mask that you do not want him to speak but still give an option is to have a combined speech / entertainment. These days it is becoming ever more popular for the bridal party to preform an act. As he is with others he will need to stay focused and others are dependent on him. This way he still contributes but you do not have to say “no speech please” to him.

Give Him A Guide

Sometimes a speech goes off the rails is because they do not know where / how to structure their speech. We often find that when a person has a guide to work with then it will be easier for them. For example we have a best man speech wedding guide or even our YouTube Best Man Speech Example (amongst our other complete set of wedding speech guides).

Nothing Works

If nothing else work just be honest. If after everything he refuses to look at the guide, not take your request to have a decent speech then just be honest and advise him he is not to speak and there will be no speech. It may be the hard call that no one wants to do but what would you rather have? Would you rather have a great wedding day with a slightly annoyed best man OR a happy best man but an embarrassing time at your own wedding. That being said give him time to process the information. If he is a true friend he will make an effort and understand where you are coming from. On the lead up to the wedding day, if he has shown that he will be fine to speak and made an effort then there is no reason why he can not speak.



Do you have anyone at your wedding you are a little worried that will make a bad or negative speech? Have you worked out a strategy for this? Let us know and join the discussion below in the comments section 🙂

Do you have a question for Ask Emilie then email her here? Alternatively, fill out the form below and have your question answered in our wedding blog. Also, check out the other Ask Emilie Blogs here, they may also contain what you are looking for or give you ideas and inspirations for other wedding-related questions.

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