"A best man has an amazing job: They get to introduce a couple to the world."
Today, we launch a new monthly blog series that highlights the best man speech experiences of seasoned wedding professionals. The goal of the Spotlight Series is to help you prepare for your 15 minutes of wedding fame by providing you with real-world best man speech success stories, what not to do, as well as tried-and-true advice from the best in the wedding industry.
To help us kick off the Spotlight Series is Kelsey Lauren Pluskat of Charles Lauren Films. Charles Lauren Films is a Southern California-based wedding cinematography company that has captured hundreds of love stories since 2004. Their work has not only been featured in many go-to wedding resources but has also been awarded repeatedly. (Check out their long list of awards here.)
We are thrilled to have Ms. Pluskat and Charles Lauren Films be a part of the inaugural Spotlight Series post; and her best man speech experiences are sure to entertain as well as enlighten. So, without further adieu, here's our chat with Ms. Pluskat:
By now you have probably "sat" through a lifetime's worth of best man speeches. From your experience and perspective as a wedding cinematographer, can you share with us:
BESTMANSPEECHWRITER.com: What is your number 1 best man speech pet peeve?
Kelsey: One of the big ones is placement. A lot of times a best man, because he’s so excited, just wants to talk to the bride and groom. This means that he turns away from the audience and only faces the couple. Although it is endearing and sweet, the audience can’t see the speech, because he has his back to them. It is much better when they face the audience. That way everyone can feel the love and not just look at the back of the best man. It is also better for watching the wedding video!
What are the key ingredients to a great toast by the best man?
When the best man speaks about the couple. Although a best man is generally the groom's friend, the audience consists mostly of the groom AND bride's family members. So, if he has a story about how they met, or how he watched their love for each other grow over the years, that’s a key ingredient to a great toast. This way everyone in the audience is engaged and can feel closer to the couple - that is what makes it memorable.
Then of course another key ingredient is being funny. Everyone loves humor. The day is pretty dramatic and everyone is a little stressed. So, a good way to break the ice and get passed the seriousness of the day, is to add a joke into the mix. This opens the night up to start having fun and celebrate what just happened.
So those are really the 2 key ingredients, easily summed up - Love + Laughter = Happily Ever After! In life and a best man’s speech!
The best/unique/most memorable thing a Best Man has ever done during his speech?
Back when Pete Carroll was the head coach for USC football, we filmed a wedding for a couple who were alumni from USC. Unknown to them, the best man had gone into the USC football locker room a few days before the wedding and gotten Pete Carroll to say congrats, and a few words of wisdom to the couple on video. The Best Man also asked Charles Lauren Films if we could play this video clip at the reception for him. We were game and said of course! So, on the night of the reception, the best man did his toast and then at the end of his toast, we played the Pete Carroll video clip! So it was a complete surprise! It was epic!
The worst thing a best man has ever done during his speech?
Roasting someone. There is joking and then there is roasting. Let’s just say it’s happened more than once and we’ve had to delete these speeches from the wedding film. Take this example for instance. One best man thought it would be funny to talk about all of the previous girlfriends the groom had dated. Something to the effect that he used to notch his conquests on a bed board. Then the best man went on to discuss how the groom had smoked a pack of cigarettes a day in college. His parents didn’t even know that he was a smoker! The best man, thinking he was clever, had brought this up in the speech, because the bride had gotten the groom to quit smoking - but that speech should never have seen the light of day. Sharing sensitive personal details, is something that no one should ever go into, especially on the wedding day! The speeches need to be upbeat and joyous - not something that is embarrassing for everyone involved. This is one case where they definitely could have used a best man speech writer!
How a best man is treated after giving a good speech versus a bad one?
When a best man gives a good speech, he is the talk of the night! It’s pretty amazing. Some people might think it’s upstaging the couple, but it really just complements the night. Everyone is always rooting for the best man, so when he gives a killer great speech, it ties everything together. If the best man gives a bad speech, you can definitely tell the difference.
What advice you'd share with soon-to-be and future best men?
A best man has an amazing job: They get to introduce a couple to the world. That’s pretty impressive. As wedding cinematographers we capture everything on film. We go through hours upon hours of footage and, in the end, we use the best moments of the wedding day to make epic highlights. The thing is, we don’t just put everything on the wedding film DVD - we only put the best. It is our film editor's job to take all of the best details, comments, and beautiful shots and edit them in a way that brings the amazing wedding day story to life. Where am I going with this? A best man is like the wedding day. He has hours upon hours of stories, ideas and jokes about the couple, just bursting to be heard. But it is the best man speech writer who organizes and designs the best man's detailed memories into something readable and presentable to the specific audience. He needs not a lot of help, but an editor's help - to make a lasting impression. So our advice is this: Every best man should have a best man speech writer and every wedding couple should have a wedding film!
A big thanks to Kelsey Lauren Pluskat for taking the time out of her jam-packed schedule to chat and share with us her best man speech stories. For more information on Ms. Pluskat and Charles Lauren Films, go to: www.charleslauren.com.