The first rule of Toasting: Do not go over five minutes.
The second rule of Toasting: Do not go over five minutes.
Get the point?
At one of the first weddings I ever coordinated, the Best Man went on for seemingly forever. We checked the videographer’s time code: It was at 34 minutes. Thirty. Four. Minutes. Do you know what that was? That was a band set. The band the bride and groom paid thousands for – one whole set, cut.
I get that money isn’t everything – but the thing is, the best man wasn’t a professional comedian. He wasn’t a brilliant speaker. He was fine, but after five minutes, he was repetitive and not covering new ground. Few people can. 5 minutes is fantastic. After that, you have to be a phenomenal speaker to make an audience spellbound. Guests have already been around for about 2 hours; they are waiting for the next course and are probably hungry; and they can’t wait to go back to the bar and eventually, get up and dance and mingle. Be respectful and keep it short. You can also throw the entire evening’s schedule off – including food service – leading to disaster all because you wanted to tell one more childhood story about your good friend the bride.
Unless, of course, you are a professional performer, or just that good. We’ve witnessed amazing speeches by professional performers and comedians, but even they knew not to go over 15 minutes- like this best man, Jareb Dauplais, who kept it funny and raucous and just long enough. Jareb is a professional actor and it shows – his toast was outrageous, sentimental, sweet, and totally seemingly unscripted – and just as long as it needed to be. Take heart, toasters! (Video by Juice Box Media)