No, It’s not an insult.
But I do need your help when it comes to preparing a poem. When I write a best man’s poem I want everyone to be happy – that means you, me, but mainly the entire wedding party. We want laughs right?
I don’t write generic tosh that you can find online, or in books. Everything I write is unique to you and the groom because you’re giving me the information, which is why I need as much info from you as possible. I’m not happy with my poems if I’m having to fill verses up with rubbish because of a lack of description, but it’s even worse for you because you’re going to read it to a, potentially, large audience. So give me as much as you can.
I received an email the other day that had no body text whatsoever. The title basically said “I need a poem, my name is John and the groom’s name is Bill”. I did actually reply, stating what I needed to write one, but heard no more which, in hindsight, was probably a good thing. Believe me, I try to keep it as basic as possible, but there’s a few things I need to know about to write a good poem.
You want a good poem right? You do want to sound like the best, best man in the business?
So, detail is good; but likewise, please don’t expect a two-page essay to be condensed into a four-line verse. I will get it in there, but it will only contain the basics needed to be funny, punchy and, above all, entertaining. And I’m in a pretty good position to work that out because I’ve never met the groom, and don’t know his background. If I read your stories and start laughing, which I do frequently, I will pick out all the parts that matter so that members of the audience who haven’t heard the stories before can have a laugh too. If you want to mention half the family, the pets and what they had for breakfast yesterday, do it in the main speech, otherwise your poem will suffer. I want you to come out of this experience saying that was a wonderful experience, that everyone was laughing because of you, not at you.
We’ve all heard someone drone on and on in a speech, and by the time you get to the punchline you just want to kill yourself. Hell, I’ve probably even done a couple like that myself! And that’s why this service is so popular. I’m not saying I’m the best poet since Keats, but people like what I write and these poems seem to work well. So let’s have a look at what I need from you to get a good poem:
- The bride and groom’s name. Yes, surprisingly I need this. I try to talk about them both, get a congratulations in there somewhere and keep the poem personable. It’s important.
- How long you’ve known the groom. I’ll start off by saying how you met, how long ago and give a little history. A lot of the audience might not even know who you are. Let them get to know you, warm to you and they’ll love your speech.
- His hobbies/interests/habits. With any luck he collects film star’s toenails, has a comb-over, or plays golf in ridiculous clothes. Whatever, I’ll try to incorporate it and make everyone laugh. Give me as much as possible, it makes it easier.
- Funny stories. There has to be one… surely? The slightest thing might get a laugh if written correctly. If you can’t talk about the full story, let me hint at it and watch him squirm.
- How he met the bride. The most important person in that room is the bride. It’s her big day and she wants to feel special. A lot of time and money has gone into this day so don’t ruin it. The groom will take the knocks and jokes at his expense, but the bride won’t want things to go over the top, and there will be people filming so keep it nice. You will come across far better if the bride is happy (the groom will be happier too).
- As a couple. What do they do? What plans do they have? If there’s something good, I’ll try and get it across. Keep it basic – it’s not as important as the other points but useful if you’re struggling for funny stories.
- What about you? Is there something that’s especially important to you? Again, basic is better, but it’s your speech so write it down and let me know.
And that should do it.
It’s food for thought and should allow you to better prepare. I know there’s a lot of guys that can’t stand to write anything down, but you only have one chance to deliver your poem. Get this bit right and you will nail your speech!