How to Write a Wedding Toast When You Don’t Like The Groom

Hey, it happens

two women laughing together

Ok, so you’re getting ready to write a wedding toast, but as it turns out, you don’t like the groom (or hell, maybe you don’t like the bride). And you’re coming across all these great articles about how to deliver a heartfelt and emotional speech, while really what you’re trying to do is say something nice, that keeps everyone happy and still allows you to keep your dignity and not… lie.

While it might not feel like it right now, you are so not alone in this problem. So let’s talk about how to write a wedding toast when you’re not so sure about the person your friend/ family member/ other loved one is about to marry. For ease and clarification purposes, I’m going to assume that your friend is female, and the person you’re not that into is a guy, though this advice is applicable across the board, give or take a pronoun here and there.

Before we dive in, let’s clarify that this advice doesn’t stand when your loved one is going to marry someone that is dangerous, abusive, or otherwise harmful. In that case, you might want to call a domestic violence hotline, or consult a therapist to determine the safest course of action. This isn’t advice for those scary and terrible situations. This is advice for when your favorite person is about to marry someone you just don’t like. But if you’re tapped for a wedding toast, and you feel like it’s good form that you give one, here are five tips to make it work.

1. just pretend he doesn’t exist: This probably sounds worse than it’s meant to, but let’s lead with the easiest solution. You don’t have to mention this person in your speech, if you can artfully avoid it. if you don’t want to. This is one of your people, right? You guys probably have a wealth of experiences and years of fun times that you can draw inspiration from, and there’s truly no reason to say much more than, “… and then she met someone who really makes her happy, and I love to see her happy” and leave it at that. Toss a smile out, give a cheery nod, and reassign yourself to wine duty for the rest of the evening.

Will your friend notice? Maybe, depending on how hyped on bubbly and love she is at that point, and how gracefully you pull it off. But we all love being told about how great we are, and how much the people in our life love us, so if you deliver this right, you can distract her. Also, keep in mind that unless she has a good relationship with the groom to begin with, a lot of bridesmaids don’t wax poetic for ages about the groom in question.

2. find one thing you like about him and only talk about that: So maybe you can’t get away with ignoring this person. Find one thing that you like about him (beyond the fact that he makes your person happy), and talk for a minute about that. He has great taste in art? He throws a great party? Whatever, fine, just write a few sentences about that and then raise a glass.

3. if everyone knows you doN’t get along, play it up IN A FUNNY WAY: Let’s say her family and his family and your family will all be at the wedding, or a whole bunch of mutual friends will be, and everyone knows that you and the groom infamously do not jive. Instead of ignoring the obvious, play into it, and make sure you end your speech with something along the lines of how he better treat her well, because you’ll be watching. Because it’s funny, and because it’s… true, and because he’ll know it is and probably knows you mean business.

4. say something that sounds nice (but is meaningless): This works best if you’re drinking, and works even better if you’re a tipsy-happy drinker that I am. And after one to two drinks you’re happy to tell everyone how much you like their dress, how great their hair looks, and how you just love them SOOOO much, then by all means, have a drink first and giddily enthuse about how you love your friend soooo much, you want her to be soooo happy, and you just can’t wait to see what her future holds because it will be soooo special. If you’re not a happy drinker, you can probably pull this off anyway, by pulling out an artfully placed wedding toast quote or two. In this case it’s fine to lean into Hallmark sentiments, and “Irish Proverbs.” May the road always rise to meet them, whatever that means.

5. talk about when you knew she was falling for him: Okay, so. The guy we’re talking about right now is most likely the kind of dude that you could never see yourself with… but for some reason, your person has decided that he’s the guy for her. (At least right now. We can hold out hope, right?) But this is a good moment to remind yourself that this wedding is not about you, and your friend needs you to support that choice, at least in this moment. (You can always support her in a search for a divorce lawyer later.) So dig around in the recesses of your mind and recall the day that you realized your friend was serious about this guy. Don’t focus on the sinking feeling you felt in your stomach, but focus on the way her face changed when she spoke about him, or how her eyes lit up. Remember how excited she was to show you her engagement ring. Think back to the most recent Serious Conversation the two of you had about her relationship, and what she told you then.

And then? Condense that into a speech and deliver the shit out of it. She’ll love you, it’ll be perfect, and you’ll deserve at least two drinks afterwards.

have you had to give Wedding Toast when you didn’t like the groom (or the bride)? What did you say—or what would you say in the situation? What advice do you have for people who are struggling?

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  • K.

    Oh boy, I’d only do #3 if you’re absolutely 10,000% sure you can pull it off with good humor. Even then…honestly, yikes, I don’t know. :-/

    I’ve done a combo of #1 and #4 in the past and it was smooth sailing. I especially think #4 is good–it’s a wedding, not a trial. You’re not under oath here, so sometimes swallowing your distaste and saying something nice but meaningless is the easiest way to go about it without pissing anyone off.

    • Ashlah

      Same thought. I’d avoid #3 like the plague, honestly.

    • louise danger

      yeah, a few drinks + “it was funny in my head” humor is not a great combo

    • idkmybffjill

      Yeah I’m with you. Most people aren’t as good at delivering “funny because they’re true” jokes as they think they are.

    • AmandaBee

      YUP. Know yourself really well if you’re going to try to pull that off. Because there is a fine line between sarcastic-funny and sarcastic-mean, and if you fall on the wrong side of that line it could get real awkward, real fast.

      Like, I know people who could definitely pull that off, and I also know that I’m not one of them.

  • sofar


    I was at a wedding a couple months back where the MoH was NOT the groom’s biggest fan. And she did #5 — talked about how she knew the bride was falling for him.

    And it was a great speech. She said lots of nice things about the bride and then transitioned to, “And I remember clearly the day Bride came to me and told me about a first date she’d had. She told me he’d planned such a special first date and showed her a part of the city she’d never been. And how they picked up take-out and talked all night on her porch. And then she told me she’d never felt that way about anyone before. And that’s when I first knew we’d all be here celebrating their marriage eventually. So, let’s raise our glasses…”

    • Oh, that sounds good! And it doesn’t say anything at all about how the MOH feels about the groom. But most people would never notice that because it sounds so nice…

    • Laura

      That’s a really classy approach. Nice!

  • penguin

    I can’t imagine doing what’s recommended in part of #1… “… and then she met Seth, who is truly a, um, unique kind of guy”. I can’t see this coming off as anything other than snarky and backhanded. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all (at least about the person you dislike so much).

    • Laura C

      I’ve seen a version of #1, given by a best man who wasn’t enthralled with the bride, that went more like … “and I know that this is going to be a great marriage because, as his friend, I know how loyal and steadfast [groom] is and I know that if he offers this much to his friends, he has even more to offer someone he loves as much as he does [bride].” I’m getting the words totally wrong but it was along those lines.And it worked.

      • penguin

        That sounds completely different from Stephanie’s example in #1 though. The example you gave definitely sounds like it would work well, as I don’t see anything backhanded about the bride.

        • penguin

          Sorry I went back to #1 and read the whole thing. I do agree that the “mostly ignore the person you don’t like” thing could work (like in your example), but it was Stephanie’s specific wording example that made me cringe-y. If I heard a maid-of-honor speech where someone described the bride or groom as “um…unique” I’d see it as snarky and rude.

        • AmandaBee

          I don’t think she expected you to take that wording literally. I read that example as a jokey way to say that you should just toss out something quick and generic about the groom.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      I assumed #1 wasn’t supposed to literally be done quite like the example?
      I took it to mean more of a “….I love the bride so much….bride is so wonderful…..yadda yadda yadda about bride…congratulations bride and Seth!”
      Literally doing things like the example the author gave would be super snarky and backhanded. On the other hand, I think 90% of the MOH (and Best Man) speeches I’ve heard at weddings have been along the lines of my example, where the speech giver basically talks about their friend/family member the entire time, with a positive but generic 30 second mention of the spouse at the end.

  • Jessica

    This makes me happy that my bff didn’t have speeches or toasts.

    Even though her husband’s best friends performed the ceremony and therefore got to do one for him, I wasn’t jealous because I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off with the aplomb and grace they did.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      So far I’ve been fortunate not to have to give any, and I’m also not particularly interested in having them at our wedding either. Did your bff just quietly skip them? Did anyone notice or care?

      • Jessica

        They didn’t really have a structured event schedule after the ceremony–just “go drink! here’s your tickets for the food truck!” and then briefly announced the first dance.

        They had a very potent signature cocktail. No one noticed anything was missing (except me when I snuck off for a private moment with my husband. People noticed that I was gone…)

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Potent cocktails. Got it.

      • NolaJael

        We didn’t plan for any toasts and there weren’t any spontaneous toasts. This was a combination of not having bridesmaids or groomsmen and also of having an informal BBQ reception that didn’t have an agenda.

        Honestly, I kind of thought there would be toasts and was a little disappointed but not surprised given the informal structure.

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          Ours was very similar. I had wanted to stand up and thank everyone for coming, and to recognize the couple whose anniversary we were sharing and sing happy birthday to a birthday child, but it never happened. I wish I would’ve planned a toast, but ultimately, it was fine without it.

      • Rebecca

        We weren’t going to have speeches at all – we got a bit of pushback along the lines of ‘Oh but the speeches are always the best part!’ But that’s easy enough to dismiss. Then it turned out my dad really wanted to give a speech, so we invited him and groom’s mum to give two minute toasts and left it there. No problem, not weird, and no speeches would have been fine too. It wasn’t a sit down dinner though.

      • Rose

        We had a somewhat informal reception, with no wedding party. My dad and my MIL gave brief toasts after dinner, but I’m pretty sure that if we’d just signalled that it was time for dancing now, nobody would have particularly noticed the lack of toasts. Or, maybe some would have noticed, but certainly wouldn’t have cared all that much. I can’t even remember if one of the weddings I’ve been to recently had them or not–I think skipping them would just be fine.

  • Cellistec

    Focus on how happy the bride is. That’s it. The toast can be 90% “this is why she’s amazing” and 10% “Groom makes her happy and she deserves every happiness” and it’ll still feel balanced.

    • Nell


      I would frame this 100% as “Dear Groom, here’s why you are one lucky guy to get to spend your life with my best friend.” Then follow up with 5 reasons, toast to the lovely couple and gracefully exit.

  • lizzers

    This is extraordinarily prescient, thank you for this! It exactly captures the tone of ambivalence/annoyance/frustration that I feel as the potential toast-giver (or at least potential bridesmaid). I am hopeful that I won’t have to use them for my bff (as in, that she won’t actually marry her current boyfriend). But 90% of our recent conversations are about how she wants to be engaged this year and how she knows it will happen, even though he actually hasn’t agreed to the timeline.

    I’m of the mindset that you get to say something once to someone, and then you bite your tongue. I’ve previously used up my one conversation with her about him, which I still feel like was the good friend thing to do, but am curious if this has ever led to a good result for anyone who has tried it?? Sigh…

    • idkmybffjill

      Unfortunately I think multiple conversations usually has the opposite of intended effect. Friend talks less to you about the dude, and ultimately sees herself/them as “Us against the world”. I find that asking about their relationship in a positive way often helps more.

      • anon

        That’s the feeling I got when my mom kept saying how much she didn’t like my then boyfriend. She said a bunch of things that I’m still struggling to forgive her for. Some within moments of meeting him, even though he was perfectly respectful. She acts nice to him now that we’re engaged, and will be married in less than 2 months, but I feel like she’s just hiding her real feelings. There have been times where I wonder if I’m missing any sort of problem with him because I’m so busy fighting against my mother for him and he seems practically perfect. That fear goes away as soon as I’m with him though because he makes me immensely happy. I see him 5 days out of the week and just seeing him still makes me happy. Honestly I’m surprised he stayed with me after everything my mother said about him and to him.

        • idkmybffjill

          I was in a similar situation but with an ex who turned out to be just as shitty as my mom was saying. In retrospect, I’d really wished she’d just been supportive – because her criticism made me zero in on his best qualities and put blinders on to his worst. I think if she’d have just been on board I would’ve broken up with him wayyyy sooner.

        • idkmybffjill

          Following up cause I know that feeling of “is this how I really feel or am I being defensive?”… I think the biggest clue for me was that we had problems that I didn’t want to discuss with anyone because I was afraid of how they’d make him look. Being in a much healthier and happier marriage now, I never feel bad about needing to vent to my mom or my friends – because they know how amazing my husband is and hearing about a frustration has no chance of effecting their core opinion of him.

      • Jess

        Repeated conversations work well if (and pretty much only if) they occur from your friend bringing something up, and you leading her to make her own decisions without judgment. Example conversation:

        Friend “I feel like I’m constantly taking care of him and he’s not reciprocating. I’m sick of being his mom.”

        You “That sounds really hard. Do you think he wants to behave differently?”

        Friend “Not really, I brought it up a couple times, and I’ve asked him to make dinner when we know I have to work late, but he’s still not doing anything”

        You “It sucks that he’s not taking what you need into account when you’re doing so much to help him out. How would you want that to be different?”

        Telling people doesn’t seem to work well for me, but being a person to bounce ideas off of (even if they don’t leave right away) who doesn’t try to moralize her choices or his actions.

        • idkmybffjill

          Yeahhhhh this is great advice. Perhaps even to the point of never sharing your opinion, just helping friend to reflect on the things they’re sharing.

          • Jess

            Yup! General platitudes are so much better than opinions in this case. I really try to keep it to exclusively feelings that friend has shared with me in that moment, too. Like, don’t say, “Wow, he did this a couple weeks ago too, huh?”

            I call it my therapist hat. I sit down and I ask questions the same way my therapist does to me.

          • idkmybffjill

            It’s great advice! That way there’s no point for friend to be like, ‘oh but he’s so great about xyz, you just don’t see that”, because they aren’t on the defensive!

            I’ve found that relationships I’ve been defensive about generally lasted longer than they would’ve if no one had expressed their negative opinion, because I’m so busy coming up with arguments for how they’re wonderful that I miss how they’re not.

    • JC

      Yes, I have been successful with the repeated conversation, but it was in the context of my friend’s really unhealthy relationship and repeated life crises. When he cheated on her with several other women, we talked about it. When they had no place to live but his abusive father’s house, we talked about it. When she decided to move to a college that they’d both be attending and she didn’t want to be moving “for him,” we talked about it. When she realized she wasn’t happy at college and he wasn’t making it better, we talked about it. They split, and she tells me that she needed the time to process everything, because while I was right that they should break up, it was never just about the relationship.

      If it’s a “like not love” or “will begrudingly put up with but not like” sort of feeling toward the boyfriend, then I think you’re right on the money. One conversation, and you’ve used up your friend capital.

    • rg223

      I was in a similar situation – my friend was really frustrated with her boyfriend after 6 months of dating, and I used up my “one conversation”… her mom also had the SAME conversation with her, and I think that combination made my friend dig in deeper. A year later they got engaged and my friend had all the same frustrations.

      My advice would be to just reflect, reflect, reflect! Rather than bringing up the topic yourself, if your friend shares a frustration or problem with you, just restate whatever you’re hearing her say – and hope that it sinks in. In my case, my friend eventually did break up with her boyfriend/finacee, though I do know other situations where this wasn’t the case. Good luck!

    • Ella

      If the guy is just not awesome, but not actively Bad, then part of this is realising your friend just doesn’t have the (subjective) good taste you thought she had. And maybe there are parts of her that are (subjectively) not awesome. That would hurt to realise about your bff, but it’s something I think you have to let go.

      To answer your question though, no, I’ve never seen it work in a situation where the friend really loved the partner. I’ve seen it work when the friend knew the relationship wasn’t going to work but was sticking around because it was easier than breaking up.

  • Amy March

    If you’re wondering if you’re funny enough to pull off # 3, you for sure are not and shouldn’t try. How incredibly mean spirited and hurtful to talk about someone you don’t like at his wedding. If you can’t say anything nice at all, don’t give a toast.

    (PS- is disqus being strange for anyone else? It isn’t showing up at all on my phone.)

  • Amy March

    I don’t know what you are thinking with Number 3 Stephanie! No!!!! If you’re trying to figure out what to say, you are not funny enough to pull this off. It’s just plain mean to talk about how you don’t like someone in front of all of their guests on their wedding day.

    • rg223

      Yeah, I think these jokes only work if the opposite is true – it’s clear that you DO like the person and it’s only a joke.

      • Anon

        My MOH definitely said something along the lines of, “And, of course, as you know, if you ever hurt her, I will come for you deep in the night.” But it was only after talking about their (very genuine) deep, deep mutual respect for one another and how he’s the absolute best partner in the world for me, how much he builds me up, how we balance each other perfectly, etc. She’s a self-described “feisty Italian,” so it also worked with her personality. Everyone thought it was funny, and no one doubted for a second that they like each other and appreciate each other. All was well.

        But if she actually hated him (like she hates our other best friend’s longterm boyfriend)? Eeek. Nonononononono. Disaster territory.

    • Katharine Parker

      I don’t think almost anyone is funny enough to pull off #3. Most people are not that good at writing jokes. It’s why speechwriters make a living! It’s one thing in the UK, where based on my experience people are willing to go full-on roast with wedding speeches (whether that ends up actually being funny is another story), but in the US people expect to hear nice things. Being nice is the priority, being funny is secondary. Go for gentle humor, please, and don’t make a speech that is meant to be wishing your friend and her spouse well in their marriage about you and your feelings about the groom.

    • NatalieN

      Yeah, one of my bridesmaids really didn’t like my husband at first when we started dating. Like REALLY. DID. NOT. LIKE. but then after some time I asked her to reconsider, and she did, and now she really likes him. genuinely. and he’s been a really good solid male friend for her. She gave a speech at our wedding and made jokes about not liking him at first etc. Which she asked me about before hand and I said was fine, and it worked because we all knew they got along really well now. But if she still didn’t like him and made those jokes it would have been different, ya know?

    • Nell

      AGREE! I was at a wedding where the groom was a notoriously rude and obnoxious guy. Everyone noticed that all the speeches ragged on him and praised her. It was true to them. . . but as a guest it was really uncomfortable.

  • H

    Here’s the thing – I’m political. Most of my friends are political. I work in politics. Please, for the love of god, don’t talk about Trump in your Maid of Honor speech, unless literally everyone there met working for Hillary. Best case scenario, people think “I thought this was the one day of the year I didn’t have to think about Trump.” Worst case scenario – upset relatives, tension, anxiety. Just don’t do it. Or if you do it, make it vague, like “now more than ever with everything happening in our country, I value our friendship…” Please please please.

    Signed, Someone who doesn’t want to hear Trump’s name at a wedding reception

    • idkmybffjill

      Seconded. And most of my crowd is VERY liberal. Our wedding was fairly non-traditional. I have family members that were totally cool with all the nontraditional parts but would’ve been caught off gaurd and insulted if Trump was brought up – and that’s not really what I was going for at my wedding.

    • Anon

      Yeah, I think there are ways to incorporate politics in a positive, affirmative way. Like my bridesmaid who gave an exuberant toast to the SCOTUS gay marriage decision at my rehearsal dinner, literally hours after the decision came through on June 26, 2015 (in overall happier times). I’m sure I had a few family members guests who were made uncomfortable by that, but the beauty of that moment was more important than their bigoted feelings, to be frank.

      But mentioning Trump, in any way? Noooooooo thank you.

    • Nope

      I personally would not want any politics at my wedding, and I’d be pissed as hell if someone thought my wedding was a political platform.

      That goes even if I agreed with the political view! It’s a wedding, not a political rally.

    • WTF?

      “Supported Bernie way too long …”

      Jesus Christ, APW. Way to alienate readers.

      • penguin

        Yeah this irritated me too.

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    • Alanna Cartier

      I made a specific rule that if anyone mentioned him or politics in general at our wedding, they didn’t get dinner. And dinner was a five course meal. We had our MC announce it.

      We got married the week after the election, so I think this was necessary.

    • Nell

      Seconded. Not the moment to bring politics into the equation – unless you know for sure that your buddy is INCREDIBLY psyched to have politics brought up (like, you know, she literally works in politics).

    • Lexipedia

      Ugh. I went to a wedding last December who were both high up in the Clinton campaign, and were married by a former boss who introduced them. They pushed their wedding so it would happen after the election and wouldn’t be working. It came up in the toast and it was just. the. saddest.

      Then I heard a speech in January at the wedding of not-quite-as political friends that talked about the political climate more so than specifics. It was actually really beautiful and uplifting, about how important love is when the world seems particularly depressing and how about finding a person to go through hard times with you is so necessary to survive and grow and thrive. I think I’m describing it well, but it worked well for the audience and the couple.

      I also work in politics, and it’s damn hard to get through a conversation with ANYONE without Trump coming up. With colleagues we commiserate, with people who know the work I do they see it as a conversation topic. Ugh.

  • Vanessa

    Oh jeez. I would be careful with some of these, I think they could easily veer into passive aggressiveness. 1:”truly a unique kind of guy” – as a guest, member of the wedding party or as the bride, I would be left thinking “what the fuck does that mean?” 3: This isn’t funny, it’s condescending, it’s making things about you instead of about the couple, and I would be so embarrassed to hear my friend say something like this in front of all my guests. 4: If you have to drink to come up with something nice to say, then I would bet that at least some people can tell that you’re full of shit.

    Less is more – dig deep and say as much as you can about the person that’s genuine, even if it’s brief. If that means the rest of your speech is on the shorter side, people will be glad to get to dancing/cake/mingling more quickly. Better to be brief than to say something that negatively impacts your friendship.

    • K.

      I don’t even think it has to be all that genuine? I don’t know, I just don’t think it should kill anyone to say something along the lines of, “You two make such a great team and I know you’ll be so happy for years to come” even if you don’t believe it, if only because it’s the nice thing to do for your friend or family member. Especially with the caveat of him being someone you just don’t jibe with or think is super awesome for your friend, rather than him being an actual Bad Person.

      I mean, no one’s going to come back to you and say, “You LIED about your feelings during that wedding toast! You’re a terrible, deceptive friend.” People get it and your friend will probably appreciate your ability to be diplomatic and respectful towards the person she loves.

      (And if you’re the type who just has a bad poker face, then you’re probably going to have trouble making the speech at all and you should probably try to make it as short as possible!)

  • Jess

    I’m a fan of the short-but-sweet toast anyway, so I would suggest basically #1 and #4, talking a bit about the person you know, saying something like, “then she met Gigi and we are here today to celebrate their happiness! Cheers!” and toasting.

    I like #5 if you want to be more long about it, or include both parties more.

  • Lala

    There’s another option, and it works if you’re giving an MoH speech or officiating. This situation is exactly why people came up with a “traditional marriage ceremony” in the first place: throughout most of human history, people who got married didn’t know each other very well yet, so you had to find something to say that isn’t about the history the couple doesn’t have together. Therefore, all “traditional” ceremonies are filled with golden nuggets of platitudes that apply to all relationships (or, what everyone hopes their relationship will be). Then, frame the speech in terms of what you want for the couple’s future, not what you know to be their present or past. No lies, no avoidance of uncomfortable topics, and no sweat off your back, because that’s what a wedding sounds like anyway. Slip in some tidbits about your friend and boom, it’s a Hallmark card of a speech everyone will love.

    • Ella

      Great point! People who are emotional (like at weddings) tend to superimpose their personal on the general anyway, so these Hallmark platitudes might be received as super meaningful still.

  • Redlei

    Is anyone else struggling with the new site format? I’m on my iPhone and I can’t see an author listed for this article, ads are jumping all over the page and the page is randomly scrolling, and the comments are not indented or showing any description of who is replying to who.

    • Mel

      Yep, except the random scrolling part. And for a while there I had an ad on every single photo (including square photo links to other articles) on the page.

  • Sarah

    I did the speech for one of my best friends whose husband I find so incredibly boring. But you know what, I don’t have to be married to him. She does- and he makes her happy.

    Number 5 is really the only solution. Talk about what your friend sees in him. If you can’t suck it up, put on a happy face and say something genuinely nice about someone that your best friend/ sister loves enough to commit the rest of her life to, you should probably decline doing the toast.

  • Pingback: How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech When the Groom Is the Worst | Wedding Adviser()

  • Laura

    number 3 is SO cringeworthy – no, no, no don’t be THAT person. how hard is it to talk about your friend, say that you love seeing her so happy, and then raise a glass and toast ‘to the newlyweds and their future happiness’ – not hard.

    it would be SO awkward to witness a MOH trying to do a funny ‘haha i hate the groom, watch out dude, i have my eye on you!’ not to mention uhhhh, his family and friends are in attendance and would likely be super offended. it would also put your friend in a serious bind – not a cool move at all.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Seriously, I tried sooo hard to imagine a single context where this wouldn’t be horrible, and I couldn’t come up with one! Number 3 is just a massive DON’T, no matter how you try to spin it!

  • NotMotherTheresa

    Do…most MOH speeches talk much about the groom? Because other than one or two weddings I’ve been to where the MOH had a close relationship with the groom, he just always got kind of glossed over, and the focus of the speech was pretty much 100% on the bride. So basically, a combination of #1 and #4 (i.e. four minutes talking about the bride, 30 seconds of general platitudes about how happy you are for both of them).
    Whatever you do, though, please, stay away from #3. Also, DO NOT talk about Trump. There is a time and a place for that, and a wedding with Great Great Aunt Edna is not that time or place.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Update: I went back and pulled up the speech my MOH gave at my wedding. It was literally nothing but stories about me, followed by “I know she’ll make groom very happy. Congratulations!”

      As far as I’m aware, nobody (including the groom) was even remotely offended. It made sense for her to focus on me–I’m her sister, whereas from her perspective, my husband is just the nice-enough guy who’s married to her sister. The best man was too shy to give a toast, but if he would have, I’m sure it would have sounded like a reverse version of my MOH’s speech, because again, my husband is the one who he’s actually best friends with. I’m just the nice, inoffensive person who his BFF since pre-school happened to marry.

  • Kim

    I don’t think it has to be this difficult if it’s just that you don’t like him. Most of the speeches only focus on the person the speech-giver is closest too…my MOH mostly talked about me and my husband’s BM talked about him. At the end of each, there was a mention of them seeing how happy we made each other/worked well together and best wishes and all that jazz. Although, something my MOH did that was cute was “tips” for my husband, which could work well in this situation. One was “don’t rush her when she’s getting ready. Because then she’ll get hot and sweaty and when she’s sweaty, she gets feisty.” Everyone (including me) laughed, because they all knew it was true! This is a way to “include” the groom, while still really focusing on the bride.

  • Mrrpaderp

    Super late to the party here, but chiming in to say I’ve seen #1 done and it doesn’t go over well. People notice if the best man/MOH speech doesn’t say much of anything about the new spouse. Most wedding guests are close enough to the couple to at least sense if there are some bad feelings between the BFF and spouse. Not mentioning/barely mentioning the spouse is rude and passive aggressive and just about everyone in the room will know it.

    If you are giving a speech at a celebration of someone’s marriage, you should be prepared to say nice things about their marriage. Sure, you can focus mostly on your BFF, but you still need to acknowledge the fact that it’s a wedding. If you truly can’t bring yourself to say anything nice about the SO or the relationship then you should really reconsider whether you’re the best person to be MOH.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      That’s really interesting that that’s been your experience with #1. I feel like at almost every wedding I’ve been to, it’s basically a nicer variation of #1, and I never thought anything of it. I mean, what’s a person supposed to say about their best friend’s husband, anyway?
      I wonder if this is one of those things that just totally varies by social circle/personality? Because in general, this whole article sort of seems to assume a level of thought into friends’ spouses that I never gave in the first place. Every once in a blue moon, a friend will date someone who I legitimately click with enough for there to ever be A Moment of any kind, but for the most part, I don’t really know anything at all about my close friends’ spouses, and vice versa. It honestly would have been weirder if my MOH HAD talked about my husband at any length whatsoever, because even though they get along just fine, they’ve maaaybe had one conversation in the last decade. (Which still puts them ahead of the Best Man and I, who had literally never even met until the rehearsal.)
      I guess it would be weird as a guest if I knew that the MOH and the spouse had actually been around one another enough to form strong opinions, and the toast still ignored the spouse. In general, though, I just always assumed toasts like #1 were the result of a MOH and groom who hadn’t spent a ton of time together.

  • Elinor

    Just say nice things! Short and sweet but nice. It’s easy.
    No one is going to fact check you afterwards.

  • Nell

    So. . . I get that SEO is a thing, but could ya’ll be mindful of the non-straight couples on here? This post was wicked heteronormative. . . Still love ya, APW!

  • Kara E

    How about (a) keep it kind and (b) keep it short. Prepare what you’re going to say, say it, and sit down. And if it doesn’t fit on a 3×5 notecard (or a single text message blurb), for 99% of weddings, it’s too long.