How to Incorporate Jokes Into Your Wedding Speech Without Going Too Far

Photo: Suzanne Hanover/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Giving a wedding speech can be nervewrecking. Or as Josh Womack puts it, it is "the closest chance a best man or maid of honor will have to performing stand-up in their lifetime." And unless your name is Louis C.K. or Ricky Gervais, performing stand-up is not an easy task.

Womack knows a thing or two about that. Not only is he a professional comedian, but, four years ago, he co-founded Laugh Staff, a company that works with stand-up comedians whose only goal is to help you write the funniest wedding speech.

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That's why we reached out to him on how to bring down the house next time you're up in front of a hundred people waiting for your toast.

"One of the best joke-writing techniques is to have the ‘laugh trigger’ be the last word in the sentence. Almost like late-night monologue jokes, the last word is what makes the joke fall off, so to speak," suggests Womack. "For instance: Growing up, my sister and I had what you’d call a 'tumultuous relationship.' We fought, we screamed, we pulled hair…basically everything you see on the E! Network."

Don't be afraid to push the envelope— in a tasteful way, of course. Here's the example he gave that a best man can use:

"Christine, I want to thank you, for being... well patient, very patient. It only took Todd 10 years to propose. I guess he was on the PhD path when it came to marriage but I think we can all agree that his cheekbones and Dad Bod were well worth the wait."

And speaking of tastefulness, here's Womack's rule of thumb for not crossing the line: "If you're rating your speech as a movie, it should be PG-13— just enough humor to zing but not hurt someone's feelings."

This means you should probably stay away from jokes about politics, sexual conquests, or health scares.

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