For the couple to-be that loves books, the best man has a unique opportunity to bring a literary element to what might — despite all best intentions — become a raging debauche of a reception. It's the best man's duty to kick off the toasts with a phenomenal best man speech, and what better way to remain in the readerly couple's favor than by selecting some well-cherished words from a favorite book that will let everyone have a moment of thoughtful contemplation before some crazy aunt or uncle starts regaling the partygoers with their niece or nephew's most embarrassing moments.
The pressure, good sir, is on.
What comprises a good wedding toast? Obviously, knowing the tone of the wedding and knowing the couple is essential. Personally, I always think memorable readings or speeches capture some essence of both parties in the wedded union. We've probably all heard toasts that focus on the best man's bond with the groom — and we've probably all thought . . . okay, but what about the bride?
When selecting a best man reading, don't be afraid to think outside the box. If you're not a natural born speechwriter, choose a poem (an epithalamium is, in fact, a poem written on the occasion of nuptials) can be an excellent and meaningful alternative — especially if the couple is registered at Barnes and Noble.
Here are eight ideas to get you inspired.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Can you go wrong with The Bard?
Utterly ebullient and terrific for an outdoor reception.
Friends I am here to modestly report
seeing in an orchard
in my town
a goldfinch kissing
to catch life
red-handed, to relish the goodness
of your home amid the hills encircled
by a wedding party where I seek and find, seek
and do not find, seek and disappear and —
I love how
faithfully they work their garden
all year, scumbling dried eelgrass
in fall, raking away mulch in spring.
Perfect for the long-dating, domestic couple.
Romance is a grotto of eager stones
anticipating light, or a girl whose teeth
you can always see. With more sparkle and pop
is the only way to live.
Who wouldn't want to toast to more sparkle and pop?!
The offbeat imagery in this poem is spot-on for a reception at an unassuming (and possibly retro) locale.
The sword's hilt glints, the daffodils bow down,
all is temporary as a perfect haircut, a kitten
in the lap, yet sitting here with you, my darling,
waiting for a tuna melt and side of slaw
seems all eternity I'll ever need
and all eternity needs of me.
For the couple that's keen on semantic wrangling.
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
8. "Give All to Love" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first three stanzas are wedding-toast gold.
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
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