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"These Scottish are only here for the free booze" - Bestman speech at a Polish Wedding


Aldo78
29 Jul 2014  #1
Hi, I have been given the job of bestman at a Polish / Scottish wedding, the bride is from Poland, Groom, Scotland. We are having a traditional Polish wedding with some Scottish mixed in, one of these is the bestman speech, im pretty confident in the speech, we have a translator who will repeat after me, every few sentences into Polish for the guests.

I would like to ask any Polish here if there is any jokes, subjects I MUST avoid in my speech or can I embarrass the groom as much as I want ?

I have had the idea to get the translator to say something different to me in the speech and act like nothing is wrong, like I say " We are so glad to be here on this lovely day" and he translates, " these Scottish are only here for the free booze" kind of idea.

How do you think that would be received

Thanks in advance
smurf 39 | 1,983
29 Jul 2014  #2
I wouldn't do that.....the guest who don't speak Polish will miss out on your jokes.

Speeches can be hit and miss at Polish weddings as they don't usually have them unless it's a mix of cultures wedding like the one you're going to.

Just keep it light-hearted and shortish and you'll be fine, otherwise, the Poles will get bored and get back to the vodka ;)
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
29 Jul 2014  #3
Just keep it light-hearted and shortish and you'll be fine

+1

Is there going to be any religious person or people present? If so, don't embarrass the guests with things that would make the priest or religious guests cringe.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
29 Jul 2014  #4
we have a translator who will repeat after me, every few sentences into Polish for the guests.

This happened at my wedding. The best man's speech was interminable. Keep it very short. Remember that while the Scots are laughing at your jokes the Poles will be sitting there embarassed. Then the translator will tell them a second hand witticism. Beware.

Avoid the traditional mention of the groom's former conquests. This would not go down well.
OP Aldo78
29 Jul 2014  #5
It isn't a religious wedding there is civil celebrant, or the equivalent present.

I hear you on the non polish not getting the joke, im just trying to break the ice I suppose.

My speech doesn't include anything crude or speak about the grooms prior conquests, it does however mention his previous time in the navy when he woke up stark naked and cant remember why he got there, please tell me that's not too much ?

The speech is 9 min max, already timed it.

keep the advice coming, I really appreciate it
Harry
29 Jul 2014  #6
The speech is 9 min max, already timed it.

Way too long. You'll need to at least double that to account for the Polish element as well.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
29 Jul 2014  #7
his previous time in the navy when he woke up stark naked and cant remember why he got there, please tell me that's not too much ?

Sounds fine, but 9 minutes including the translation or twenty minutes? I'd say 9 minutes was too long, unless of course you are naturally hilarious. Do you know the translator? Does he/she have an excellent grasp of idiomatic English? Will you have time to practise? At my otherwise great wedding my brother told a joke with the help of a Pole with OK English. It was torture to listen to, and went down like a heart attack. Brevity is the soul of wit.
jon357 64 | 14,382
29 Jul 2014  #8
Although they tend to like long speeches in PL, I would suggest keeping this one short, even very short.
OP Aldo78
29 Jul 2014  #9
Ill have a think and get back to you with my decision.

Thanks again guys and girls, very helpful

There isnt any "jokes" as such, i know the cringe worthy ones, there is a few lines that yes do hint at being funny and I suppose that's the part I worry about being translated properly and being well received.

I have been warned about the standard, take her to Wales to Bangor for a week joke and there is absolutely non of that just a small part about an embarrassing story that really doesn't need to be said or in Scottish tradition its not really a best man speech.

standard format is really just thank guests, staff, how good everyone looks, embarrass groom, have a toast.

Ive done the job before and everyone was crying with laughter but its the strange crowd factor and I really don't want to offend anyone.

If I was 100% sure the groom wouldn't see it I would post it here but its not worth the risk lol

thanks again

sorry I meant to say "story that really does need to be said or in Scottish tradition its not really a best man speech"
smurf 39 | 1,983
29 Jul 2014  #10
previous time in the navy when he woke up stark naked and cant remember why he got there, please tell me that's not too much ?

naw, that's funny. Polish granny won't laugh, but Polish grannies don't laugh anyway.

The speech is 9 min max, already timed it.

you times 9mins, plus the laughs of the English speakers and the Polish speakers.
Anything over 5 minutes is risky.....but if you can keep them laughing then they'll be in the palm of your hands....but remember, Poles don't have speeches at their wedding so aren't used to being without vodka for a full 9 minutes.

then again, keep them laughing and you might get a Polish bridesmaid sniffing around ;)
poland_
29 Jul 2014  #11
Ill have a think and get back to you with my decision.

Why not use photos on a tv screen to back up your speech, You can tell a great story with pictures and keep the speech to a minimum.
smurf 39 | 1,983
29 Jul 2014  #12
Why not use photos on a tv screen to back up your speech

Oh god no, don't do that. It's absolute cringe.
poland_
29 Jul 2014  #13
Why?

Poles love pictures they just can't get enough of them and telling a short story with pictures gives both visual and sound. therefore crossing the language barrier. At a wedding to be a good orator you must appeal to your audience needs.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
29 Jul 2014  #14
telling a short story with pictures

What, the navy story?
smurf 39 | 1,983
29 Jul 2014  #15
Poles love pictures

no, been to some weddings where they did that and it was really embarrassing. Nobody wants to see boring baby pictures or photos of dorky kids making their first communion, confirmation etc.....well, lame people like grandparents do.

to be a good orator you must appeal to your audience needs.

You forget that 99% of Polish wedding don't have speeches. By having a speech you're actually inserting your culture on their traditional wedding celebrations. Better not to thread on toes and keep it short and sweet.

What, the navy story?

Haha, yea, that actually would be funny.
poland_
29 Jul 2014  #16
You forget that 99% of Polish wedding don't have speeches. By having a speech you're actually inserting your culture on their traditional wedding celebrations. Better not to thread on toes and keep it short and sweet.

True enough when I got married in Poland we went with speeches, if I did it again I would sack the idea of a best mans speech and just get on with Polish tradition.
TheOther 5 | 3,749
29 Jul 2014  #17
lame people like grandparents

Can't wait for the day when you are one... :)
OP Aldo78
29 Jul 2014  #18
Wow his did me asking a wedding question end up in grannie talk and baby photos lol

Its Scottish / Polish wedding and its about both cultures coming together the kilts and a couple of speeches are the oy thing, well apart from the whiskey that will be Scottish which is exactly what the bride and groom want.

I've shortened my speech and I'm happy with it.

Thanks for the kind advice


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