Learn how to write a great best man speech with our easy to follow structure and speech templates.
Are you the best man? Congrats! Being asked to be the best man is a great honor. Whether you’re the best friend, brother or another family member, being asked to be the right hand to the groom shows you mean a lot to him. It’s a great role, but it comes with some important best man duties and responsibilities.
You become the in-charge of arranging the epic parties, crushing the dance floor with your moves, and following the tradition of giving a great best man speech.
Speaking in public may or may not be your cup of tea. In fact, you may be totally clueless about how to tackle the best man’s speech. But the tips I will share will help you carve a perfect best man speech outline.
So, without dawdling, let’s dive right in.
- How long should a Best-Man Speech be?
- Tips for delivering a great speech
- Topics not to mention
- Best man speech template
- Best man speech ideas
- Toast examples
How long should a best man speech be?
One of the biggest concerns is how long your speech should be. This speech isn’t for an office meeting where you explain the details. When it comes to best man speech, it isn’t only about delivering a few lines but about saying something that is deemed genuine.
Your speech should be about 3-5 minutes long. Never exceed your time over 5 minutes or you’ll have a fidgety audience! A formal affair might require a longer toast, but if your speech is at the end then a 3 minutes speech will be enough time.
Tips for delivering a great best man’s speech
Writing the best man speech can be tricky especially if you have no prior experience, but don’t fret. We have you covered. Here are the tips that will make your speech a success.
Work it out ahead of time
The best man speech is a big responsibility. If you want to shine when you deliver the speech, start composing it at least a few weeks before the wedding.
As the wedding date nears, the numerous events before the day will keep you busy. Suit fittings, parties, and other programs will get in the way of writing, so you really don’t want to leave it to the last minute. Sit down right now and create the first draft. Brainstorm ideas as they come to you, so you have plenty of time to get them right.
Feel free to include any light-hearted jokes, funny stories or quotes (see our list of best-man speech quotes.) If you have time, you can add and edit more. If your best man speech is ready before the time, you will enjoy every event without worries.
Make it genuine
Not everyone is a born public speaker. Even if all the guests at the wedding will be your relatives and friends, it is hard not to fret when all gazes of the wedding guests are on you. And if you are like me, you fear speaking in public. But you can ease the nervousness by being genuine. Include the moments you had with the groom and his family. Talk about your relationship with the wedding couple.
This way, relatives will enjoy the nostalgia while others will get to know you better.
But with all that, remember one thing, be yourself. While delivering the speech, talk the way you always do. The couple chose you as the best man for their big day because they believe you will add a special touch to the wedding.
If you are always good for a laugh, be that person. Include jokes and share some embarrassing stories. Make the crowd laugh. If you like sticking to the sweet and emotional side and leaving the audience with tears in their eyes, be that person.
As long as you sound genuine, the couple, the guests, and your friends will love your speech.
Topics not to say
Since you are the best man, there is a profound friendship between the groom and you. And there must be lots of occurrences and little things in your relationship that you both find funny. However, it’s best not to include them if they are one of these topics. Offending someone in the audience is the last thing you want to do.
- Pessimism about the wedding/married life
- Past relationships
- Any failed marriage
- Any “adult” humor
Don’t try to put any irrelevant things in the speech. There would be listeners from ages 6 to 60. Whatever you say should be suitable for every age so use common sense. Your best man speech should be about celebrating the newlyweds, re-living the good old memories, and showering the couple with blessings.
Write that down
While creating your best man speech, write your best memories, small funny events, and some silly childhood stories. A few emotional ones if you wish to include them. While these are indelible things, they may slip your mind as you start speaking.
And if you feel embarrassed if you need to read your key points off cues on the day, don’t because even leaders and CEOs do this. And a better alternative than a piece of paper would be taking small note cards.
Never use your mobile to deliver the speech. It doesn’t look good in the photos.
Fear of public speaking
When we talk about how to write a best man speech, it is not all about writing. Even if your work is complete and you think it is a good speech, you should practice delivering it out loud too.
If your body language while speaking in public is a bit stiff or robotic, you fumble or abruptly stop, then your speech can get ruined.
To see how you come across when speaking, record yourself while giving the speech and then look at the video. See what you find odd and work on that. A better option is sending the video to your friend and asking them to give opinions about it,
Tip: Don’t mumble, be confident. Speak slowly and be audible.
Writing a great best-man speech
With the best man speech structure we share, writer’s block won’t be a problem.
It is a tried-and-tested template that will help you create the perfect speech. Remember, this is a template. Customize things to suit the groom and his new spouse, the event, and your friendship with the couple.
The Best Man Speech Template
It can be frustrating to craft a great speech from scratch. For now, write down a bare-bone structure of your talk. Write the things that you want to include. Then go through these steps and modify the speech.
- Start with a great opening line
- Give thanks to everyone present
- Applaud the previous speaker
- Give thanks to the couple’s parents
- Congratulate the couple
- Say a few good words about the bride
- Crack a few jokes for the groom
- Describe your relationship with the couple
- A few quotes or poems
- Propose a toast
Best man speech ideas
An excellent best-man speech is created by focusing on the groom’s essence. You are a close friend to the groom, so you’ll have things to share about him. Go through old pictures to give yourself some ideas of what to mention. Maybe you went to high school together, or grew up together and have memories from those times.
Ask about more memories from other friends and family members.
Think whether the groom will mind if you will tease him a little. Is there any great story that no one knows? If so, share it. Think about what humor will be good for every age.
The introduction is about greeting the guests and thanking them for coming to the wedding. This is one of the best ways to start.
“Hello, everyone. You all look lovely this evening. On behalf of the beautiful couple, I would like to thank everyone for attending this amazing celebration.”
Now you made a good impression in front of the audience. Next, applaud the previous speaker.
“Let us all give a round of applause for the wonderful speech the beautiful maid of honor delivered. Hope you all enjoyed her thoughtful speech, but brace yourselves for the next one.”
And before you congratulate the couple on their special day, say a few good words about the parents.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the parents. They raised such amazing people who are, fortunately, some of my best friends. And I would like to thank the parents for making this evening so special by hosting such a great celebration.”
And last, you can introduce yourself. Tell the audience how you met the groom and the bride. Here you can praise the beautiful bride and crack some jokes about the groom. Any funny story will also do the work. You can include personal anecdotes.
A few jokes
If you want people to know about your funny side, now you can add in some jokes. Say jokes about the groom but not about the bride. Be strategic with your remarks. You can pretty freely ridicule the groom for his quirky behavior, in an affectionate manner. The jokes should be funny and sound respectful to the audience. No shady comments or an inside joke that no one would understand.
Every guest should enjoy listening to your speech. Start with a brilliant opening line that will keep the audience laughing and engaged.
Best man toast examples
Here are a few short examples of jokes and one-liners to give you inspiration for your speech.
A funny best man speeches and jokes
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a very emotional day. Even the cake is in tiers.
To keep your marriage brimming with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up.
[Groom], now that you are married remember that when you have an argument with [bride], always get the last two words in: “Yes, dear.”
“For those who don’t know me, I am [insert name], the best man. Today I worked hard on my look, but [bride] bet me.
[Bride] is a lovely and caring person. We all know she deserved a good husband. Thankfully, [groom] married her before she found one.”
Before I start my speech, let us observe a moment of silence for the 200 salmon, 300 chickens, dozens of roses, orchids and lilies that selflessly sacrificed their lives to make this wedding possible.
[Groom] has just informed me that dinner tonight is charged by head count. So, on behalf of him, I’d like to thank the following people for not coming…
Heartfelt best man speech example
When I first saw [bride] and [groom] together, I knew that one day they would end up getting married. You hear about that spark that’s there between soul mates, that glow that people have when they are meant for each other.
Well, I can tell you that [groom] has been glowing from the day he met [bride] and it’s been amazing to see. She was the one from the very beginning and I can’t wait to see wat the future holds for them.
To the happy couple, I wish you a lifetime of happiness.
Speech for a brother
“Hi, everyone. On my fifth birthday, I wanted a puppy. I got a brother instead. But not that it was any different. Just like a puppy he followed me everywhere. He also copied everything I did. My parents always made me eat extra veggies in hopes he would do the same.
But after a few years, he chose what he loved, landed a great job and found a wonderful woman who I am so stoked to now call my sister. [Bride] you make the most beautiful bride. Thank you for making my brother so happy. Let’s raise a glass to the happy couple!
Now that you have a base template to work from and joke ideas, you can get started on writing a fantastic best man speech. Be yourself, and enjoy it. After all, the couple chose you to be their best man because they love and trust you.