The Dos and Don’ts of Writing (and Giving) a Best Man Speech

how to write a killer best man speech

A best man speech is just as important — if not more, since they traditionally “close out” all of the speeches — as the maid of honor speech! Both play a pivotal role in the wedding reception, and with great power, comes great responsibility. Even the idea of writing a speech can be intimidating, but it doesn’t has to be (and neither does the delivery!)

Stick to the following guidelines, and you’ll have crafted the perfect speech in no time. We even included example best man speeches and formats you can follow, too!

Writing the Best Man Speech

Start With an Attention Grabber

The best man is the last one to speak, meaning you’re likely standing between guests and food or drinks. Make sure they’re paying attention by delivering a memorable one-liner. Don’t forget to mention your name and how you know the groom, too!

Keep the Jokes on the Groom

The last thing you want to do is offend the bride. Since you’re the best man, your focus should be on the groom. Feel free to make a few jokes at his expense (as long as they’re not too personal or brutal!). If your teasing involves any inside jokes or stories that may make the bride’s family grab her and run, then you should probably use humor with general/PG jokes.

SEE MORE: Your Guide to Traditional Wedding Vows

Mention the Bride

Just because you can’t make fun of the bride doesn’t mean she should go unnoticed! Yes, you need to talk about her and the groom as a couple; however, you should also say something specifically about her. This is typically done with a compliment! For example, when did you know she was the one for the groom?

Consider the Audience

Don’t just think about the guest list when you’re trying to come up with jokes. You should keep in mind who’s all set to attend when crafting the entire speech.

Keep it Short

Again, you’re last. If anyone’s speech should be short and sweet, it’s yours! It’s best to aim for anywhere between two and five minutes.

Leave Room for Improvisation

…not a whole lot, but enough that you’re not rushing through your speech so you have time to mention something that happened during the ceremony, or to interact with a member of the crowd.

Delivering the Best Man Speech

Plan Ahead & Practice

This should go without saying, but don’t wait until the night before the wedding to write your best man speech. The same can be said for practicing — the more you rehearse, the better. Start by yourself, and then grab a few friends to act as an audience. If you don’t want anyone to hear the speech before the big day, film yourself on your phone and watch the video to see what you need to fix!

SEE MORE: How to Pick Your Wedding Colors

Only Write Down Highlights

You don’t need to memorize your best man speech, but you don’t want to be looking down the whole time, reading straight from a piece of paper or your phone. Just write down bullet points of the speech’s highlights.

Avoid Overindulging

Though you might be tempted by an open bar upon arriving to the reception, avoid having too many glasses of champagne before you give your best man speech. You might think alcohol will help your nerves, but there’s a very thin line between tipsy and drunk — and nobody wants to hear your slurred ramblings.

Speak Up

…and enunciate!

End With a Toast

It can be hard to end a best man speech. Luckily, your audience will be able to easily tell when your’s is done: after you’ve given a toast.

Sample Generic Toasts:

Cheers!
Here’s to the bride and groom!
Let’s raise a glass to the new Mr. and Mrs.!
A toast to the two of you on your wedding day!
Congratulations to the happy couple!

Best Man Speech Formats

Stage (Description)

Opening Line

Introduction

The Bridge (How you know the groom.)

The Roast

Sincerity

Advice 

Toast

-Speechmate

Welcoming the Guests

How You Met the Groom

The Groom’s Character and Accomplishments

On Meeting the Love of His Life

Well-Wishing and Raising Your Glass to the Newlyweds

-Top Wedding Sites

Opening Line

Introduction

Back Story

The Wedding Day

The Bride

The Couple

Philosophise

Endings

Toast

-The Stag Company

Best Man Speech Examples

Since I have everyone’s attention I’d love to say a few words to this amazing couple sitting right in front of me. For those who don’t know me, I’m ____. ____’s  closest friend and sidekick. We’ve known each other for about 11 years and have been on many adventures together. During that time, I got to know him well and can honestly say, he is the most selfless and stand-up guy I’ve ever met. I am thrilled to be standing here and celebrating him and his beautiful bride, ____.

I am sure this union between two honest and caring people makes you all smile. Let’s raise a glass for everlasting love! Thanks for making us all part of this beautiful day.

-Shutterfly

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Before I begin I just want to say, I asked ____ before I started writing if there was anything I should not say, and he said no. So ____ , this is really his fault. I’d like to start by pointing out that ____ looks radiant today—every bit the beautiful bride. As for ____ … well, my mother always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, right? He tries hard. That’s ____ … trying hard. And his personality…it’s great too. It makes up for everything thats going on up there, in the face area…

Alright, alright let me introduce myself. My name is ____ , and I’ve known ____ since the second grade. I am his oldest, most handsome, most personable, most… ok, ok I’m his friend. And I am honored to be here tonight to sing Josh’s praises. I met ____ when we were both ____ years old. It is not hard to imagine _-year-old ____ — he had the same haircut and that same little smile—the one that says he’s always pleased with himself. When he smiles, its as if he’s thinking back on his many accomplishments. To talk of accomplishments ____ has had many. From ____ to ____. Though ____ is not just an all-star he’s an invaluable friend. He’s the kind of friend who asks you how your day is, and really wants to know. He’s the kind of friend that pushes you to be a better person. ____ is the kind of friend that answers the phone when you’re having one of the lowest moments of your life, and he offers to call you a cab to drive you back to his spot at 3 in the morning, no questions asked. Thank you, man.. As I said, ____ is a man of many accomplishments and ____ is an amazing friend.

Today, definitely speaks to both this qualities. Today counts as one of ____ ’s biggest accomplishments to date—committing to a woman like ____ — as well as committing to devoting all of the friendship and love that he has within him to another person, his wife and best friend.

You have always inspired me to be a better person, ____. Today you lead the way; becoming a man and starting a family. This is too beautiful to be missed. I might just have to move in to your new apartment to keep a close watch.. Seriously, though maybe for like two months…I’m running I bit behind on rent so… (ok, ok we’ll talk about it later). In all seriousness. I wish these two a lifetime of happiness, the kind of deep growth that comes from loving another being not yourself, a life of love and continued imagination. It will be an honor for all of us to witness your journey together.

Lets toast! To this beautiful couple! ___, ___ Congratulations.

-wikiHow

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is _______ and (Groom) is my good friend/brother. When (Groom) asked me to be his best man, he gave me some tips about how to give the perfect best man speech. Most of these tips were completely useless, but one that was useful is to thank the bride and groom and everyone else involved with this event. So let me get that one out of the way now (laughter). Seriously, I do want to thank the lady and gentleman of the hour, (Groom) and (Bride) for asking me to be such an important part of their big day. I also want to thank the entire wedding party, the families of the bride and groom, and everyone who worked so hard to make this day truly special.

I’ve known (Groom) for ________ years and we’ve been through alot together. I could go on and on about all the dumb things (Groom) and I have done in the past, but I’ll save that until later in the evening when we’ve had a little more to drink (laughter). For now, I’d rather focus on the smart moves he’s made, like (list a few of his accomplishments here). As great as those things are though, the smartest move (Groom) has ever made is marrying (Bride). When I first met (Bride), I knew that she was special. (Bride) is (list a few of the bride’s positive attributes here). This is why I know that she is the best thing that ever happened to (Groom).

So please join me in toasting the greatest decision (Groom) has ever made. To my very best friend/brother (Groom) and his new wife (Bride). Congratulations on becoming newlyweds, and may you enjoy a lifetime of love and happiness together.

-My Speech Class

Ladies and gentlemen if I can have your attention for a few moments, I would like to give a toast to ____ and ____. I was a little surprised that ____ asked me to be his best man, after all, he knows how much I love to embarrass him. I’m thinking, “what a great time to leave a lasting impression of who ____ really is” in front of all his closest friends and family. If for some reason you did not know, Mark was chosen as the class clown in high school. He even got his picture immortalized in our class yearbook for this very title. Let me tell you, having ____ as a best friend was very entertaining!

He was always laughing, pulling pranks, and sometimes getting us in trouble (I certainly won’t tell them how we barely made it out of jail because you thought streaking through the grocery store parking lot was a good dare). We all had a bit of clowning around within us, but the one thing ____ always had over any of us was his way of making girls laugh. And I mean really laugh, not just a quick chuckle but downright laugh out loud, spit-up-your-drink kind of laugh. While we were all worried about how we looked to girls, ____ concern was always how to make them crack up. I remember ____ saying “how come you get all the girls and I don’t?” I never had a straight answer for him. Looking back now though, my track record only lasted a few months and for ____? Well, what he didn’t know was that his “clowning around” was preparing him for the show of his life.

When ____ introduced me to ____ I knew she was special. I knew this was who ____ was going to marry. She not only has a very infectious laugh, but she gets Mark to laugh just as much.

They say a marriage can’t truly survive without laughter and I don’t believe there will be a shortage of that with these two. ____, remember when you asked me why you don’t get all the girls? Well, the answer is right there next to you. While you were out figuring out jokes and funny one-liners, ____ was saving up for the greatest show on earth!

If anyone tells you that you’re a bunch a clowns just smile and say….who’s got the last laugh now? Let’s raise our glass to ____ and ____! Here’s to a lifetime of love and laughter! You are both class acts and I am proud to call you my best friends. I love you both very much and thank you for having me here.

To all who were in charge of organizing this awesome night, great job on making this wedding shine. I challenge everyone to a dance-off later tonight.

-Shutterfly

Whatever you end up saying when it comes your turn to speak, be sure to have fun and make the groom proud.

When it’s your time to write a best man speech, don’t worry! This guide will make sure you get through it like a pro.

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