Best Man Speech Ideas That Work Every Time

best man speech funny
Photo: Bright Bird Wedding Photography

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 an example best man speech and outline you can follow, too!

How to Write a Best Man Speech

While the best man toast will vary for everyone, there are a few universal tips that will help you make a good 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.

Another tip? Avoid mentioning ex-girlfriends. Nobody (especially the bride) wants to hear about them!

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 three 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.

Tips for Delivering the Best Man Speech

Writing a good best man speech is only half of. Now you have to say it! If public speaking freaks you out, this is the time you’ll want to take a deep breath and focus. Which leads us to our first tip!

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 wedding speeches. Luckily, your audience will be able to easily tell when yours is done will a simple toast. Here are a few things you can say:

  • 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!
  • Cheers to the happy couple!
best man toast
Source: Kelcy Leigh

Best Man Speech Outline

Every great best man speech will follow some sort of template. Here is a foolproof best man speech template one that works every time. Remember to keep this short: The perfect speech is only 3-5 minutes long!

  1. Introduce yourself: Self-deprecation, funny vanity, or other humor always works here! You only get one opening line…use it!
  2. Talk bout how beautiful the wedding is, and how nice it is to see the wedding guests and families. Include a note about what a great job everyone involved in planning the wedding did.
  3. Reveal how you know the groom and why he’s a great friend. You can be funny, but don’t turn this into a roast. Be nice!
  4. Tell a relevant story or anecdotes about the groom that can tie into a love-related theme.
  5. Now move onto the bride and how you also knew she was the one for the groom.
  6. End with a lyric, sage advice, or movie quote and toast the couple.

Best Man Speech Example

We wrote this funny yet sweet best man speech using the template above. Feel free to use it and simply swap out the personal details and even movie quote with one that suits you (and your friendship) best:

Good evening, distinguished guests! Well, not all of you…especially not Kenny! I know him too well.

I have to say that this wedding has been truly stunning. Stunning in that Kenny is still standing. But let’s not make this entire best man speech about Kenny. You’re all too good for that.

All kidding aside, this has been the most beautiful and heartwarming wedding I’ve been apart of. And I can only imagine the love and time that has gone into it. But does that surprise anyone in this room? That Tanya and Mark and their wonderful families would deliver anything less? To me, this even just represents not only the love this wonderful couple has for each other, but for those around them.

I first met Mark in Kindergarten. Yes, believe it or not he tried to steal a crayon from me. But I have to say that is the worst thing I’ve ever seen Mark do. He is that good of a guy. I think he really learned his lesson when Mrs. Romaguera put him in time-out, and since then he’s been the kind of friend you can always rely on, through thick and thin. 

Knowing this, I’ve always had a high bar for whom I imagined Mark’s life partner would end up being. Suffice to say when I met Tanya I had a feeling he had found his match. I never told Mark this, but after the first time I met Tanya I predicted they would end up together. Not only does she share many of the same incredible qualities he does—kindness, a sense of humor, a wonderful friend—but they can be blissfully happy with each other, even just sitting around watching romantic comedies. Which, if you know Mark, is surprisingly one of his favorite things to do.

So, I’ll end this almost perfect speech with a quote inspired by When Harry Met Sally—one of Mark’s favorite rom-coms, as he likes to call them—and say: 

“We all came here tonight because when you realize your best friends want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, they want the rest of their lives to start as soon as possible.”

So enough talking. Let’s raise our glasses and toast the wonderful couple, Mark and Tanya. We all love you both immensely. Congratulations!

Best Man Speech FAQ

What order do speeches go at a wedding?

As guests sit down to dinner, whoever is hosting the wedding (such as the parents of the bride or the couple themselves) will give a quick welcome speech thanking guests for coming. Towards the end of dinner the Best Man will traditionally make their speech. It can end there, or the Maid of Honor and other special guests can follow.

What is the best man supposed to say?

If doing a speech, the best man should briefly introduce himself. Then, talk about how he knows the groom and share a funny story if applicable. After that, they can talk about how they felt first meeting the groom’s partner, and how they knew they were a great match. The best man can close the speech with a funny or meaningful quote, then end with a cheers to the newlyweds and wish them a “lifetime of happiness.”

Who should the best man thank in his speech?

The best man should thank the hosts for throwing a great wedding. And if possible, they should also thank the guests for coming.

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  1. says: Marc

    Being asked to be the best man multiple times is a big honor for me. But since I’m not the best at talking, it was hard for me to come up with a good speech. Thankfully, I found some amazing help from John Wilson and Belinda Hamilton, who wrote popular books on wedding speeches.

    When I tried to write my own speech, it didn’t turn out so well. But when I saw a preview of their work, it was way better than what I could do. So, I realized that I don’t have to worry about it. Let the smart people handle it, and I just need to learn from them to avoid making funny mistakes.

    I think I found what I needed here on their website. These authors have the talent to write great speeches, and their books can teach you how to do it too. So, if you’re like me and not very good at writing speeches, I recommend checking out their resources. It’s a way to learn and make sure you don’t mess up the speech.