Last Updated: Oct 12, 2018
You’ve been chosen as the best man. Congratulations! It’s a great feeling to know that your friend or relative wants you to take part as his right-hand man in one of the best days of his life.
One of the most important duties as best man is the best man speech. Traditionally the speech is given during the reception before the guests eat. Whether you are great with public speaking or a little intimidated by standing in front of a large group, we have all the tools you need in order to be best prepared, so don’t sweat it.
The Do’s and Don’tsFor Preparing Your Best Man Speech
Don’t wing it.
Find a time a couple of months before the wedding to think about the things you want to talk about and write an outline. Most likely you’ll get caught up in best man activities with the groom and it will leave you with less time as the date approaches.
Do write a great intro.
The intro is the most important part of the speech because it grabs the audience’s attention. Try a funny one-liner, a story about you and the groom or even a compliment to his lovely new wife.
Don’t bring up past relationships.
Not only is it disrespectful to his wife but his wife’s family will also be there and will not want to hear about the groom’s litany of ex-girlfriends.
Do have a plan B.
Make sure you have the speech written down or outlined and have some jokes or points to cover if you are facing a tough crowd.
Don’t make negative jokes about marriage.
Even if you and the groom have an inside joke or if you have negative ideas about settling down, the audience doesn’t need to know. Also, don’t use curse words at any point during the speech, as you don’t know who in the audience you might offend.
Practice makes perfect. Going over the speech several times will ensure that you are comfortable with what you are saying and it will sound more natural. Pro tip: record your speech on your phone’s voice memos and play back.
Don’t talk about the groom in compromising situations.
So you’ve seen the groom embarrass himself but you should keep that to yourself. You don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or upset his wife.
Do congratulate the couple.
Make a toast, congratulate them and say what your wishes are for them in their new life.
Don’t make it longer than 7 minutes.
Although speeches are a fun part of the reception, making it too long can bore the hungry guests. If it’s a casual reception keep it to about three minutes, for a more formal setting seven minutes is more than enough time.
Do thank the guests.
As the groom’s right-hand man, make sure you thank everyone who attended and even the people working the event. It’s a nice gesture that will be appreciated.
A Simple Best Man SpeechOutline
If you want a speech that is short, sweet and simple that is perfectly acceptable as well. This works well for smaller wedding receptions, weddings that will have more than two speakers or those that are a little more private. Following these simple steps will ensure a great and memorable speech:
- Opening line
- Introduce yourself
- Talk about groom/Compliment bride
- Propose a toast
- Thank the couple
Short and simple speech
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 Ed. Mike’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, Linda.
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.
Best Man Speech Template
Typically, a best man speech should last about 4-7 minutes depending on the party. While short and sweet is welcomed, a best man speech can also include more details such as how you know the groom and the bride, funny jokes, heartfelt stories and your well wishes.
Whether you want your speech to make the crowd laugh or shed a little tear, you may be wondering how to get started. We’ve pointed out several tips in our template below. Remember, a speech should always come from the heart.
How to Write the PerfectBest Man Speech
1Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It’s lovely to see some familiar faces. On behalf of the gorgeous bridesmaids and not so gorgeous groomsmen, we’d like to thank you all for coming. 2It’s amazing to see how far people will travel for free cocktails.
3For those who don’t know me, my name is Adam. I am the best man and Sam’s very best friend. It’s an honor to be here and to be part of such a beautiful event. 4I met Sam 20 years ago. We grew up together as neighbors in San Diego and attended the same school all throughout college. 5He was the nice kid on the block who would go home and do his homework while all of us were out doing, well, the things we shouldn’t be doing. Can you believe it took me two months to convince him to toilet paper Mrs. Carter’s house? Mrs. Carter isn’t here, is she?
Luckily, as we grew up, he started making better decisions; one of them being this very special day. He is marrying his best friend 6and the most beautiful girl he’s ever laid eyes on. Sarah, he said this to me just the other night and I promise no more than three drinks were involved.
7When Sam introduced us to Sarah, we knew right away she was the one. For starters, she made him get rid of that horrible, beer-stained couch that he had since college. That alone got our stamp of approval. But mostly, we saw how happy she made him and how every time he talked about her, he would have a huge smile. We started seeing a little less of him, but that’s okay because we were getting tired of buying his drinks anyway.
For that reason, and the reason we are all here today, 8I’d like to raise a glass to Sam and Sarah. May you have the life you always dreamed of, continue to fight over the remote and cherish making beautiful memories together. Find joy in the small things like Portlandia and expensive coffee and may sparks continue to fly forever. 9Thank you guys for allowing me to be part of this special day and for trusting me not to ruin this beautiful moment (phew!). I’d also love to give a huge thanks to the staff who have helped make this night memorable.
10Cheers, everyone! Continue to have a great night and come hang out with me on the dance floor.
Always address the audience and welcome them.
A quick opening sentence to welcome guests helps everyone feel at ease.
Throw in a silly joke.
A wedding should be fun and enjoyable. A joke will help to break the ice.
It’s best to not assume that everyone knows who you are. A short and simple introduction will allow everyone to get familiar with the wedding party.
Talk about how you know each other.
Whether you are a relative or friend, talk the audience through how you got to be a special person in the groom’s life.
Talk about groom’s personality.
Use this time to make a joke about the groom or share a sweet sentiment. Mention any sports, skills or funny stories that people will appreciate.
Compliment his bride.
Acknowledging the bride is a must, especially because she makes the groom so happy. A mention of her dress, personality or the first time you met her is ideal.
Talk a bit about them as a couple.
Share things you like about them as a couple. It helps the audience get to know their dynamic a little better and it will make the couple smile as well.
Give a toast.
Raise a glass and cheers to the new couple. Including a bit of tradition makes the speech much more special.
Thank the couple and staff.
Everyone spent a lot of time preparing for the special day. Make sure to thank the couple for allowing you to be part of it and the staff for making it all happen.
This closing allows for any sort of instruction such as dancing, dessert or simply to tell them to enjoy the party.
Best Man Speech for Brother
Good evening, hope everyone is having a good time tonight. I feel very privileged and honored to be standing here tonight celebrating this lovely union. Two years ago, Matt gave the best man speech at my wedding and made a lot of awkward jokes. So needless to say, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a really long time!For those who don’t know, I am Matt’s brother, Mike. I first met Matt when I was two years old at our parent’s house in Boston. To be quite honest, I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted a sister. And I think he knew because Matt would do ridiculous things like throw my toothbrush in the toilet, pour water at me when I was asleep and run across the room naked when I had any friends over. This made me less popular than I already was.
Matt always excelled in school, was captain of the debate team (apologies to Cara, but he can argue his way out of anything!) and can make a mean steak. The truth is, despite him being an annoying brother at the time, I came out winning in the end. Because of him and this beautiful night, I am getting the sister I always wanted. Cara, you’re beautiful and our family loves you so much. Thank you for making my brother so happy.
Let’s celebrate this amazing union and raise a glass to the newlyweds! On behalf of the groomsmen and bridesmaids, we’d like to wish you a life full of love, happiness, and joy.
To everyone who made tonight happen, thank you. You’ve made this night very special.
Sentimental Best Man Speech
If I can have your attention everybody, I’d like to say a few words. Thank you all for being here to celebrate this lovely couple. Now I would like you all to take out some tissues, because you are going to need them after this.For those of you who have not met me I am Rich, Joe’s best man. Rich and I have known each other for over 30 years, we met when we were both just two years old. We lived on the same street and our mothers were friends so naturally we also became friends.
I am an only child so Joe was like a brother to me. We became inseparable. We played in T-ball together and then graduated on to baseball throughout high school. When we weren’t throwing the ball we were skateboarding, watching movies or challenging each other in video games.
Joe was always hanging out at my house and I grew up thinking he was just part of the family. I remember asking my mom why Joe never goes home and mom would always say “Rich, Joe is the brother you never had, take good care of each other.”
What my mom didn’t tell me at the time was that Joe’s mom was really sick and his dad worked double shifts just to stay afloat with all the medical bills. So, having Joe around was our way of helping out.
Even though we were only in high school, Joe made it very clear that he wanted to have a wife and family of his own. His mother’s death at such a young age was really challenging and in some ways, he learned to cherish the women he had in his life more.
He knew he wanted a strong, nurturing and kind woman to be his wife. When Joe met Sarah he almost broke it off with her because he was afraid of losing her. I remember Joe coming to me and saying, “I’m in trouble, I’ve met the one but don’t know what to do.” “Scared is good”, I said, “It means you won’t mess this up”.
Sarah’s greatest strength comes from losing her father to cancer at a young age. When Joe and Sarah met, their commonalities bonded them immediately. Both missing the connection with their parents and understanding each other’s experiences brought them very close. I’ve never seen two people more meant for each other. From the moment they met in college, there has been an incredible and magical bond.
When I look at both of you I can see how your experiences have led you to one another. It’s as if your parents were orchestrating this all along. Even though your parents are not here with us tonight, they are in spirit and will continue to guide you in the right direction and are so very proud of you.
As we all gather here to enjoy this dinner tonight, I’d like to make a toast to Joe and Sarah. Two souls meant to meet and fall in love. I want you to know that mom misses you hanging out at the house and she told me to tell you that you are always welcome in her home.
Joe, thank you for being my friend and brother all these years. You are the very best friend a guy could ever have and I love you so much.
Sarah, Thank you for loving this great man and for taking Joe to be your husband. I know you both will take care of each other and keep the memories of your parents alive together.
Now that our napkins need replacing, I’d like to thank all the staff and event coordinators for taking care of this beautiful event.
Cheers to everyone, enjoy your night and if you have a chance, come find me and say hi.
Funny Best Man Speech
Ladies and gentlemen if I can have your attention for a few moments, I would like to give a toast to Mark and Melissa. I was a little surprised that Mark 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 Mark 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 Mark 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 Mark 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, Mark’s concern was always how to make them crack up. I remember Mark 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 Mark? Well, what he didn’t know was that his “clowning around” was preparing him for the show of his life.
When Mark introduced me to Melissa I knew she was special. I knew this was who Mark 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. Mark, 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, Melissa 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 Mark and Melissa! 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.
Hopefully these tips will have you on your way to writing a heartfelt speech. If you still need a little more inspiration, don’t forget to check out our wedding quotes. These are great to incorporate into your speech, write in a card or simply share as advice to the newlyweds.