Updated on: Apr 10, 2023
Great News! You were asked to be the best man for your friend or family member’s wedding. This means you are expected to give a speech at the wedding. This can be an extremely daunting task; however, with the right guide of information, writing and giving this speech will be a huge success. We put together some best man speech tips that are all simple to implement. But what exactly are your responsibilities as a best man? We've got you covered with that!
When giving this speech, you might be incredibly nervous. After all, public speaking is the number one fear of the average person with a close second being the fear of death. It is crazy to think that most people would rather die than have to give a speech to others. Regardless, writing a best man speech can be incredibly easy through careful planning and preparation.
Best Man Speech Tips: Writing & More
The best man has one of the biggest jobs at the wedding. Aside from all of the other tasks that are needed for a successful wedding (planning a bachelor party and living it up on the dance floor), he must give a wedding speech. He can give a toast to so many individuals or groups, as well as throw in some humor here and there. As follows are some tips to ensure a smooth speech:
1. Plan in Advance
A crucial starting point for killing the best man speech is preparing in advance. When generating ideas on what to say, get working on a script at least two months before the wedding. As time draws closer, other events will be going on around the same time that may distract you. You mustn't procrastinate on writing this speech.
2. Have a Strong Attention-Getter
Focusing on the first few sentences of your speech will draw the audience toward your message. By creating a strong introduction, the mood will be set for the rest of the speech to flow simply.
3. Use Humor Sparingly and Strategically
When making jokes, only focus on the groom and not on his spouse. It can be extremely uncomfortable to joke with his spouse especially when you are not close to that person.
When picking a certain topic to joke about dealing with the groom, always make sure that everyone in the audience can understand it. Everyone has a quality or characteristic that can be made fun of, but still keep it appropriate. Here are some examples below:
If the groom can’t dance. “When (the groom) and I were back in high school at a dance, I remember everyone gathered around in a dance circle only to see him do the robot and end up falling on his butt.”
If the groom can’t bake. “Living with (the groom) back in college was a great time, especially when we decided to bake something. One time we were making a cake and he mixed up a teaspoon with a tablespoon. Needless to say, we ended up ordering dessert out that night.”
4. Practice Makes Progress
A key component in writing a best man speech is practicing the speech in front of an audience. By simulating the actual event, you are more likely to succeed especially when you practice delivering the speech out loud at least four or five times. Another useful tip is to record yourself with a phone or laptop. Go back and work on better posture, such as slouching, leaning, etc. Asking a friend who is not going to the wedding about feedback could also provide areas for improvement.
5. Write It Down
Having a hard copy of what you are going to say can be extremely resourceful as many groomsmen will read a script right from their phone when delivering a speech. Relying solely on memory could cause problems when actually delivering the speech due to nerves. It may not be necessary to have the full script written out, but even creating small points that highlight the key parts of your speech can help tremendously.
6. Add Variety
Everyone knows those movies that bring some laughter and later down the line make you cry as well having you on the edge of your seat with the action and romance. With your best man speech, that is exactly what you want. This variety will keep the audience listening and make for the most remembered speech for years to come.
7. Be Clear and Concise
By adjusting tone, voice, and pace, you can tailor your speech to the emotions and reflections of the audience. There can be sad parts, happy parts, and humorous parts in your speech, either way, adjust your speech to keep the audience engaged and interested. Furthermore, speak in a clear and loud manner so the audience can understand what you are trying to say. By speaking confidently, your message will come off as more authentic and well-rehearsed.
8. Consider a Backup Plan
If the speech starts heading in the wrong direction or something comes up, it is always possible to congratulate the newly married couple and end the speech. The audience will cheer from this message and the speech can be concluded.
9. Speech Length
The length of the speech can vary depending on the event. If the wedding is an all-day occurrence, a speech or toast can be longer than five minutes. If the wedding is quicker, a speech shorter than five minutes should suffice. However, five minutes is a good starting point when deciding on a time length for your speech.
10. End with a Quote
To wrap up the best man speech nicely and thoughtfully is to use a meaningful quote. A quote is a perfect way, to sum up, your speech and to say how the bride and groom were meant to be together for many years to come.
Best Man Speech Tips: What Not To Do or Say
11. Do Not Talk About This!
Some topics for a best man speech are completely off-limits. They are as follows:
- Past Relationships
- Anything Illegal
- Alcohol and gambling
- Sexual or explicit humor
12. Don't Just Think Humor
Jokes can be a great tool but the wrong tool for any project can lead to more trouble. If you are not a natural comedian then you may just have to stick to one, maybe two jokes. The reason for this is that if a joke is not what they want to hear then the audience's excitement will just go downhill. Do not treat the spotlight as a chance to start your comedy career. You want people to invite you over in the following weeks!
13. Don't Upstage the Newlyweds
Speeches are meant to be remembered but not enough to cover the newlywed spotlight. Make your best man speech about the newlyweds and show your heart but do not steal the show. At the end of the night if the speech is almost forgettable by most people then you have done a great job. Being a star is not on your list.
14. Don't Drink Too Much
Enjoyment is key when giving a speech in front of a bunch of strangers but the point is to not be annoyingly drunk when it is your turn to give the speech. When you are in lack of control, there may be words that can be said that can cause regret later on. Better yet, keep the partying until after the speeches.
Best Man Speech Tips: The Toast
When giving a best man speech, it is common for a toast to be made. Here are some tips about giving a great best man toast as well as the best wedding toast.
15. Keep It Simple
Announce to the audience in the beginning that you will keep things short and sweet as people will want to go back to partying. Just wishing the couple a happy marriage emphasizes this point.
16. Funny Toast for the Couple
During a toast, this can be the right time to tell the audience a funny story about the bride and groom. Not only would this story be interesting to the audience, but it also reminds a couple of a time they shared. You can also be included in this story. Still, the goal is to keep the story appropriate and share some laughs with the new couple and audience.
17. Toast for the Groom
A strong way to start this toast is by telling the audience how honored you are to be the best man. You can then connect this point to how you actually met the groom and the fun times you two shared. It can also be a good idea to talk about how your best friend found his bride.
18. Toast for the Bride
Acknowledging the bride for all the time and effort she put into the wedding will be a sure way to get a cheer. Also, emphasizing the point that she makes your best friend incredibly happy would generate more positive responses. When giving this toast, speak from the heart as it will come off more sincere and meaningful.
19. Thank You Toast
Another way to toast is by thanking the audience for coming to the celebration. By announcing your gratitude to the guests, the bride and groom will also be appreciative of your announcement. From there, you can toast separately to the new couple.
20. Best of Luck Toast
Just wish the couple good luck. Discuss the importance of love and togetherness and how the couple happily portrays these feelings and connections.
Best Man Speech: Templates
Writing and giving a best man speech can be difficult, that is why the following template was created.
- Have a strong attention-getter
- Thank everyone for attending
- Congratulate the new couple
- Make a small joke about the groom
- Read any messages from guests that could not attend
- Quote a famous line or poem
- Propose a toast
21. Short and Sweet Speeches
A quote from Franklin P. Jones says, “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Ever since (the groom) met (the spouse), I saw a fantastic journey about to start.
I know from the love these two share that this ride (the groom) and (the spouse) are going to embark on, is going to be incredible.
Seeing you two together brings joy to everyone around you. May this ride be adventurous and beautiful.
To the newly married couple. Cheers!
22. Heartwarming Speeches
When (the groom) asked me to be his best man, I was so thankful. I knew I had to think of something to say for this special day, but no matter where I looked online, I couldn’t find the perfect words to say about these two amazing people coming together.
When I met (the groom) in our first year of college, I could already tell he was a goofy dude. He made coffee the first day of class and spilled it all over his binder.
We ended up going to the school store later that day to get him a new one. On our walk there, he explained to me how nervous he was to be here. It was our first connection, and little did I know at the time, that we would share many more over the years.
He can now further share those connections with (the spouse). I can see that his nervousness still hasn’t gone away from that time, but now it looks like good nervousness. (The spouse), I see how happy you make (the groom) it reminds me of our last year together at school. Thank you for making him so happy and I know he will continue to smile.
You two really became more than best friends, you are amazing together. I wish nothing but the best for you both.
May your life together be filled with joy and love. This is the official start of something wonderful and I can’t wait to see where life takes you.
Cheers to the newlyweds!
Now you have the best man speech tips to help you through the whole process! Make sure it is tailored to your own situation and good luck! If you found this blog useful, be sure to check out our other blogs at easyeventplanning.com. We can help you with wedding ideas if you're looking for some inspiration or with finding bridal party ideas as well!
Written by Joe Bevilacqua; Contributor: Jack Leduc