How to Write Best Man Speech

Are you wondering how to write best man speech? Have you been asked to give a best man speech at a wedding and now you need to write best man speech for your brother or another close friend/relative? You have come to the right place! We have the perfect tips and examples to follow if you are writing a best man speech.

Even the most talented public speaker can get nervous about giving the best man’s speech at a wedding. Being the best man is one of the biggest honors you can receive at a wedding, and you’re expected to give a speech that respects that honor, makes the crowd laugh and cry, and pays tribute to the special couple on the most important day of their lives. The important thing to do when making a best man’s speech is to thank people for being there, describe your connection to the groom, and to make people laugh while avoiding any cringe-inducing comments. If you want to know how to write a moving and memorable best man’s speech, then see Step 1 to get started.

Part 1 Writing a Special Speech

Be yourself and don’t worry about giving some formal speech that doesn’t reflect you. Though it’s important to stick to some conventions, what’s most important is that you stay true to your relationship with the groom — even if it’s a PG-rated version of your relationship. You don’t want to sound too stuffy or like someone who is nothing like you. At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you say some heartfelt words and stay true to yourself.

  • For example, most best man speeches have a bit of humor in them for levity and to get the crowd going. But if this really isn’t for you and making jokes just feels too forced, you don’t have to follow that convention.
  • On the other hand, if you’re known for your humor and sarcasm, you don’t have to force yourself to be overly sentimental. Just a few words of honest sentiment would get the message across without making you feel like you’re faking it.
  • If public speaking is not for you, don’t be nervous about it. You can even make a joke about how much you love public speaking, or about how this is the groom’s way of punishing you/getting you back for that time you made him push your car up a hill.

Keep it short. You don’t want to just say “Cheers” or deliver a one-liner, but you also don’t want to ramble on and on; this day is not about you. Your speech should be long enough to say what you want to say and no longer. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the toast between 2 and 4 minutes; most people won’t have patience for anything over 5 minutes. The groom and bride may even have an idea of how long they want speeches to be, so don’t be afraid of asking them.

  • Though your speech should be well prepared in advance, take a look at the crowd; if people are particularly restless or eager to drink and dance, then you may want to cut out that second anecdote you weren’t sure about.
  • Though it’s typical for the best man and maid of honor to give a speech, there may be other speeches given out there. The father of the bride sometimes speaks, and there may be two maids of honor and thus, two speeches. And maybe even drunk Uncle Bertie will try to say a few words. If there are a number of speeches, then it’s especially important to keep it short so the crowd doesn’t spend all night listening to people talk.

Write and practice your speech in advance. The sooner you get it written, the more time you’ll have to practice and perfect it, which will boost your confidence when you have to get up in front of everybody. Don’t think that you’ll just gather some liquid courage and start spouting things off about the newly married couple. In fact, this is one of the worst ideas you can have, because you may end up saying something you deeply regret or may just completely lose your train of thought. It’s important to be well-prepared in advance so your big speech goes off without a hitch.

  • Don’t be embarrassed about keeping a written version of your speech with you when you go up there during your big moment. Even if you don’t use it as a reference, just having it there can make you feel more confident about not making any mistakes.

Look for inspiration. If you’re really struggling, there’s no shame in going on YouTube and checking out the thousands of great best men speeches that people have videotaped and posted there. You may get an idea that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise when you sit down to write your speech. You can also search for written versions of speeches on-line, or even ask friends or family members who had given those speeches if they can give you a copy of what they’d written or even give you some words of advice.

Part 2 Delivering Your Speech

Stay sober enough to do a good job. Though each wedding is different, the best man typically gives his speech some time during dinner, when the guests are seated and hopefully are able to give their attention to the speaker. This means that a few hours can go by between the end of the wedding ceremony and your speech. There may be a cocktail hour as well as a fair amount of time that goes by before you are called to the microphone. This means that you may have to show some self restraint and not drink too much, or you will risk embarrassing yourself. Once you give your speech, you can let loose a bit, if you like!

  • Remember that people often videotape best man’s speeches. You don’t want yourself looking sloppy on camera for all of eternity.

Ask the audience to give you their attention. You may face a rowdy crowd and may have to hit the tines of your fork against your wine glass a few times, or to wait for people to settle down before you begin your speech. Since the first thing you’ll do is introduce yourself, it’s important that people are listening so that they know who the heck you are and how you’re connected to the groom. Just say something simple like, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like a moment of your time.”

  • Depending on how the reception goes, someone else may introduce you and you won’t have to do this part. But be prepared in advance in case you’re given the microphone and find that your audience isn’t exactly rapt.

Introduce yourself. The first thing you should do is to tell the audience who you are. Though many of them will probably notice that you’re the best man by now, after the wedding ceremony, it’s still important to say who you are and how you know the groom and bride. It’s likely that not everybody present will know you, so you should say who you are, how you met the bride and groom, and how long you’ve known them. Even if you haven’t memorized your speech, try to memorize the opening lines so you can begin sincerely. Here are some easy ways to introduce yourself:

  • “For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Brian, [groom’s name here]’s little brother.”
  • “I’m Jake, [groom’s name here]’s best friend. I’ve known him since the seventh grade, and I’ve known [bride’s name here] ever since their second date.”
  • “I’m Danny, [groom’s name here]’s best friend. I’ve known [groom’s name] and [bride’s name] ever since our freshman year of college. We all lived in the same hall.”

Express gratitude. While it’s traditional to thank the people paying for the wedding, usually the bride’s parents, be subtle. Don’t thank them for “paying for” the celebration, but rather, for helping to make it possible. You can say something about how beautiful the wedding and wedding venue are, and what an amazing time everyone is having. This is a way of thanking the bride’s family for making it possible without being too obvious about it. Just keep in mind that, with the changing culture, often the bride and groom’s family split the cost of the wedding, so don’t short-change anyone who helped make it possible.

  • It’s also nice to thank the guests for being there. You can also thank the bridal party.
  • Optionally, you can also thank the bridesmaids. Mention what great friends they have been for the bride and tell them how lovely they look. You can play this for laughs a bit as long as you don’t come off sounding like a total creep. You can say something about the lovely color of the dresses, how big of a help they’ve been during the wedding, and whatever else you can say that is quick and tasteful.

Make a light-hearted joke at the groom’s expense. A good best man usually shares a joke involving the groom, giving everyone a peek at the groom’s personality. If you want to throw in a classy but funny quote, consider Oscar Wilde’s “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” You shouldn’t be offensive, but you can make a joke about how shy/outgoing/perfection-oriented the groom is. It’s best if it’s a trait that most people can recognize about the groom so people don’t feel like you’re making an inside joke.

  • Remember that half of the people in the room may not know each other. People should be able to find your speech funny and moving without knowing the groom or hearing an excessive amount of detail about someone they don’t know. Of course, if it’s a more intimate wedding and it seems like most people do know each other, then you can go into a bit more detail, if you like.
  • If you’re the groom’s brother, you can joke around about how he used to tease you mercilessly when you were little, or how you used to give him a hard time. You can also make a joke about how not much has changed in that regard.
  • Remember to keep up a nice emotional balance. You should have as many sweet and heartfelt comments about the groom as jokes.

Tell a touching story about the groom. The main part of your speech should be a brief story about the groom and, possibly, the bride. While the goal of the story is to give your speech a more personal touch, avoid dredging up unpleasant details from the past. The story should be able to show why the couple is meant for each other, or why the groom’s personality is perfect for being with the bride. Here are some ways to go about it:

  • Tell a funny story. This will not only break up the formality of the ceremony, but also help endear the couple to the audience. A great way to grab everyone’s attention would be to introduce it by saying “I’m about to let you in on a secret about the groom” or “the groom begged me not to include this story in my speech but I simply had to.”
  • Alternatively, tell a touching story. A particularly appropriate story might describe how the bride and groom met or something sweet that helped move their relationship forward. Since you are the groom’s best friend, this might be a good place to describe how you watched him fall head-over-heels for the bride.
  • If you can’t think of any appropriate stories or don’t know the bride well enough to include her in one, make some observations about love or marriage in general, or about the groom’s feelings for the bride. Even if you haven’t spent a lot of time with the bride, you can make observations about the first time the groom told you about the bride, or what the groom said about their first date.

Avoid mentioning any sensitive subjects. Though you may think it’s funny to make fun of the groom’s annoying ex-girlfriend or to talk about that time he spent a night in jail for public drunkenness, the groom, his bride, and their families will definitely not think this is funny. Your jokes should be harmless and tasteful and should only be slightly edgy if you’re one hundred percent convinced that everyone in the audience, happy couple included, would truly appreciate them.

  • Though you want to choose a humorous anecdote, make sure it is appropriate for everyone; the last thing you want is to come across as humiliating or mean-spirited.
  • If you mention that time when the groom and bride broke off their engagement for three weeks or talk about how much more fun your best friend used to be before he got with his “ball and chain,” then his wife may never forgive you. You don’t want to sever your relationship, or put it in question, over something like saying a few thoughtless words in a speech.
  • Don’t make it a speech about how you first really didn’t like your buddy’s wife and then came around, either.
  • And lastly, do not think it’s funny to insult the venue or the food. Someone shelled out a lot of hard-earned cash for what you might think are tacky Christmas lights or rubbery chicken.

Expand on the groom’s virtues. For example, talk about his loyalty, his compassion, or the fact that you know how much he loves the bride and that he’ll make a great husband. In a way, you can think of yourself as a salesman selling the groom to members of the bride’s family, who may not know him as well as you do. Let them know how much he means to you, how he’s helped you out in the past, or how you couldn’t have gotten through a difficult period of your life without him.

  • You can talk about something the groom did for you. Say something like, “I’ll never forget the time Mark helped me move across the country to follow my dream. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
  • It’s completely normal to find this part a little embarrassing. Just remember that this is your buddy’s day, and no one’s going to laugh at you for getting a little sappy.

Don’t forget to pay homage to the bride. You don’t want to give the impression that you don’t know why this wonderful guy is marrying her. In fact, you can even talk about how much more outgoing/happier/calmer/more laid back the groom has become since meeting his bride. You can say something like, “After Jeff met Mary, his tendency to over-analyze and worry about everything began to disappear…”

  • If you don’t know the bride very well, that’s okay. Instead of saying that bluntly, you can say something like, “Though I haven’t spent as much time with Mary as I would have liked, I could tell right away that she was right for Jeff.”

Give a compliment about the bride and groom’s relationship. This can add a nice touch to the end of the speech, especially if you’ve spent a lot of it poking fun at the groom. There are a number of ways of complimenting their relationship, from talking about how compatible they are, how they work together as a team, how they really balance each other out, or how you can tell just by looking at them that they are completely in love.

  • Say something like, “Even when Mary and Jeff are on the opposite side of a room, you can feel them looking out for each other. They don’t have to be glued together to have such a strong, incredible bond.”
  • You can also make a comment about how much you admire their relationship and have always looked for a love as strong as theirs (if you’re single). If you’re married, you can share some thoughts on marriage and why the groom and bride are a great match.
  • You don’t have to overdo it and say they are a perfect pair, meant for each other, soul mates, or the like, if you don’t really feel that way. You can mention the strengths of their relationship without making it sound too forced.

Wrap it up with a quote. Though you don’t have to use a quote, they can serve as nice bookends between talking about the groom and bride and proposing a toast. You can search for inspiration on-line or use a commonly loved quote about marriage, such as the words, “Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.” You can even relate the quote to the bride and groom, if it’s possible.

  • Don’t force yourself to do this unless you find one that’s really fitting. There’s another one that goes, “Marriage isn’t about looking at each other. It’s about looking outward in the same direction.”

Propose a toast. Wishing the couple the best in their lives together is the most important part of the speech. This should wrap up your speech and bringing everyone together. Raise your glass of champagne and will the other guests to toast to the happy couple. You should ask the guests kindly to join you in raising their glasses, and to wish the best for the newlywed couples.

  • You can say something like, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to propose a toast to Mary and Jeff. May they have years of joy, happiness, and health ahead of them.”
  • You can also say something like, “Here’s to a lifetime of happiness for Mary and Jeff.”
  • If the bride took the groom’s last name, you can propose the toast to “Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.”


If you are the Best Man for your brother, relative, or friend’s impending wedding, you must step up to the plate and deliver a best man speech. Your key duty is to entertain the bride and groom, along with the rest of the wedding guests, while also warming their hearts with sweet memories of your brother, relative, or friend .

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