A best man speech can be one of the best wedding speeches on the big day and help guests have a great time if you plan it right. If you’re the best man at a wedding, your speech is your chance to shine. If you’re not sure how to write a best man speech, here are a few tips to create a great speech that wedding guests will admire.
For the best man speech, don’t introduce yourself
First, you probably won’t need to introduce yourself at the beginning, as this is usually done by the master of ceremonies. What you will want to do is write a short introduction for the MC or discuss your background with him or her. Don’t give away too much though — save the good stuff for yourself. If you are introduced, you won’t need to say something like, “My name is _______ and I will be delivering the best man speech today”, as the guests will already know this.
Welcome and thank people
As an opening line, you can welcome guests and thank anyone who has helped with the special day. It’s also customary to thank people who have travelled a long way to participate in the wedding day. People who have travelled a long distance across Australia or from overseas will appreciate the gesture. It will also help break the ice between guests during the reception as they get to know each other.
At some point during the speech, you will want to thank those who have helped you. I usually include this at the beginning after welcoming people, as this leaves the rest of the speech open to talk about the groom and bride, and their future together. Say your ‘Thank yous’ to the groomsmen and any other good friends who helped out. Sometimes you will also want to thank the bridesmaids if they have assisted you in your role as best man.
Once you have the formalities out of the way, it’s time to start talking about the groom in your best man speech. Things to talk about can include when you met and what you have done together over the years. If you have known the groom from an early age, you will have plenty of material to draw from. You can include stories about sports, school and university, travel and other activities.
Include funny stories in your best man speech
The fun comes in when you start talking about the funny and dumb things the groom has done over the years. These stories will make your speech enjoyable and memorable. When including these stories be sure they are appropriate for all audience members. If something is too embarrassing or won’t be appropriate for all guests, it’s probably best to leave it out.
In one speech I wrote, the best man wanted to include some ‘raunchy’ material that some might find embarrassing. To be sure, I double-checked with him and he insisted that this material stay in. After the event, I asked him how it went. He said that the audience loved it. So it always depends on who is in the audience.
Best man speech jokes can be easily found online. It’s a matter of finding the right one that connects to the best man. In one case, the groom was an accountant and I included this for the best man: “Since he’s an accountant, he should make a good lover — because he’s great with figures.”
In one speech for the brother of the best man, I wrote a short section where the best man teased his brother (the groom) in a lighthearted way. It went like this:
Carlo is older, but I am the best man.
Carlo is a good swimmer, but I am the best man.
Carlo has more muscles, but I am the best man.
Carlo thinks he is smarter, but I am the best man.
Carlo is better at fishing and hunting, but I am the best man.
Carlo is good at jujitsu, but I am still the best man.
And not only all of that – I am two inches taller than he is!
In another example, the younger brother was the best man and complained that the groom always cheated and tricked him when they played rock, paper, scissors.
In the end, the type of humour you use will depend on the audience. If you feel some of the guests don’t have a sense of humour, include it anyway to lighten up the speech and wedding reception. It doesn’t have to be a completely funny presentation but you should include some humour.
Highlight the positive
The next part of creating the perfect best man speech is when you talk about the positive qualities of the groom, including what a great friend he is. Looking back on your friendship, think about the groom’s best traits. These could be things like hard-working, determined, reliable, trustworthy and entertaining. Choose a few of these and give examples of why he is such a great friend.
If you know the bride well enough, you can speak about her positive qualities as well.
Following this, talk about how the bride and groom complement each other. These might be opposite personality traits that help to balance them as a couple and things they have in common, such as they both love footy, rugby, camping, going to the gym, etc.
Send them off with best wishes and a toast at the end
At the end of your speech, you can talk about the future. Paint a positive picture of positive things to come, whether it’s travel, career, family or a new home. Don’t forget that it’s an emotional day, so it’s okay to be a bit inspirational as you talk about the couple’s future together.
The final words should be your wedding toast to the happy couple. Before making raising a glass for the toast, ask the guests to fill their glasses and stand up.
Best man speech template
Although I don’t offer a best man speech template, here’s an outline of what is typically covered in the speech and the order it’s presented:
- Welcome guests and highlight any who have travelled a long way to attend.
- Thank anyone who helped you as the best man.
- Discuss your history with the groom — how long you have known each other, memorable and funny stories and things you have done together.
- Talk about the groom’s most positive qualities — this can be hard work, helping others, staying fit, persistence.
- Mention how they both complement each other — this can be things they have in common and how their differences balance each other out.
- Speak about their future together.
- Toast the happy couple.
I have written many best man speeches over the years and will be glad to discuss your specific requirements. Please contact me on 1300 731 955 or use the contact form at the top of the page for a no-obligation discussion. If you are interested, I can provide a quote and timeframe for writing your speech.
For more information and wedding speeches in general, check out our wedding speeches page.