Rock Your Best Man Speech Using Our Expert-Approved Advice
Pat yourself on the back—you're the best man. It's a good feeling when one of your loved ones asks you to be their right hand for the wedding. Beyond the fun best man duties, like planning an epic bach party, you'll have to give a rousing best man speech. We believe it's arguably the most meaningful duty, but don't let that get you nervous. Whether you're a public speaking pro or have only delivered speeches while on the eighth-grade debate team, boost your chances of making your best man speech a hit by using our helpful tips, ideas and examples for inspiration.
In this article:
Printable Best Man Speech Template
Delivering a best man wedding speech doesn't have to feel like a chore. Use the template below as a checklist while you're writing your best man speech.
How to Write a Best Man Speech Outline
We're guessing the thought of crafting a flawless best man speech from scratch feels pretty overwhelming right about now. Start by drafting a bare-bones outline (trust us, drawing up a rough outline is way more palatable than writing a fully fleshed-out speech). You don't need to include every element in your wedding speech. Instead, customize it to fit the couple, the event and your relationship with the groom.
1. Have a killer opening line.
Successful best man speeches always start with a good opener. Introduce yourself and explain your connection to the happy couple. Have fun with this part by sharing a quick joke or quoting a poem so your speech doesn't start off stale. For example, "Hello everyone! For those of you who don't know me, thank you so much for coming to my wedding. [pause for laughter] Sorry about that...I'm a little nervous."
2. Thank the other speakers.
Once you address the audience, give props to the previous speaker to help lead into your speech. If you know your speech has a sillier sentiment, now's your chance to warn your audience in the change of direction. Here's an example: "Let's give it up to the amazing speech given by the wonderful maid of honor. If you enjoyed how thoughtful and sweet her speech was, you better get the tissues ready for this one!"
Next, express your gratitude to the couple's parents. Thank the couples' parents for not only raising incredible adults and, if they helped pay for the wedding, for hosting such a great party. Here's an example: "I'd like to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to the couples' parents for raising such amazing people, who I'm fortunate to call my best friends. I would also like to thank their parents for hosting such an awesome celebration for all of us to enjoy this evening."
3. Say a few words about your friend's new spouse.
Another writing a best man speech tip is always to give a special shoutout to the new spouse so they feel welcomed and included. Yes, we know you most likely have a closer relationship with the groom, but don't let that stop you from showering them with kind words––it's their big day too. Talk about the qualities you like about them and why you love them in the groom's life. Try this, "I'm so happy [Spouse's Name] fell in love with [Groom's Name]. Firsthand I've seen the grace, intelligence and confidence [Spouse's Name] has, which explains why [Groom's Name] knew he wanted to marry [Spouse's Name] after their first date."
4. Share personal stories.
What's going to make your best man speech stand out are personal stories. We suggest adding one or two anecdotes, like your favorite memories with the groom (and their partner, if you want). Avoid choosing a story that rambles on and has no sentimental or funny ending—keep it lighthearted and short. Here's a silly example, "I remember when we first met in first grade. [Groom's Name] had just glued his hand to his face but still used his free one to shake my hand and ask if I wanted to be his friend."
5. Talk about the couple's relationship.
This is the time to speak about why the groom and their new spouse are a great couple. Share how they first met and how their relationship has grown so other guests can get a better insight into the newlyweds. If you helped the love birds meet, say something like this in your best man speech: "I know I said earlier I'm the best man, but I lied. I'm actually Cupid because I'm the one who introduced these two eight years ago."
6. Propose a toast.
Finally, close out your best man speech with a heartfelt toast. Ask everyone to raise a glass and provide well wishes to the newly married couple. Steal this wedding toast: "Everyone, please join me in raising a glass to such a wonderful couple. I wish you a lifetime of peace, love and happiness. Love you guys!"
Find your kind of venue
Best Man Speech Examples
Now that you know how to write the outline, let us provide you with some inspiration. Here are four best man speech ideas for every type of delivery.
Short Best Man Speech Example
Short best man speeches can make the grade just as much as long ones. Try this short but sweet example.
As the poet, Dante once said, 'A great flame follows a little spark.' When [Groom's Name] met [Spouse's Name], there was a little spark. I know because I talked to him the next day.
From the way he talked about [Spouse's Name], this stranger he chatted up at a Halloween party, I could tell this spark was something special.
You two are fantastic together. May the flame burn long, and may sparks continue to fly. Cheers to the newlyweds!
Funny Best Man Speech Example
Funny best man speeches are our favorite. You get to show off your comedic skills while giving loving well-wishes to the happy couple.
Hello! For those who don't know me, I'm [Your Name], the best man. I've known [Groom's Name] since middle school, which means that it was before we learned mullets weren't a good look for either of us.
[Groom's Name] and [Spouse's Name] told me there are some topics I should avoid in this speech so…[Look through cue cards, then shake head and dramatically drop them all to the floor but one.]
[Reading from the remaining cue card] [Groom's Name] is really the best friend I've ever had. He's done so many wonderful things it would be difficult to name them all. Hey, [a Groomsman's Name], I can't read your handwriting here!
But seriously, it's all true. This guy is a great friend, the best I've got, and I'm very proud to stand by his side today.
[Spouse's Name], I was hoping to be the best-looking person in the room today but obviously, I failed miserably. You look beautiful and radiant. I'm beyond happy for the two of you.
May you always find joy in the little things, like your Xbox and 'Star Wars.' Oh wait, that's my personal goal. You should actually find joy in each other, and do everything you can to have a lifetime of happiness together. Let's toast the newlyweds!
Best Man Speech for Brother Example
Need best man speech examples for your brother? Use our speech below as a guide to delivering a sweet message to your older or younger brother.
On my fourth birthday, my parents got me a brother…I wanted a puppy.
But seriously, as a kid [Groom's Name] wanted to do everything I did. He used to follow me around. He used to sneak into my room and play with my Matchbox cars. Our parents could get him to eat his broccoli by making me eat my broccoli.
It wasn't until after I went to college that he started going down his own path. He started doing volunteer work. He found a job he loves, a pretty killer apartment and, of course, he found [Spouse's Name].
[Spouse's Name], you're the nicest person I've ever met, and my brother is so blessed to have someone like you in his life. Thank you for being there for him.
I'm so happy you two found each other especially because I'm gaining a sister today. Oh, and I want to set the record straight. I'm glad I didn't get a puppy that day. I love you, little bro.
Congratulations to both of you. I wish you lots of laughter, love and joy as a married couple. Cheers to the newlyweds!
Best Man Speech for Best Friend Example
For those who need a best man speech sample for their best friend, we got you covered. Here's how to tell your BFF you're happy for them on their special day.
Good evening, everyone! I'm [Your Name], and I'm extremely honored to call myself [Groom's Name]'s best man. Also, please excuse the puffiness under my eyes, I've been happy crying since before the ceremony.
I first met [Groom's Name] while working at a pizza joint called Domenica's while in college. I hated being a server with all my heart, but whenever [Groom's Name] and I were scheduled together, it made it so much more bearable.
We laughed until we cried, ate hundreds of garlic knots and I can't tell you the amount of times we accidentally got pizza dough stuck to the ceiling during our pizza toss competitions. But even after we both quit and moved on to bigger and better things, we still kept in touch and I'm eternally grateful.
One of those bigger and better things was [Spouse's Name]. [Groom's Name] really discovered the perfect piece to his puzzle. [Spouse's Name] laughs at his bad jokes, listens to his long monologues about Batman vs. Superman and most importantly, loves him no matter what. [Spouse's Name] is a phenomenal and caring person who deserves the world, and I know [Groom's Name] will do everything he can to give it to them.
Thank you both for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful wedding, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for you in the future. Love you guys, and cheers to the handsome couple!
Best Man Speech Tips
Good news! We got how to give a best man speech tips from Dominic Bliss, wedding writer and author of Being the Best Man for Dummies. Study up on these helpful pointers below to minimize pre-speech jitters and ensure a smooth delivery.
The first tip in our guide on how to write a best man speech is to get started in advance. (As in, do not procrastinate.) "Start writing a best man speech at least two months before the wedding," Bliss says. "As the wedding nears, there are lots of events—suit fittings and a coed shower, perhaps—that could distract you from getting your writing done." Brainstorm and write down any stories, jokes or best man speech quotes you want to include. The more time you have to prepare your best man speech, the better. This way, you'll be able to be fully present at upcoming wedding festivities.
Whether the wedding guests are strangers or family, it can feel nerve-racking to deliver your best man speech with all eyes on you. To ease the awkwardness, provide anecdotes and stories about your relationship with the couple. Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia, and the guests get to know you better.
With that said, stay true to how you normally act while making your speech. There's no need for you to change who you are for some made-up public speaking persona. If you feel more comfortable cracking jokes throughout your speech, do it. If you are better at being sentimental and don't mind leaving everyone misty-eyed, take that approach. Remember, the couple chose you to speak at their wedding because they felt you could add something special to their big day. As long as you deliver a heartfelt speech, the newlyweds and guests will love it.
Know what topics to avoid.
There are a few topics to omit from the best man speech. No matter how funny you (and even the groom) might think they are, someone is bound to be offended or put off if you mention:
- Negativity about marriage in general.
- Past relationships.
- Previous marriages/divorces.
- Drinking, drugs, gambling.
- "Adult" humor or any other mention of sex.
After all, your best man speech should celebrate the newlywed couple and their love rather than causing future friction. Keep it PG.
Consider adding jokes.
If you want to deliver a funny best man speech, consider poking some fun at the groom. "Every groom will have some funny characteristic or quirk you can ridicule," Bliss notes. "As long as it's something everyone can appreciate, it's sure to get a laugh. Avoid obscure references or inside jokes. You want older guests and those who don't know him well to see the funny side too." Be strategic about your jokes too. You can make jokes about the groom but leave their new spouse alone.
Write it down.
Even those with a great memory will feel more confident with a written speech or at least a few bullet points to keep them on track. Nerves can mess with your memory, so don't think you're a failure if you have to bring notes with you. (Even CEOs do this at corporate events.) Bliss suggests using small note cards instead of a sheet of paper since they "won't flap around."
And yes we know many groomsmen will want to read off their cell phones out of convenience, but wedding planners recommend against it. The lighting from your phone screen can ruin the wedding photographer's photos and can be distracting to guests. Practice writing down your speech instead—it's quite soothing.
Practice with an audience.
This tip is a must when it comes to writing a best man speech. Even if you think you have this whole thing in the bag, practice delivering your wedding speech aloud at least three times. When you're by yourself, take a video and watch the playback to get a feel for how your speech is going. (Do you say "um" between every sentence? Are your gestures a little robotic?) If your friends can't offer critiques in person, "send [the video] to a close friend who won't be going to the wedding and who can give you honest feedback," Bliss recommends.
Finally: don't mumble. A great best man speech becomes boring if it's monotonous or guests are straining to hear you. Speak confidently and slowly.
Best Man Frequently Asked Questions
If this is your first time giving a best man speech, you might have a lot of questions. Here are answers to the top wedding speech inquiries.
How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?
In general, the best man speech length should be at least three minutes, but no more than five minutes. This is enough time to say something meaningful before guests get too antsy. Of course, you should adjust your speech length to the event. If you're speaking at a last-minute wedding, it might require a brief speech, while a formal affair could call for a longer toast. But you might also be wondering, "how many words should a best man speech be?" We suggest between 700 to 1000 words.
How to Start a Best Man Speech
Begin your speech by addressing the audience and thanking them for attending the wedding. Here's an example, "Hello, everyone. On behalf of the newlyweds, I want to thank everyone for attending this amazing celebration." You can even butter up the crowd by saying how lovely everyone looks this evening. Then, introduce yourself and how you know the groom or couple. This is a great opportunity to add a funny story or memory you have with them that can lead you into the rest of your speech.
How to End a Best Man Speech
Raise your glass and offer a toast wishing the couple a lifetime of happiness, excellent health and success. Your toast can include one final joke or be a marriage quote from your and the groom's favorite movie. Either way, take this chance to sincerely express the newlyweds well. Remember, concluding the speech is the easiest part.
Does the Best Man Have to Give a Speech?
It's not required, but it's expected that the best man gives a speech—especially if the other honor attendants are giving one. If speaking in public makes your stomach turn, consider showing your appreciation for the couple in a different way. We've seen best men do upbeat choreography, sing the couple's favorite song or even present a wedding video they made.
When Does the Best Man Give His Speech?
Following the traditional wedding speech order, the best man speaks after the maid of honor and is the last speech during the reception. There's no need to use this itinerary since the speech order depends on your reception timeline and wedding party size. The to-be-weds might even ask you to deliver your speech during the rehearsal dinner, which most likely will be in front of a smaller audience (score!). Before the wedding and during, double-check with the couple to ensure you know when to give your best man speech so no one has to hunt you down when it's your turn.