The Best Man’s Speech – quite possibly one of the most memorable moments from a wedding reception.
Once your best mate has asked you to do the honour of being his best man, your mind might automatically drift to writing the speech. What do I say? How do I start? How long should a best man’s speech be? Am I funny enough to pull it off?
Don’t worry as WJ are sharing their top tips for writing your best man speech and nailing it!
Top Tips On How To Write A Best Man Speech
Whilst some of you possibly can’t wait to get stuck into revealing all the antics you and your mate have gotten up to over the years, not everyone loves public speaking, and you’re not alone! Traditionally, the best man speech is the most eagerly awaited of all the wedding speeches, but relax – follow our pointers for a brilliant speech that will bring tears, laughter and applause from the whole room…
Start writing two months before the big day
As the date nears, there are lots of events, such as suit fittings and the stag, which could distract you from writing. When an idea pops in your head, make sure to write it down as inspiration can strike at any moment.
Have you known the groom since your school days? Have a think about some stories you might want to include about your childhood. Have a mix of lighthearted, funny and endearing stories about the groom. Do keep your audience in mind. Remember, grandparents and little ears will be in the audience, so nothing too risque.
Keep it short
A best man’s speech should be around five minutes, but no longer than ten to keep the audience’s attention. Traditionally, the speeches will be before dinner so best not keep family and friend’s waiting too long as the room can grow impatient.
Write it down
Memorising is fine if you have a great memory and love to speak in front of a large audience – but for the majority of us, our palms become clammy and our minds go blank. If this is you, then make sure to write your speech down. You can even use small note cards with your key points listed in bullet points so it’s easy to pick up where you left off.
Practice, practice, practice
Of course, the best man’s speech doesn’t have to be a rehearsed, set dialogue but practicing will help to keep your timing on track, your eye contact on point and your nerves at bay. Video yourself on your phone practicing your speech aloud and test out in front of a trusted friend to get a feel for how the speech will go down on the day.
Of course you will want to make a few jokes at the expense of the groom but you don’t want your speech to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. We suggest to keep it clean and, instead of telling any horror stories about ex’s or wild partying antics, tell lighthearted stories of the groom’s character and the time you’ve shared together.
Include the bride
You can never go wrong with a sincere compliment about how beautiful the bride looks! Make sure to include a story about how the groom met the bride, or how happy she makes your best friend and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. A good rule is to start the groom and always end with the couple.
Best Man Speech Structure: The Basics
While every best man speech will be different, it is a good idea to follow a structure to keep your speech flowing. Take a look at a traditional best man speech structure below that sure to keep you on track.
- Begin with an icebreaker
- Introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the groom
- Read out any messages from family and friends who could not be there to celebrate on the day
- Tell funny anecdotes about the groom (at the groom’s expense of course!)
- Compliment the bride
- Praise the bridesmaids
- Raise the final toast to the newlyweds
Best Man Speech: Example Opening Lines
The opening of the best man speech needs to grab the attention of the audience and make them sit up and listen. Open up with a joke to break the ice and offer a little insight into how your speech is going to go. Take a look at some example opening lines below that is sure to raise the roof.
- “I just want to start by congratulating [previous speaker’s name] on their wonderful speech. I always knew it would be hard to follow and I was right, I couldn’t follow a word of it.”
- “I think we can all agree that it’s been a fantastic day. But unfortunately, that ends right here with my speech.”
- “Hi everyone, I’m (your name). I’m here to tell you about (groom’s name) and how truly special, talented, good looking and… sorry mate, I’m struggling to read your handwriting here.”
- “The bride and groom have asked that I don’t share any embarrassing stories, stag do pranks or crude jokes in my best man’s speech… so that’s it from me! Thanks for listening.”
- “We all know [BRIDE’S NAME] is a wonderful woman and deserves the perfect man. Unfortunately, you don’t always get what you deserve.”
- “Gosh, what an emotional day it’s been. Even the cake is in tiers!”
- “Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to celebrate something truly magical. Something so rare and fortuitous and wonderful that it simply must be celebrated. I am, of course, talking about the open bar.”
The Ultimate Best Man Speech Jokes
Whether you’re a skilled public speaker, a natural comedian or a total novice, sprinkling your best man speech with a few of these jokes will really pack a punch.
- “[GROOM’S NAME] was telling me that the amazing meal this evening was charged on a cost-per-head basis, so, on the bride and groom’s behalf, I’d like to thank the following people for not coming.”
- “On their first date, [GROOM’S NAME] thought he’d make an impression, and promised a seven course meal. She was a tad disappointed when it turned out to be a burger and a six pack!”
- “As part of my research, I discovered that according to tradition I am supposed to sing the Groom’s praises and tell you all about his many good points. Well, I’m very sorry but I can’t sing and I won’t lie.”
- “Just some last messages here to read out: one from the Groom’s football team to [BRIDE’S NAME] – ‘apologies we couldn’t all be here today, good luck with [GROOM’S NAME], we found him to be useless in most positions, but wishing you all the best for tonight.”
- “Isn’t it funny how history has a habit of repeating itself? Twenty-nine years ago [BRIDE’S NAME]’s parents were sending her off to bed with a dummy. And tonight they’re doing exactly the same thing again!”
- “Before proposing, [GROOM’S NAME] went to ask [BRIDE’S NAME]’s father for her hand in marriage. He said that it was fine by him, providing he took the hand that had spent 20 years fishing into his wallet!”
If you are looking for some Best Man Speech inspo, then don’t forget to check out 20 Genuinely Funny Jokes For The Best Man Speech.