Best Man Speech: The Ultimate Guide (5 Examples & FAQs)

The Ultimate Best Man Speech Guide (Examples And Templates Included)

Being picked to be the best man is such a great honor. You will feel blessed that the groom has thought of you, and considers you the best man and friend for the job.

But, as the wedding draws nearer, there’s one thing on your mind. No, it’s not the bachelor party… It’s the best man’s speech(see also: Best Ways to End Your Best Man’s Speech). 

As the best man, you will likely have many responsibilities in the run up towards the wedding. You’ll have to try on suits, organize the bachelor party, but the best man speech is the thing that most look forward to, or dread!

Standing up in front of many guests, some of which you may not have met before can be nerve wracking to say the least. It’s such an important task, and a part of the wedding that many guests look forward to. 

A best man speech needs to hook the audience in, reveal some funny stories about the groom, and even the bride, but also wish the couple well, and spread some laughter amongst the audience.

But, you have to do all of this in one single speech that can’t be too long, and can’t be too short! 

So, how can you nail the best man speech? Well, that’s where we come in handy. We can offer you this ultimate guide to creating a best man speech, including tips, structure and examples you can take inspiration from. 

How To Structure A Best Man Speech

Not everyone is gifted with the ability to speak clearly and confidently to a crowd. It can be very nerve racking, and make you anxious to say the least.

If you’re unsure of how to go about planning your best man speech, then we can help you out with this simple structure to follow and keep yourself on track. 

This structure is a sort of guide, you don’t have to use it, but it’s a good idea to follow the structure so you cover all bases when doing the speech.

It can also help you when actually performing the speech, as you’ll know what needs to come next and in which order to go over your stories and anecdotes.

A good best man speech begins with:

  1. An Introduction

Use the introduction to introduce yourself to the crowd. Not everyone will know who you are in the wedding, so it’s a nice way to break the ice and get rid of any awkwardness.

Try introducing yourself with a funny one liner about who you are and how you know the happy couple.

  1. Talk About How You Met/Know The Groom

Next, it’s a good idea to briefly cover how you met the groom, or how long you’ve known each other. You can give a little history of how far back you go, and mention how honored you are to be the best man. 

  1. Anecdotes About The Groom

Here comes the fun part! Now is the time to start telling a funny story about the groom. The emphasis here is on funny and not too embarrassing or gross. Choose two or three short anecdotes or stories, but don’t overdo it. 

  1. Balance Poking Fun With Sincerity

After you’ve had your fun, balance this out by saying something meaningful and sincere about the groom, his qualities or your friendship. 

  1. Briefly Talk About How You Know The Bride

In this section, you can talk about your first meeting with the bride, how she came into the groom’s life, and how great of a match you believe them to be. 

  1. Wish Them All The Best

Finally, wish the couple all the best for their future together with a sincere, caring comment. Then, toast to the happy couple! 

Best Man Speech Do’s And Don’ts

Best Man Speech Do’s And Don’ts

There are definitely a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to speaking at someone’s wedding. You’ll want to keep it concise, funny, but not too over the top jokey. Here’s our recommendations of what to do, and what not to do. 

What To Do

First things first, you’ll want to plan ahead, and write a few stories and anecdotes down that you can remember. Do this for a few weeks before the wedding, so it gives you time to come up with the right memories to share. 

Try brainstorming ideas with other members of the family or bridal party to come up with the best things to share about the groom and his bride. Then, you can narrow down the list and find the most impactful or most important things to talk about.

You should also consider who this speech is going to be said around.

If the groom’s very traditional great aunt or grandma is there, it could be a good idea to avoid any crass, rude stories that could make family members uncomfortable. Save those lines for the bachelor party! 

Do pause for reactions. You don’t want to talk too fast or fly through the speech as those who have laughed at the last line may miss the next one. Always leave small gaps or pauses for reactions, applause or responses. 

Finally, make sure you focus on the couple, not just the groom.

This day is about the two of them. While you are doing a speech because you are the best man to the groom, it is important that you bring in the bride/partner in your speech so that overall you are wishing both of them well on their new adventure. 

What Not To Do

Don’t wing it! You may have some liquid courage on the night, but you need this speech to be a crowd pleaser, so be sure to take your notes and go over the speech in your head just before you have to do it. 

Don’t use foul language, or inflammatory language. You don’t want to cause a dark cloud over the event by offending anyone or causing a scene.

The same goes for mentioning exes (who could well be at the wedding) or bringing up sore subjects during the speech. Keep it fun, lighthearted, and hilarious. 

Don’t use cliches like The groom is like a brother to me. Instead, demonstrate your close bond by telling a story or giving an example of when he treated you like family, and made you feel welcome.

This is far more impactful and will really get the audience involved in your speech. 

Finally, and this is an important one- don’t make it about you. This is not your shining moment, your time will come.

Ensure you’re not talking about yourself too much, and always bringing it back to the bride and groom, because that’s what the audience really wants to hear about.

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It’s a chance for them to see the couple in a different light, from your perspective, not learn everything about you. 

Tips For Writing A Best Man Speech

Example Of Best Man Speeches

We’ve also got some brief tips for writing and performing your best man speech!

  1. Practice before the actual speech
  2. Don’t include inside jokes- they will fall on deaf ears
  3. Keep it short and sweet – don’t go over the top with long stories/memories
  4. Don’t use cringey cliches
  5. Don’t mention exes- even as a joke
  6. Use clean language
  7. Don’t say anything political/inflammatory
  8. Tell a story about the groom and the couple as a pair
  9. Don’t just focus on the groom
  10. Always end on a high – make a nice toast and comment about the couple

Qualities To Talk About In The Best Man Speech

Qualities To Talk About In The Best Man Speech

Throughout your speech, it is important to keep a running theme. If the joke you are telling is unrelated, it won’t have as much drive and impact.

For instance, if you’re talking about the groom’s thoughtfulness, use funny anecdotes that relate to this, and bring it back to that whenever possible.

Some qualities you could discuss are his intelligence, interests (football/golf etc), athletic ability, cooking, resilience, loving nature, sense of humor, clumsiness/mishaps, empathy or compassion.

For example, you could say:

Groom has always had his own sense of humor, and has always been cracking jokes. That’s why when he found Bride, and she laughed at every single one (even the not funny ones), I knew she was a keeper! 

Or: 

Groom has always had a very caring, loving nature. He would do anything for anyone. Except that one time I asked him to water my plants while I was on vacation. He brought all of the guys over to ‘water my plants’! Thanks for that, Groom. Just kidding, Groom is incredibly thoughtful and compassionate towards all who meet him, which is a quality I believe brought him closer to Bride. 

You want to talk about his great qualities, poke a little fun, or share a funny story, but then talk about how these qualities have translated into his relationship with his partner, or how they have brought them closer together. 

Best Man Speech Examples

Example 1

Good evening everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Tom, younger brother and best man of the groom. For those of you that do know me…heeeeeeey! 

I have known Jack for…X years now (your age) and have always looked up to him. He had it all, the career, the intelligence, the sense of humor, and now the girl. Then again, I got the good looks. 

In all seriousness, I have always looked up to my big brother. He’s always had a flair for sports, and genuinely has a heart of gold.

Being the youngest of the two of us, Jack has made me a better man, mainly because of the character building he put me through as a child. Jack would love taunting me by stealing my favorite stuffed animals. 

I cherished my favorite, Mr. Snuggles, until one day Jack told me to come downstairs and see the new toy that our Rottweiler had been given.

I was so excited to see our little furry boy happy and playing with his toy until I realized that Jack had offered up Mr. Snuggles in sacrifice with a huge grin on his face. It was a day I won’t forget. 

Despite the taunting and the terrorizing, Jack has been the man that I’ve always aspired to be. In all of the years I’ve been around Jack, he’s always been tenacious and worked hard for what he wants. And he’s always gotten it.

After asking Jenny out the first time, and she said no, he didn’t give up. He knew she was the one for him! It’s a good thing he has the patience of a saint, as it took another 3 attempts to get the first date! 

With Jack being the older, but not often the wiser brother, he managed to get himself into some mishaps in the past.

When he did finally get a chance to take Jenny out on a date, he turned up at the wrong house, and managed to slip and break his shoulder all in one fantastic, first meeting with the parents.

Smoooth, brother. At least he made it an unforgettable start to their journey together. 

With Jenny at his side, Jack’s clumsy mishaps are less and less. You truly bring out the best in him, Jen. I would say welcome to the family, but you’ve been a part of our lives for some time already, and I am truly blessed to be able to call you my new sister. 

From day one, you’ve fit right in, as you too have taken on the role of teasing Jack just as I wanted. Let me tell you guys, there have been many pranks that Jenny and I have pulled off on Jack.

One time, we hid all of his left shoes, until the confusion nearly drove him to madness…and he had to deliver his board meeting like some kind of two right footed lunatic. 

Other times, we’ve hidden around the house just when Jack is coming home from a long day at the office, to ambush him with Nerf guns until he pleads for mercy! Let’s just say justice has been served for Mr. Snuggles. 

I quickly realized that Jenny and Jack were cut from the same mold. You two are a real example of what it means to marry your best friend, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the two of you.

So everyone, if you could raise your glass…and toast- to the bride and groom! 

Example 2

Show Emotion

Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me already, I am Zach, the best man of James! When James asked me to be the best man I felt like it was such an honor.

Then he reminded me that it’s not just about organizing the bachelor party and I have to actually come to the wedding so…here I am. 

I’ve known James for so many years now, having met him at high school. In those years, it’s become clear what a fantastic friend he is. He’s handsome, kind, brilliant, funny…and sorry (looks at Groom) mate I can’t read your handwriting here. I’ll just wing it. 

Just kidding. Me and James have been through thick and thin. I’ve watched him go from a weedy, awkward teenager to a less weedy, awkward adult!

Britney would probably argue with me over the adult part! James has always had that boyish sense of humor that’s often gotten us into trouble over the years. 

I remember James would always be the class clown in high school. But for some reason, it was always me getting in trouble. One day, I glanced over in class to see James scribbling away on his desk.

He’s probably carving out some obscenity in the wood I thought.

This is why it came as such a shock when later that day it was I who was called into the principal’s office, and as I walked with my head hung in shame to my fate, James smiled wide and proudly.

Little did I know it was my name he had carved into the wood, so I could sit in detention after class!   

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Ever since that day, James and I have been at war with one another to get the other one back! But deep down, I know that James would do anything for me. If I needed someone at 4am, James is that friend.

Despite our differences, I know he’s as good as family to me, and all of the Henderson’s have welcomed me into their home on many occasions, and now Britney gets to have that same privilege. 

Britney brings out the absolute best in James, and has given us an incredible gift in bringing two wonderful boys into our lives. With Britney, James gets someone who is beautiful, smart, caring, and Britney…well, you get James. 

In all seriousness, if Britney gets half as much joy in being married to James, that I have had in being his friend over the years, then she will be incredibly lucky indeed. 

On behalf of all the groomsmen, bridesmaids and myself, I would like to thank James and Britney for having us be a part of their special day. I know how hard you’ve worked to make this a day to remember, and you’ve definitely succeeded. 

I wish you both all of the happiness, joy and good luck in the world, as you take these steps towards your future together. To the bride and groom, everyone! (Cheers). 

Example 3

Hello everyone. My name is Joe and I’d just like to thank John for finally confirming that I am in fact – the best man, after 20 years of friendship. 20 years is a long time.

Just think, back then…Low rise jeans were in fashion, Spiderman was the favorite superhero, and Ben Affleck and J-Lo were together. So really, nothing has changed in 20 years, and the same goes for our friendship. 

If I ever needed building up, or bringing back down to earth, John was the man to do it. He’s always been there for me, through thick and thin. And let’s face it…during the college years, we were more thick than thin!

But, we had each other’s backs no matter what.

I remember one time in college, we decided that reading books and writing our own essays just wasn’t for us anymore. We decided to pay someone to write us an essay, and we would switch it up to pass the class.

From that day on a keen businessman was born- be careful everyone- you’ll probably get a bill for your food! 

It all would have gone swimmingly if John hadn’t forgotten to change the name on the essay, but he never took me down with him!

Since then, I’ve realized what a tenacious person, good friend and loyal individual John was, and it’s an absolute blessing to be up here with you tonight as your best man. 

There is one very important person who is not sitting on this top table with us today, and that is John’s mother, Cathy, who sadly passed away just last year.

I’ve joked a lot about John tonight, but I know that Cathy would be incredibly proud to see the man that you have become, and over the moon of how happy you are today with Mia.

So, if you wouldn’t mind joining me in raising a glass to John’s mom, who can’t be with us today, but is with us in spirit. Cheers. 

On behalf of the wedding party, I would just like to say a huge thank you to John and Mia, for including us in their special day.

It’s been a wonderful day so far, and all Mia’s hard work planning and prepping has truly paid off. John, you just sit there and look pretty. 

In addition, I’d like to thank both Mia’s parents, and John’s dad who have helped make this day extra special for the happy couple, which I’m sure they are eternally grateful for. 

I’d also like to say that the bridesmaids have done an incredible job helping Mia plan the perfect wedding, and for making sure that Mia looks every bit as beautiful as she does today.

They also had the difficult task of getting Mia to the church on time, which if you know Mia is a very big achievement, indeed. 

Finally, I’d like to thank the groomsmen for organizing and completing the best bachelor party Miami has ever seen. I only hope it was the send off John was hoping for before he begins the next stage of his life with Mia. (But I highly doubt it) 

John, I’ve loved being your best friend, and I thank you for bringing Mia into our lives. She’s a beautiful person, intelligent, and brings out the best in everyone she meets. Her only downfall is her taste in men! Just kidding. 

Seriously, I think everyone will join me in saying that we wish you only the best for your future together, and that we all can share one day in a love like yours. Cheers to the bride and groom! 

Example 4

Ladies and Gentleman, I have an announcement to make. If there is anyone here tonight that is feeling nervous, apprehensive, or maybe even a little nauseous at what lies ahead…then it’s probably because you’ve just married Adam. 

For those of you who don’t know who I am, I am the best man, James. There are few words to describe Adam. Handsome, funny, but smart isn’t one of them. You see, Adam was my best man, at my wedding, and boy he did not hold back!

So, as we stand here today, know that my time has come for me to get you back!

Before I start the character assassination that is my best man’s speech, let me just thank Adam and Olivia for having us be a part of this very special day.

I know how much work has gone into making today as great as it has been, so thank you both for pulling it off! To be honest, I never thought Adam would find someone to marry, let alone someone as beautiful and amazing as Olivia!

I’ve known Adam for a very long time, all the way back to when he still had hair! We first met during our studies at X University. At first I thought we had nothing in common, but I quickly found out that we did. We would both likely fail our first year!

Our time at University was one of the best in my life, and I’ve far too many stories to tell you about our lovely Adam here. 

But, as the BEST man, I won’t do to him what he did to me. Instead, I’ll talk about his lovely qualities over the years. First up, is his beautiful singing voice. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the works of Marvin Gaye after he met Olivia.

We quickly banned singing in the shower at our dorm because of all the love songs he would belt out after going on a date with Olivia. To say he was smitten from the start is an understatement. 

And why wouldn’t he be? All those who know Olivia know what a lovely, and caring person she is. She deserves a good husband. Thank god Adam got there first before she could find one! 

Another defining quality that drew Olivia to Adam is his caring nature. We’re incredibly proud of Adam for working as an EMT and helping people every day.

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I’ll never forget the time a few years back during a friendly soccer game where I slipped and fell over on my side, snapping and breaking my ankle.

Adam was at my side within SECONDS…to let me know he caught my fall on video. Emergency Medical Services *Scoff*. Only when he saw the angle of my ankle did his medical training kick in.

All jokes aside, Adam and Olivia have always been there for me, and I them. I’d like to think of them as family rather than friends, and can only hope that continues going forward.

Adam and Olivia…I’ve never met two people more perfect for one another. You are both kind, old souls, and you make each other incredibly happy. So, if you all could raise your glasses with me, and toast to this amazing couple…to the bride and groom!  

Example 5

Example 5

Hello everyone. My name is Kane, and I am the best man, and longtime friend of Rob. I was, however, somewhat surprised to be asked to be the best man, as Rob has never been able to admit this over the years.

At first, I thought this was great. I get to plan a bachelor party for Rob, but then he reminds me I have to write a killer speech that would likely make everyone laugh. 

I had no idea where to start, so I decided to trawl the internet for inspiration. After a few hours, I found some really….really…great stuff. But then I remembered I needed to write a speech, so I got off YouTube. 

I asked friends and family for advice, and according to tradition, I am supposed to sing Rob’s praises and tell you all about his fantastic qualities. Well, sorry to tell you, but I can’t sing and I don’t lie. So that’s out of the window. 

But, Sophia told me I can’t say anything too rude or controversial about Rob. Instead, I can only say nice funny things, so with that in mind, thank you and goodnight all. 

Just kidding. Seriously, Rob is one of the most kind, funny, caring and compassionate people I have ever met. This is a quality that I think brought Sophia closer to him.

His willingness to do anything for anyone, without accepting anything in return is what makes Rob extra special, and a joy to be around. 

In turn, Sophia is one of the sweetest, and funnest ladies I have ever met! We’ve shared many great memories together, with my partner included, as Sophia and Rob are actually our children’s godparents. 

I’ve known Rob for years. We grew up only a few doors apart on our street. I thought there was no kid cooler than Rob. He had all of the best hot wheels, Pokemon cards, and I had a huge crush on his big sister, Natalie *winks at groom’s sister*.

Looking back, I was probably a big nuisance always wanting to go play over his house, but I had some of the best time of my life growing up with Rob by my side. We’ve been there for every big moment of each other’s lives.

Graduation, getting our first jobs, our first cars, and now I get to be here for the biggest day of his life, where he gets to marry the beautiful Sophia. 

Sophia and Rob, your love for each other shines through you. Sophia, I’m happy to step down as I can see that you two are truly best friends, and meant to be.

I can’t think of anyone better to look after my Rob here, and I know he will do everything he can to look after you for the rest of his days. 

Thank you both so much for a fantastic day. If the rest of your lives is half as good as today has been, then you are in for a joyful marriage indeed. Please join me everyone in raising a glass to the newly weds, Rob and Sophia. Cheers! 

Best Man Speech Frequentl Asked Questions

Does The Best Man Have To Do A Speech?

The best man does not have to give a speech if he really does not want to, or if there isn’t enough time because there are other people doing speeches, but it is tradition and expected of the best man to do a speech. 

When Does The Best Man’S Speech Happen?

The best man speech will typically happen after the groom has said a few words. However, every wedding is different, and the bride and groom may organize the day differently depending on how they think the speeches should flow. 

How Long Should A Best Man Speech Be?

A best man speech should be short and sweet, but not too short, and not too long. A happy medium is about 5-6 minutes in length. You don’t want it to be shorter than 3 minutes as it may seem too brief.

The point is to keep the audience engaged, and deliver a few anecdotes, thank the bride and groom, and raise a toast. 

What Should You Include In A Best Man Speech?

There are a few things that you should include in the best man speech. This is who you are, and how you know the bride and groom.

In addition, you need a fun story about the groom and you, and why you think the bride and groom are an excellent match, followed by your best wishes for the couple and a toast to their future together. 

Who Should You Thank In A Best Man Speech?

In the best man speech, you should thank the bride and groom of course, but you can also thank the bridesmaids or groomsmen for their efforts, or say thank you to the parents of the bride and groom, especially if they have contributed a lot to the wedding.

Summary

To summarize, writing a best man speech is not all as bad as it seems.

With this ultimate guide, you’ve got all of the tools you need to succeed, and successfully deliver a hilarious, fun, lighthearted speech that is sure to wish the couple all of the best for the future.

Whether you are looking for examples, tips, what to do, or what not to do, we’ve covered it all in this handy guide.

Now, instead of stressing out about what you are going to say, how you are going to say it, you can look forward to the wedding planning process in the run up to the big day, and most importantly…the bachelor party!

Lisa Plaitt