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Best Man Speech Examples, Template Ideas [2023]

If you’re planning on giving a best man speech, it’s important to have some ideas in mind. When it comes to giving a best man speech, there are a lot of things you need to think about. What should the speech be about? How long should it be? What should the tone be? In this post, we’ll take a look at some examples of best man speeches, as well as some template ideas you can use to create your own.

Here are some examples of best man speech templates that you can use as a starting point.

Best man Speech Examples, Template Ideas, Jokes, and Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to your best man speech structure, here’s a few house rules we recommend you stick to…

  • Have a killer opening line and introduce yourself as the best man
  • Thank the other speakers (the father-of-the-bride, the groom, etc.)
  • Make a joke about the groom, or tell a short, funny story about him
  • Compliment the bride
  • Congratulate the happy couple
  • Read messages from guests who couldn’t make it, if there are any
  • Propose a toast to the bride and groom

Tips for Writing a Best Man Speech

Use these tips to help you write your toast as the best man! These best man “do’s” will lead you to a successful best man’s toast.

Make It Personal

Everyone loves to hear a speech that comes from the heart. Whether it’s a story about how you met the groom, an inside joke, or even an awkward moment, a best man speech is a great opportunity to show how well you know the groom and why he chose you as his best man. One problem many people have with speeches is not being themselves.

When giving a speech, even if it’s just in general, don’t try to be someone you’re not. So, if you are not usually the comedian on the team, save that for another time. If you don’t have any special stories about the groom, don’t push it. Our best advice is to speak directly to the bride and groom in a way that is more like a conversation than a formal speech.

Take Your Time

In presentations, people often speak very quickly and feel that even the slightest pause or stammer can last a long time. The truth is that the audience’s sense of time is very different from the speaker’s sense of time.

Before you start speaking, take a deep breath, control your heart rate, and be yourself. Less than three minutes may seem a bit short, while more than five minutes is pushing the upper limit.

Find a pace and rhythm that works for you. No one expects you to tell the groom’s entire life story in three to five minutes, so focus only on what is meaningful to his wedding.

Even though there may be many stories between you and your groom, your best bet is to choose one or two and spend most of your time on those stories. The details provide a lot of great context for stories that others may not be familiar with and make the presentation more interesting for everyone.

Use Humor (Carefully)

Jokes and wisecracks are commonplace in many speeches, especially in best man speeches. Let’s face it, despite the festive occasion, weddings can be nerve-wracking. Having to speak in front of a large group of people, some of whom you may have never met before, is a legitimate reason for a little anxiety.

However, a well-timed joke or funny story will not only wake up your audience, it will also give you a chance to settle down and relax as you continue your speech.

The tricky part of using humor in a best man speech is that you risk crossing the line. A good rule of thumb is to stay fairly conservative in the comedy department. Save the raunchy stories from the bar with your friends. At a wedding, you are speaking in front of your mother, father, siblings and sometimes children.

Speak to Both the Groom and the Bride

As the best man, you have a deep friendship with the groom. Hopefully, you also maintain a close relationship with the bride, but this is not always a given. In any case, it is important to speak to both the groom and his bride during your speech.

It’s okay to focus primarily on your friendship with the groom, but be sure to get back to the bride and their relationship. The wedding is about the bride and groom as a couple, so you should address them both!

If you don’t have a good relationship with the bride, try talking about how happy she makes the groom or how you can see that they complement each other.

While you may be the groom’s best friend and have endless stories to tell, the main relationship to focus on is the one between the bride and groom. Happy wife, happy life doesn’t just apply to couples.

On a bride’s wedding day, the last thing she wants is an eccentric best man making a spectacle of himself. Plus, as the best man, the groom’s new wife will likely be in your life for the foreseeable future, so it may be wise to get on her good side early on.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

After you’ve written your speech, practice saying it out loud! The more you practice, the better you’ll do on the big day.

Practice giving your speech to friends, other groomsmen or even in front of a mirror. This will help address areas you may be fumbling with, improve your timing, and give you more confidence when it comes to actually doing it.

What Not To Do In A Best Man Speech

There are a few things you should avoid in your best man speech. Keep these “don’ts” in mind while writing your best man speech to avoid offending anyone or misspeaking!

Beware of the Bride

Whether you are a good friend of the bride or not, or even if you are sure she knows you are joking, make sure to avoid any material that might embarrass or even offend the bride.

One way to possibly avoid this is for the bride or groom to present your speech ideas to ensure there are no red flags on the wedding day. Some topics to avoid may be other women from the groom’s past, as well as any information shared with you in confidence.

Don’t forget that while you have a few minutes in the spotlight as best man, the day is about the bride and groom.

Don’t Rely on Notecards

If used properly, notecards can be a lifesaver. However, they can also make presentations seem tedious and manufactured. I’m sure everyone can recall a presentation read from note cards that was unreal, to say the least.

It’s good to use note cards to keep a presentation structured, to share quotes, and even to keep you from forgetting your own ideas. Anything beyond that, such as reading the cards for several minutes straight, is not okay.

In a crowd where you have been chosen by the groom to be his best man, the least you can do is say what is on your mind. A good way to not rely on note cards is to practice and memorize your speech before the big day.

The more you practice and the earlier you prepare your speech, the more comfortable you will look and feel in the spotlight.

Take it Easy on the Groom

No matter how close you are to your groom, his wedding is not the time to blow his mind. Remember, this day will be the most important day of his and his bride’s lives.

No couple wants the highlight of their wedding day to be the joke the best man tells about the groom peeing his pants. This is especially important because men are sometimes more inclined to make fun of each other jokingly than women.

It’s best to save the typical jokes for after the wedding and let the groom have his white horse moment with the bride. If you and the groom have a fun, back-and-forth relationship, self-deprecating humor is a much safer way to go. Instead of letting the groom be the goat of the story, sharing what happened between the two of you is where you get hit.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Write

Putting off your toast will only make you more anxious and leave you with no time to practice and perfect your speech. Don’t wait until the week before your wedding to start writing your speech.

Start brainstorming and writing down ideas a few months before your wedding. This will give you plenty of time to write your speech and even edit or refine it.

Don’t Get Drunk

If you have a tendency to become stiff and anxious in public, you may try to remedy this by having a few drinks. We could not advise against this more strongly.

Not only do you want to avoid any freudian slips, the groom would surely appreciate your kind words coming from a place of soberness. No one wants to hear the best man slur through his speech! Save the drinks for after your toast.

What To Include in Your Best Man Speech

First of all, congratulations to the couple. There is nothing more awkward than a best man giving a speech that doesn’t mention the newlyweds at all. This is a great time to tell them how proud you are of them and how much you love them.

Even if you think it doesn’t need to be said, you can never go wrong with a little extra praise on the couple’s wedding day.

Next, introduce yourself. Not everyone will know who you are just because you are the best man. Take a moment to share your name and how you met the happy couple. Then, follow our best man speech do’s and don’ts to delve into any material you have planned.

Stories, memories, life lessons, these are all important topics to focus on in your speech. It’s often helpful to choose a theme or an overarching idea that highlights the focus of your speech.

The topic can be about love, friendship, or even something more specific that can be tied to your wedding day. This will give your speech some structure.

Finally, raise a toast to love, to happiness, and to forever. At this point you may sit back and exhale, knowing that you have successfully completed your speech.

Best man speech template

For those not even sure where to start, this fail-safe best man speech template is a good way to get you started.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I’d like to say thank you to (groom’s name) for warming up the crowd with his (brief/kind) words about his new wife (bride’s name) and her bridesmaids. I was (shocked/honoured/horrified) when (groom) asked me to be his best man, but here I am. And where do I begin?

I first met (groom) when we were (at school/at university/working for the same company, etc), where everyone called him (silly nickname – if not, make one up), and we immediately became the best of friends.

Since then, things have grown progressively (better/worse). We’ve been through a lot together, including (drinking/partying/holidays/puberty), and most significantly of all, when we were (age) and (groom) got into (funny anecdote).

Things didn’t get better, when (years) later, he also (another funny anecdote). And of course, there was the stag night, which – from what I recall – ended with (another funny anecdote).

It was (years) ago, when (groom) met (bride), which ended up being the (best/worst/we’ll come back to you) thing that ever happened to him. After dating for (years), (groom) finally plucked up the courage to ask (bride) to marry him, and the rest is history.

So, I ask you all know to join me in a final toast to the future happiness of the bride and groom. To Mr and Mrs (surname); may their life together bring them (much happiness and many children/much more happiness and many more children).


FAQ

What else does the best man do?

The duties and responsibilities of the best man lie between him and the groom. Some groomsmen may want to be more hands-on when it comes to coordination and organization, while others prefer to let others handle these things. Ultimately, the best man’s job is to take the pressure off the groom.

Traditionally, the best man is tasked with planning the bachelor party, holding the wedding rings, and of course, the toast. Once again, if nothing else, the best man will be there to provide support. If the groom has questions, complaints or concerns, he should take them to his best man.

Some groomsmen will go above and beyond to assist the groom with his post-ceremony wedding duties. These may include paying close attention to vendors and even arranging and decorating the couple’s getaway car. The idea is that the best man can do what the groom needs him to do.


Who should I thank in the speech?

Anyone! Just don’t forget who got you there …… Seriously, don’t forget to thank the bride and groom for letting you be a part of their special day.

Also, you can mention other people in the wedding such as the bridesmaids, maid of honor, best man, etc. There is no set standard or tradition for this, so there is room for creativity. Keep it short, simple and sweet.

If you want to mention the groom’s parents or family, go ahead. They will certainly appreciate a mention.

However, if you start to blend in with your family and the focus turns to you rather than the happy couple, this could be a sign of a happy ending.

The best man’s speech is an important part of the evening, but it is also just one of the many activities of the day. Be sure to make the most of your few minutes and don’t take time or attention away from other activities.


How do you propose a toast?

There are many different ways to make a toast. I’m sure when we hear a toast we all think of classic silverware clinking over a glass of champagne, but the truth is that this is only a small part of the toast for the bride and groom.

The couple should share their wedding day itinerary or schedule, which will give you an idea of when the toast will take place. You should ask how to start the toast – is it your job to get everyone’s attention? Will the DJ do it? Is everyone already seated and waiting? The bride and groom should be able to tell you this, or you can talk to the wedding day coordinator.

After the speeches, raise your glass for a toast and the crowd will join you!


Does the best man give a gift?

A gift from the best man to the groom is both a good idea and expected. It is both a congratulation for the milestone in his life and a thank you for choosing you as his best man.

The perfect gift is something that is meaningful to both you and the groom. Something he will see years from now and remind him of that time, and that’s where he’s going.

The more personal the better, so look for something that can be personalized or customized. Some examples include engraved cufflinks, key rings, business card cases, etc.

The timing of the gift is also important. Some people may choose to present the groom with a gift at the bachelor’s dinner or even the rehearsal dinner. Others may prefer to give the gift on the morning of the wedding. This is partly entirely up to you. Make your decision based on how well you know your groom and what fits into the flow of the wedding activities.