Recently, Groomsday reached out to us about sharing their amazing Best Man Speech Guide and we could not refuse! We are going to share some key points (in our opinion and you can access the entire guide here).
In this guide, we give you everything you need to know in sequence – from the writing process, all the way to delivering that wedding toast.
So How Do You Write the Best Man Speech?
The hardest part is always just getting started. Here are some basic tips on how to write a best man speech so that you can be prepared and dominate when the time comes.
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead
Practice makes perfect. Creating a fantastic speech doesn’t happen overnight.
If you’re going to wow the audience, you’ll need to make sure you’ve done everything you possibly can and covered every base – and man, that takes time.
Keep a Positive Tone
When it comes to the best man speech, the main thing to keep in mind is the goal of what you want to accomplish – celebrating the bride and groom. Here are some things to focus on:
- Your best experiences with the groom.
- How great a pair the bride and groom are.
- The best qualities of the groom.
- Possible first thoughts on the bride when they met (If they were good thoughts!)
Focus on the best of times, and further expand upon those points the best you can and maybe you can use those for a few wedding jokes!
With that in mind, here’s what not to say:
What Not to Talk About in Your Speech
While you may be writing to make your groom laugh, you need to remember your audience is diverse. You have children, elders, and teenagers so you wouldn’t want to write something inappropriate.
Generally, it’s best to avoid things like these:
- Any previous relationships.
- Anything about drugs, alcohol, gambling.
- Perverse topics, or anything of a sexual nature.
- Harsh negativity.
- Inside jokes that are too specific.
The idea is to avoid anything raunchy or disheartening during your speech, even if it might be hilarious in your head, you’ll have to avoid it in your best man speech.
Think about how upset Grandma would be if you happened to talk about how her little Jimmy actually hasn’t been saving himself for marriage – what horror!
How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?
It can be 1 minute, it can be 5 minutes. Keep the audience engaged in your speech and don’t ramble off unnecessarily.
How do you do that? Practice!
It’s All About Practice
You know, it’s okay to feel unsatisfied with what you wrote. After all, you’re not the most accomplished writer in the world. You just want to prepare a great best man speech and get back to Netflix binging.
The writing process can be tough, so here’s an ideal approach that most people use when writing the best material:
- Write a few pages of content just to get the ideas out.
- Realize that you’ve written a movie’s worth of material.
- Take what you really like.
- Edit until you stop hating it.
Being intimidated serves no purpose.
Be (Relatively) Sober
Even if you have a Wade Boggs alcohol tolerance, it’s best to keep the drinks to a minimum.
(The guy drank 64 beers on one cross country flight, what the hell?)
Having one or two drinks is fine if it helps calm the nerves, but any more will mess up any chance of giving a decent wedding toast, and you’ll just look silly slurring your words or acting strangely. Remember, all eyes are on you during your best man speech.
Try Some Best Man Speech Jokes
So suppose you’ve got your speech together, but you have a placeholder like:
“Well, where do I even start? [Groom] is just incredible. He’s brilliant, funny, caring… Anyway, I can’t really read your handwriting [Groom], so just tell me whatever the rest was after.”
“[Bride], you really are an incredible woman. You deserve an absolutely incredible husband, so I’m not going to stop until I figure out what’s wrong here.”
“Thank you everyone for bearing with me, I Googled ‘best man speech jokes’ and every site asked for my credit card before showing me any examples, so here goes nothing.”
“For those of you who know the bride, she’s really a wonderful woman who deserves a wonderful man. So good job, [Groom], for marrying her before she found one.”
“For anyone who finds this speech particularly not funny, I got all of my jokes from [Groom] so please, blame that guy.”
Putting Together a Best Man Speech Outline
Now that you have an idea of how to write a best man speech, it’s just as important to know how to structure it.
Flow matters, and it’s the most important thing in putting together great best man speeches. Without good flow, you’ll lose the crowd and people won’t follow what you’re saying.
Here are some great ideas to nail the best man speech structure and make your speech shine.
The introduction needs to serve a single purpose: Getting people engaged! This is the key aspect of any best man speech formula.
The One-Liner Approach
An incredible one-liner is a great way of getting started. A good idea for this would be to roast the groom a little bit, he probably wouldn’t mind.
For example, what faults does he have? You can take advantage of that to make slight jabs at him.
Or you can even make fun of yourself in the process, what do you both suck at? Maybe you want to talk about that awkward mullet phase you both had in high school. Live it up!
The Congratulatory Approach
Alternatively, you can open by showing gratitude to:
- The bride and groom, for bringing everyone together.
- The guests, for attending this incredible event.
- The parents of the bride and groom, for bringing them into this world.
This approach is a good option at the beginning. You can use it as a Plan B if you think you can’t gather an appropriate one-liner.
It’s easy to get lost in thought about what to follow up a good opener in a best man speech, but nothing is safer than a good story to engage your audience.
The idea is to create a connection to the groom and then present it to the guests.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Where you met the groom.
- What makes him a great guy.
- Crazy stories that show who he is.
- Why he’s an excellent fit for the bride.
- How he changed for the better after he met the bride.
Really, anything goes, and they’re all sure to keep people interested. Focus on the organic story of your friendship and don’t be robotic.
You’ll want to accomplish this in a way that stays kosher, though, avoiding unsavory details mentioned in our #4 tip.
Congratulate the Bride
So, you don’t have to do this, but we definitely encourage it. The issue is, not everyone really knows the bride. Honestly, maybe you met her a month ago, or a week ago.
Who knows, you could have met her literally just now. When your buddy gets hitched, it’s quite common to not really know the lady herself.
If this is true, you can handle this two ways:
Stick to something like:
“I knew she was a great fit for you the moment I saw you together”.
“She really is the perfect match for you dude.”
Sure the groom will know you barely know her, but whatever, if he really is your bro, he’ll appreciate that you’re saving face like this.
2. Avoid it.
Look, you’re the best man, it means the groom chose you, he knows you. Which means that he’s most likely expecting your best man speech to be about your experiences together, so keep the content focused around your relationship.
This means that it’s okay to avoid any mention of the bride after the first few words when writing a best man speech.
It works in most cases to just congratulate her in the intro, and then continue on with your speech avoiding her entirely.
This might sound a little underhanded, but it works, and most likely, the audience won’t notice.
If you know the bride, then speak about her.
If you’re just as close to the bride as you are to the groom, then you need to take all of the prior steps to make a compelling speech for the bride too, which won’t make the wedding toast easy but hey, you don’t want to piss her off.
You could share a story about her too, or you can talk about one where the bride and groom shared with you, which is always a safe bet.
Wrapping it Up
Here’s where you wrap up your thoughts, and keep this part short, you don’t have to stress it too much.
It’s as easy as saying something like,
“Jack, Jill, to a lifetime of good health, love, and joy!”
There are a thousand different things you can say here, but the main idea is to keep the tone positive, upbeat, congratulate their love and wish the best for them.
NOTE: It is absolutely acceptable to keep a paper copy of your speech on hand because you’re not remembering your speeches like a world leader at the U.N. You’re just a guy who’s happy for his bro.
The Honest Truth Man
Remember that a best man speech is a celebration of the love and joy that the bride and groom share. You don’t have to stress about every minor detail, because the audience isn’t.
They’re already lightened up, and in the mood for a good few words, so why spend your time being nervous? It’s not worth it. Enjoy yourself up there and just deliver that crushing best man toast.
After it’s through, you can start drinking again, which is what you’ll probably want to do anyway.
Say what you have to say, and raise a toast to the bride and groom. Use this guide as a helpful resource and come back to it as many times as you need to ensure a totally awesome best man speech.