If you’ve made it this far, I’m guessing you’re a best man (or best woman), and you’re terrified. First and foremost, congratulations on your unique honorary role! You’re going to be fantastic. We understand if you’re worried about completing all of your groomsmen tasks, especially writing and delivering a best man speech on the wedding day. The ultimate best man speech is an art form. A terrible speech may quickly change the mood of a wedding if it goes too far in any direction.
But, before we make you any more worried, take a deep breath and relax: you’ve arrived at the correct place. From start to finish, we’ll walk you through the process of writing and delivering a fantastic best man speech, including a list of dos and don’ts, topic matter suggestions, and a sample best man speech outline to help you focus your efforts.
If you follow our instructions, you’ll be rewarded with praise, adoration, and a fantastic groomsmen present.
Template for a Best Man Speech
It can be difficult to put all of your ideas and feelings down on paper, especially if you aren’t used to expressing them with the guys. Here’s a checklist to assist you in locating your flow.
Decide on a theme
You’re not going to make up a speech on the spot. Begin by generating ideas for stories. Most essential, you’re looking for a common thread that emerges from the anecdotes. So, what is the underlying theme that binds it all together? In general, the easiest method to think about your theme is to ask yourself, “What will people remember if they only recall one thing?” The rest of it flows a little smoother once you have that,” Litt explains.
Create a framework
Making a toast skeleton of the important points you want to hit first is the greatest approach to organize your thoughts. After you’ve established the roadmap, you may fill it in with important facts and memories while still staying on track. Consider it in terms of concepts as well. One or two brief anecdotes, maybe three, and one huge idea are all you need. You don’t need any more if those are satisfactory.
Pay special attention to newlyweds
Keep in mind that the relationship you’re honoring is the one between the two people who are getting married. You’re giving the speech because you have a unique perspective on that particular relationship. You’re there; things are difficult if the relationship you’re really giving the speech about is the one between you and the groom.
Feel free to express yourself
In general, men consider the ideal man speech to be a humorous speech to deliver since we are uncomfortable communicating our true feelings. But it’s the part where someone expresses their feelings that creates a wonderful best man speech. The frosting on the cake is humour. Make an effort to give something more significant than one joke after another. The newlyweds chose you to speak because you have something noteworthy to contribute to their big day; embrace your own insight into their relationship rather than trying to dilute it with humor.
Advice on how to write and perform your Best Man's Speech
Consider who you’re writing for. You can’t give a great speech if you don’t know who to address it to. Please feel free to inquire ahead of time. However, the best part of giving a best man speech is that it should be both unique to you and universal to the couple.
I would almost never begin by expressing how nervous you are. I’d also advise you to unwind. It’s a difficult thing to tell someone to do, but to put it another way: Keep in mind that you’re not putting on a show. You’re simply referring to your best buddy and their life partner, two people with whom you’ve likely spent a lot of time. It should just flow and come out naturally in the end. Assume you’re just sharing a story to a group of pals, because that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Keep your true self in mind
Stick to being yourself and acting normally around your buddies. If you’re not the comedian in the group, don’t attempt to be funny, and if you’re the more lighthearted friend, don’t try to be sentimental. Your pals will be able to tell, and your toast will come across as fake in the end. You’re not putting on a show. You’re there because you know someone and care about them, and you’re telling everyone else about it. Even the best best man speech isn’t supposed to be the highlight of the evening. It’s a triumph if someone says something like, “That speech was wonderful but practically forgotten because we were so focused on the bride and groom.” You don’t have to be the center of attention.
Don’t rely on humour alone
While a few jokes thrown in here and there can help to loosen up the crowd, don’t make them the centerpiece of your toast—especially if humor isn’t your strong suit. To put it another way, there is such a thing as too many lousy jokes, and the amount is around one. The more you treat it like an open mic night, the less satisfied everyone will be. You don’t have to be thinking, “How can I get invited back next week?” when you go in.
Maintain an optimistic attitude
I’ve seen best man speeches when the best man thinks to himself, “Oh, my job is to roast the groom.” That is not your job unless the groom and bride specifically instructed you to do so. When it comes to jokes, keep in mind that you don’t want people laughing at the groom or the pair. You want everyone to be laughing because they’ve suddenly learned more about the groom than they had previously.
Check to see if it’s appropriate
If you have to ask yourself, “Is this appropriate?” before giving a wedding speech, it isn’t. And if you’re the type who doesn’t know, enlist the help of a friend. If they give you that frightened face, pay attention to it. Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother or boss to know.
Get a second opinion on your decision
Keep in mind that you’ll be giving this toast in front of an audience (as if you’d forgotten?). So it’s not a bad idea to obtain some feedback on what you’re about to say. If you have a history of going beyond with your surprises, you should consult a third party, such as another close friend or a bridesmaid’s acquaintance.
Practicing with a friend is the best way to go. Anyone who is giving a major speech practices beforehand. If you’ve previously received positive feedback from field-testing your remarks with a smaller group, you’ll be confident that you’ll deliver a fantastic speech on the wedding day. When you’re up there speaking, it’s that uncertainty that might be frightening.
Keep it brief
I’ve never gone to a wedding where someone said, “That was a fantastic wedding, but the best man speech was way too short, and it destroyed it.” Five minutes is the absolute maximum, in my opinion. Three minutes should suffice. There’s no doubt that if you’re reading this, you’ve sat through an excessively long speech. When drafting a speech, though, you virtually never wonder to yourself, “Is this going to be too long?”
Drink in moderation
For some folks, having one drink is plenty, but having more than one drink is never a smart idea. When you’re like, ‘You know what I’m looking for?’ I’ll take a few more photos.’ That is never the case.
Let’s finish with a toast!
Finish your speech with a shout, but make sure to remind everyone in the room to toast the newlyweds and their union! Most importantly, have fun. You’re referring to your best friend and her gorgeous new bride. So, have a good time collecting all of the stories, enjoy them, and then party the night away!
Speech of the Best Man DO's and DON'T'S Prepare
It goes without saying, but this is one situation where “winging it” isn’t a good idea. You don’t have to memorize your best man speech, but you shouldn’t leave it until the night before. A few scribbled notes on a napkin will appear as if you didn’t give your remarks much thought (since, uh, you didn’t). Take some time to organize your thoughts a month or two ahead of time, but no less than a week. This will also give you time to solicit feedback and suggestions from others (more on this below).
DO Crowdsourcing and research
Try to include some funny and/or sweet stories from his childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood in your best man speech (with me?) so that the audience learns a little bit more about the groom—in a good way. For extra authenticity and dimensionality, ask the groom’s parents, siblings, or other close friends for any great anecdotes that you could weave into your speech.
BECOME A STORYTELLER IN REAL LIFE
Fantastic stories, as previously stated, make for good speeches. Take your audience on a tour through your friend’s life: what kind of person he is (as proven by X tale from his past), how you met, how their relationship blossomed, why they are such a perfect match, and what you expect for their future. Even better if you can include a thematic joke or a narrative through-line.
DON’T GO ON AND ON ABOUT IT
It’s not a novel, but rather a short (short) story. Nobody enjoys hearing you ramble off on a tangent about something completely unrelated to your main point, or worse, about yourself. Remember, this isn’t your show—about it’s the newlyweds, so resist the urge to go off on a tangent.
DO Combining a sense of humour with a feeling of emotion is a winning combination
A great speech should include humor, tenderness, good-natured mocking, and sincerity, among other things. You want to make the groom and the rest of the wedding guests laugh and cry with your remarks. If you’re naturally witty, include some clean jokes about the newlyweds that won’t hurt anyone’s feelings (jokes at your own expense are always a safe bet). If you always botch up the punch line, it’s perfectly OK to stick to a clear message of love and congrats.
RUDE, RUDE, RUDE,
It’s great fun to make people laugh. Making someone feel uncomfortable is not acceptable. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, offensive, off-color, or any mean-spirited joke at the expense of an individual or group is a no-fly zone. If you think to yourself, “Should I say this?” That’s a good indication that you shouldn’t go through with it. Also, if you tend to speak like a sailor, keep your language in check and avoid profanity.
JOKES FROM THE INSIDE ARE NOT TO BE TOLD
If only you and the groom (or a small group of other people) understand what you’re talking about, it’s usually not a smart idea to add content in a best man speech. You don’t want to alienate your audience by making them feel like they’re being left out of the joke. When telling stories or telling jokes, stick to common themes and be inclusive.
DO Keep the Environment Clean (ish)
Isn’t it self-evident that this is the case? The key is to know who you’re speaking with. Keep in mind that you’re not only speaking to the groom and groomsmen, but to every single wedding guest, ranging in age from 3 to 93. Adult humor must be delivered in a nice and appropriate manner. Keep the examples lighthearted and purposely vague to keep things classy. Avoid giving too much information, exposing anything that might land you in trouble, revealing anything truly humiliating in an embarrassing incident, and employing potty humor.
SPEAK TO THE NEW WIFE OF THE GROOM
To avoid the entire speech seeming strangely lopsided, give some respectful, sincere, and intimate remarks to your best friend’s new life partner. Even more reason to provide an anecdote on why this person is great as a person and even better for your friend if you’re friends. Remember that this day marks a joint step they’ve taken, so make sure to mention both of them.
USE OTHER LANGUAGES IF NEEDED
We aren’t all born with the ability to communicate. There’s no guilt in plagiarizing some of the masters’ best phrases if you’re not Wordsworth. For maximum impact, look up some love, relationship, or marriage quotations to use as a topic guide or to pepper in at the beginning and end of your speech. Writers and essayists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Pablo Neruda, Shakespeare, and any Romantic poet can provide motivational quotes.
REMEMBER NOT TO GET TOO TIPPY
While it may be tempting to relax with a few drinks after the “I dos” to prepare for your big day, be cautious. Have you ever noticed that consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time makes you more articulate, quick on your feet, or time-sensitive? No, I don’t believe that is the case. Wait until after your speech to take advantage of the open bar, as it will be clear to the crowd (especially the groom) if you are not in the best of spirits.
DO Practicing in front of a mirror is a good idea
When it comes to public speaking, the adage “practice makes perfect” is never more true. When you read the words out loud, you’ll be able to hear any errors, funny terminology, or odd timing, as well as familiarize yourself with the topic. Read the entire speech to a partner or friend before the wedding reception, receive their feedback (and have the time so you know if you need to add or remove anything), and practice until you feel confident.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK OUT LOUDLY
What good is a best man speech that brings the house down if no one understands it? You may ensure that your one-liners zing and your genuine wishes provoke tears by speaking loudly and clearly, enunciating your phrases, and efficiently using a microphone or any other AV equipment provided.
ARE YOU OVERLY CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR MISTAKES?
Every public speaker occasionally stumbles over their words or skips a line. Rather than making unnecessary apologies or jokes about how bad a speaker you are, simply make a quick correction or brush off the gaffe and move on. If you carry on any longer, your audience will get uneasy and lose trust in you.
DON’T JUST READ; GET INVOLVED!
While you are not required to memorize your speech, it is good public speaking practice to avoid reading from a piece of paper (or your phone) without acknowledging the audience. You should know your speech well enough that you won’t need to check it up word by word. Take a few moments to look around, make eye contact (especially with the happy couple), and wait for applause or laughing. Tricia-mccormack-photography.
DO NOT BE EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EX
It’s fine to be worried, but if your nerves are overly evident, they could distract or agitate your audience. The fact that you’re rushing through your speech indicates that you’re nervous. Take a few deep breaths, recall the audience interaction standards you learned earlier, and speak slowly and pleasant. We swear it’ll be over before you know it.
AVOID GOING TOO FAR
However, don’t be too long-winded or take up too much of the preceding wedding celebration timetable; otherwise, your audience will be more interested in getting on the dance floor than listening to your eloquence. If you’re alone, stick to the couple’s suggested time frame, or aim for 2-5 minutes.
BE SURE TO END ON A POSITIVE NOTE
Whatever else you say or do, end your best man speech with positivity. Giving a few words of congratulations on the wedding, best wishes for the bride and groom’s future together, and a general toast directed at the groom and his partner is customary (and always well-received).