If you’ve been given the responsibility of best man at a close friend or family’s wedding, then be ready to play a major role in the planning and day itself. Being the groom’s right-hand man means you’re in charge of a few things, including giving a best man’s speech at the reception. As anyone who’s attended a wedding, or just has some knowledge about them knows, there’s definitely some expectation put upon the best man speech.
That’s why it’s wise to start preparing in advance. Whether you’ve got no idea how to write a best man speech at all or just need a few other best man speech ideas and tips to finalise what you’ve already come up with, we’re here to help you celebrate the newlyweds on their special day.
Best man speech structure
Of course, there’s no single best man speech structure that you have to follow. Especially because you wouldn’t want it to be exactly like all the others as you should try to add some personal flair.
Even if you’re planning on improvising on the day (which isn’t really what we’d recommend for the sake of the bride and groom), it’s always a good idea to have a rough plan in mind. There are loads of ways you can switch up the flow of your speech but a good place to start is with a tried-and-true traditional best man speech structure which tends to go as follows:
- Introduce yourself and open with some sort of icebreaker or joke – After you’ve started the speech, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself by name and let the guests know more about your relationship with the groom. The idea behind doing this right at the start is to set the tone of your speech and keep things light and jolly.
- Tell some funny stories and anecdotes about the groom – This is your time to embarrass the groom a little bit. Remember all his family and friends are in attendance though so don’t talk about something too wild.
- Talk about the bride – Time to focus on the bride and give her some compliments (because maybe you know just how much patience she has to be able to put up with him). Keep it personal but not too serious and go into when you first met his partner and your first impression as well as when you knew he was completely besotted.
- Compliment others who helped with the big day – If you like, you could use some time in your best man speech to focus on everyone who’s helped make the day so special such as the other groomsmen, bridesmaids, and parents of the couple. If there’s anyone important who unfortunately couldn’t make it then you could read out messages from them.
- Toast to the newlyweds – End your speech by saying how lovely of a couple they are then raise a glass to the newlyweds and congratulate them on their new life together.
How long should a best man speech be?
Again, there’s no given rule about how long a best man speech should be. Over 10 minutes and you can probably appreciate that wedding guests are going to get a bit bored and wondering when it’s going to end. Plus, do you really even have that much to say?
On the flip side, just a few minutes long and nobody will remember you even did a speech, and you can’t fit in many funny best man speech jokes and anecdotes during that time. That’s why we’d unofficially say that 5-7 minutes is the optimal length for a crowd-pleasing best man speech that gives you enough time to include all the good bits.
Tips for preparing a best man speech
Other than what you say and how you structure it, the preparation matters just as much in order to make sure you deliver an unforgettable best man speech without any hiccups. To make sure you’re ready in time, these are some of our best man speech tips that you might want to take note of:
- Practise your speech – The last thing you want to do is go up in front of everyone and stumble on your words or speak way too quickly. So, do a few practice runs beforehand. You don’t have to have a completely scripted version and can still think on the spot but at least you have an idea of how it’s going to go. It never hurts to practice in front of someone else for a second opinion.
- Don’t make everything into a joke – Whilst you can most certainly crack a few good jokes during your best man speech, don’t go over the top. Some of your speech also needs to be more sincere and heartfelt. Basically, there’s a time and a place for being funny in your speech.
- Don’t get drunk too early – We know the alcohol is probably going to be flowing but try be conscious of how many glasses you’re having before your speech. The last thing anyone wants is for you to be slurring through it all.
- Keep it classy – No matter how close you are to the groom and other wedding guests, there are certain topics you should always avoid. For example, delving too deep into past relationships, sex life, drugs or gambling, or negativity about the concept of marriage. Remember the point of your speech is about celebrating the couple and their love for one another.
Best man speech jokes
You might choose to open with a classic joke, so given that it’s the start of your best man speech, you need to nail it! Here are some of our ideas for best man speech jokes:
- “(Insert groom’s name) did a best man speech at my own wedding. So, I’m going to put in the same amount of effort as he did for me. For anyone who was at both weddings, I think you know where this is going.”
- “As you’re about to realise, public speaking is not a skill of mine, but I’m going to give it my best shot.”
- “Let’s get on with this because I know you’re all only listening out of formality and are really eyeing up the bar over there.”
- “Boy oh boy, am I going to have some fun with this. Shoutout to (insert groom’s name) for giving me the prime opportunity to share all his secrets in front of a crowd.”
- “My childhood dream was to be a stand-up comedian, so be sure to let me know if I missed out on a career opportunity after this.”
Best man speech toast ideas
So, you perfected your introduction, but the end is just as important since you want to finish it on a high as that’s what people will remember most. If you’ve been struggling to find the right way to round it all up, here are some best man speech toast ideas from us:
- “To love that lasts infinity and beyond, let’s raise a glass to the bride and groom.”
- “Well, that’s about it from me. Now I hope you’ll raise a glass with me to the happy couple!”
- “I’ll end my speech by raising a glass to the newlyweds, hope the hangover tomorrow isn’t too horrific.”
- “Here’s to the bride and groom, wishing you both eternal happiness together and forevermore. Now let’s party.”
- “Before I finish, just a little bit of advice for the couple. Don’t forget that even when she’s wrong, she’s still right.”
Hopefully, you feel confident and ready to dazzle all the wedding guests thanks to us helping you with how to write a best man speech and all our best man speech ideas and tips. Aside from speaking on the day, be sure to put your wedding wishes into writing inside one of our beautiful wedding cards. From funny and cheeky to heartfelt or classic, find the perfect option for the happy couple. Our blog on what to write in a wedding card can be of assistance if you’ve simply got no words left in yourself after planning the speech.
And if you’ve got any other special occasions coming up then you best bet that we’ve got a guide or article of some sort to help you out over on the thortful blog. Just take a look for yourself!