Best Man

Speech Examples

A lighthearted speech grabs the audience's attention, harvests some giggles and will be fondly remembered for years afterwards. The secret of a successful lighthearted speech is that the gags and the compliments appeal to everyone present. Paying hearty tribute to the newlyweds is, of course, an essential part of this. Light-hearted means playing it reasonably safe; you're guaranteed to become the most popular man in the room. After the groom, of course.

Best Man and Groom Go Way Back

(A longstanding friend of the Groom expresses the memories and experiences they’ve shared during the many years they’ve known each other. )

Know the Groom like the back of your hand? This speech acknowledges a warm friendship with the Groom and the strength of your childhood relationship. But that’s not to say you can’t be funny with it. Drop in anecdotes that prove you go way back, but which also provide the Groom with a gentle ribbing.

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Like all good friends, Paul and I have had our downs as well as our ups. I remember back to times when a petty argument would arise from nowhere. Then Paul would call me smelly, and I’d call him fart head. And then it would spiral out of all proportion and we’d each end up running home in tears. But sure enough, the next day, Paul would drop me an email from work and we’d make up. As good mates do, however old.

Best Man Sets The Record Straight

(A school pal shows off the depth of his friendship with the Groom, and how far he was willing to dig for dirt too. )

Is the Groom one of those over-organised types, who knows it all? Don't let him get away with it! This speech shows how to throw a couple of soft jabs the Groom's way, without ever hitting below the belt. It's his honeymoon soon, after all.

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The Bride and Groom have been overwhelmed by your generosity today. They would like me to express their gratitude for all the wonderful gifts they’ve received. Especially the dishwasher, which will allow Paul more time to polish cutlery, fold napkins, and cook five-course meals.

The Institution Of Marriage According to the Best Man

(A gander at the institution of marriage and what it all means for the newlyweds. According to the Best Man, naturally.)

Wedding traditions are (respectfully) made fun of as the Best Man offers sage advice on marriage for laughs. This type of format is a lifesaver if you’re a Best Man struggling to think of anything entertaining to say about the Groom. As the sample below indicates, the speech plays off the upbeat atmosphere of a wedding celebration. If you think your audience might be po-faced, perhaps you should search for another speech...

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Today is a day full of love and happiness and hope for the future. It’s a day ripe with symbolism, from the gold wedding rings that symbolise the purity and wholeness of the couple's union, to the free bar that symbolises the reason why we're all really here.

Applauding the Groom

(The Best Man lists the attributes he admires most in the Groom. It’s not too sickly though, and there are ample laughs along the way.)

Can you dish up compliments and get a laugh? Of course you can, and that’s what this speech shows. It works so well because it avoids excessive detail. Only the pertinent and the amusing need feature: You don’t want your speech to sound like a play-by-play account of the Groom’s life. By the end, the Groom is a star in everyone’s eyes. He’ll like that.

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The thing that Linda admires most about Paul is his unbreakable spirit. We all know Linda likes a challenge.

The Best Man’s Chores

(The Best Man runs through a checklist of his numerous wedding day responsibilities. Naturally, some of these reflect on the Groom’s questionable character.)

Here’s a humorous reminder that being a Best Man isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The Groom’s most recognizable character traits and favourite pastimes are lampooned as the Best Man publicly comes to terms with his obligations. This speech illustrates how to seamlessly drop in personal accounts and anecdotes while maintaining a common theme throughout.

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When I signed up to be best man I don’t think I quite knew what I was letting myself in for. For instance, did you all see the church this morning? I had to build that.

The Christmas Cracker Speech

(Groan-inducing gags and puns might not be classy, but the audience will love them all the same.)

This wedding speech is full of Christmas cracker groans. Love 'em or hate 'em, there will always be a place for these in a Best Man toast. With this panto-style humour, you don’t have to worry about causing offense, or alienating people with personal anecdotes. Everyone loves a clown and their ability for self-deprecation. Be that clown.

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... and finally, some special advice for the groom: Whenever you ever feel the need to get into your wife’s knickers... make sure you slip them off again before they start affecting your circulation. Or before she gets home. Whichever comes first.

How to Spot the Groom

(Does the Groom have particular quirks and mannerisms you find amusing or annoying? Then it's time to bring them to the attention of the wedding guests! Just don't go overboard, that's all.)

In this speech, gentle entertainment is derived from the Groom’s most recognizable traits (is he, for instance, a computer nerd, or a rugby nut?) and how they might manifest in a wedding setting. This template provides an organised means of dishing the dirt. Oh, and a wedding day theme is retained too. Important, that.

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But before I sit down, let me round off by wishing the happy couple well. Don’t forget, you two, that the real relationship starts here – love may be blind but marriage is a proper eye-opener. The important thing, as you embark on married life, is not to get hung up on the small things, and to maintain a sense of humour. Linda's already proved she has one by going through with today.

Groom’s Desires… According to the Best Man

(In marrying his sweetheart, the Groom’s ultimate desire has been realised. But what about his other hopes and dreams?)

As Best Man, you can’t tell stories for the sake of it, even if they make you chuckle. What you need is a theme, and anecdotes that tie together. Focussing on the hopes and dreams of the Groom is one way to do this. This speech is ideal for a Best Man who has enjoyed a long friendship with the Groom and needs to fit unrelated stories into one single piece.

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Good evening ladies, gentlemen and single bridesmaids. In case you are wondering, I am indeed footloose and fiancé-free. Paul, it's good to finally have you ruled out as competition. In fact my feelings on the matter can be found in the lyrics of the famous Queen song ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’

The Blossoming Courtship

(The Best Man conjures up entries from the Groom’s diary to provide an amusing and unflattering insight into his blossoming courtship with the Bride. )

This light-hearted speech reflects largely on the newlyweds developing romantic relationship. The Groom is portrayed as a sappy, ‘head-over-heels’ fool and completely out of his depth when it comes to wedding planning. This template provides inspiration for a Best Man still keen to get a few laughs, when the Groom’s past and personality are either unsuitable or out of reach.

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Ladies and gentlemen, before I forget, after the speeches we must clear the room for twenty minutes to allow the band to set up. It will also give the bride and groom a chance to go upstairs and put their things together in preparation for the honeymoon.

Control Freak Bride

(The Best Man reads out a list of fictional dos and don’ts, purportedly issued by the Bride. It serves as a warning to the Groom that now he’s married, he no longer governs his own life. )

This comical speech is ideal if the Bride has a reputation for being fastidious, and you want to tease the Groom about swapping his manly freedom for the chains of matrimony. The format provides a neat and succinct means to cram in plenty of jokes aimed firmly in the Groom’s direction. At the heart of it though, this speech is congratulatory, not nasty.

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I'm sure you'll agree this has turned out to be a brilliant wedding celebration. I'd like to start by thanking everyone on behalf of the bride and groom for sharing their wedding day. And I'd like to repeat Paul's thanks to those of you who have travelled long distances to be here - although I don't mean that quite as sincerely as Paul, because if you'd stayed at home things would now be a lot easier on me.

Traditional Best Man Speech Roast

(Classic harmless swipes are taken at the Groom, but there’s sentimentality at the heart of it.)

All the typical Best Man speech bases are covered, as the Groom’s suitability as a husband is explored. This speech contains plenty of light-hearted references to the Groom’s imperfections. Still it doesn’t stray too far from the theme of weddings and marriage. Linking topics together is the sign of a pro, and will keep the audience hanging on your every word. Oh, you need to address both the Bride and the Groom’s side of the family. Otherwise you’ll lose half the room’s attention.

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As I was meticulously preparing this speech (stop sniggering please) I asked Paul and Linda for a complete list of everyone present, broken down by age and sex. It turns out that anyone who's been married more than five years fits into that category.

A Rather Cheeky Best Man

(The Best Man paints a picture of a Groom who has exceeded all expectations with the wife he‘s managed to bag.)

Assess your newlyweds first: Do they have a strong sense of humour? If yes, this might be the speech for you. The Best Man has known the Groom since school days, which provides fertile ground for rib-tickling and cringe-inducing tales. As you can see from the sample line below, off-beat humour works nicely.

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I’d like to thank Richard (the Father of the Bride), for hosting what so far has been an absolutely beautiful wedding. Although I don’t know you too well, you’re a man I truly admire. It can’t have been easy watching your only daughter marry someone like Paul.

Tribute from a University Friend

(The Best Man and the Groom went to uni or college together. Three years of hijinks makes rich fodder for laughs.)

As an old college or uni friend of the groom it’s your job to transport people back to that hazy period in time. What starts out as a roasting moves seamlessly into praise for both the newlyweds. Now that’s a clever speech.

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As I did only meet Paul a few years ago, I’ve had to rely on his own account of earlier years. Apparently, the young Paul Wilson was an exceptionally gifted child. He sat his A-Levels whilst his contemporaries were doing the 11-plus, then concentrated on his first novel, which he published at the age of 15. I still want to see that Booker Prize trophy by the way, Paul.

Best Man at Work

(A Best Man draws from his past with the Groom to showcase his limitations as husband material.)

First thing’s first: steer well clear of sordid stag night details. It’s the Bride’s special day after all. That’s not to say you can’t be mischievous though. How? Check out the example below. The aim in this case is to generate a whoop from the lads who went, and to recognise their contribution in sending the Groom off. It’s his special day as well as the Bride’s!

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As Best Man, I was also responsible for organizing the stag do. For those of you who aren't familiar with the idea of a stag, let me run you through the basics. Museums, poetry recitals, tea tastings and lace-making... are generally frowned upon.