Best Man Speeches
Even if you don't consider yourself a comedian, it's important you sneak some light laughs into your speech. By going with the gentle fun option, you'll win a few chuckles, while steering well clear of risqué repartee. This is also a good approach if you think the newlyweds or the audience might react negatively to 'stronger' material.
What’s the Groom Really Like?
(Struggling to make a start? Then you’ve got your intro already. This speech references how tricky it was for you to write it.)
The Best Man reveals the results of his investigation into the Groom’s past and recalls contributions from family members and friends. As the sample below suggests, the humour in this speech is ideally suited to a Best Man with dry wit. This is a good format if you want to include the memories of those that have known the happy couple longer.
When Paul asked me to be his best man, stories and superlatives starting flooding into my head. I saw this as an opportunity to talk about a hero of mine; a handsome, kind-hearted, quite brilliant man admired by all who encounter him. But when I showed the speech to my wife, she tore it up and told me the idea of a best man speech was to focus on the groom, not myself.
A Reliable College Friend
(Here's an upbeat tribute conveying warm wedding wishes, along with a few cheeky anecdotes. It makes a great fit for just about any wedding.)
In a flattering and concise manner, the Best Man recalls some of the great times he’s shared with the Groom. Memories include years of college mayhem, dating dysfunction, and miserable first jobs. Despite a determination that the Groom should hold on to his bachelor youth, the Best Man shows he's actually delighted his friend has found true love. Anyway, you'll still get to see him down the pub twice a year.
A Best Man Toast from a Work Colleague
(If the Groom were to write his own best man’s speech this would be it. Well, almost. There is a generous sprinkling of jibes along the way.)
There's no shame in bigging up your mate the Groom, and letting people know what a solid guy he is. In this praise-filled speech the Bride’s family is left in no doubt that their daughter has made a first-class choice. Although there are some sincere messages here, the speech is not without its light-hearted touches. You don't want to flatter the Groom to death, now, do you?
Paul and Linda, I thank you for allowing me to play a special part in what is surely the most important day of your lives. Paul, you could have chosen any one of your work colleagues as your best man, yet you selected me. Well, I was the first person to say yes, anyway.
Robin Hood and His Married Men
(The Best Man serves a warning to the happy couple by way of a cautionary tale. This is fun, imaginative and inclusive speechmaking.)
Everyone loves a good hero. By the end of this speech, you might be one too. Here, the Best Man tells the legend of Robin Hood and His Married Men (get it?). The format is an entertaining yarn; this sort of approach reveals very little about the newlyweds (which may be just what you need if this is a second marriage or one of them has a slightly dodgy record). Also, with this kind of speech, no one is excluded.
I am the best man, but goodness knows why, for no one pays much attention to a man in my position today. They all say, ‘Isn’t the bride radiant?’ and ‘Doesn’t the groom look dashing?’ and ‘How pretty the bridesmaids are!’ But you never hear anyone say, ‘What a fine figure of a man the Best Man is!’ If they notice me at all they think I’m the chauffeur!
Working the Floor with Inclusive Gags
(One of the best ways to get an audience on side is to include them in your speech. This speech does just that, but ultimately makes sure no one is offended (a quality you can never overrate!).)
Here, an über-confident Best Man works the crowd into his routine; that's a pretty neat trick to get everyone paying attention. That doesn’t mean the Groom gets off scot free, however. This speech in particular is aimed at a mixed nationality wedding and a well travelled, rugby playing Groom. Of course, with a little bit of tailoring, it'll suit your own wedding audience down to the ground.
I like to think I've always been there for Paul and Linda. I was present when they met; I was also present when Paul got down on bended knee and proposed. I'm present on their wedding day, obviously. Hopefully all these 'presents' will help soften the fact that I forgot to buy them a wedding gift.
A Quick and Honest Best Man
(No gimmicks here: The Best Man does exactly what’s expected of him and is sat back down before he knows it. Don't worry though; you can still be funny.)
Here's a swift, economical wedding speech. The Best Man suggests in a light-hearted vein that the Groom might not yet be perfect, but his attributes far outweigh his failings. In this case the one-liners poke fun at the Groom’s footballing inability, while stories hone in on the Groom’s inept marriage proposal.
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gents. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jason and I'm stood up here to say a few words. But first of all, Paul, thanks for agreeing to be my Groom today. And thank you, Linda, for allowing Paul to agree. The handwritten note of permission was a touch of class.
Best Man Gives a History Lesson
(A versatile template than can be adjusted to any Bride and Groom.)
The jokes in this short speech are of the please-all variety. They’ll suit an audience that’s game for a laugh, yet no one’s going to be trashed in the process. Slotting in some gags around significant dates attached to the wedding or the newlyweds (such as birthdays) will demonstrate that you’ve put in the research, and earn you brownie points. This format is particularly applicable if the Groom's life and personality don’t make for great Best Man speech material.
The Bride shares the same birthday as two individuals who, as a pair, succinctly summarise her temperament. The first, representing the thoughtful and peace-loving Linda, is none other than Martin Luther King. The second is Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb.
Leave Them Wanting More: Short Best Man Speech
(A condensed speech from a Best Man willing to take a swipe at himself.)
With this speech you can leave the jokes intact and fit your personal words around them.
Paul and I have had some terrific nights out over the past ten years. I have really enjoyed his company and sunk many pints as a result. I wouldn't say we drank to excess… we drank to anything. In all seriousness though, a friend like Paul is hard to find. This morning, for instance, I had to look in three pubs and a wine bar.
Best Man From University
(Are you a uni or college friend of the Groom? Here’s how to roast him gently, rather than douse him in petrol and set the poor guy ablaze.)
This Best Man speech illustrates how a Groom’s career, character quirks and hobbies can be melded into a seamless story. The template accommodates anecdotes at the beginning and quick fire humour at the end. Hook people on the stories, before bringing the speech to a rip-roaring climax. They’ll appreciate that.