Giving a Best Man Speech

The Do's and Don'ts of Giving a Best Man Speech

The best man giving his speech at a wedding
Do's and Don'ts of Giving a Best Man's Speech. (Getty Images)

Someone once said that delivering a best man speech is a little like being asked to kiss the Queen Mother; it's a great honor but nobody wants to do it! If you have been asked to be the best man in a wedding, that typically means you'll have to make a toast at the reception as it generally falls within the duties of the best man. 

Giving a Best Man Speech doesn't have to be scary or intimidating. Using these Do's and Don'ts will keep you on the right track as you craft your heartfelt and humorous message.

 

Do's and Don'ts of Giving a Best Man Speech

DO:

Do keep it personal. Draw from the experiences you've shared with the groom and include important memories you've made together.

Do make a joke or two. A little playful humor from your friendship with the groom makes for a great addition to a best man's speech. 

Do take the time to say what you want to say. Feel free to take your time without rushing through your speech. As the best man, you're an important part of the wedding, so enjoy your moment to toast your best bro!

Do say thanks. Make sure to thank the people who helped make the day possible, especially the parents of the bride and groom, or whoever is hosting the wedding.

Do try to relax before you get up to speak. Take a couple of deep breaths and you'll be fine!

DON'T:

Don't make it embarrassing. Playful teasing is totally fine but don't go out of your way to humiliate the groom on his special day!

Don't be vulgar. Be respectful to both the bride and the groom by staying away from any taboo or off-color stories. 

Don't steal the spotlight. Your role as best man is to highlight and congratulate the groom and his new wife, so don't hog the spotlight. 

Don't forget their names. You may be closer to the groom than the bride, so make 100% sure you get her name right!

Same goes for any family members you mention during your speech.

Don't drink too much. You might want to have a cocktail to calm your nerves before your toast, but be careful not to drink so much that you can't keep your composure.

Writing a Best Man Speech

Since you have been chosen as the best man, you obviously know the groom very well and have a great amount of material to pull from for your toast or speech. 

In this article, tips for giving a best man toast, you'll find how to approach the task, including beginning, middle, and end. You may also want to look through our collection of short sample wedding toasts for inspiration.

Example of a Best Man Speech

Everyone – if I could get your attention. I'd just like to say a few words. My name is Mark, and I have the great fortune of being both a great friend of the bride and the older – and wiser – brother of the groom, as well as the best man.

You older brothers in the room will know what I mean when you say you never expect your younger brother to grow up. Somehow, mentally, he will always be the guy pestering you to borrow your bike, or going on his first date, or stealing your favorite comic book and then leaving it out in the rain even though he knew you loved it!

But clearly that's ancient history!

And then one day, you turn around, and he's graduating high school, and coming out with you to the bars, and begging you to introduce him to your attractive and smart friend. Or in his words at the time, "Come on! She's really hot and you've already got a girlfriend."

Truth be told, other friends had asked me to introduce them to Julie before, and I'd often dodge the task, if only because I knew Julie to be a genuine catch, and I wanted to make sure I set her up with the right person. So when Jason asked me, I admit, I procrastinated some. But fortunately, Jason isn't one to wait around. One day, I was surprised to see them deep in conversation, and they both had this spark about them that I'd never seen before.

So I may be the older and wiser brother, but in this case, Jason was the smart one because he didn't let a procrastinator get in his way.

And I'm so happy he didn't, because Jason and Julie truly bring out the best in each other, encouraging each other's curiosities, supporting each other through the tough times, and cheering each other on always.

Now, if you'll all join me in raising a glass to our happy couple, Jason and Julie. May the joys you share today be the beginning of a lifetime of great happiness and fulfillment. Congratulations.

No matter your speech style, as long as you speak from the heart, and keep it simple and personal, your best man speech will go perfectly.

Edited and updated by Jessica Bishop