Need some help writing your best man speech? Thousands and thousands of distressed forum threads, alarmed Quora posts, and social media cries for help are dedicated to this very request every year. Whether you’ve got a few weeks or a few hours, we’ve got you covered with this guide on how to come up with a best man speech you and the happy couple will love. Keep reading to discover some important best man speech ideas, examples, and tips that will make the process simple and virtually painless.
Do’s and don’ts every best man should know before drafting their speech:
Length: The most important thing to keep in mind is the length. Shorter is better, so shoot for less than five minutes. The most ideal time would be three minutes: 30-second introduction, two minutes on the main story, and 30 seconds to wrap up and give well wishes.
Tone: Keep it classy for the older relatives and leave out expletives, raunchy jokes, and stories that you can’t un-tell. Professional storytellers for the Moth, a famous storytelling podcast and prestigious competition, say that a mix of funny and sentimental usually packs a punch as long as you do it in that order. Also, be sincere. Corny jokes get boring really quickly.
Content: Stories will always be more entertaining than random jokes. Include a one-liner at the beginning of the speech, then bring it back to something that actually happened. The focus should be on the couple or your relationship with them, but not just you and your accomplishments.
Explore 6 foolproof best man speech ideas, examples, and tips:
1. Take inspiration from those who have gone before you.
Copy or get inspired by these real-world examples of best man speeches you can use to make people laugh, cry, or both.
Long best man speech example: Here’s a best man speech example from an older brother to his younger brother, which we edited for clarity and brevity.
“Good afternoon everyone, I’m the best man.
Before I start, I’d just like to say there is no flash photography during this event. The bride and groom are a very shy pair and we don’t want to startle them. If you look really closely at them, you’ll see they’re already starting to feel quite uncomfortable. Maybe they’d like me to just get on with my speech, but I really think it’s all the phones pointed at them right now.
Oh, it’s the speech? Okay, I’ll continue.
Ever since (he was born, he started at Boston University, etc.), (groom) and I have been (brothers, friends, etc.). Now, he’s not the best-looking guy, so it does make sense that he’d ask the older, fatter, and balder (friend, version of himself, etc.) to be his best man. And we’ve genuinely been told throughout our lives that we (look incredibly alike, are attached at the hip, etc.). I honestly don’t see it, but as I know, some people here still can’t tell the difference: (Groom’s mom or bride), I’m (best man), and that one’s (groom).
The bride and groom have asked that I don’t talk about any of (groom)’s mishaps, mistakes, or embarrassing moments, and instead do talk about the positive things in his life. I mean, you’ve made this incredibly difficult for me, but I’ll do my best.
*Get out a scrap of paper* (Groom)’s an amazing person. He’s funny, he’s kind, he’s incredibly clever. He’s even (studying to be an engineer, learning how to rollerblade, etc.)! Not only that, but he’s … wait … (groom), I can’t say that, man!
(Bride), you look lovely today; and (groom), you look sharper than ever in that suit! Cheers to a long, happy marriage for you both! But more so for (bride), because she’s really got her hands full now. Cheers!”
Key takeaway: Making fun of yourself more than you make fun of the groom will always be a hit. Also, don’t shy away from the roast-style “set ‘em up to punch ‘em down” jokes like the ones featured here.
Make it your own: This speech runs less than two minutes. Make it longer and personalize it by adding a story about you and the groom growing up that you think says something about who he is today, either by contrast or extreme similarity.
Short best man speech example: Get some quick laughs and an “aww” with a little something like this.
“I really should have given my speech first since (maid of honor)’s speech was way better than mine, but this is all your fault (groom), so enjoy! Thank you all for coming and for those who helped make this wedding so beautiful. (Bride), you look absolutely stunning tonight. (Groom), well, you’re here tonight. All jokes aside, I’m really happy for you both. I always wanted (a sister, someone to help me wrangle the groom, etc.), and now I finally have one. So here’s a toast to the bride and groom!”
Key takeaway: A quick icebreaker, thank you, and joke followed by a sentimental thought is really all you need.
Make it your own: Personalize the items in brackets to fit your sense of humor and situation. Reference real stories and moments at the wedding.