Best Man Speech Examples & Ideas for a Successful Wedding Toast
Being a best man is a position of honor and responsibility. The title alone conveys how important you and your friendship are to the groom. One specific role that comes with this job is delivering a best man speech at the reception. Although nerve-wracking, this speech is an opportunity to share your affection for the groom and his bride as well as your excitement for their future together.
To ensure that you are well-prepared and confident on the big day, we're sharing tips on how to write a best man speech as well as some easy-to-follow best man speech templates to help you get started!
Easy-to-Follow Best Man Speech Templates
The best way to start writing a best man speech is to simply put pen to paper. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, the guidance of a template can help you sort through the overwhelming amount of ideas. We've put together a few best man speech templates that you can use as a guide or refer to when you get stuck.
1) General Best Man Speech Template
This general template covers all the bases. You’ll definitely want to talk about your relationship with the groom and how important it is to you. Make sure you also include the bride in your speech, even if you aren’t close friends. The point of the best man's speech is to wish the couple well on their marriage together so make sure to end on a positive note!
a) Compliment the bride and groom and their wedding.
The easiest way to start your best man’s speech is with a compliment!. Tell the bride she looks lovely, the groom you’re happy for him, and/or say how beautiful and fun the wedding has been. Whatever you feel is worth referring to and is likely to be agreed with by the crowd. This is a quick way to be seen as respectful by guests.
b) Introduce yourself and your relationship with the groom.
It's important that towards the beginning of your speech, you introduce yourself. Give a brief introduction about who you are and your relationship with the groom. You might mention how long you have known one another or how you met, which will explain why you may have been selected to be the best man.
c) Say thank you!
Express your gratitude towards the people who helped make the event possible, including: the wedding party for their dedication, the guests for attending (some from long distances), and the parents for contributing to the wedding. This is a great way to appear polite and express your personal appreciation for those who helped make the wedding a reality.
d) Tell a quick story.
Follow up with an anecdote about you and the groom. It can be about how you met, some experience that you shared together in college, or some funny events from your childhood.
e) Talk about how much the groom means to you.
The story you tell about your experience with the groom can be followed with a heartfelt statement about how much value he holds in your life and how much it means for you to have him as your friend or brother.
f) Tell the story of how the bride/groom and groom met.
The story of how the bride and groom met is always a highlight in a speech. In fact, it is almost an expectation! Tell the story from your point of view, including your initial thoughts. If you were not present at this time or a witness to this moment, you can talk about the positive impact the bride has had on your friend’s life.
g) Share a relevant or inspirational love quote or song lyric.
A great way to round out a speech is with a quote or lyric. Use your personal favorite, or that of the bride or groom. Be sure to use a line that is indicative of the overall thoughts of your speech, or the bride and groom's relationship. Keep it light but romantic!
h) Summarize your thoughts.
Towards the end of the speech, you can summarize your thoughts about the bride and groom with a couple of crisp sentences that can tie together your speech’s components in a neat way.
i) Give a toast to the future!
Finally, propose a toast to the couple. Congratulate them for their wedding and wish them well for their future life as a couple.
2) Best Man Speech for Brother: Ideas & Template
If your brother is the groom, you’ll have a unique perspective on the wedding. You’re watching your lifelong friend, occasional antagonist, and partner in crime marry the love of his life! Make sure you include some childhood memories in your speech. Feel free to poke fun at your brother a little bit, but make sure you remember to circle back to how much he means to you and how happy you are that he found someone great.
a) Introduce yourself.
Since you’re the brother of the groom, a lot of the wedding guests will already know who you are. You’ll still need to introduce yourself so everyone else knows how you know the couple.
b) Thank everyone for attending.
Thank all the guests for making it to the wedding, especially those who traveled long distances to get there. You can even shout out a few of your relatives you know made a special effort to be there. Thank everyone for attending the ceremony and making this day such a success for the bride and the groom.
c) Thank those who helped carry out the wedding
Extend a personal thank you to individual people who helped arrange the wedding. Whether it be parents, in-laws, or friends.
d) Tell a short childhood anecdote.
As the brother of the groom you’re probably one of the few people in the room who has known him most (if not all) of his life. Tell everyone a cute or funny story from growing up with your brother. Choose a story that you can tie into what makes him a great brother, person, and future husband.
e) Express what the groom means to you.
Your brother probably had a significant impact on who you are. More than likely, you haven’t expressed that impact in words before now. Explain how growing up with your brother affected who you are, what traits you admire about him, and why he will be a great husband.
f) Compliment your future sister-in-law.
After talking about your brother, it’s a good time to mention the bride. You could tell the story of how they met or how he told you about her for the first time. Be sure to mention the ways your brother has grown and changed for the better since meeting the bride.
g) Toast with your wishes!
Deliver a toast with your best wishes. Refer to your emotions for the bride and groom and what you hope their future may look like.
h) End with a prayer (if you are religious).
If your family is religious, you can conclude with a prayer or hymn. You can ask everyone to bow their head if you wish. If you are giving your speech right before dinner, you could simply recite a blessing for everyone’s food.
3) Short Best Man Speech Outline
You should aim to keep your best man’s speech short and simple. If you are nervous about public speaking or just not a man of many words, you can try to shorten your speech to just the most important points. As long as your speech is meaningful and includes well-wishes for the bride and groom your speech will be perfect! You can think of your short speech more as a best man toast if that helps you think of what to say.
a) Introduce yourself and your relationship with the groom.
You probably don’t know every single guest in the room. Introduce yourself, including your relationship to the groom (and bride, if you are also close with her). Mention a few fun and personal details to be more relatable.
b) Compliment the wedding.
“Wasn’t that ceremony lovely?” Tell everyone how incredible you thought the wedding ceremony was, how delicious the cocktail hour food was, or how beautiful the flower arrangements are. Just say something nice about the event that the crowd will agree with.
c) Share a short story about the groom or the couple.
Tell a meaningful story from your friendship with the groom. If you’d rather focus on the couple, you could share a story about them together such as how they met or when you knew they were right for eachother.
d) Talk about the couple and their relationship.
If you have spent some time with the bride and groom together, you should definitely be able to rake up some thoughts about what a beautiful couple they make or how perfect they are for each other.
e) Wish the couple the best in their marriage with a toast
Hold up your glass, wish the couple a lifetime of happiness, and cheers the room! That’s it! Keep it short, simple, and thoughtful.
4) Funny Best Man Speech Template
Would you rather make the room cry laughing instead of getting teary-eyed yourself? A lot of best men choose to go the comical route with their speech. You don’t need to be completely serious with your speech but make sure you aren’t poking fun too hard. Weddings are fun but they are still very important and meaningful. Keep in mind your audience will likely be a range of demographics from conservative grandparents to impressionable children.
a) Lead with an attention-grabber.
Your attention grabber can be any type of joke that will get the whole room’s attention. Make a silly joke about yourself, the groom, or the wedding planning process.
b) Introduce yourself.
Explain how you know the groom and why you’re the one standing up in front of everybody.
c) Compliment the bride and groom and/or the wedding.
Make sure that in-between jokes you do say some nice things about the bride, the groom, and their wedding. The wedding guests are going to love your funny moments but in order for them to really appreciate them. They need to know that you love the bride and groom as much as they do and the jokes have good intentions.
d) Make a jab (or two) at the groom.
A few light jokes at the groom’s expense are okay and probably expected. Just don’t go overboard. You could always include a few extra compliments to the bride to contrast with the jokes.
e) Tell a story about the groom.
Don’t forget to talk about your friendship with the groom. You can include how you met, memorable, funny points in your relationship, a point when he was there for you, and other instances that he had an impact on your life.
f) Describe the groom before he met the bride.
Tell the guests how your friend was before he met the love of his life. Use a story about how messy he was in college or how reckless he was in high school. Then you can tell everyone how he has changed and grown since meeting his new wife. You can also include something about the groom’s personality traits that you especially admire and maybe even how you’ve seen those traits develop since they became a couple.
g) Include some amusing anecdotes about the couple.
Tell the story about how the groom and bride met if you were there, how the groom first told you about her, or when you realized they were meant to be.
h) Say something kind about the couple’s relationship.
Some of your speech needs to be serious. Explain why you think the couple are great for each other, how much each of them means to you, and how happy you are that they found each other.
i) End on a sentimental note.
Give a toast to the couple’s future happiness. You can include a small/clever joke if you’d like but make sure your toast is still thoughtful.
Getting Prepared: Tips for the Best Man Speech
We know the groom is your best friend but now you have the challenge of explaining that in a speech. If you encounter any writers’ block, try to use your emotions as fuel for your speech. It can help you recall stories about your relationship with the groom, or emotions you felt when witnessing the bride and groom's relationship. Still have questions? We answered some of the most common best man’s speech questions to help you out.
1) How Long Should the Best Man Speech Be?
Your goal should be to keep your best man’s speech to 5 minutes or less. If you find yourself inundated with ideas, all of which seem amazing, try to narrow it down. A good speech is one that is short, crisp and conveys all your feelings in a few words. About 3 minutes is fine for a shorter speech.
2) Write (Or Start Thinking About) Your Best Man Speech in Advance
No matter how busy you are with wedding preparations, make sure that you set aside time for your best man’s speech. Try not to leave it until the last minute! Writing the speech well in advance will give you time to think about all that you want to say and deliver your thoughts in a clear and memorable way.
Ideally, you should start working on your speech a few weeks before the wedding so you have time to brainstorm and structure your thoughts. But, if you’re reading this the night before the wedding, don’t worry - we’re here to help! Use one of our best man toast templates to help get your speech done quickly.
3) Personalize Your Best Man Speech & Add In Some Humor
Make sure you include lots of notes that are specific to you and the groom. Also, keep everyone entertained with a few jokes. A perfect speech is one that reduces the crowd to both laughter and cheers. An overly sentimental or humorous speech can make guests uncomfortable, especially if the topic is irrelevant. Stay on topic and always refer back to the bride and/or groom.
4) Have a Copy of Your Speech Highlights Handy
You can try to memorize some of your speech or try to just speak from the heart but either way it’s important to have notes to stay on track. You should write notes on your phone or a piece of paper - especially if you tend to get nervous. It happens all too often: people get up to give their speech and their mind goes blank. Even if you think you have your speech memorized, write down an outline and keep it in your pocket. In the event that you get stuck, it will be a lot less embarrassing and awkward.
5) When Is the Best Man Speech?
Speeches at a wedding usually take place at the beginning of the reception. Sometimes these speeches take place right after the wedding party makes their grand entrance into the reception hall. Sometimes the speeches take place during or after dinner. Some couples are now choosing to take advantage of cocktail hour by doing speeches then.
Be sure to ask the bride, groom, and/or DJ when they plan on having the speeches so you can be prepared! If the parents of the bride and groom want to give speeches they will usually go first. After that, the maid of honor will give her speech. The best man will typically give the final speech, so remember your toast is the final one!
Best Man Speech Examples
You’re one in a long line of best men searching for ways to speak to a crowd at their friend’s wedding. It’s okay to take some inspiration from other people’s speeches as long as you make it your own. Below are some best man speech ideas with examples of openers, jokes, quotes, and toasts that you can use in your speech.
1) Best Man Speech Opening Lines
Most people have short attention spans so it’s important that you grab the attention of your audience with the first few lines of your speech. Kick off your best man speech with a quick joke or a funny story. Just don’t stray too far from the point, which is the bride and groom. Need some specific examples?
Here are some of our favorite best man speech openers to inspire you:
- Hi everyone, I’m (your name). I’m here to tell you about (groom’s name) and how truly special, talented, good looking and… sorry, I’m struggling to read your handwriting here.
- I’ve been worried about giving this speech for a while now. Fortunately last night I slept like a baby: waking up every two hours and crying my eyes out.
- I just want to start by congratulating [previous speaker's name] on their wonderful speech. I always knew it would be hard to follow and I was right, I couldn't follow a word of it.
2) Best Man Speech Jokes & Funny One Liners
Adding some jokes into your best man speech will keep guests entertained. However, keep in mind you’re speaking to a wide range of demographics in the audience. The couple’s grandparents, conservative uncles, fidgety small children, and even the priest could all be listening to your speech. You don’t want to upset anybody or embarrass the couple so avoid being inappropriate.
Examples of appropriate and funny best man speech jokes:
- Gosh, what an emotional day it’s been. Even the cake is in tiers!
- The groom and I share a common sense of humor. So if this speech is in any way unfunny, feel free to blame him.
- I love marriage. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
- It’s not as great a day for the bride as she thinks. She’s not marrying the best man.
3) Quotes for the Best Man Speech
Looking for the right words to put in your best man speech? Look to one of the experts. There are so many beautiful quotes in the world that have stood the test of time. Simply find a quote that reminds you of the couple and explain it in your speech!
Meaningful quotes to include in your best man speech:
- "Where there is love there is life." — Mahatma Gandhi
- "Follow the way of love." — I Corinthians 14:1
- "You don't marry the person you can live with—you marry the person you can't live without." — Unknown
4) Closing Best Man Toast Ideas
End your speech with a toast to the newlyweds. This will probably be the easiest step in writing your speech. Just make sure you end on a meaningful and positive note.
Here are a few best man’s toast ideas:
- To love, laughter, and happily ever after.
- Ladies and gentlemen, if you would please rise for a toast to (groom’s name) and (bride’s name). May you both grow old together, but stay young at heart. Cheers!
- To my best friend and his beautiful bride.
- Please join me in raising a glass to the happy couple — to (groom’s name) and (bride’s name)!
- Here’s to (groom’s name) and (bride’s name). May your love be modern enough to survive the times, but old fashioned enough to last forever. Cheers!
Start Preparing Your Best Man’s Speech
The best man's speech is a memorable moment for the groom and is a way to further cement your friendship. Plan your speech ahead of time, be thoughtful, and we are sure that you'll knock it out of the park. We hope that our templates and tips help you feel better prepared. Also, don’t forget to practice in front of people! You’ll want to see how people react, get a gauge of how nervous you’ll be, and know how long it will take you to recite.
Let us know about the areas of writing a best man speech that you most struggled with in the comments!