picture of best man delivering speech

how to write the best best man speech ever*

9 top best man speech ideas and tips to make speech stand out.


You’re the Best man. As part of your duties it’s now up to you to write the best Best man speech ever. But before we get onto that, let’s take a moment to revel in your awesomeness:

You’ve been selected out of all of the Groom’s mates to receive the dubious honour of being Best man. Congratulations! Well done you! I don’t know how you accomplished this. Perhaps you grew up together. Perhaps you have some dirt on him from that Highland camping trip you took a few years ago. Or perhaps the groom has no other friends. Regardless, you are now arguably the third most important person at this wedding. Traditionally, if something were to happen to the Groom today, as best man you would be marrying the Bride in his stead. Lucky for you, most people tend to ignore this tradition. They just rely on the best man to hold on to the rings, keep the groom sober/drunk and make ineffective passes at bridesmaids. Oh, and also write the best, best man speech ever.

Writing the best man speech is a daunting task. A lot of people see the best man speech as the main attraction. Sure, everyone has come to see your mate get married. But they also want to hear you dishing the dirt and give them cause to grin. It’s the reason that the Best man speech is usually left till the end of the speeches. So, no pressure then.

But here’s the thing that no one tells you about writing the Best man speech. It’s not about you. So You can stop worrying about all of those expectations. Because it’s not about you. The best man speech is about your mate and his new wife. If you keep your focus on them it will help you write the best Best man speech ever (from your perspective anyway).

These ten tips will also help you to play to your strengths and write a best man speech that that’s truly great.

1. A best man speech is not a stand-up routine

This is the first thing we need to get out of the way and it’s most likely the main thing standing between you and writing the best Best man speech.

You don’t have to be funny. If you’ve never done stand-up comedy, now is not the time to start dabbling. You don’t have to be a comedian to get a laugh, you don’t even need jokes.

I’ve been to weddings where the best men are gifted speakers or prize-winning writers. Yes, they’ve added a few killer one-liners into their Best man speech… but those weren’t the lines that made people laugh the most. Remember who this speech is about. The biggest laughs and chuckles came from stories and observations about the groom and his new spouse. Your audience isn’t your audience, it’s theirs.

So, keep your focus on the bride and groom. If you’re a naturally funny person then it will come out in your speech regardless. If you’re worried that you’re not funny enough, keep your focus on the Bride and Groom and you’ll be surprised by how many laughs you get.

In all honesty you don’t have to be funny. I’ve been to a lot of weddings where the best man has just been honest and sincere about the couple… mind you even then there were a few chuckles and laughs. So, quit worrying about whether you can make your Best man speech funny.

bride and groom laughing at speech

2. Don’t find your best man speech jokes online

If you’re really intent on writing your Best man speech to be funny, don’t Google/Bing/Yahoo/Alta Vista your jokes. If you type Best man speech jokes into any of your favourite search engines, you’re going to get all the same jokes. Anyone who has ever been to a wedding will have heard those jokes before from the last Best man who Googled his jokes.

The other thing is that they’ll stick out. Unless your speech is full of clever one liners and witty puns, it’s going to be painfully obvious to everyone there that you “asked Jeeves” for your jokes.

If you must use a pre-written joke, don’t pick any of the ones from the top half of the list. Make sure that any jokes you include are seamlessly woven into your speech. If you are desperate to include that joke about the Groom’s football team saying he’s useless in all positions make sure you’re already talking about his life in football.
And for the love of all that is good please remember… we’ve all heard the one about the cake being in tiers.

3. what do i put in a best man speech?

What actually goes in a best man speech? The best man speech is a tricky to write because unlike the father of the bride and Groom speeches, there isn’t an unspoken expectation of what needs to be included.

You have to say something about the Groom. Traditionally it’s the best man’s role to toast the bridesmaids as well. But beyond that, the content is variable.

Some best men string a bunch of stories together. Some best men focus on the groom’s qualities. Some come up with a running gimmick (like an interrogation or a resume reading) to link it all together with props and visual aids.

Honestly, So long as the guests aren’t bored by your speech you’ve probably done a good job. But if you’re not sure what to actually include in your Best man speech, consider the past, present and future method.

Past. Tell people about how you and he met. Who was he back then? Does he still have that awful haircut and baggy chinos?

Present. Talk a little about who he is now. What are the qualities that you find hilarious in him and are there any you admire? What’s he succeeding at in life? And what’s he failing at? (don’t be a dick though)

Future. Today is the beginning of your mate’s new life with his new wife. How has their relationship changed him? What can you see in their future?

If you can find an interesting way of linking all of that together then that’s great. Even without, just looking at those three sections, you’ve got a solid speech right there.

groomsmen reading paper

4. Dont be a dick

As anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of an ill-judged jibe will tell you, there’s a fine line between funny and mean.

On the one hand, there are probably elements of the groom’s lifestyle and personality that are obviously wierd and need pointing out. On the other hand, it’s possible to take the joke too far.

You know your friend best. If you think there’s the possibility that one of your jokes or observations might actually offend him, then take it out. It doesn’t really matter if you offend the rest of the room, but if you genuinely upset the bride or groom for the sake of a laugh, you’ve missed the point of the speech.

Remember, this is not a roast of the groom. This is a light grilling. This isn’t the place to point out all of his faults and encourage a roomful of people to ridicule him. This may seem obvious, but I once went to a wedding where the best men spent most of their speech telling everyone how much of a loser the groom was… not in the fun way. He smiled through it, but to all onlookers it just looked like two grown men being playground bullies.

 5. The best best man speech stories

Following on from not being a total dick, we need to talk about your best man anecdotes. To write the best best man speech you need to tread a fine line. This isn’t just when grilling the groom, but when telling stories about him too. You need to make sure that you don’t make him look like a complete dick.

Let’s say you have a story about him setting fire to a tenner in front of a homeless person. Firstly, that’s despicable and you need better friends. Secondly this story makes the groom look like a complete dick. The only way this story is going down well is if all of their family and friends are complete arseholes too (unless it’s the first chapter of an epic tale of redemption)

If you know that there are stories and moments in his life that the groom seriously regrets, then don’t bring them up. Remember that this room is full of the bride and groom’s closest friends and family. The Groom doesn’t want you to tell the story about his sleeping with the Himalayan prostitute, especially not in a room that includes his gran and his new wife.

If it’s not a story that the Groom would wilfully admit to after a few drinks, then it’s probably not for this audience.

The best stories are usually about light hearted public embarrassment, mischief and minor rebellion. Just remember though, if there’s a videographer present, it’s going on the record… So, don’t say anything that’s going to get anyone arrested!

 6. creative best man speeches

You’re the best man. What are you the best at? Creatively speaking. Can you sing? Can you dance? Can you rap? Can you write poetry? maybe a dirty limerick?

If you have some creative bones in your body… use them. The best best man speeches I’ve seen have been memorable for their creative moments.

A few years ago, I saw a speech where the best man wrote a short play detailing the bride and groom’s relationship. He’d gathered a few of their closest friends to perform the skit. It made for a truly memorable addition to his speech. The bride and groom simultaneously laughed uncontrollably and cringing hard. I’ve seen my fair share of Best men perform raps, songs and poems, there’s even been a little illustration and painting thrown in the mix.

If you’re good at something creative, maybe there’s a way of getting it into your speech. Even if you’re not great at the creative arts, adding in a little creativity is a good way of making your speech fun and memorable (plus it’s usually good for a few easy laughs)

bride listening to speech

 7. The best man with a plan

“I’m just going to get up there and wing it” the two people you LEAST want to hear this from are your surgeon… and the best man.

Some best men have a gift. The ability to hold the attention of a room using nothing but the power of their vocal chords. This, combined with a mind that automatically places all of the right words in the right order, creates a sublime piece of oratory art. Crowds applaud. Women swoon and men hold up camera phones in an effort to capture something of this vocal marvel.

I’m sorry to say, that you are most likely not one of these rarities. The majority of the time when a best man says “I’m just going to wing it”, the following half hour is a meandering mess of misremembered misadventures and mistaken memories.

But fear not. With a little preparation, you can make it seem like you are Gods gift to the spoken word.

Planning and practice make perfect. Either write out your speech word for word or bullet point it on a few cue cards. Practice your speech in the mirror a few times. This will help you identify any sections that are going to trip you up and help get you familiar with your best man speech. It will also give you an indication of how long your speech is. The sweet spot for any speech is eight minutes, though you’ll probably go over a bit when delivering it. Just make sure it doesn’t tip past the twelve-minute mark as that’s when people’s attention begins to … did I feed the dog?

If you’re writing out your speech in its entirety then you can either learn it or read it from the page. If you’re reading your best man speech from the page just be careful not to hold the page right in front of your face… or in anyone else’s for that matter.

wedding reception meal

 8. Booze makes even the best man… mediocre

 Remember that fine line I keep talking about? The one that separates hilarity and being a dick? If anything is likely to accidentally make you cross over that line, it’s fermented hops/grapes/rice/grain/potatoes/turnips.

There’s a temptation for a lot of best men to get absolutely hammered on the wedding day. You’ve got to be funny for your speech, right? And you’re hilarious when you’re drunk right?
Sorry to burst your alcohol induced bubble here, but I’ve only ever seen one good best man speech from a hammered best man. He only got away with it because was hilarious even without alcohol and read the majority of his speech directly from cuecards.

Getting wasted before your speech will mean you’re more likely to trip over your words, forget what you were talking about… and cross over that line. You were adamant that you weren’t going to mention your Himalayan encounter… but now you’ve got a bottle of Jack down you, the story is too funny not to tell… even if it is definitely crossing our hypothetical line.

A drink or two to calm your nerves is fine, even a drink or three. But you need to be able to stand up and actually read your tiny cue cards. So, keep it together.

Again, if there’s a videographer present or anyone with a camera… this is getting recorded and played back to you at a later date.

 10. Why are you here?

The last thing to remember is something we’ve already covered. It’s the most important thing to remember so, We’re covering it again.

Remember why you’re writing this best man speech. It’s not about you. It’s about them. Your best mate and his wife are about to start a new life together (or carry on the old one with a certificate and some new tax breaks). The wedding day is a celebration of their union. You and your speech are just a part of that.

It doesn’t matter how bogged down you get in writing the best man speech. So long as you can say a few words that help them celebrate their day, you’ve done your job. Don’t fret, don’t worry and don’t freak out. Don’t tell yourself that it’s all riding on the best man speech. It isn’t. You’re just a part of their big day and if you follow this advice you’ll write the best best man speech ever*.


Planning a wedding?

 It’s all a little overwhelming isn’t it?

We’ve been there. If you want a little help or some ideas from people that go to weddings… a lot, then we can help. We’ve sat down and written loads more wedding planning advice for you here

If you’re planning an amazing wedding, you’re probably going to want an amazing wedding film as well. Something that showcases all of the hard work that you’re putting in.

It just so happens that we specialise in amazing wedding films! Invite us along and we’ll make you a unique film that honestly captures something of you and the day that you had.

The Latest from the Blog

Thirsk lodge barns wedding video

Thirsk lodge barns wedding video

A beautiful wedding video at The brand new thirsk lodge barns wedding venue, yorkshire I love Yorkshire. I travel there very regularly. There are loads of great venues. There's beautiful scenery. There's friendly people, there's cake... at Betty's tea rooms. Yorkshire...

Contact Us

We only ask for your phone number so we can text you a quick response. We wont be calling you every 30 seconds!