It’s the moment you’ve always been waiting for: your best friend or brother has asked you to be his best man! But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. And in your case, that responsibility is writing a truly epic best man speech. To help you with this daunting task, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to give an unforgettable best man speech — plus some examples and templates to get you started!
We get it, public speaking can feel downright terrifying. But when done right, a best man speech will instantly light up a room and earn you allllll the best friend points. No pressure or anything! In this guide, we’re here to help you nail your moment in the spotlight with all the best man speech FAQs, advice, and examples you could ever need. Let’s get into it!
Green Wedding Shoe’s product selections are curated and/or tested by the editorial team and GWS community. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. Please consider shopping through our links if you would like to support GWS!
Best Man Speech FAQs
If you want to write a best man speech that leaves the room in tears (of laughter or joy, take your pick!), the first step is preparation. This isn’t the type of best man duty that you can leave to the morning of the wedding — procrastinators, we’re looking at you!
So, to help you knock it out of the park, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to write an unforgettable best man speech. From the best topics to cover to the best topics to avoid, here are all of our best man speech FAQs!
P.S. This is just an overview to get you started. Keep scrolling for our complete template and examples that you can use to write your own epic best man speech!
Is the best man required to give a speech on the wedding day?
As best man, you’re in charge of more than just standing next to the groom (and looking fly) on the big day — you’ve got responsibilities, my friend! And in addition to rocking a great ‘fit, keeping the other groomsmen in check, and getting everyone in the party mood, one of those responsibilities is giving a killer best man speech.
While the best man isn’t required to give a speech on the wedding day, it is a fun tradition that goes back decades. This is your chance to share your love for the newlyweds — and tell a few funny stories about your best friend while you’re at it!
Because of this, the happy couple (and the guests) will likely expect you to stand up and say a few words, but if you’re extra nervous about public speaking, feel free to talk to the love birds about skipping it. They may have another tradition or ritual that you can do instead of a best man speech.
Still searching for the perfect ‘fit for the big day? We’ve got you covered with this list of the most stylish suits for groomsmen!
At what point in the wedding day does the best man speech happen?
Traditionally, the best man speech takes place during the reception after the groom (or couple) has given their toast. This is when everyone is gathered together, the good vibes are rolling, and the drinks are flowing. It’s the perfect time to congratulate the couple and get the party started!
While this is the traditional timing for best man speeches, the couple may have different preferences based on their wedding timeline. It’s always a good idea to check with them ahead of time to ensure you’re fully prepared for your moment in the spotlight.
What kind of topics should you cover in a best man speech?
When it comes to best man speeches, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. Every speech is different, just like every couple is different! But no matter which direction you choose, you want to focus on congratulating the newlyweds and expressing your love for the happy couple.
While you probably have endless crowd-pleasing stories about the groom, it’s also important to spotlight the couple as a whole, instead of writing your entire best man speech about your friend.
Do you have a funny story about the groom asking his S.O. out on their first date? Or a sweet anecdote from when he told you he found “the one?” This approach will help them both feel special on the big day — and earn you brownie points with both sides of the guest list!
P.S. We’ve included more specific examples to write about in your best man speech down below, plus a template to get you started!
What topics are off-limits during a best man speech?
Remember: this a wedding, not a bachelor party! When writing your best man speech, the goal is to keep it classy and appropriate for all ages, while still injecting a bit of your personality into the toast. It’s a delicate balance, so here are a few topics to avoid on the mic!
- Super personal or embarrassing stories: Sure, you might have some hilarious anecdotes about the groom, but if they might embarrass the couple or their families, then they’re better left unsaid. After all, this is a celebration of love, not a roast!
- Controversial topics: Whenever you’re giving a speech (and especially at a wedding filled with your best friend’s loved ones), you should avoid anything that could be considered controversial or offensive. This includes jokes or comments about religion, politics, race, gender, or sexuality. Even if you think you’re being funny, you don’t want to risk offending anyone in the audience.
- Past relationships: If there was ever a time to not talk about an ex, it’s at that person’s wedding. No matter how good the story is, bringing up the couple’s former flames during the best man speech will only ever be awkward when they’re sitting next to you in their wedding best.
- Inside jokes: The most successful best man speeches are the ones that make the entire audience smile, laugh, or tear up. To keep your speech inclusive and engaging for everyone in the room (not just your friend group), avoid those inside jokes that you “just had to be there” to get.
How long should a best man speech be?
For best man speeches that make an impact, shorter is usually better. As a general rule, aim for around 3 to 5 minutes (about 750 words). This is long enough to cover the essentials and tell a few great stories, without losing the audience’s attention. Anything longer, and you might risk people getting distracted or bored — especially if the speeches are taking place later in the evening.
When writing your best man speech, always focus on the quality over the length. With such a short window, you want to make every word count. So practice your delivery, time yourself, and aim for a speech that’s heartfelt, fun, and concise.
When in doubt, aim for a best man speech that’s short and sweet, rather than super long. Attention spans at this point in the wedding day are limited!
Does your best man speech have to be funny?
No, your speech doesn’t have to be funny, and jokes are by no means a requirement. It’s easy to feel pressured to turn your best man speech into a stand-up routine, but this definitely isn’t necessary. If it doesn’t feel natural, then it’s always better to stick with a heartfelt and authentic approach that reflects your unique relationship with the newlyweds.
On the other hand, if you are the class clown of the friend group, then humor is always appreciated! A crowd-pleasing joke or two during your best man speech will keep the good vibes going — just be sure to balance them with sincere and heartfelt sentiments. At the end of the day, you want to be yourself, speak from the heart, and let your personality shine.
Who does the best man thank in his speech?
Aside from the anecdotes and words of love, best man speeches should also include a few heartfelt thank you’s. It’s best practice to express your gratitude to the newlyweds, as well as the loved ones who made this day possible. This could be the couple’s parents, their (other) best friends, and anyone else who played a big part in their relationship.
And finally, get the crowd on your side by thanking all the guests for being a part of this special celebration. Without their love and support, the day wouldn’t be complete!
Our Best Advice for Writing The Ultimate Best Man Speech
So, where do you start? You don’t have to be a skilled speech writer to write a best man speech that wins over the room. That’s where we come in! We’ve seen our fair share of killer best man speeches, and we’ve made a note of all the do’s and don’ts to follow during your time at the mic.
By the end of the best man speech, the crowd should feel like they know a little bit more about the couple’s love story — and be excited to spend the rest of the night celebrating them (you’re basically their hype man!).
Keep scrolling for our top tips for writing a best man speech that checks off ALL these boxes and more. We see a standing ovation in your future!
Need a little more confidence for your moment in the spotlight? Finish your look with one of these best cologne options for men, as rated by our GWS readers. Smell good, look good, feel good!
1. Craft an Outline for Your Best Man Speech
One thing you shouldn’t do when giving your best man speech? Wing it. Before you step into the spotlight, spend some time crafting an outline for what you’re going to say.
I know, I know, this tip might be bringing you back to your days in English Lit class. But it’s a surefire way to ensure you cover all the essentials, without rambling on and on. Plus, it could be as simple as writing down each section of your best man speech, plus the main points you want cover in those sections — from the funny intro to your favorite anecdotes to the people you want to thank. Done!
P.S. We’ve included a template down below to make writing an outline for your best man speech a little easier!
2. Consider the Formality of the Wedding When Crafting Your Best Man Speech
Not sure which tone to take for your best man speech? Let the formality of the wedding be your guide. For example, a laid-back beach wedding is the perfect opportunity for a funny best man speech filled with witty jokes and wild stories, while a black tie optional affair may call for something a little classier.
The formality of the wedding may also depend on who’s in attendance. A small crowd filled with the couple’s best friends and closest family members will allow for a different type of best man speech than a large guest list that includes their co-workers, neighbors, and distant relatives.
Read the room, and don’t be afraid to ask the love birds beforehand about how formal to make your best man speech.
3. Brainstorm a List of Your Favorite Moments With The Groom and the Couple
How did you first meet the groom? Was there a moment or experience that bonded you together? Were you there when he first laid eyes on his other half? What are your favorite memories with the three of you together?
Do a brain dump of all these moments before writing your best man speech, then sift through them to pick out the best jokes, anecdotes, and sentimental moments to share with the crowd.
4. When Crafting Jokes, Choose Ones That Will Have Wide Appeal
As we mentioned before, the best examples of best man speeches bring the entire crowd in on the joke. You and the couple may have an incredible inside joke that will have you all on the floor, but if it leaves the rest of the room in crickets then this may not be the best time for it.
Instead, choose jokes that everyone will enjoy. If it will make the groom’s grandmother and the flower girl laugh, then you have yourself a winner. And if you do want to include a few inside jokes, balance them with some crowd-pleasing cracks — or give the crowd a little backstory about what makes this joke so funny to the couple.
5. Run Your Best Man Speech By Someone Else in the Wedding Party
So, how do you know if your jokes (or the rest of your best man speech, for that matter) will have widespread appeal? Recruit some test subjects first!
Ask someone that’s close to the couple to listen to your speech before you present it to a room filled with people. This could be a bridesmaid, a fellow groomsmen, or a close family member. These are the people that know the couple just as well as you do (and have some knowledge about the wedding), so they’ll have better insight about what works, and what doesn’t.
Not only will this help ensure that your jokes land, your speech flows, and your anecdotes hit home, but it will also give you a chance to practice speaking in front of other people. Which brings us to our next tip…
6. Practice Your Best Man Speech (And Aim to Put it To Memory!)
Before giving your best man speech, be sure to follow the three P’s: practice, practice, practice. Say the speech in front of the mirror, in front of a few friends, or in front of a video camera to gain confidence and get your inflections + hand gestures just right.
You can even do a mini dress rehearsal in your suit to get a feeling for the big moment. Practice your best man speech with a microphone (or a hairbrush!) and imagine you’re in the venue. When you visualize your speech going well, you’ll feel more prepared for the big moment!
We also recommend trying to memorize your best man speech. There’s nothing worse than someone reading from their phone or a stack of notecards — this can make the speech feel stiff and awkward (and doesn’t look great in photos). By memorizing it, you’ll be more present in the moment and the delivery will feel more natural.
GWS Pro Tip: If you struggle to memorize things or want to have a few notes to help with your nerves, then swap your notes app for a classy leather journal instead. This mini one is the perfect pocket size, and it’ll look great in photos!
7. Remember to Breathe and Take it Slow
When you’re nervous, you may want to rush the delivery to get the speech over with as fast as possible. But this will only make you feel more anxious, and it’ll make it harder for the audience to get the full impact of your best man speech.
Before you start talking, take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. It also helps to focus on taking pauses throughout your best man speech — especially after a good joke. This signals to the audience that it’s time to laugh, and it gives them a moment to let your comic genius sink in.
The Foolproof Best Man Speech Template and Examples
Grab your pen and paper — it’s time to start writing your iconic best man speech! To help you create your plan of attack, we’ve designed a template that covers each section of your best man speech, plus specific examples to get you started.
Whether you want your best man speech to be funny, sentimental, or a mix of the two, this template will guide you in the writing and delivery process. From an opener that will get people laughing to a final toast that will inspire tears of joy, we’re covering all the bases.
So without further ado, here’s our template to help you write the best best man speech of all time!
1. Craft an Opener for Your Best Man Speech That Really Hooks Them
It’s always best to start your best man speech by introducing yourself — but that doesn’t mean your opener has to be boring! Spice it up with a funny one-liner, a heartfelt quote (this could be from a movie you and the groom love!), or a fun fact about you and the couple.
Don’t forget to keep the focus on the groom (or the couple as a whole), even as you’re introducing yourself. The crowd is here for them, so give the people what they want!
GWS Pro Tip: During this introduction, avoid talking about how nervous you are (even if you’re currently shaking in your dress shoes). Act confident, and you’ll look confident!
Best man speech example that will get everyone laughing: “There comes a time in everyone’s life when they meet their soulmate. The person who will love them and put up with them for the rest of their life. That moment came for [groom] 15 years ago when he met me.”
Best man speech template for a clever one-liner: “Good evening, everyone! I’m [name], [groom]’s best man, and I’m pretty sure I’m only up here because I know where all the embarrassing photos of him are hidden.”
Best man speech example that instantly hooks you: “As [groom’s] brother, I’m here tonight to tell you three things you never knew about [groom]. Sorry in advance mom and dad.”
2. Keep the Mood Light-Hearted With a Crowd-Pleasing Joke
If you didn’t include a joke in your opener, now’s your chance to get the crowd on your side. Remember: your best man speech doesn’t have to be a stand-up act. If you’re not a natural comedian, don’t force it — but a little laughter will go a long way to break the ice and keep spirits high.
When in doubt, balance your joke with some heartfelt sentiments. This will come across as more authentic, especially if you’re not the jokester of the group. Here are some examples you can steal for your best man speech!
Best man speech example for super tall grooms: “I’ve always looked up to [groom]. He follows his heart, he does the right thing, and he works hard at everything he does. But mostly, he’s 6 feet tall, so I have no choice.”
Best man speech example for couples who met online: “Before I continue, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to tonight’s sponsor: Tinder. Without you, we wouldn’t all be here this evening. So cheers to Tinder, and [groom’s partner] swiping right on [groom’s] fishing picture!”
Best man speech example for grooms with a beard:“[Partner’s name], you look beautiful today. [Groom’s name], you didn’t even shave!”
3. Tell One or Two Personal Anecdotes in Your Best Man Speech
Next up: storytime. This is where you should give a little more backstory about how you know the groom, and share some anecdotes that will make the crowd fall even more in love with the couple.
We get it, you probably have hundreds of stories that you could tell about the groom. How will you ever narrow it down?! When choosing which stories to write about in your best man speech, it helps to stick to a theme. This will ensure you stay on track and give your speech a well-rounded feel.
Some fool-proof themes are:
- What first bonded you together (college antics, brotherhood, coffee, you name it)
- All the ways the two of you are opposites (this is a fun way to compliment and poke fun at the groom)
- Funny facts the guests don’t know about the groom or the couple
- Why the love birds are perfect for each other
- Inspiring metaphors for marriage (ie: adventure, dreaming big, finding your other half)
Ultimately, you should tell 1 to 3 stories during your best man speech that sum up the kind of person the groom is, and why his partner is his perfect match. Here are a few examples to help you start brainstorming.
Funny best man speech example: “The groom and I have been friends for a long time, and we’ve had some pretty wild adventures together. And while I can’t share all of them here today (for legal reasons), I thought I’d tell you about one that really sticks out in my memory….”
Best man speech example about the couple’s meet-cute: “When [the couple] first met, I knew they were made for each other. It was obvious that first night when we were at a karaoke bar and they both sang Disney songs. Actually, I think the only person who didn’t know was [groom]. We suffered through months of googly eyes and hearing [partner’s name] in every sentence, just waiting for him to catch on. So when he told me that he was going to ask her out — and then, a year later, that he was going to propose — all I could say was: Finally.”
Best man speech template for brothers or childhood friends: “We’ve been through a lot together, but some of my favorite memories are of us camping every summer in Canada. Even though [groom] was always scared of a moose crashing through our tent while we slept, we still had some amazing adventures. From fishing in the lake to roasting marshmallows by the campfire, those summers were unforgettable. And now, as [groom] starts a new adventure with [his partner], I know he’s ready for anything — even a moose!”
4. Balance Your Best Man Speech With Heartfelt Sentiments
Once you’ve told one or two anecdotes, it’s time to dig deep, get heartfelt, and talk about how special the groom is to your life — and how great it is to watch him find his life partner. Don’t be afraid to get a little corny!
While all templates will be different, here are a few key points to cover during this part of the best man speech:
- Highlight what you love about the groom and admire about his love story
- Compliment the groom’s other half
- Express your gratitude to the couple for including you in their celebration
- Thank anyone else who made this day so special, including the couple’s parents (especially if they’re hosting the wedding) and the other members of the wedding party. You can also shout out the guests in attendance!
Sentimental best man speech example:“[Groom] has always been my partner in crime, my camping buddy, and my best friend. He’s always been the fearless one, and now he’s found a partner who’s just as courageous. I have no doubt that they’ll continue to blaze new trails together and create unforgettable memories along the way.”
Best man speech template for thanking the couple and the guests: “I’d like to thank everyone who came today to celebrate the happy couple. It’s a true testament to [the couple] that you’ve all taken the time to come and witness their marriage. I’d also like the thank the two of you for allowing me to be part of such a special day. That’s a lot of blind faith in my public speaking skills. Especially when there’s an open bar involved.”
Best man speech template for complimenting the love birds: “[The couple] takes hashtag couple goals to a whole new level. They wake up early to go to the gym together, come home and cook healthy meals, and make financially sound decisions for every part of their life. Now that you’re married, you guys can probably stop showing off. But in all seriousness, it’s something special to find your perfect other half. And that’s worth celebrating.”
5. Congratulate the Newlyweds and Wish Them Luck for Their Future
As you wind down your best man speech, be sure to congratulate the couple on their marriage and wish them luck for all their adventures ahead. Instead of giving a quick “congrats,” we love the idea of calling back to a story or joke from earlier in the best man speech. This will tie everything together in a perfect bow!
Heartfelt best man speech congratulations example: “Congrats to the newlyweds. You’ve found someone who loves you for who you are, and that’s a beautiful thing. I know that your marriage will be filled with love, laughter, and plenty of bad dad jokes.”
Best man speech congratulations example for adventurous couples: “Congratulations on finding the person who is game for every adventure that comes your way. I wish you both a lifetime of unconditional love and unforgettable experiences.”
Best man speech congratulations example for an unforgettable quote: “In the words of Forrest Gump, ‘I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.’ And I’m looking at it today. Congratulations to the happy couple.”
6. Close Your Best Man Speech With a Toast
This is your grand finale, so end your best man speech with some fireworks! As you write your final toast, think about what you want your main takeaway to be. Are you hoping for light-hearted laughs, tears of joy, or a resounding “Awwww“? Take some time to write a closing statement that’s short, sweet, and full of love.
GWS Pro Tip: The best toasts invite the crowd to congratulate the couple with you. Use words like “we” and “us” instead of “I” to bring everyone together for this final moment.
Best man speech example for a sweet send-off: “So let’s all raise a glass to the newlyweds. May your love continue to grow stronger with each passing day, and may you never run out of things to laugh about. Cheers!”
Best man speech example for a final laugh: “So let’s all raise a glass to the most important people here. The bar staff. [Pause for laughter] For [the couple], cheers to a lifetime of love and laughter!
Best man speech example for all the happy tears: “So let’s raise a glass to [the couple’s] love. John Lennon said, ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.’ Cheers to all your dreams coming true.”
Attending a Few Weddings This Season? Check Out Our Best Guides.
Wedding season is upon us, and we’re here to help you get ready for all those celebrations of love in your future!
To start, show the couple some love with our list of the best wedding gifts that will wow any newlyweds — plus this round-up of epic engagement gifts for love birds who just popped the question.
And if you’re in the process of picking out the perfect ‘fit, make sure you’re sticking to the dress code with our ultimate guide to semi formal attire. We’ve also created black tie optional wedding guide for those fancier affairs!
Did this guide inspire you to create the greatest best man speech of all time? Make sure to get it on video and tag us on Instagram @greenweddingshoes with the final product!