Whether you’re standing up for your brother, cousin or best friend, being the best man is always an honor. The first thing that may come to mind when thinking about your best man duties is planning a bachelor party the groom will never forget. But it’s your best man’s speech that is, by far, your most important task.
The perfect best man speech will not only talk about what makes the groom such an amazing guy, it will grab and hold the attention of the audience. It may bring about some laughter or maybe even a few tears depending on the style of speech you choose. But here’s the kicker: you have to accomplish all of that in under three minutes.
We get it, it sounds like a pretty tall order and not everyone is a gifted speech writer. If you find the idea of writing a best man speech that does the groom justice to be rather unnerving, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide not only walks you through the ins and outs of best man speech writing, we’ve even penned some great examples & templates for your inspiration.
In This Article
Best Man Speech Structure
Our structure includes the seven things every best man speech should have. Remember, the goal of your speech is to honor the bride and groom (while keeping things fun with some light ribbing).
- Introduce yourself and break the ice with a funny opening line.
- Briefly share how you met the groom.
- Transition to a funny story about you and the groom (with emphasis on the groom).
- Follow up with sincere comments about the groom.
- Touch on when you first met the bride and why you think they’ll be a great fit.
- Finish off with a closing round of sincerity and best wishes on their future together.
- Wrap it up with a toast to the bride and groom.
Best Man Speech Tips
Whether this is your first wedding speech or you’ve done this before, our tips can help you write a tribute to the groom that he and all of his wedding guests will appreciate. Here are twelve things to keep in mind when writing your best man speech.
- Brainstorm (the best way to get rid of writer’s block).
- Keep your speech concise (under three minutes).
- Talk about the groom and his new bride.
- Don’t talk about yourself (remember, it’s their day).
- Never talk about exes.
- Avoid inside jokes.
- Be funny (in moderation).
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion.
- Try to use a common theme.
- Don’t talk too fast.
- Practice makes perfect.
- Introduce the next speaker (if applicable).
Best Man Speech Themes
Finding a theme to use for your speech is a great way to keep it cohesive and easy-to-follow. Think about the best qualities the groom possesses and then choose one characteristic to craft a speech around. Here are ten themes to get you started.
- His reliability
- His sense of humor
- His empathy for others
- His thoughtfulness
- His resilience
- His optimism
- His self-reliance
- His intelligence
- His cooking skills
- His athleticism
Whatever trait you choose, find a way to tie it all together.
For example, if you decide to talk about how funny the groom is, find a way to bring his love interest into the speech on that same topic.
Perhaps you can talk about the groom winning his love’s heart with his sense of humor or how she laughs at every single one of his jokes — even when they’re not funny.
Best Man Speech Examples
If you need some inspiration before writing, these best man speech examples are just the thing to get your creative juices flowing.
“Good evening everyone. My name is Zak, and my long-time friend Scott had the good sense to make me his best man.
They say good things come to those who wait, and for Scott that is certainly true. He had to wait until his freshman year in college to meet the best and most modest friend he’ll ever have (and in case it isn’t obvious who I’m talking about, that would be me) and he had to wait until the tender age of 30 to meet the love of his life, Natalie.
In the 15 years I’ve known him, Scott has always been a patient man and has never been afraid to wait for what is best or what is right. His marriage to Natalie is certainly an example of that. He waited for what was best and what was right and now has a beautiful, smart and talented woman to call his wife.
I don’t know if she’s as patient as he is, but Natalie, for your sake I hope you are because Scott can be trying. As his college roommate I can certainly attest to that. During our freshman year, Scott hated doing laundry so much that instead of heading to the laundromat he’d just go to Wal-Mart to buy new socks and underwear. There was such a huge pile of dirty laundry in our room that I was worried about it collapsing and burying me while I slept.
Then there was the time that he decided to do his chem lab experiment in our dorm room. Our room stunk like rotten eggs for a week straight.
Despite his questionable laundry and homework habits, Scott is the very definition of the word friend. He’s always the first one to offer a helping hand or a kind word and he’s always there to help people through hard times or to celebrate their successes.
And that is how I know that Scott and Natalie will be so great together. In the three years I’ve known her, I’ve come to realize that she and Scott were cut from the same mold. They are unfailingly kind and compassionate people who are always there when someone needs them.
Scott and Natalie, you are great examples of what real love looks like and I wish you all the best for your future as husband and wife. So raise your glasses with me and toast this awesome couple — to the bride and groom!”
“Good evening. My name is Caleb, the best man and younger brother of the groom.
Everyone I know has always been impressed by Rob. As a kid, he was the kind of boy that everyone liked. Teachers adored him, other kids’ parents said “why can’t you be more like Rob.” Even our parents thought he was pretty great. But I would like to point out that as great as Rob is, my parents’ quest for the perfect kid didn’t end with Rob — it ended with me three years later.
As the younger child, I always considered it my job to tease my big brother. He was a good student and athlete. I was the comedian. He was the brains and the brawn. I was the looks and the wit.
Seriously, though, I’ve always looked up to Rob. Not just because he is older than me, but because he’s one of the best people I know. Rob is the kind of guy that everyone likes. He’s super smart, but not arrogant. He’s a talented athlete, but also the most sportsman-like. He’s nice, but not in the ordinary way. He’s the type of guy who has true empathy for people.
I’m happy to say that the lovely Laura is just as kind-hearted as my big brother. And it was their concern for others that brought them together as volunteers at the same group for inner city kids.
It was there that they discovered that she was the yin to his yang and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Laura, we are so glad to welcome you to our family. Your cheerful, fun-loving personality and ability to make people laugh has made us love you almost as much as Rob does.
I know you two will have many wonderful years together as husband and wife. To Rob and Laura!”
“Hi everyone, my name is Greg, the best man, best brother and best keeper of secrets for our groom and my younger brother Mason.
He may regret giving me the microphone after an introduction like that, but Mason, I promise not to share all of your embarrassing secrets tonight. Your lovely bride Jocelyn told me I only had a few minutes to speak, so I’ll only be able to share one or two of your finer moments with our family and friends.
When I was a kid, I always wanted a younger brother and was thrilled when my parents brought him home from the hospital when I was five. Well, let me tell you, over the years there were a few times I regretted that wish, like when I was 10 and Mason used my finished book report as his personal artistic canvas for painting or when I was 12 and he decided to take apart my scooter so he’d know how it worked. The problem was, he wasn’t very good at putting it back together.
I think my favorite childhood memory of Mason, however, was the time he decided it would be a great idea to be like Tarzan and swing from tree-to-tree in our backyard. As his older, and much wiser brother, I, of course, tried to talk him out of it.
When that didn’t work, I went and got the camera so I could document this wonderful memory. I may also have helped him find and tie ropes to a few of the trees. Anyway, as you can imagine, he didn’t have quite the same athletic prowess at the age of 8 as Tarzan did, although I must say he did a pretty good job on the Tarzan yell.
Well, when he grabbed the rope and leaped from our treehouse, he did indeed sail through the air just like Tarzan but instead of letting go and grabbing for the next rope he went sailing back toward the treehouse. I noticed his screams were much less Tarzan-like by this point.
He crashed into the tree that our tree house was built in and fell toward the ground. Luckily for Mason, but not for our Golden Retriever, Lucky happened to be laying under the tree watching the entire process and when Mason fell, he landed right on Lucky’s back. Fortunately neither one of them was hurt, but even more importantly, I got a lot of great pictures.
Twelve years later, Mason, who clearly had learned nothing from the whole Tarzan incident, tried to talk me into going bungee jumping with him to celebrate graduating from college. Like the good big brother I am, I offered to be there to take a video of the experience. Luckily the bungee jumping went a lot more smoothly than his first Tarzan experience.
Mason, as many of you already know, and the rest of you have likely already guessed, is a bit of a daredevil and now he has the perfect partner to try crazy things with: Jocelyn. They both have the same adventurous spirit and zest for life. And while I’m really pleased that Mason and Jocelyn have found happiness together, I’m even more happy to say that he’s finally quit pestering me to do crazy stuff with him — he’s found a new and much braver partner in crime.
Jocelyn, I am so happy to welcome you to our family — and not just because I didn’t want to be the one to go skydiving with Mason this year. You have made Mason so happy and that’s all I’ve ever wanted for my little brother.
My hope for you both is a long and happy life together with many adventures — and no injuries.
To the bride and groom!”
Read More: 5 Best Man Speech Examples
Best Man Speech Templates
If you need some help getting started, these best man speech templates are perfect for smashing through writer’s block.
“Hi, my name is [Best Man], the best man and the groom’s best friend. I would like to thank [Groom] for choosing me to be his best man if for no other reason than that he’s finally admitting that I am the best.
We’ve enjoyed a long and competitive friendship, ever since meeting in the third grade. We competed over a lot of things. When we were eight, it was about who had the best rock collection. When we were 12 it was about who could do the best 180 skateboard rotation. When we were 15, it was all about who was the better football player. Even though I had the better arm and eventually became quarterback in our senior year, it was [Groom] who was the star of the team as the left tackle. He was the ultimate protector on the field and he always had my back and kept me from getting sacked more times than I can count.
One thing I can definitely say about [Groom] is that on the field or off, he’s the type of guy you want to have in your corner. And not just because he’s 6’4 and can bench 300 pounds. [Groom] may have been a great football player in our high school and college days but he’s an even better friend.
He’s fun-loving and always up for a good time but he also has a big heart and is always there for his family and friends. He’s not one to give advice or tell people what to do, but if you need someone to listen, you won’t find a better listener than [Groom]. I can’t even begin to count the number of times he played that role for me and, even though he never actually says a lot, when he does speak, everyone listens. That’s p[Groom]ably what makes him such an amazing football coach today. Each and everyone of the young men he coaches look up to him and consider him a mentor.
[Groom], I want you to know how lucky I feel to call you friend. But you are even luckier — not just because you have me as a best friend — but because you found [Bride]. [Bride]’s not just beautiful, but she’s the kind of woman you’d want in your corner. And that’s what makes [Groom] and [Bride] so perfect for each other. They truly are the dream team and have the kind of relationship we should all aspire to.
To [Groom] and [Bride] — two of the best people I know. Cheers!”
“Good evening everyone. My name is [Best Man], and my older brother saw fit to make me best man for the day. It is truly an honor to stand with him on this special day.
During our childhood I always looked up to [Groom] both literally and figuratively. And while I eventually caught up to him when it comes to height, I still look up to him as a role model and a friend.
Being six years his junior, I always admired him. When I was 4 and he was 10 I thought I would never be as good as him when it came to riding a bike or tying my shoes. But it was he who taught me to do both of those things. When I was 9 and he was 15, it was [Groom] who helped me learn long division.
When I was 10 and he was 16, I thought there could be no one cooler than my big brother. He had a girlfriend and a car, which I thought was pretty darn impressive.
Looking back, I’m sure I was a bit of a nuisance, asking question after question of him and following him around. But he never made me feel that way. He was unfailingly patient and kind to me and always made me feel important. Unlike so many of my friends who were told by their older siblings to get lost, [Groom] always had time for me.
[Groom] has been there for every big moment of my life: high school graduation, college graduation and getting my first job. That is why I am so happy that I can be here for him on this most special of days: His wedding to the love of his life, [Bride].
When I first met [Bride], I could see not only how much they love each other, but how good they are together. Just like [Groom], [Bride] is kind and patient and truly values family and relationships. And while she only officially became a member of our family today, we have considered her part of our clan for a long time.
[Groom] and [Bride], I consider your love for each other a true inspiration and I wish you many wonderful years together as husband and wife. I love you both!
To the bride and groom!”
Read More: 5 Best Man Speech Templates
Best Man Speech Opening Lines
The key to delivering a fun and memorable speech is by starting it off with a great opening line. Here are seven openers that are perfect for starting your speech with.
- Hello everyone. I’m Liam, the groom’s best friend. I’d like to start by congratulating Rick on his excellent taste in best men. He really couldn’t have picked a better man for the job.
- Rick had the honor of being my best man last year. He spent months writing a perfect, tender and charming speech. Everyone agreed it was funny and beautiful. Unfortunately I’m a married man, so I haven’t had the time to do all that. Sorry, Rick!
- Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to celebrate something truly magical. Something so rare and wondrous that it simply must be celebrated. I am, of course, talking about the free food and booze.
- One of the biggest responsibilities of the best man is to toast the bride and groom, so Rick and Liz, I want you to know that I came prepared. (Take two pieces of toast out of your pocket and hand them to the bride and groom).
- I was told by a speech expert to picture everyone naked if I got nervous. Obviously, I can’t do that where the beautiful bride is concerned or the groom might punch me, but, I have to say, picturing him naked isn’t really helping much, so I don’t think the expert knew what he was talking about.
- What can I say about Rick? I guess I may as well start at the beginning. He was born Nov. 3, 1993. My parents had been hoping for a girl, but like I’ve always said, close enough.
- Good evening everyone. My name is Liam, Rick’s older brother and his best man. I’ve known Rick for, (turns to look at groom), how old are you again? (Wait for the groom to respond) Right, I’ve known him for 26 years and I’ve liked him for maybe five or six years of those years.
Read More: 70 Best Man Speech Opening Lines
Best Man Speech Jokes
Best man speeches are best known for being the funniest speech of the night — but don’t go over board! Remember to balance your jokes with at least a bit of flattery (especially if the joke is at the groom’s expense).
- I’d like to start by congratulating Scott on his excellent taste in speech givers.
- Good evening everyone! I’m Mike. I’m sure you all know me as Scott’s younger brother, but if you don’t, well done on sneaking into the wedding unnoticed!
- Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to celebrate something truly magical. Something so rare and wondrous that it simply must be celebrated. I am, of course, talking about the free booze.
Jokes Involving the Groom
- Loyal, caring, sincere, honest, a great man… but that’s enough about me, I’m here to give a speech about Scott!
- Where do I start with Scott? He’s kind, intelligent, gorgeous, charming… sorry, I’m having trouble reading Scott’s writing, (turn to groom) you’ll have to tell me the rest later.”
- Let me tell you about the groom. I’ve known him for 15 years, he’s handsome, intelligent, witty, charismatic… Oops, sorry, wrong wedding.
Jokes Involving the Bride
- Claire is a bright, charming, wonderful woman, who deserves a good husband. It’s such a shame Scott swooped in before she could find one.
- Scott, you’re leaving tonight with a beautiful wife. Claire, you get to go home with a beautiful new dress. So it’s win-win.
- Claire did actually tell me Scott has always brightened up her life. Well, she actually said he never turned the lights off.. but it amounts to the same thing, right?
- Scott, once you get married remember that when you have a discussion with your wife, always get the last two words in: “Yes, dear.”
- Husbands are the best people to share your secrets with. They’ll never tell anyone because they aren’t listening anyway.
- Never laugh at your wife’s choices, you are one of them.
Read More: 80 Best Man Speech Jokes
Best Man Speech Quotes
Quotes are a great way to enhance your speech (regardless of your speaking style). Here are seven of our favorites.
- “There are friends, there is family and then there are friends that become family.”
- “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.”
— Irish proverb
- “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
— Henry David Thoreau, American philosopher and poet
- “Love is a lot like a backache. It doesn’t show up on X-rays, but you know it’s there.”
— George Burns, American comedian
- “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
— Barbara Johnson, American literary critic
- “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
— Ephesians 4:2
- “It doesn’t matter if the guy is perfect or the girl is perfect, as long as they are perfect for each other.”
— Robin Williams, “Good Will Hunting”
Read More: 99 Best Man Speech Quotes
Best Man Speech Toasts
Here are seven toasts that are perfect for finishing your speech with.
- Please join me in raising a glass to the happy couple — to John and Rachel!
- To my brother and his beautiful bride — the new Mr and Mrs Smith!
- Here is to love, laughter and happily ever after. John and Rachel, your fairy tale is only beginning.
- Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in toasting John, and his beautiful bride, Rachel. May the love you two share today grow stronger as you grow older. To the bride and groom!
- Here’s to John and Rachel. May you share joy that grows deeper, friendship that grows closer and a marriage that grows richer through the years. Cheers!
- Let us raise our glasses to the beautiful couple. And may I remind you, no one will judge if you get more than a bit tipsy — so cheers!
- Here’s to the husband and here’s to the wife. May their love last for the rest of their life. Cheers!
Read More: 39 Best Man Toasts
Frequently Asked Questions
How many speeches does the best man give?
The best man traditionally gives one speech.
Does the best man have to give a speech?
No, but it’s highly recommended you do so.
Why does the best man give a speech?
The best man gives a speech because there’s no better way of paying tribute to the bride and groom on their special day. It’s fun, entertaining, and a life-long memory that you don’t want to miss out on.
When does the best man speech take place?
The best man speech traditionally takes place during the wedding reception (following the groom’s speech). Depending on how the timeline has been organized, it may also be the last speech of the day.
How long should a best man speech be?
A best man’s speech should take a minimum of three minutes but last no longer than five. This range is ideal for holding your audience’s attention, and keeps you accountable to delivering a concise speech that resonates with guests.
What should you say in a best man speech?
A best man’s speech should cover:
• Who you are & how you met the groom
• A funny story about the groom and you
• Why the bride & groom will be a great fit
• Best wishes followed by a final toast
Who does the best man thank in his speech?
Contrary to what you might read online, the best man does not need to thank multiple people during his speech (outside of the bride and groom). With that being said, you can ask the groom if there’s anyone he’d like you to thank on his behalf.