7 Steps How To Write A Best Man Speech And Deliver That Killer Toast

By Jim CampbellJim CampbellJim CampbellJim is the owner of Honeymoons.com. A lifelong traveler, Jim's wanderlust has led him to spend months living on the Mayan Rivera, instruct SCUBA diving in Croatia, sail from San Diego to Hawaii, and cruise the Caribbean on a catamaran. Jim launched his honeymoon business while planning his own honeymoon in 2019. Since then, he has helped thousands of honeymooners plan their trips through his honeymoon travel agency.Meet Our Team | Updated on February 15, 2024 | Posted In: Weddings

Congratulations on being chosen as the best man. This means you’re the right-hand man of the groom. While it’s a great honor to be the best man to your brother, friend, or colleague, remember that it comes with many responsibilities. You might need to look for best man speeches samples soon.

Aside from always being next to the groom during the ceremony, you also lead the pack in organizing a bachelor party, helping the groom choose formal wear, and practically being the point person of the groomsmen about the pre-wedding and day-of-the-wedding details.

Beyond the seeming wedding coordinator duties, one of your most meaningful tasks is delivering a best man speech. Before digging the internet for perfect best man speeches samples, we’ve outlined some useful FAQs and handy tips on how to write a best man speech.

3 Important Questions About The Best Man Speech

Whether you’re reading this as a bride and groom preparing for your wedding or the best man planning on how to nail a speech in front of a crowd, below are some practical questions to keep in mind so you’ll be ready for the big day.

When Does The Best Man Give His Speech?

Knowing the traditional order of speeches during a wedding will help you plan, avoid mishaps, and adjust accordingly to the situation. During the wedding reception, the father of the bride or her parents gives the first toast. This is followed by the father or parents of the groom. After the speeches of the parents, the maid of honor speech follows.

Then, it’s your big moment. The best man speech traditionally comes after the maid of honor’s speech. 

How Long Should A Best Man Speech Be?

Aside from thinking about what makes a good best man speech, one of the most important things to remember is to keep it at an appropriate length. As a general rule, best man speeches should be short and sweet. Try to keep it between three to five minutes max. 

You can spend about 30 seconds for your intro to set the mood, a good three minutes or so for the main body of your speech, and the remaining time to wrap it up and offer a toast for the newlyweds. 

What To Do If Your Best Man Can’t Give The Speech?

If your best man is not up to delivering a speech during your wedding, don’t take it against him. While it’s a big tradition that sparks laughter and wins oohs and ahhs from wedding guests, not all individuals have the knack for public speaking. If this is the case, you can allow someone to step up, such as another groomsman, a sibling, a cousin, or a close friend. 

Some modern weddings are less traditional and nix the best man speech altogether.

What To Say In A Best Man Speech

The groom picked you to be the best man for a reason. You do not need to pretend to be another person. You just need to be yourself and tell a wonderful story that would make your audience laugh, cry, or learn a lesson about love or life.

A typical best man speech template includes three essential elements:

Key Takeaway

When you stand in front of a crowd to tell a story, you want the newlyweds and wedding guests to remember one thing after you’ve left the floor. It will help if you highlight that thing that binds all the jokes, anecdotes, and stories you share. 

Spotlight On The Newlyweds

The best man speech is not all about your friendship with the groom. You want to put the spotlight on the newlyweds and celebrate their overflowing love for each other. You will be standing there to inspire the crowd on how the couple accomplished things together or how fortunate you are to know that the bride and groom found each other to spend the rest of their lives together.

Personal Insight

Remember that the crowd consists of people from the groom’s and bride’s sides. Whether family, friends, or colleagues, people could not be totally familiar with the bride or groom. You will serve as the bridge, so they get a glimpse of how the relationship blossomed and why you are happy to see the couple together forever. 

What Not To Say In A Best Man Speech

It is best to keep things positive when you deliver a toast. Below are some things you should never include in your best man speech:

  • Details about the groom’s past relationships
  • Money matters
  • Past mistakes of the groom
  • Sexual jokes
  • Stories that may diss marriage
  • Anything negative about the bride
  • Foul language
  • Joke about other cultures
  • Joke about the couple’s parents
  • Long stories

7 Steps To Write And Give A Best Man Speech

If you are feeling a bit nervous about how you will write and how to give a best man speech, don’t worry. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. With some planning and practice, you can wow everyone at the wedding reception with your speech. Here are some handy tips on how to do a best man speech:

1. Go Beyond Reading Best Man Speeches Samples

While you’re the wingman of the groom, you should not wing the best man speech. Do not write it the night before the wedding (remember, bachelor party?). You need to do your homework, and plan and prepare weeks before the wedding day. 

The speech will focus on the couple but will help to know who the audience will be. You can ask the couple beforehand so you can prepare well. Knowing if the wedding will be an intimate affair or a big gathering can help you adjust what to include in a best man speech.

Aside from reading best man speeches samples and writing your own, part of your homework is to limit your drinks the night before or during the reception. This can save you (and the newlyweds) from a big disaster.

2. Create an Outline

You do not have to write the whole speech or memorize it. Often, writing an outline on a piece of paper or your mobile phone will do the trick. Your outline may include the following:

  • Introduction/Opening Statement
  • Congratulate the couple and say your thank yous
  • Compliment the bride, joke about the groom
  • Why you’re delivering the speech
  • Share stories to build a takeaway message
  • Close with a toast

3. Practice And Have A Plan B

Delivering a good best man speech will be a tribute to the newlyweds. Go beyond writing and reading best man speeches samples. One crucial step you need to make is to practice delivering it before the wedding. Practicing it aloud in front of a mirror or having someone listen to you and give feedback will be best. Please take note of your posture and body language, the time it takes you to deliver your speech, and other adjustments you need to make.

Make sure you have a backup copy of your talking points, just in case something untoward happens at the wedding. 

4. Nail The Opening

You have a few seconds to connect with your audience when you deliver your best man speech. You can introduce yourself to the crowd by sharing a story about how you met the groom, complimenting the bride and her wedding entourage, or reading a quote. This will help you magnet eyes and ears, so they pay attention to you the rest of the way.

5. A Dose Of Appropriate Humor 

Sprinkling some jokes can break the ice. It will help you and the crowd relax and set up the mood for the main points of your speech. Just remember to make it appropriate as you might have several generations, people from different cultures, or colleagues of the couple in the crowd. If you have to ask yourself twice if a joke or anecdote is appropriate, it’s a good hint that it’s not.

6. Drop Your Armor

When you speak before the people special to the bride and groom, you share a piece of yourself too. They need to know why you are there and sharing stories. Don’t forget the details that put the audience in the storyline with you. A dose of vulnerability when sharing your appreciation and admiration of the couple will help people understand why they are a good match. 

7. Offer A Beautiful Toast

Are you wondering how to end a best man speech? With heartfelt congratulations and a toast for the newlyweds’ happy future, of course. Deliver your closing line and ask the rest of the guests to celebrate with you and raise their glasses.

Bonus: Best Man Speeches Sample Prompts

If you’re stuck writing your speech, it is best to browse for best man speeches samples. Below are some prompts to help those creative juices flow:

  • What are your wishes for the future of the newlyweds?
  • How did you meet the groom? And why you clicked as friends?
  • Why do you think the bride is perfect for the groom?
  • What qualities does the groom have that you wish you have?
  • Why do you think the bride and groom are perfect for each other?
  • What was it like when the groom introduced the bride to you?
  • How the couple brings out the best in each other?
  • How the couple fits your favorite love quote or poem?
  • How did the groom tell you stories about his partner?
  • What was the most fun vacation you had as friends?

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