Worried about how to write a Best Man speech? In this blog, I will lay out how to structure your speech, what to say, how to say it, and the first half of what a great speech should entail.
Skip ahead to find how to write the second half of your speech.
Structure of the speech (the first half)
1. Introduction: Opening Piece – Introduce Yourself
2. Wedding Procession Observations & Give Thanks
3. A Few Words About the Groom (& You)
Before you begin your introduction there is the small matter of pre-speech formalities. Your speech technically begins during the formalities, when you take up the mic to introduce the Bridal Party speakers. Briefly welcome the guests and introduce yourself, then introduce the Bridal Party speakers (usually Father/representative of the bride, followed by the Groom).
Feel free to ad-lib with some light-hearted comments on the speeches. For example:
- ‘I would now like to hand you over to Tom to say a few words. Well, Tom I hope you make the most of your speech, Now you’re a married man, this be the last time you get to speak for 3 minutes without being interrupted!’
1. Introduction: Opening piece
A humorous introduction is key. Welcome the guests again & thank everyone for coming. Introduce yourself – there is an opening for a joke here at your expense. Self-deprecation shows that you are not just out to target the Groom today and are willing to poke fun at yourself.
- ‘Afternoon everyone, I’m sure you’ll all admit this has turned out to be a brilliant wedding celebration, yet every silver-lining does have a cloud, and that is, that you’ve now got to listen to me, unfortunately.’
- ‘For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Ben I have been Tom’s best mate for over 10 years now, but that position will be up for grabs after this speech I am sure.’
- ‘Tom has a very good circle of friends and I know there were some outstanding candidates for the job as Best Man through Tom’s friends as well as Bill his brother and I must say I feel very privileged and humble at being chosen.’
- ‘I didn’t really know where to begin writing this speech so I thought I’d trawl the internet. After a couple of hours I‘d found some really, really good stuff, some was a bit vulgar and extreme even for my taste. But then I remembered that I was supposed to be writing a speech.’
- ‘The obvious place to start preparing my speech seemed to be the Internet, so with a multitude of resources at my fingertips I dutifully began searching the web. After a couple of hours searching I found some REALLY good stuff on the net, but…. then I remembered I was supposed to be looking for Best Man tips!!!’
- ‘Tom didn’t have an easy decision in choosing his Best Man. First, he called his most charming friend, and he said no. Second, he called his most trusted and smartest friend, and he said no. Then, he asked his most good looking friend, and he also said no. Then he called me, and I said Tom I can’t say no to you four times.’
- ‘What a whirlwind of a day! It’s not easy getting ready for a wedding, I can see some of you were in a hurry to get dressed this morning. In the afternoon we were trying to get all the beautiful Bridesmaids, all the handsome Groomsmen, not to mention the stunning Bride and the dashing Groom, ready for this day of celebration. I have to say, Tom (Groom) was surprisingly calm and collected–as if he knew what he was getting himself into.’
- ‘Ladies and gentlemen, if there’s anybody here this afternoon who’s feeling nervous, apprehensive and queasy at the thought of what lies ahead…… it’s probably because you have just married Tom Smith.’
Check out more inspiration for Best Man speech one liners.
2. Wedding procession observations and give thanks
Thank the Bridesmaids and compliment the Bride
‘Before I undertake the customary duty of giving Tom an uncomfortable few minutes it is part of the official duty of the best man to thank Tom on behalf of the Bridesmaids, for his kind words and for having them play a part of this really special day. I have to say they all look wonderful and have done an excellent job. Indeed they are only eclipsed by Sarah herself, who, I’m sure you’ll all agree, looks absolutely stunning.’
Thank the Groomsmen
‘There is an unwritten rule of wedding etiquette that states that nobody should look more handsome than the groom and I’d like to thank the Groomsmen Liam and John for sticking to that rule to the letter.’
Comment on how nice the day has been so far. Things to comment on may include the Church service, the venue, the wedding gifts, guests who have travelled far and wide to attend the wedding. Have some fun with it.
‘It is really great to see everyone here today, I know it was a long way to travel for some, but we genuinely appreciate it. It just goes to show how just much everyone cares about Tom and Sarah and just how far Andrew Brown will travel for a free meal.’
3. A few words about the Groom (& you)
This is the meat of the speech. Tell the audience about your relationship with the Groom. Start with a funny opening, tell one or two funny stories (or make a list of some funny Idiosyncrasies), then finish with something sincere.
- ‘So where do I start with Tom? Well for starters he’s… handsome. witty, intelligent. He’s Char… Charm…. Sorry… Tom …. I’m having trouble reading your handwriting, what does that say?’
- ‘So what can you say about a man who came from humble beginnings and is now quickly rising to the very top of his profession based solely on intelligence, grit and the willpower to push on where others might fail? A man who is beginning to distinguish himself amongst his peers and where no‐one can say a bad word against him? Anyway that’s enough about me. I’m here to talk about Tom.’
- ‘Tom has always been an impulsive guy. In fact they were only going out a year when Tom popped the question. And like that… 6 years later here we are today.’
Character Assassination Level 1 – Gentle Ribbing
You’ll need to hold all your flash cards for this one:
- ‘I ran my speech by the Bride earlier and she told me that I wasn’t to mention any of the stories about Tom’s single days [pause and put a third of the flash cards on the table], anything involving alcohol, [pause and put the second third of the flash cards on the table] or his run ins with the law… [put the remaining cards down and loudly exhale]… well, I better wrap this up then.’
- ‘Tom has been known let tell people that his sporting prowess was legendary. In fact, his club contacted me personally to wish him all the best and to say that he made a major contribution to the team..… by retiring two years ago.’
Character Assassination Level 2 – Harsh But Funny
- ‘During the ceremony today I couldn’t help thinking it’s funny how history repeats itself, I mean it was 30 years ago Bob and Mary were sending their daughter to bed with a dummy…and now it’s happening all over again today.’
- ‘As we all know Tom takes his football very seriously. As a matter of fact he told me that he is going to approach this marriage just like he approaches his football career. Score at least once a week, go the full 90 minutes, switch ends at half time, and play half his games away from home. Although Sarah did say that last one may result in another severe groin injury.’
Include one or two humorous stories about the Groom that are personal to you. Childhood embarrassments, the Glory Days, how you met, first impressions, school/college days. These are unique to you so you will need to come up with this part yourself!
Finish off with some nice sincere words about the Groom.
- ‘Tom, you are an excellent friend and it has truly been an honour being your Best Man.’
- ‘Apart from when (insert sports team winning a league/cup), this is the happiest day of your life, and so it should be, for you have just married a most beautiful lady. Sarah is a lovely person, she’s smart, funny she’s warm, loving and caring. She deserves a good husband and we all know very well she has found one in you.’
- ‘You’ve come from a fantastic family, you have your own fantastic family, and you have even more happiness on the way.’
This is just the first half of the full guide for how to write a Best Man speech. If you found this useful, finish your speech off with part two of the guide.
Get the Best Man Speech Guidebook
If you are thinking about your upcoming Best Man duties or need to draft your speech in a hurry you can check out the book the Best Man Speech Guidebook for even more tips and a full list of Best Man speech hacks. It contains the important do’s and don’ts in wedding speech etiquette, some great one-liners, visual gag options, but most importantly a clear speech structure and tried and tested speech templates.
The Best Man guide
For more advice and ideas for all of your Best Man duties, check out our Ultimate Best Man Guide page.