To be chosen as the best man at a wedding is a matter of great honor. The very fact that the groom has chosen you to be the best man is that he trusts and values you so much, that he wants you to play a big role on one of the most important days of his life. Besides all the tasks and responsibilities of a best man, the best man speech is also something of tremendous importance.
If you have been asked to deliver a best man speech on your friend's wedding, please do not take it lightly. Make the best of this opportunity and deliver a terrific wedding speech that people will remember for years. You do not need to be a great orator to give a good speech, however, you certainly need to put in some effort to deliver an effective speech.
Best Man Speech Pointers
As mentioned before, the best man speech is not something you can afford to take lightly. It's not possible to deliver an effective impromptu speech. Prepare well in advance if you wish to deliver a memorable best man toast. The tone of the speech should be set according to the tone of the wedding. Gauging the humor level is important, because certain families do not appreciate jokes made about the groom at his nuptials.
Keep it Short and Crisp
Length of the speech should be neither too short nor too long. It should not appear as though you just scribbled a line or two while on your way to the wedding, nor should you ramble on and on, boring the guests to death. A duration of 5 to 10 minutes is more than enough to express your genuine feelings about the bride and the groom.
What to Say
What to say in your best man speech is entirely up to you and is greatly determined by the type of relationship you share with the groom. You can share some funny anecdotes or experiences about the groom from your school or college days. Quotes or jokes may have been heard before, but anecdotes are always original, because they're unique to the wedding couple. Try to recollect a few funny, interesting, inspiring, or even embarrassing anecdotes from the groom's life. However, make sure you don't go overboard with it and humiliate the groom.
A best man's speech must not tilt towards the groom, but must also talk about the bride with equal importance. The bride must be congratulated and welcomed. A joke or two about her new husband would lighten her mood. You could include a few interesting anecdotes about the groom, which will bring a smile to the bride's face.
Having said all this, it is very important to keep the speech genuine. Quotes/jokes are great ways to start speeches, however, it may not be your cup of tea. Don't be pressurized into starting off on a humorous note. If you won't be able to carry it well, you're going to panic on stage. There's nothing wrong with being yourself. If the groom has chosen you to be the best man, he knows you well, and has chosen you because of who you are! So there's no need to turn into this court jester at the wedding.
Again thank your audience for attending the wedding and also for listening to you. Express your gratitude to the bride's parents for arranging such a beautiful wedding reception. Wish the couple a very happy married life and express your desire to continue the friendly relation with the couple. The closing remarks should gradually pave the way for the evening's toast.
There is no need to memorize the speech word to word. Keep saying it everyday in front of the mirror and feel every word you say. Picture yourself on stage and the audience before you. Enjoy the attention you're getting, instead of fearing it. This will take away the nervousness. If you really think you need cue cards, then jot down the main points and keep them with you just in case. When you go up on stage, you must smile and provide eye contact.
Short Best Man Speech Examples
Example #1: Funny
Good evening everyone. I'm Sam, the groom's brother and best man for today. By choosing me as his best man, Brian has admitted something that has taken him 30 long years to admit..that I, Sam, his younger brother am the best. Thanks Brian! Aliana I don't know if you're aware of this, but Brian was such a workaholic until he met you. I remember this time when we went hiking, and wanted to extend another day at a mesmerizing spot, but Brian was so determined not to miss work. And now, all he wants to do is go on holidays every other week with you. Aliana, Brian has truly fallen head over heals for you. It's beautiful to see the two of you together. You are perfect for each other and make such an adorable couple. I wish you both a happy married life and hopefully you will let me speak at your 50thanniversary celebration! God bless you!
Example #2: Funny
"Everyone - please raise your glasses and join me in toasting Joanna and Kevin. As I begin this wedding speech one of the first thoughts that come to mind is... if I'm the best man... then why is Joanna getting married to Kevin? I guess because today, I am just an average man and Kevin is the best man. In my extensive research to find out how to deliver a great best man speech, I learned that I am expected to sing the praises of the groom and tell you what a wonderful guy Kevin is. Unfortunately, I'm a bad singer and a bad liar. Kevin... Joanna is a wonderful, beautiful, kind and goodhearted person who deserves a great husband. Thank goodness you snapped her up before she found one. All kidding aside - I'm honored to be here today... I love you both and wish you many years of happy marriage. Cheers!"
Example #3: Casual
The speech I prepared for today originally had very embarrassing stories about the groom. Since I've known him for the past 15 years, some of those stories are extremely embarrassing. But when I saw him glowing after the wedding, with his beautiful wife, Renee beside him, I tore away that speech. I simply cannot get myself to embarrass him this evening. Renee, I assure you the decision you've made by marrying Chris is by far the best one. He can be incorrigible at times, but he has a wonderful heart. I wish you both the best in life!
Example #4: Casual
"Kevin & Joanna, I stand here today to toast you. To celebrate your new union together. All your joys will now be magnified by two because you can share them together. All your trials and tribulations have now been halved - because you can now solve them together. In marriage, you promise to care about everything. The good things, the bad things and the mundane. You promise each other that life will not go unwitnessed, because you will witness it with each other. Kevin & Joanna...this is just the beginning. The best is yet to come."
Example #5: Formal
Good evening! I'm Mike, the groom's best man. I'd like to thank you all for coming and being part of this wonderful day. A big thank you to the Sarah's parents for organizing such a beautiful wedding reception. Aaron and I have been friends since college and have been through different phases in each other's lives. It's my privilege to have such a friend, who always keeps my back. Sarah, you are the perfect bride for Aaron and are looking simply outstanding today. Let me assure you that you've fallen into the right hands. Aaron is a great guy and I'm sure you two are going to have a great life together. All the best!
Example #6: Formal
"Ladies and gentleman. I met Kevin in 1990. We have been friends for over 17 years. In that time, he has proven himself to be not only a great friend, but a truly good man as well. I value my friendship with Kevin and I look forward to having the same great friendship with his lovely new bride Joanna. I know one important thing about Joanna. She has made Kevin happier than I have ever seen him. Today is a day of joy and happiness for all of us. But it is not just a day... it's the very special beginning of a new life between Kevin and Joanna. I wish you both health and happiness and may God bless your marriage."
Hope the examples given in this Wedessence article will help you to prepare for your best man speech. However, let these examples just act as pointers. Speak from your heart and the speech will be appreciated by all. All the best!