The best man speech is usually the most eagerly awaited of all the wedding speeches – no pressure! If you’ve been tasked with writing a funny best man speech, read on for best man speech structure, examples, template ideas and advice to truly win over your fellow wedding guests.
Best man Speech Examples, Template Ideas, Jokes, and Everything You Need to Know
When it comes to your best man speech structure, here’s a few house rules we recommend you stick to…
- Have a killer opening line and introduce yourself as the best man
- Thank the other speakers (the father-of-the-bride, the groom, etc.)
- Make a joke about the groom, or tell a short, funny story about him
- Compliment the bride
- Congratulate the happy couple
- Read messages from guests who couldn’t make it, if there are any
- Propose a toast to the bride and groom
Best man speech structure and ideas
Best man speech opening lines
First and foremost, get everyone’s attention and set an amusing tone for your best man speech with a comical opening line or icebreaker. This could be something funny about your own ordeal in the run-up to this speech, or a short anecdote about the groom, who traditionally would have spoken just before you.
Introduce yourself as the best man
Obviously the bride and groom know who you are, but introduce yourself for those who don’t. This is a great opportunity to give some insight into what it’s like to be the best man, how it’s an honour and pay some compliments to the bride and the bridesmaids. Anything about how beautiful they look is a sure-fire way to set the bride and her family at ease.
Best man speech jokes
Next, focus unashamedly on the groom and the funny tales you have about him. It’s a nice idea to talk about your relationship with him, but remember to keep your best man speech about the groom and not you, as it’s his wedding day and the focus should always be on him.
Speaking about the groom is the main part of your best man speech, so it’s a great chance to build up the comedy value and regale the audience with funny anecdotes and amusing asides about the groom. As well as the best man speech jokes, remember to throw in some lines about what a great guy he is as well!
The wedding day
Once you’ve exhausted all your jokes and comedy material about you and the groom, you’ll want to move onto the wedding day itself. Highlight the effort that’s gone into the day and make sure you pay particular attention to the contribution of the bride’s parents – after all there’s a decent chance they paid for it!
Focus on the bride
Now, turn your attention to the bride. Obviously, you’re not going to start poking fun at her, as the last thing you want to do is upset or embarrass her on her big day. Instead, now is the time to say how beautiful she looks and how lucky the groom is to have found her.
Focus on the couple
It may be the best man’s job to make everyone laugh, but you’ll need to have some serious notes to your speech as well. Now is the time to talk about how amazing the bride and groom are as a couple, and how happy everyone is to see them together.
Here you might want to talk about love in general, or if you have a memory about the groom’s first impression of the bride, that’s likely to make the audience cry, this is the time!
The best man’s toast
The ending of the best man speech is where you summarise everything that you’ve covered. This is a great time to refer back to some earlier jokes for a few more laughs, and you may want to leave your best jokes until now to ensure your speech ends on a happy note.
Feel free to offer some advice to the happy couple, wish them all the best and ask the wedding guests to join you in raising a glass to the bride and groom…
Best man speech example
Best man speech template
For those not even sure where to start, this fail-safe best man speech template is a good way to get you started.
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I’d like to say thank you to (groom’s name) for warming up the crowd with his (brief/kind) words about his new wife (bride’s name) and her bridesmaids. I was (shocked/honoured/horrified) when (groom) asked me to be his best man, but here I am. And where do I begin?
I first met (groom) when we were (at school/at university/working for the same company, etc), where everyone called him (silly nickname – if not, make one up), and we immediately became the best of friends.
Since then, things have grown progressively (better/worse). We’ve been through a lot together, including (drinking/partying/holidays/puberty), and most significantly of all, when we were (age) and (groom) got into (funny anecdote).
Things didn’t get better, when (years) later, he also (another funny anecdote). And of course, there was the stag night, which – from what I recall – ended with (another funny anecdote).
It was (years) ago, when (groom) met (bride), which ended up being the (best/worst/we’ll come back to you) thing that ever happened to him. After dating for (years), (groom) finally plucked up the courage to ask (bride) to marry him, and the rest is history.
So, I ask you all know to join me in a final toast to the future happiness of the bride and groom. To Mr and Mrs (surname); may their life together bring them (much happiness and many children/much more happiness and many more children).
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How to make your best man speech funny
Don’t pressure yourself to transform into a stand-up comic overnight. The biggest mistake a best man can make with his speech is to imitate a favourite comedian or style the speech to what the thinks will make the wedding guests laugh.
Steer clear of cheesy best man one-liners, unless of course you have a one-liner up your shirt sleeve that is utterly hilarious in the context of your speech.
Just deliver your best man speech from the heart, offering real experiences with the groom, and your comedic moments will evolve and shine through naturally.
If you’re going for a funny best man speech, just ensure you deliver that punch line with clarity and don’t pre-empt the laughter in your head, as this always takes the edge off any big reveal. It will just be awkward if you laugh at your own jokes before the audience!
How long should a best man speech be?
In general, a best man speech should be kept to about five minutes or fewer. This is enough time to say something funny and meaningful, but not so long that your audience gets antsy. But of course, you also should tailor your best man speech length to the event.
Best man speech structure tips
Professional speechwriter and founder of Great Speech Writing, Lawrence Bernstein, shares his tips on how to deliver a knock-out best man speech…
Remember your audience
Don’t write your speech for the boys on the stag do. While some of your mates may be in stitches as you recounting the story of the groom’s eyebrow being shaved off as he slept in a Majorcan golf buggy dressed in his Spiderman outfit, the rest of the guests are unlikely to be amused and you won’t get the laughs you’re hoping for.
When you’re thinking about your best man speech structure, it’s best to keep your material as universal as possible.
Avoid stand-alone jokes
This may sound odd; after all, this is the one speech where people expect jokes. But punch lines that fall flat can be a nightmare for any speaker, and there are plenty of ways to make people laugh without one.
Keep it clean(ish)
Avoid crude jokes, mentions of ex-girlfriends, anything that might insult guests and in particular the bride!
Best man speeches have a reputation for being a bit saucy, but it’s easy to go too far. Don’t judge a potential story or joke on whether you find it funny, but on whether your audience will be offended by it.
Pick a best man speech theme
Anecdotes and observations are key elements of many speeches, but they don’t always link together naturally. Choosing a theme that ties everything together can help it flow, and an original and amusing theme is often the difference between a decent speech and a great one.
Keep yourself separate
It’s tempting to focus your speech on your own relationship with the groom. But if you labour the point too heavily, it can start to sound like narcissism and be very boring for everyone else.
Keep the best man speech short
Limit specific anecdotes to a maximum of two or three sentences each. Keeping the best man speech short and snappy will hold people’s attention, and if a story isn’t working, you can move swiftly on.