8 Tips for How to Give the Best Best Man Speech… and a Best Man Speech Outline!
The moment has arrived. Your palms are sweaty. The microphone is ready to slip from your hand. You feel flustered, anxious, and nearly panicked in your rented tuxedo.
You open your mouth and realize you can’t remember your speech. Not a word of it. It’s one of the biggest days of your best friend’s life and you can’t remember all the nice stuff you had planned to say about him.
Or, even worse, you open your mouth and give the worst speech imaginable. The bride weeps, the groom clenches his fists, and you get booed off the stage.
Worst case scenario, right? But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’re here to help you avoid the unmitigated disaster that your best man speech could be. Now, let’s cover the many Don’ts and several Do’s of giving the best Best Man speech you can.
Don’t Wing Your Best Man Speech
You might be the most charming man alive. The funniest, handsomest, most confident guy on the planet.
But for a best man speech, that’s not good enough. You’re not charming enough to carry this thing without writing it down ahead of time. You’re not Matthew McConaughey in a Lincoln commercial. (Unless you are. In which case, thanks for reading, Matthew!)
Don’t Make it About Yourself
Yes, you should be sure to introduce yourself, but this speech is about the relationship between the happy couple. Not about the relationship between you and the groom. Remember that speech Mitch gave in Old School? The one about his girlfriend cheating on him? Yeah, don’t give that speech.
Don’t Tell Mean-Spirited Jokes
This isn’t a roast of the groom. Even if he has thick skin, the rest of the room could still get offended if you go after him too hard. Go easy on the guy.
And please, don’t make ANY jokes at the expense of the bride, her bridesmaids, or any family members. You should compliment the bride and gently rib the groom.
Don’t Write Your Best Man Speech on Your Phone
C’mon. Don’t be that guy. No one wants to look through their wedding photos and see that one of you squinting at your iPhone, trying to scan through it without dropping the mic. We’ve all been to that wedding. Either write it by hand ahead of time or even type it out and print it.
Don’t Be Inappropriate
Don’t drink too much. Don’t use profanity. Don’t tell an off-color joke.
If there’s one guarantee about weddings, it’s that both grandparents and young children will be in the room. Don’t say anything that will offend the masses.
Don’t Exclude Anyone in the Room
Don’t play to your base. You’re going to need to get the whole room laughing and crying. Cast a wide net with your stories. You get one inside joke, tops.
Don’t Talk About Ex-Girlfriends, Ex-Boyfriends, or Ex-Spouses
This one should not need to be said. But wow, people make this mistake a lot.
Don’t Forget to Practice
Practice in the mirror. Practice in the car on the way there. Run it past some friends. Share it with the other groomsmen. You only get one shot at this speech. Don’t blow it.
Still Stumped? Welp, Here’s a Best Man Speech Outline
We covered what not to do above. Now, here’s the most basic outline possible for your best man speech:
Introduce yourself: By now, they know you’re the best man. But why? Are you a brother? A college roommate? A best friend from childhood? What earned you this status?
- Make them laugh: Crack a gentle joke, early in the speech, that hurts zero feelings.
- Deliver the origin stories: You’ve already established how you know the groom. But you can dig a little deeper into your storied friendship, before launching into the tale of how he met his future wife. Recall how he first told you about her. How he introduced you. And how happy you could see they both were.
- Tell how their relationship has changed them both for the better: Because it has, or you wouldn’t be here.
- Get inspirational: Close with something big. A heavy-hitting quote. (Note that we have an article on our sister blog about inspiring marriage quotes, ready to help you out in a pinch.) Get those tears going.
Remember: open with a joke and close with a tear.
Was the above helpful? Did you get that speech written already? Reward yourself by buying a set of two engraved bullet whiskey glasses — one for you, one for the groom. You earned it, bud.