Top Tips For A Great Best Man’s Speech

It’s that moment you’ve been waiting for, for years, maybe even decades. Your one big chance to humiliate/tease/praise (delete where appropriate) your very best friend on his wedding day. Ah! 

The Best Man’s Speech. You probably already have a few choice anecdotes up your sleeve, or at the very least you have a couple of dirty jokes on standby. But how do you make your toast truly great? Read on for the only eight tips you’ll ever need.

Let’s face it everyone just wants a bit of a laugh, maybe a bit of a cry

1. Keep It Short (please!)

No one likes a rambling speech, but more importantly, no one remembers it (other than the fact it was too long) either. Seven minutes is a good amount of time – including gaps for laughter and applause. Let’s face it everyone just wants a bit of a laugh, maybe a bit of a cry and then for it to be over so they can go back to copious amounts of drinking.

2. Know Your Audience

Are there going to be children at the wedding, or easily offended older guests? If so, it might not be such a good idea to swear every second word.

Father of the bride throwing show at Best Man
Don’t make the father of the bride throw his shoes at you. Wedding Photographer Jamie Bott, UK

3. Have A Format

You can’t go far wrong with something like this: Introduction-Joke-Anecdote-Joke-Anecdote-Joke-“Best Wishes to The Happy Couple”-Toast.The End.

4. Don’t Talk About The Ex

By name, that is. If she/he is absolutely crucial to a punch line, keep it vague – refer to them as ‘an ex’ or ‘a friend’. For a start, you don’t know how many mutual friends are in the audience, and regardless of that, no one wants to hear their ex’s name (or the name of their new husband’s ex) on their wedding day. But better still just leave them out. It’s safer.

5. Don’t Get Drunk Before The Wedding Speech

It may seem like a good idea to have a few to steady your nerves, but all your hard work will be for nothing if you ruin your own speech by slurring your way through it on the Big Day itself. There’ll be plenty of time for drunken antics afterwards. Getting drunk will also put you at risk of saying something you may regret. Just don’t do it.

Best Man delivering his speech
Make sure you add some touching elements.   Wedding Photographer Martin Sedacca, Argentina

6. Say Nice Things About The Bride

Now listen, the bride is completely off-limits when it comes to dirty jokes and teasing. This is her day, so make sure you take a moment to praise her best qualities, how amazing she looks (of course!) and talk about what a great couple they make.

7. Be Selfless

This is not the time to tell the assembled party guests your entire life story. All they need to know is your name and your relationship to the groom – that’s it. Keep the focus on the happy couple and shelve your personal opinions.

8. Finish Well

You have to have a great final line – otherwise how will people know when it’s time to drink?

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