So, you want to deliver a Best Man speech that will get lots of laughs and praise. You also want to do justice to your relationship to your best friend; the groom. Can you do both? Yes, and this blog post will help you get there. It contains Best Man speech tips written by me, Marc Blakewill, an award-winning wedding speech writer. With everything from icebreakers to ideas on structure, it will help you deliver a speech that will be sure to impress the wedding guests.

5 stars done in the Trustpilot house style of white stars on a green background for for All Write On The Night's professional speech writer, Marc Blakewill
Professional speech writer, Marc, in a cafe writing jokes on a notepad

Let's make it all right on the night with these Best Man speech tips

  • Best Man Speech Ice Breakers
  • Tips For Structuring Your Best Man Speech
  • What To Include In Your Best Man Speech
  • What To Avoid When Writing A Best Man Speech
  • Best Man Toasting Tips
  • Additional Blogs
  • Best Man Speech Writing Packages
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A microphone icon to represent a groom speech ice-breaker

Great Best Man Speech One-liners & Icebreakers

One of my top tips for a great Best Man speech is to make sure you have a decent mix of one-liners and icebreakers. It sets the tone and gets a laugh under your belt. Both you and the guests will now be feeling good about the next few minutes. They can make the mood go from mild anxiety to excited anticipation.

If you use a well-worn Best Man speech opening line, it’s not the end of the world. They work and are family-friendly. The flip side is that many guests might wonder what else in the speech is borrowed. So, try to use an original icebreaker. Here are some examples:

If you want more Best Man jokes, check out my icebreaker & gags packages.

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Tips For Structuring Your Best Man Speech

A funny Best Man speech does not need a fancy structure. You want the guests’ attention on your Best Man speech jokes and funny stories, not the framework. So, here’s another key wedding speech tip: keep your speech structure simple.

The easiest way is chronological. It doesn’t have to be in strict time order. However, if you have material about the groom being a great guy from when he was a kid, it might look odd near the end. Essentially, avoid flitting from one part of the groom’s life to another then back again.

Classic structure

  • Icebreakers
  • Establish how you know the groom
  • Main content of speech
  • Heartfelt lines about his friendship
  • Complimentary words about the Bride
  • Toast to the Bride and Groom

Remember: structure is scaffolding. It’s there to support the material not to be the focal point. So, keep your outline simple. You want laughs not quiet critical appreciation.

So How Should I Group Things?

Themes

A themed Best Man speech structure can work well too. If the groom is in the army, you could describe his socialising as a series of tough military campaigns.  If he works in business the speech could be done as a Best Man CV. You start a section with “Strategic thinking” then tell the tale of how he got plastered, fell asleep on the train and woke up at 2am a hundred miles from home. With a police officer, the stories could be presented as a charge sheet. For an airline pilot you do a few in-flight announcements throughout the speech.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you may experience some turbulence as we now come to the drinking stories…”

Another fun and lighthearted theme is a fairy tale, e.g., to tell the tale of how the newlyweds met.

“What mortal woman could resist a knight who had done battle with not one but 5 flaming sambucas and lived to slur the tale?”

Remember: if you do choose a theme, don’t let it take over. It’s a servant not a master. Check out my full post on Best Man speech example structures for some more inspiration.

Finally, don’t overstay your welcome. 8-10 minutes is ideal. Anything over 15 minutes and you will be straying into the realms of a conference speaker.

Tips For What To Include In Your Best Man Speech

So, that’s the opening and structure. What about the content? My main Best Man speech tip here is to ensure a good balance. That means a blend of jokes, the heartfelt and different aspects of the groom’s life. Here are five things you could include:

Weekends or trips away

An icon showing a suitcase

Trips involve choices. And choices reveal character. Something you can now have lots of fun with. Perhaps he’s a nervous flyer. Or maybe he packed 20 pairs of boxer shorts for a weekend break? Did he plan the trip like it was an Apollo space mission or keep forgetting where the hotel was?

Stag do

This is not a must-have. If you do want to cover it, hinting through inside jokes is better than being shocking. Alternatively, you can joke that it’s classified or hazy: “We went to Amsterdam on Ryanair flight FR234 and returned two days later on flight FR783. We’ll still try to work out what happened in between.”

The early years

If you’ve known the groom since you were fairly young, it’d be good to include embarrassing stories or memories from that time, e.g., his ridiculous hair, his ridiculous opinions, his ridiculous ambitions. You can compare and contrast too. Does he still believe wrestling is real?

Work

Icon of a desk representing meeting your wife at work

OK, so he’s probably not a spy or a lion tamer but you can still write interesting lines about his job. Perhaps he is a Team Leader with a team of one. Or maybe his job title is so long it takes 3 breaths to say it. Don’t be afraid to mock the mundane.

“I don’t have any good stories!”

This is something I hear very often. But most groomsmen just haven’t used brainstorming and asked themselves the right questions. So, instead of asking: “What’s funny about the groom?”, ask yourself things such as: “What’s he like first thing in the morning?” Suddenly you’ve got: is he a late riser? Is he already working at 6am? Is he hungover crying for his mother?

Seeking inspiration? Check out my Best Man speech hack post. It has a list that will unlock those ideas.

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Avoid These Things When Writing Your Best Man Speech

One of my biggest tips for a Best Man speech is: if in doubt, leave it out. This could be the quality of the joke or the subject matter. Still not sure? Sleep on your speech then look at it again. If that line or section still makes you anxious, drop it.

Here are my top five things to avoid:

Avoid certificate 18 language

Swearing is tempting to use because you might get what’s called a reaction laugh. But it’s usually people laughing in shock not because it’s witty. Worse. They might just feel uncomfortable and not laugh at all. So, I rarely include swearing in a wedding day speech. Exceptions include quoting what someone has said or a brilliantly crude pun. But your aim should always be to keep it clean.

Mentioning ex-girlfriends is off-limits

If you mention an ex of the groom, all eyes will be on the bride. Does she look uncomfortable? It would be amazing if she didn’t. It’s her big day and hearing talk of her husband’s previous sexual partner would be an immediate downer.

Don’t be too graphic – if necessary, use innuendo

Euphemism is your friend here. Take the “bad thing” and describe it in the most innocent terms you can imagine. Laughs often come in the gap between what is said and what is in people’s minds. You’ll get bonus marks for getting laughs without using lurid language.

Don’t overdo it with the drinking stories

When people hear “Best man stories”, they often can’t think beyond booze, a dance floor and  stag dos. A handful of such stories is great but don’t make it the whole speech. It’s not just the tone, they can end up sounding too samey. Aim for variety. For some areas to explore take a look at my Best Man speech ideas blog.

Doubling up

Some Best Men feel they should do a whole set of thanks, even welcomes. It’s not your job and will already have been done by the Father of the Bride or Groom. I think the reason Best Men do this is to pad out the speech without having to use stories or jokes.

If you don’t have the material, just make your speech a bit shorter, don’t go thanking the maid of honour, bridesmaids and every guest at the venue. Remember that 17-track album that could have been a 12-track classic if they’d left the filler out.

Icons of two glasses of white wine being chinked together

Tips For The Best Man Toast & How To Deliver It Perfectly

This is the easiest Best Man speech tip of all. You only need to do one toast on the special day. It’s to the bride and groom and it comes right at the end of your speech. That’s it! Some Best Men find themselves toasting the bridesmaids or the guests. But this is not necessary – unless, of course, you’ve been asked to do so by the groom.

So, what sort of toast works? You could use a simple:

  •  “Ladies and gentlemen, a toast…to the bride and groom!”
  • “Ladies and gentlemen, if your legs are still sober enough, could I ask you all to please be upstanding… as we raise a toast… to BRIDE and GROOM.”

The pause after “toast” gives the guests a second to reach their glass or prepare to stand up.

You might also wish to do something preceded by some humour.

But there’s no pressure to do this. You have just delivered a speech with Best Man jokes and stories throughout so a simple, heartfelt toast to as the last thing is fine.

Check Out These Blogs For More Tips On Writing A Best Man Speech

If you feel you'd like some help, here are My Best Man Speech Writing Packages

I hope that’s been useful. If you’re still overwhelmed, don’t worry. I am a wedding speech writer rated “Excellent” on Trustpilot who’s primed to help. My background is as a BBC comedy writer. I live and breathe jokes. So, if you hire me, I can remove all the stress and hassle and write your perfect Best Man speech for you.

Bespoke Best Man speech

£389
  • Want to be the star turn? You give me the info about the groom, and I give you a great speech with gags crafted by a TV professional.

Best Man speech edit

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  • Comedic surgery to get your speech looking beautiful. I remove the fat and add great new jokes. It’ll put a smile on everyone’s faces.

Funny Best Man speech gags

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  • A downloadable package of 150+ original jokes to give your speech more punch. Lines to use from top to bottom of the speech.

Want to chat with Marc about your speech? Just click below...

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