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How To Write an Epic Best Man Speech

By Rob Franklin

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been chosen as the best man for a friend or family member’s wedding. This is an honor, as it shows that the couple values your voice and believes you can deliver a stellar speech. And you can (we’re here to help)! But if you’re feeling intimidated by the blank page before you, here are some tips to help you get started.

As the best man, your traditional role is to serve as the primary attendant of the groom, or whichever partner chose you for this role. You may have certain organizing responsibilities, such as planning the bachelor party, and on the big day or at the rehearsal dinner, you’ll be expected to give a speech. While the focus of this speech should be on the groom, it should also show love and recognition to both partners and to the couple as a unit.

Include 2 - 3 Stories in Your Best Man Speech

One of the best ways to start your speech is by telling stories. Stories are the raw material, the bricks, that will make your speech memorable and engaging. To get started, take some time to brainstorm. Think about the day you met the groom, any trips you’ve taken together, or any particularly memorable moments. What has your friend or family member taught you about life and love? Write down as many stories as you can think of, and then narrow it down to 2-3 that best capture their essence. These will be the stories you use to build your speech.

Provenance Tip: Read more about selecting a great wedding speech story.

Make Sure Your Best Man Speech is Appropriate

As you’re selecting your anecdotes, be sure to keep them PG-13 and appropriate for a wedding setting. Avoid jokes or innuendos that could make the couple or their guests uncomfortable (see Example A). And if you haven’t already, check in with the couple to see if there are any topics or stories that they would prefer you avoid.

It’s also important to find the right tone for your speech. Be true to yourself and your natural energy, as the couple chose you because they value your voice. But also strive for a balance between humor and emotional resonance. While a big laugh can boost your confidence, remember that this isn’t your Netflix comedy special. The focus should be on your friend and what makes them so singular.

Provenance Tip: Read more about having the “no-go” conversation and sense-checking your wedding speech jokes.

Your Speech Should Acknowledge the Partner

In addition to telling stories about your friend, be sure to include some comments about their partner as well. Even if you don’t know them well, you can speak about your friend in the context of their relationship and how it has helped them grow and come into themselves. This can be meaningful to the partner, as it serves as a welcome into the groom’s community.

A Great Best Man Speech Offers a Thematic Takeaway

If the stories are the bricks, then these thematic takeaways are the mortar — what connects an otherwise disordered pile into something that stands on its own, and can be quite beautiful.

As you’re crafting your speech, weave in some thematic threads that connect your anecdotes and provide takeaways for the couple and their guests. These can be lessons about love, friendship, or life in general that you’ve learned from your experiences with the groom. Be sure to include some words of congratulations and well-wishes for the couple as they embark on their new journey together.

Be Sure to Practice Your Best Man Speech

Finally, practice your speech before the big day. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable, and allow you to make any necessary revisions or adjustments. And on the day of the wedding, remember to speak from the heart and enjoy the moment. With these tips, you’ll be able to deliver a meaningful, polished best man speech that the couple will never forget.

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