Weddings can be a hallmark memory for everyone. The bride and groom are likely to remember it for the rest of their lives and they’ve entrusted you as the best man with a large part of it. This statement isn’t meant to stress you out, it’s there to help you do your best and avoid embarrassment. As a best man, you have the obligation to deliver a great speech. With some preparation and a bit of creativity, you can give the speech of your life. This list can offer you some simple tips on writing, etiquette, and best man speech ideas.
When you’re getting ready to write, it’s important to keep in mind that this day is about the bride and groom and that they want you to deliver a nice and short speech reflecting your own thoughts. Pulling some cliché speech off the internet is not likely to sound like you and it won’t come out right. You also want some time to prepare your best man speech in advance and to have some time memorize it. Once you’ve finished writing, you can have a notecard of bullet points to keep you on track while you’re reciting. When you’re done, you can even try practicing in a mirror to help you sound as natural as possible.
To get started, it’s a good idea to just jot down a few things about how you know the groom. Maybe you can think of your first meeting in school, or how he was a helpful coworker or just some general history between the two of you. You don’t necessarily have to include everything, it’s just a way to help get you to start thinking about speech ideas. Think about when he first started dating his wife and any good qualities about her that you could potentially mention. Avoid any reference towards old relationships while you’re writing down information.
As you begin thinking about ideas for your best man speech, find a way to come up with a powerful first line. This is what is going to grab your audience’s attention and keep them there. You can choose to go a normal route and thank everyone for coming, blessing the wedding party, and by jumping straight into a memory. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it would be nice if you could come up with something a bit more original. A funny (and appropriate) joke is a great way to open. Or you could try a quote about marriage, or have some fun with it and get creative.
Once the memories start coming up, this is the time to look for something funny or sentimental. Preferably you can offer a story that involves both the bride and the groom, but you can pick one or the other at first. Try and loop it back full circle and make sure you include both parties. This is the time to throw in an anecdote or two. A personal story can really help you connect with your audience and to show how much you mean to the bridal party. Make sure that the story you offer is light-hearted and fun. It shouldn’t be meant to embarrass anyone and it shouldn’t show you in a mean light. After that, you can offer up any advice or good wishes to them. However, don’t say something you don’t believe in. Whatever you say, make sure it’s coming for your heart.
As you’re writing, make it sound like it’s something you would naturally say. The goal is not to stand up and recite an essay to the crowd. You want to make your words sound powerful and natural. This is why the short stories or personal accounts are so important. They are a re-telling of you and your friend and they should sound like happy times. Just give a general overview of your friendship and then find a way to connect with the couple.
By now you should be wrapping it up. Most people don’t want to hear a speech drown on for ten minutes. Keep it short and simple and around 2-4 minutes long. Other best man speech tips would be to avoid any inside references. Most of your audience won’t get it and they will immediately tune out. Make sure that all stories you mention are clean enough so that great-grandma in the back won’t be offended. Once you feel you have summed everything up pretty well, you can raise your glass and have everyone toast to the wonderful couple.
While you’re at the wedding, it’s important to stay sharp and prepare for the speech. This means that you should have any notecards with your best man speech ideas and that you will be ready to speak. You should also stay away from booze up until this point. No one wants to hear a drunk guy with a microphone ramble about the good times. When you are asked to speak, make sure to begin in a loud and clear tone. It will be extremely hard to listen if no one can hear you or can’t understand what you’re saying. Now would be the time to pull out your notecards and use them as need be. However, you should try not to read word-for-word. You should have already practiced speaking out load and you shouldn’t need more than a few bullet points to help guide you along. If you’re talking and you notice that the crowd is very antsy, see if you can make your speech even shorter. Maybe take out one story and people will be much happier to listen if it doesn’t last all day.
In the end, to deliver a great best man speech you need to be prepared and polite. Writing out your speech beforehand is an excellent way to get ready and having bullet points can help you stay on track while delivering the speech. Remember to keep everything light-hearted and fun and try to keep the speech short and sweet. Being yourself can really bring home the speech and make everyone in the audience feel connected. Make sure to focus on the bride and groom and everyone will leave with lasting memories of your wonderful speech.
And if you’re doing the planning for the wedding reception, be sure to browse through our stunning collection of wedding reception invitations.
Image Source: Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay