The overall structure of the best man speech is crucial to its success. If you can nail a good structure from beginning to end, then people will listen to everything you’ve got to say. And if you can make them laugh whilst you’re doing it, they’ll even love you a little bit too!

  1. Opening Lines. This doesn’t need to be over thought. You need to settle yourself into the speech in a clam and relaxed way and keep the guests on your side. The best policy is just to introduce yourself and say what a pleasure it is to be there. Don’t welcome anyone because that’s all been covered by the father of the bride and groom, and they’ve also done all the thanking as well. Tradition says you should say something on behalf of the bridesmaids but this feels really old fashioned these days and we say just skip it and get to the good stuff.

  2. The Start. You need a start, it might sound obvious but it helps for the guests to understand the pathway you’re describing if you start it as early as possible in the groom’s life. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t know him then, it can be a very general set up like ‘how did this chubby ginger kid become the the financial services very own Ed Sheeran?’ Some guys like to start with ice breaker jokes, the only problem with those are they’ve been around the block so many times it’s very difficult to get a laugh or two from them. And if your first joke falls flat…

  3. The Set Up. What you’re looking to do with any great best man speech is almost pose a question at the beginning and then spend the rest of the speech answering it. That might sound confusing but it’s really very simple: if the groom was passionate about football as a kid, then how did he end up an accountant. If you go this way then you can have fun with his character traits, his hair colour, and even his dress sense. it gives you a full range of literary weapons to choose from and much greater creative license. Or in other words – you can just make stuff up.

  4. Stories. Stories play a key part in any great best man speech but they have to be handled carefully. A simple structure for a speech would be to have a coupe of great stories in between a beginning and an end, nothing wrong with that but you need to keep them punchy. What you should do is strip out all the detail and look to condense all the detail into small nuggets. So very much like the speech itself they should have a setup, middle and punchline. These should very roughly come in at no more than 200 words each.

  5. The Bride. The bride is very much the star of the show, and although this speech is all about the groom, you should of course give her a well deserved mention. This can be quite brief but you should say how beautiful she looks and what an amazing effect she’s had on the groom…it might be amazingly bad, but for today at least it’s all good. This might sound a cliched but forget to mention the bride and her dazzling beauty and repent at leisure.

  6. The Heartfelt bit. Whilst you’re there to make people laugh you’re also there to let everyone know that deep down he’s actually a really nice guy. The content on this very much depends on what you’re comfortable with. One or two profound lines about what a great friend or brother he’s been and how much you value your friendship is more than enough. Continue for several paragraphs and you could witness physical revulsion.

  7. Toasts. There really should be only one toast and that’s at the end and to the happy couple. Never toast the groom in isolation because that would be just too weird and uncomfortable. Other toasts could be on offer such as one to absent friends but you need to make sure that nobody else is making the same one before you plumb it into your speech.

  8. Marital Advice. We kind of avoid this in our speeches as it also feels really old fashioned and pretty cliched. It’s very hard to make this funny without it sounding like the same old jokes, and it’s just taking up space where you could fit something more interesting such as a really well researched and fitting quote. If you are going to give some humorous tips then make it from your own experience and that personal touch will make it much funnier for all concerned.

  9. Closing lines. These should be really well chosen because all being well, this should be the last time you ever get to stand up and say something nice about him.  Just keep it really natural, and think what his friendship means to you. Some best men want to end on a very sentimental tip and if that’s your thing then go for it, but for the rest of us it’s best just to wish the happy couple a long and healthy life together.

  10. Parents. Many best men like to make a mention of the groom’s parents – especially if they are the same as his! This is a lovely  thing to do, but you should try to fit it into the part of the speech just as you start talking more sensibly about the groom. If they’ve played a big part in your life then let’s hear it but it would be great if you could get a joke in there, maybe something about this is what the groom has to look forward growing up to become if there are things like hair issues or a fondness for desserts. 

It’s the main element of the speech, its backbone, and the part on which it will be rated and reviewed by everyone at the wedding, and that’s the jokes and the comedy. Making large groups of people laugh is no easy task, but they are all on your side and if you follow some basic principles you’ll have them in the palm of your hand. The main thing you have to remember is that you’re not a stand up comedian and so avoid the trap that some guys fall into which is almost a comedy routine. This is a speech from one friend or brother to another, so keep the tone natural….

best man jokes examples

Give The Dog a funny bone…

The three key ways to deliver your speech

The best Man Speech can be a bit of a minefield, and unfortunately week in, week out, many young men around the world fall prey to it’s considerable obstacles. So, we’ve compiled a list of the things you should avoid…unless you want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  1. The Groom’s Love life. It might be funny to talk amongst friends about the complete nutcase he dated, or the one who made his life hell, but in the cold light of a wedding speech it just never works. We all have to remember that this is really the bride’s big day and she doesn’t want to hear one word about another woman…especially none of the gory bedroom antics!
  2. Cliched Jokes. We’ve said it a few times on the site but it’s really worth hammering home: nothing good ever came of telling a really old wedding joke. Some of the younger guys just won’t know that these are ancient and about as funny as a punch in the face, so just look at it like this: if you’ve found it on a website that means it’s been used a million times before. Proceed with caution.
  3. Being the Best Man. This is super dull. The speech is really all about the groom so why would we want to hear about how you felt and what you’ve done as best man? Again this stuff has been around 2 million years and has always really lacked genuine comedy and punch. Also you’ve only got limited time so using up words on this is really going to impact on the good stuff. You seem like a nice guy, I’ll find out all about you at the bar, after your standing ovation!
  4. Liquid Encouragement. Drinking can be fun but even a few beers can adversely effect your performance without you even realising it. Timing, delivery and clarity all go out the window when you’ve got a few on board but it also convinces you that you’re doing an amazing job, so things usually get worse. Have a slow beer, relax and then you can go bananas afterwards.
  5. Advice. We’re not too hot on this type of thing because once again it’s all been said before and we’re looking for funnier things to say. This kind of thing works better for older best men, especially second timers who can have a little fun at the repeat performance. If it’s an older crowd you can have some fun with some more adult themed advice.
  6. Swearing and profanities. Swearing works really well to punctuate a joke or to tell a good story. Professional comedians do it all the time, and it is a great weapon to have in order to land that punchline.But not in a wedding speech. It just makes you look oafish, insensitive and lacking any sense of occasion. Don’t be the one that everyone is talking about at the bar afterwards…and not in a  good way.