The best man speech. Possibly one of the biggest moments a man has to prepare for in life (apart from the father of the bride speech, that is). The idea of it may give you the sweats, but never fear, we've laid out some key best man speech ideas - from handy speech writing tips to storytelling ideas - to help you plan the greatest and most enjoyable best man speech your best friend will ever hear. So, follow our simple tips and you'll cruise through your best man speech with ease.
Bullet point the whole thing
Choose the top 10 things you really want to say. Include a mix of funny anecdotes, the story of when the groom met the bride, comments on the day so far and anything else you want to add from school, to questionable fashion choices, family, a round-up of people to thank and, of course, a few surprises...
The best man speech doesn't have to be a completely rehearsed, but practicing will help keep timings on track for each of your bullet points. Once you know what you want to say about each part, you can use your points as you go to prompt the next section. If you feel you need the whole thing written out for comfort, that's fine too. But be aware when practicing, that you don't want to sound like you're reading, but speaking to the bride, groom and guests.
Rope in others to help
If the thought of public speaking fills you with dread (don't worry, you're not alone!), rope in the ushers to help with parts of the speech. With a bunch of your friends by your side, your nerves will soon disappear.
Start with a witty one-liner about the groom
Be sure to come up with a killer opening line to get the crowd on your side. Whether it's a witty remark about how nervous the groom is for your speech, an anecdote about the groom or a comment on the big day, the choice is yours. Just be sure to keep it light and cheeky.
Don't forget to tell the crowd who you are and how you know the groom. While a number of the wedding party might already know that you and the groom became close while studying together at university, there will be a handful of people who have no idea who you are.
Tell stories about the groom
Stories of questionable hair cuts, embarrassing attempts at cooking, outpours of emotion after sporting losses and hilarious tidbits from the stag do are often a good hit with the crowd. Whatever your stories, just be sure to always keep things clean. Your best man speech jokes don't want to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. You and the boys might find it funny, but the bride and the rest of the guests (including grandparents!) will be expecting you to keep a lid on anything X-rated. Instead, focus on your times together. It always helps the mood to poke fun at yourself as well.
Make it personal and relatable
Don't bother telling famous jokes or making cheesy puns. Instead it's better to speak straight from the heart and focus on the happy couple. On the other hand, some of the guests may not know your close-knit group of friends, so try to keep the overall speech relatable. That way guests will feel like they're in with the jokes too. Mentioning memories with friends is of course fine, but don't make it all about that - incorporate maybe something from when the groom was a child, or general points on his personality.
Don't be afraid to use props
If you're feeling nervous, props are great for something to hold and talk about. Maybe a funny retro photo of the groom that you can include on each table too, or something edible that can lead on to a story. Even a big sign that says 'laugh' can give the crowd the giggles and help to make everyone laugh even when your jokes don't go according to plan.
Include the bride
Working in a story about how the groom met the bride or how happy she makes your best friend, will always go down well with the crowd. Commenting on how beautiful the bride and bridesmaids look is quite traditional and a nice point to consider, too.
Keep it short and light hearted
Best man speech jokes are great, but don't put pressure on yourself to be a stand-up comedian - the laughs will come regardless as people will be expecting it to be fun and wanting your to suceed. Around 15-20 minutes is a good length of time to get in all of your bullet-pointed pieces. So try and give just over a minute for each 10 points and you'll have it spot on.
Raise a glass
Once you've gone through all of your points, finish with a compliment to the couple before then raising your glass and toasting to the newlyweds. Then you're done and can enjoy the rest of the party!