For many guys speaking in public is the ultimate fear while others consider being in the spotlight their rightful place and crave any audience. If you're one of those men who's already sweating over the thought of giving a best man's speech then don't worry, you're definitely not alone. Most guys admit to be terrified about their speech. But here’s the secret, if you go in to it feeling well equipped then you’ll soon be a lot of those nerves.
Best Man's Speech Writing Guide
The Best Man's speech is usually given 3rd after the Father of the Bride and the Groom and there is often an expectation among the guests that the Best Man's speech will be the main act and highlight of what can sometimes be a rather dull part of the wedding banquet. Get it right and its free drinks all night and the bridesmaid of your choice. Get it wrong and you’ll be spending the night outside in the car park wishing you hadn’t included your elephant impression.
Timing - What is the perfect length of a Best Man's Speech?
At many weddings the father of the bride's has been known to drag out a bit, well it's only fair, he has had to pay for a gaggle of relatives (some of which he doesn't like) and strangers he's never met (and will probably never meet again) can have a free meal and party at his expense. But this means by the time it comes to your speech people are not only in need of light relief but also might be getting bored of long speeches so don’t drag it out for too long. The perfect length of Best Man's speech is roughly 7 minutes.
Don't swear! Remember this will be a mixed crowd including older and younger relatives. It simply isn't the time or the place. Simply put... It's not £@#$ing big and it's not £@#$ing clever.
"I was really bricking it about the speech for weeks before the wedding, searching on the internet I came across the Speech Builder site, thank f**k! My speech went down brilliantly, I've never got so many laughs! Cheers guys!"
Craig - Edinburgh
The same goes for any gags you use, yes it's your job to ensure the groom gets thoroughly roasted in front of his nearest and dearest but what might seem hilarious down the pub on a Friday night with your mates probably isn't going to go down well with the bride's grandparents. And under no circumstances should you ever tell any stories from the stag do. A wedding isn't the place to tell how the groom ended up with that bruise/tattoo/rash. "What happens in Vegas..."
Is There Anything I Have To Include In My Best Man Speech?
Traditionally the Best Man answers on behalf of the bridesmaids and ushers for the kind words and thank you's from the groom. Also it's really important to introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the groom at the top of your wedding speech as not everyone will know you. "Hi for those of you I haven't met my name's Tom and I'm Dave's best friend/cousin/parole officer, etc."
Don't Forget The Bride
Yes its traditional to give the groom a hard time but don’t forget to compliment the bride and include her in your best man speech. This might seem really obvious to you but you’ll be amazed how many best men miss out this vital part of their speech.
Keep it light
When it's time to be sincere don't go overboard. Its nice to give some kind words and say what a great mate/bloke the groom is, etc but too much sentiment can be a bit sickly for an audience that have just eaten so much. This isn't an awards acceptance speech, while it’s important to deliver some heartfelt wishes to the happy couple and in particular the groom, remember that your role is principally to provide the laughs rather than a matrimonial version of Les Miserables (if you have just "Dreamed a Dream" tell a therapist not the wedding guests).
Traditionally it falls on the best man to read any messages from people who couldn't make it on the day, so before the wedding speeches begin check with the groom, father of the bride (and the bride's mother who's more likely to be in the know) and anyone else who might have received messages that should be read out.
If you need more help with your speech, you’ll receive a complete, free Best Man’s Speech Writing Guide when you log into our unique speech builder system full of hundreds of gags and tips for your wedding speech.
You can also contact our team for assistance and more speech writing guides.