It's an honor being chosen as best man. Being asked to stand up for the bride and groom isn't a privilege offered to just anyone; it means you're someone very close and special to the groom. It also means the groom feels you're someone who can be trusted with great responsibilities, most notably the wedding toast.
Writing a best man speech may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be a challenge. All you need to do is draw on your experience as someone special to the bride and groom, and throw in a few words about love and maybe a bit of advice.
Once you get over the fact that all eyes are on you, it's probably best to clue everyone in on your relationship to the happy couple. If you're a best friend or a brother, let everyone know right off the bat. If you're not related, you might want to tell everyone how many years you've known the groom. You may also want to lead with a humorous anecdote that sums up your relationship with the newlyweds.
Good starts may sound like:
- "Excuse me everyone, may I have your attention please."
- "I have a few words I'd like to say about Josh and Mindy."
- "I'm Jack Curley, Josh's best man, and I'd first like to say that, after having you as my best friend for the last 27 years, being asked to be your best man at your wedding is an honor that I will treasure forever."
Short and Sweet
It's best to keep the toast short and to the point. There may be a lot you want to say, but the guests are there to party, not listen to the best man wax nostalgic about junior high school pranks. Feel free to offer a story or a poem, but keep it simple; the last thing you want is for eyes to glaze over as guests struggle to pay attention. If the guests have already finished their champagne, it's a good indication the speech has gone on too long.
You can never go wrong by paying the bride a sincere compliment, either, but steer clear from any embarrassing stories that the couple would rather not hear on their special day. This includes anything involving ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends and bachelor party exploits.
Toasts for a best man to give should wish the happy couple well and invite all of the wedding guests to join you in a toast. Hopefully you will have written down what you want to say, and even practiced once or twice. If you didn't, the speech will come out sounding awkward. Don't try to wing it. This is not the time for ad-libbing, and this seldom works unless one is a professional.
Toast Ideas for the Best Man
Try to think of a toast as you would a good story: it has a beginning, a middle and an end. These examples may give you ideas on how to start writing your own, but be sure and personalize your toast to make it unique to the couple you'll raise your champagne flute to:
- Humorous: "I knew Matt found The One in Jenna when he began spending more time with her than he did his buddies and his Xbox."
- Sweet: "Don's always been there for me, ever since we met in the third grade. Our friendship has been through its share of ups and downs, but we'll always be friends. And I'm honored and proud to stand here today, to raise a glass to him and to his bride, Samantha."
- Well Wishes: "I wish Brian and Amanda years and years of happiness, joy and love, even more than they've experienced today, surrounded by their friends and family. Anyone who could be half as happy as this couple is would be happy all the days of his life, with happiness to spare."
- Congrats: "Now, everyone please raise their glass and join me in a toast. To Mindy and Josh: May you be friends to each other as only lovers can, and may you love each other as only best friends can. Congratulations!"
Traditionally, you should also give thanks. Thank the parents of the bride (or the newlyweds) for hosting the wedding, thank the parents of the groom for their role, and thank the happy couple for bestowing this honor upon you.
Once this done, it's time to wrap things up. Ask your guests to lift their glasses, and offer a toast to the couple. When the toast is over, the festivities will begin. No doubt you'll be congratulated for a fine job and the groom will know he picked the right person for the job.
Prepare your thoughts beforehand and practice in front of a mirror or for family and friends. You'll be more confident as you step to the front of the room on the big day. Just remember to be yourself and that the groom chose you to be his best man for a good reason.