How to Give the Greatest Best Man Speech
Heartfelt and Humorous
The best man's speech is traditionally the last speech of the night, following the groom's speech. The best man's speech is typically the most anticipated speech of the evening - it is often the most humorous. The best man has the joy of playfully teasing the groom and exposing some of his more embarrassing moments, while making sure he does not offend the bride, groom, or guests. While the best man's speech should be amusing, it should remain appropriate in tone without revealing anything too personal about the groom.
Traditionally, the maid or matron of honor did not give a speech at the wedding reception, so the best man was considered the head of the wedding party and would speak on behalf of the wedding party. The best man would start his speech by acknowledging the groom's kind words and thanks to the bridesmaids and maid of honor. If the maid of honor isn't giving a speech, the best man can thank the bride and groom on behalf of the entire wedding party for including them in their wedding celebrations. If the maid of honor is speaking, the best man should thank the couple for including himself and the other groomsmen in their special day. The best man should also compliment the couple on how fantastic they look in their wedding attire - highlighting how beautiful the bride is and how lucky the groom is to have such a beautiful bride by his side - and the overall success of the wedding.
Once the thanks and acknowledgements are out of the way, the best man can get down to business - embarrassing the groom! The stories should be humorous, a little racy but not offensive. The best man has the right to slightly embarrass the groom, but not to outright humiliate or dishonor him. The best man should take care to not offend or upset the bride and extended family members as well - some "dirty secrets" and "white lies" should remain untold! Keep all stories, anecdotes, and jokes audience and age-appropriate. Younger guests may find a joke or comment humorous, but the same joke may offend the older guests and may not be suitable for young children. To keep the mood upbeat, comical, and suitable for all ages, the best man should stick with good-natured teasing to stay within the bounds of acceptable humor.
The best man's speech shouldn't be all jokes and stand-up comedy however. A gentle ribbing is always entertaining, but the best man should soften the blow with moments of honesty and affection - remind him that his friendship is still valued and important in spite of the ridicule. The best man should highlight some of his favorite moments with the groom in his speech; explain how they met and how much the friendship means to him.
After the teasing and the sentimental reminder, the best man should pick up the mood and read any emails or letters from guests who couldn't attend the wedding. Before reading the message, always explain the relationship and location of the sender, so the guests understand who sent the message and from where. The couple should review the letters with the best man prior to the wedding day and point out the aunts, uncles, grand parents, cousins, and friends so the best man can include the title in his reading. The guests will recognize Aunt Mary from Jacksonville, Florida more easily than Mary Doe or Mrs. Doe.
The best man should end his speech by complimenting the bride and offering a congratulatory toast to the newly married couple wishing them happiness and good fortune in their future together. If other speeches are to follow the best man's speech, the best man can smooth the transition to the next speech by offering a toast to the next speaker before he hands over from the microphone.