The best man speech can (and should) be funny, but it’s no joke. This is a serious responsibility, and planning ahead is definitely in order. There’s a number of things that the perfect best man toast will have to accomplish. Hitting them all isn’t impossible.

What you’ll need is Planning, Writing, Practicing, and this Check List.

1. Best Man Speech Tips

How to write a best man speech starts with choosing your style. There are 2 major routes you can take:

Formal or Funny – more on that later.

The next step is the overall structure. Remember, you are telling a story. You are providing the entire audience with insight into who the groom was as a child and how he grew up and dreamed of the woman he would marry. You’ll explain how they met, how his life changed, and how the newlywed couple will spend the rest of their days growing together and falling asleep with a smile on their face each and every night.

Timing is important. There will be many speeches throughout the night, and lots of activity. You don’t want your wedding planning timeline to run too short or too long. A short speech will seem ill-prepared, insincere, or rushed. A way-too-long speech will lose interest and intrude on other speeches or activities. Figure out everything you want to say, and say it in the simplest manner possible. One Pro Tip is to find out ahead of time who will be speaking before and after your toast. Referring to either of these speeches will add a layer of continuity to the evening which will make your words a little more meaningful.

Depending on how long you’ve known the groom, you may have difficulty choosing which anecdotes to share. The easiest place to start with best man speeches is how you met. Maybe it was in school, maybe you were roommates. Maybe you got to know each other at work, or in the army. One thing’s for sure, it’s a story! Telling this story will help the audience get to know you, and understand the groom a little bit better. This sets the tone for the rest of the speech.

Next, you’ll want to tell a few stories about how the two of you grew to be such close friends or family members. Presenting your speech with a linear timeline is an immediately relatable structure which will put your audience at ease. Each story you tell should serve a purpose. They should demonstrate a particular part of the groom’s character in the best light. Tell a variety of stories to express different sides of the groom. A variety of topics and tempos will keep things interesting.

Back up the groom. As his right hand man, you are there for support. Reinforce how sincere the groom is with the wedding vows for him. When a man brags to his best friend about how much in love he is it really means a lot. Reiterating this to the bride will really drive it home.

There’s really only one way to wrap up a best man speech. This, of course, is a combination of how perfect the newlywed couple is and your best wishes. You have to nail this part. If you speak from the heart and paint a picture of a perfect future you can’t go wrong.

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