Writing a Best Man Speech: Outline and Guide (+3 Examples)

Being chosen as a bridal party member—especially as a best man or maid of honor—is a big deal. You have been given the opportunity to support someone in such a momentous part of their life. Your role comes with plenty of responsibilities, including making a speech at the reception.

Having an outline for your speech as a best man can be really helpful when you start writing the draft. Here is a classic and timeless example of an outline:

  • Greeting
  • Self-introduction
  • Short icebreaker (optional)
  • Stories about the groom
  • Talk about the partner
  • Talk about their relationship
  • Well-wishes and advice

Below is a more detailed explanation of each part of a best man speech outline, followed by a step-by-step guide—with tips—for writing the speech itself. Some examples are also provided to help you in the process. 

Best Man Speech Outline: Easy Template to Use

Greet Everyone Present (1–3 Sentences)

Before anything else, make sure to greet the guests, bridal party, and vendors at the venue. Acknowledge their presence and the effort they put into being there on the newlyweds’ special day.

You can keep this part brief but upbeat to get your guests engaged and listening to your speech as a best man.

Example: Hey everyone! Thank you for making the time and effort to attend Ben and Stephanie’s wedding.

Introduce Yourself (1–2 Sentences)

At the reception, odds are most people—but not all—will know who you are. For everyone’s benefit, briefly introduce yourself and your relationship with the newlyweds.

Example: For those of you who don’t know me—first of all, how dare you? Kidding aside, my name is Ryan Drews, Mike’s best friend and life coach. We’ve known each other since high school.

(Optional) Short Icebreaker (1–3 Sentences)

If you feel like you still need to capture your guests’ attention, consider adding a short joke or anecdote before you get into the body of your best man speech. You can get a good laugh and set the tone for the rest of the speech. 

Example: Honestly, I was a bit nervous about giving this speech. People said it should only be as long as Gavin’s attention span. So… I guess that’s all for my speech, goodnight!”

Personal Stories and Memories With the Groom (1–3 Paragraphs)

Share a personal story that showcases your relationship and closeness with the groom. It does not necessarily have to be relatable, but make sure the memory will highlight the groom’s personality and positive traits.

You can also talk about the groom’s growth and development over the years. How much has he changed? How has he changed? Shed light on the positive changes you have observed since he and his partner got together.

Example: [Compare the groom’s personality during high school and today. He might be more mature, patient, and mentally strong than before. If you have one, share a story that illustrates these changes.]

Talk About the Partner (1–2 Paragraphs)

Do not forget about the star of the night—the other newlywed. Talk about your first impressions, the day you were first introduced, and any striking memories you have with them.

Example: [Where did you meet each other for the first time? Did you have dinner somewhere? What did you think of her initially, and how did this impression change?]

Talk About the Newlyweds (1–2 Paragraphs)

Compliment the couple and talk about their relationship. Highlight their strengths, share how you think they complement each other, and tell them how they make you—and everyone around them—feel.

Example: You two are an example of how a healthy dose of annoying each other can actually go a long way in making a relationship better. But all jokes aside, you guys inspire everyone around you to be kinder to one another and themselves.

Conclusion: Well-Wishes and Advice (1–2 Paragraphs)

The last part of a best man speech’s outline can contain well-wishes, advice, or both. Share any wisdom you have regarding marriage, and tell them that you are praying for the best for their future.

Example: Always remember that marriage is a two-player game: both of you must put in the same amount of effort to keep the game going. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Linnehan! May the future be bright and boundless for you. 

Writing a Best Man Speech: Steps and Tips to Follow

man writing on pieces of paper

Step 1: Gather Material by Reflecting

Take a trip down memory lane and think about your relationship with the groom over the years. Write down any funny stories, milestones, and incidents that come up.

At the same time, think back on what you know about the groom’s relationship with his partner. How did they meet? How did you meet his partner for the first time? What makes their bond and journey special?

As you reflect, think about their qualities as individuals and as a couple. These traits will be a great addition to your best man speech.

Tip: Start Early

Do not leave your speech as a best man to the last minute. Ideally, start brainstorming and thinking of what to say as early as a few weeks before the wedding day. This will give you plenty of time to write, revise, and revise some more.

Step 2: Structure Your Speech

The outline above will help you structure your speech. However, feel free to add any personal touches or make changes to the order.

Tip: Decide What Tone You Want to Use

Spend a moment to decide how you want to deliver your speech. Do you want to be funny and witty? Do you want to sound casual? Do you want to flex your poetic muscles? Do you want to incorporate multiple styles and tones?

Step 3: Start the First Draft

Eventually, you have to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Write everything that comes to mind, letting your past reflections guide you as you compose your best man speech.

Do not worry about making it perfect on the first try—no one ever gets it perfect on the first try. Let yourself word vomit until you have written everything you have in mind.

Tip: Do Not Go Too Heavy With Inside Jokes

Although you understandably want to show how well you know the groom and make your guests laugh, avoid sharing inside jokes. Everyone will not get it without explaining the necessary context; you simply may not have the time to do so.

Step 4: Edit and Refine Your Draft

Start with any obvious grammatical errors. Fix faulty subject-verb agreements, incorrect uses of prepositions, and whatnot. You can use apps like Grammarly or built-in grammar checkers to help you with this part.

As you go along, read the speech aloud or in your head to see if there are any awkward spots. You may have to rephrase certain parts or rearrange sentences to make your speech flow better.

Be patient with yourself, as it might take multiple revisions before you get a speech you are satisfied with.

Tip: Keep It Concise

Aim for a best man’s speech that does not exceed 4–6 minutes. Any more than that and you risk losing your guests’ attention.

Step 5: Practice Giving the Speech

After a few revisions, start practicing the speech out loud. One benefit of this is that you will spot more ways to revise your speech to make it better. 

At the same time, a practical tip is to mark points in your speech where you will pause for a moment and take a breath. This will make the delivery more relaxed and natural-sounding.

If possible, ask for a close friend or another bridal party member to listen to your speech. They can give you constructive criticism and feedback to further improve the content and your delivery.

Tip: Read the Room

As you practice your delivery to a test audience, pay attention to how they react to what you wrote. They might think that a certain anecdote is too embarrassing for the groom or that your speech has more humor than sincerity.

You might unintentionally humiliate yourself or the groom if you include stories that are too personal. Likewise, you might come across as insincere or performative if you try too hard with your speech.

Adjust your speech and delivery accordingly. As mentioned above, the revision process never stops—even as you give the speech at the reception, odds are you will make a few changes off the cuff.

Step 6: Make the Final Preparations

Print a few copies of your speech on high-quality stationery, as it is good to have extras in case something happens. If nothing else, it can be a wonderful keepsake for the newlyweds.

Make sure to have some positive coping mechanisms for stress as well. Look into breathing practices to help you manage your anxiety and stage fright.

Tip: Engage the Audience

Do not just read off your copy, since this will make you sound robotic. Pay special attention to making eye contact with guests, pausing for reactions, and ad-libbing when the opportunity presents itself. 

Speech from the Best Man: Heartwarming Examples

man giving a speech outdoors

1. Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention for just a few moments? Before I continue with my speech, I want to thank everyone for being here tonight. We know it isn’t cheap to attend a destination wedding, so we do want to make it clear that we will not be offering any rebate or cashback.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Brian Mills. Nolan’s my cousin, and he has given me the honor—and stress—of being his best man. We actually only became close in high school when we both tried out for the basketball team.

Needless to say, both of us didn’t get in. We did continue practicing in our free time. These games allowed me to get to know Nolan better.

A lot has changed since then, huh? In high school, Nolan was wild, impulsive, and a bit irresponsible—we both were. Now, though, Nolan is reliable, clever, and puts everyone’s needs before his.

I remember when Nolan first introduced me to Lisa. His eyes were lit up in a way that I’d never seen before… not even when the Lakers won that championship in 2020! The more I got to know Lisa, the more I understood how perfect they are for each other; they’re both kind, adventurous, and passionate.

Lisa, I want to officially welcome you to the madness that is our family. We promise not to share too many embarrassing stories… at least until after your first anniversary.

Kidding aside, I have never seen Nolan as happy as he is with Lisa. You both bring out the best in each other, and it’s clear to all of us here that you share a love that is deep, genuine, and enduring.

So, let’s raise our glasses in a toast to Nolan and Lisa. May your love be modern enough to survive the times and old-fashioned enough to last forever. Cheers!

Thank you, everyone. Enjoy the rest of your evening!

2. Good evening, everyone! How’s your night going so far? I hope the food and drinks are all to your liking; we worked very hard tasting every dish our lovely caterer had to offer.

I’m Alex, and I have the great privilege of being David’s best man. Before I start, let’s give another round of applause to the beautiful couple. David, my man, you look sharp tonight! But I think I speak for everyone when I say: Emily, you’ve definitely stolen the show.

I’ve known David for almost 20 years now. We first met in middle school, and our friendship has been a rollercoaster ride ever since. From camping trips that turned into survival missions to late-night study sessions that rarely involved studying, I can say we’ve had our fair share of memorable moments.

But today, I want to focus on the biggest adventure David has had: his adventure with Emily. I still remember the day David told me about Emily. He said, “There’s this incredible woman.” And he was right. Emily, your kindness, intelligence, and sense of humor make you a perfect match for David. And David, well, I guess he isn’t too bad.

Together, you two are like a fine wine—you just keep getting better with time. David, you’ve found your soulmate in Emily. Your partnership is a testament to what every love should have—support, laughter, and a lot of patience (especially when David tries to cook or crack a joke).

Emily, welcome to our small, silly, but very loving friend group. You bring out the best in David, and for that, we are all grateful.

David, I have one piece of advice for you as you enter this new chapter: a happy wife is a happy life. Always remember that.

As we stand here in this beautiful venue, surrounded by friends and family, I am reminded of a quote I once heard: “Love isn’t about finding the perfect person. It’s about realizing that an imperfect person can make your life perfect.”/

So, let’s raise our glasses to David and Emily. May your life together be filled with endless love, laughter, and luck. Cheers!

Thank you, everyone. Let’s make this a night to remember!

3. Hi, everyone! I just want to take a few minutes of your time to say some words about our lovely newlyweds. My name is Charles, and Manny chose me as his best man.

The love story I’ve witnessed over the past six years is nothing short of magical. First of all, their growth as individuals is very laudable; I’ve seen Manny go from a slightly reckless and clueless college student to a calm and collected man. I can confidently say that Jenny’s presence has been transformative to Manny.

Jenny, it is clear that you and Manny are soulmates. Thank you for taking care of him, keeping him in check, and humbling him whenever he needs it.

May your love be a sturdy lighthouse amidst a rough and rowdy sea, shining a light that will guide you through the darkness and unpredictability of life.

Congratulations to you two! Cheers to the future!

Final Thoughts

Being someone’s best man is a huge honor; it means you occupy such a special part of their life they wanted you to have this major role in their wedding.

When preparing a best man speech outline, the most important thing to keep in mind is authenticity—stay true to yourself. If you want to write an amazing, unforgettable speech, just focus on pouring your heart onto paper. Everything else will follow.