A Best Man's Guide to Speech-Writing
So you're the lucky best man who gets to make the toast, huh? Take a deep breath, it's really not that bad! Sure, toast speech writing can seem overwhelming, but we have put together a few tips to help you out and get you started.
Below are some things to keep in mind when setting out to write your speech.
- Keep it brief, but not too brief
- It should sound spontaneous, not like a formal speech
- Introduce yourself
- Mention that it was an honor to be chosen as the best man
- Mention how long you've known the couple
- Pick out a few adjectives that best describe them individually and/or as a couple
- Incorporate an amusing anecdote about the couple or talk about how they met
- Reference a marriage quote that describes them (or totally doesn't!)
- Have fun, but don't humiliate the bride or groom for the sake of humor
- Add enough seriousness to make the mother of the bride tear up
- Wish them both the best
When you've finished writing your speech, have a friend review it and suggest changes. Read the speech aloud a few times, and change any phrases that you have trouble saying or where you find yourself stumbling over your words. Once the speech is finalized, transfer it onto a note card and practice, practice, practice! You should have it memorized for the most part, but make sure to have the note card for reference.
Here's an example to give you some ideas!
As Jason's best man, I just wanted to say a few words and toast the bride and groom.
First of all, I want to say thank you to all of you for coming. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Wagner for putting on such an incredible celebration. And thank you to Jason for choosing me as your best man. It's an honor.
Jason and I have been best friends since grade school, and if there's one thing I can say about him it's that he's an honorable man. Not only has he served in the US Armed Forces, but he's always carried himself with dignity and integrity-though he does like to get a little crazy sometimes when he drinks.
I remember one time when we took a road trip to Boston, we spent a night at the bar. Well, Jason maybe had a little too much to drink. When the bartender left to restock the olives, Jason is literally behind the bar with his mouth to the tap! I'm not kidding! Let's hope none of that happens tonight!
But if there's one thing that's for sure, Jason loves Gina with all of his heart, and it shows. When he talks about her, his whole face lights up. It reminds me of the way my grandfather used to talk about my grandma-like he was telling the story of how he found a buried treasure. Today Jason married the woman he loves, and I am confident this is a marriage that will last a lifetime.
I truly believe that he will show the same love, dedication and protection for his new wife as he has in serving his country for 6 years in the armed forces. It takes a great man to serve his country, and it takes a greater man to serve his wife. Jason Harrington is that man.
Jason and Gina, I wish you both the best. May the joys you share today be the beginning of a lifetime of great happiness and fulfillment. Congratulations.
Not the talkative type? Here's a sample of a beyond-brief speech that's still quite appropriate for a best man:
Tom and Kristen, I just wanted to say congratulations. We're all so happy for the two of you. Cheers!