The room is full of laughter, idle chat, and general goodwill towards the happy newlyweds (with some rampant jealousy among single female friends thrown in for good measure). Feeling that the time is right, you stand, raise your glass, and wait for everyone to notice you and pipe down. Microphone in hand, convinced that you’re about to knock ‘em dead with your heartfelt tribute, you begin.
But wait…something doesn’t feel right. The looks you’re receiving aren’t of admiration, or even appreciation, but derision and mockery. Sweat starts running down your forehead, your pants fall down, your girlfriend leaves you, a five year-old kicks you in the nuts, and you get shot with a blowgun by a ninja in the bushes.
Don’t let this bizarrely specific situation happen to you. A best man’s duty is to commemorate the wedding at hand with a proper toast, one that encapsulates the newly married couple and his relationship with them (or, more likely, just with the groom).
Take a hint from some of these best man speech examples, and make sure your toast leaves all the men in the room jealous of your ability, and all the ladies vying for your attention.
Who the hell are you? To most of the people there, you’re just some jagaloon with a microphone that they now have to listen to blab for a few minutes. Start with something easy, along these lines:
“Hi everyone, welcome. For those of you that don’t know, I’m Jack, and I’ve been friends/enemies/mutual stalkers with Brian since we were in preschool/high-school/evil accent training camp together.”
The next thing we’ll show you in these best man speech examples is how to tell the assembled crowd that the wedding was absolutely wonderful, even if it was an apocalyptic disaster. It makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside to hear the best man say something like this:
“Wasn’t that a wonderful ceremony? It sure didn’t feel like it took an hour/two hours/a lifetime. All the bridesmaids sure look lovely/great/filled with rage at the prospect of being the last one married, don’t they? Eclipsed only, of course, by the beauty of the blushing bride herself/himself/itself.”
He’s your buddy, and, if you’re his best man, you know just how much joshing he can take. Consider starting your speech with a short anecdote or joke that livens the mood and leaves your bro laughing nervously into his napkin. Remember, though, this is a family affair – no stories about that time he accidentally had sex with a transsexual, or bit the head off a live bat, or crapped himself in public. It should be light, humorous, and only harmful to his pride. Consider the following:
“I was perusing the Internet for something interesting to say about the day Brian was born, but of course there was nothing. The only thing that showed up was “national ugly baby day”/”birth of Brian “The Ripper” Chavez”/”record set for the most times a baby was dropped and survived.” Some of you might not know this, but Brian can be pretty dumb sometimes…one specific instance springs to mind, the time he was on the news for driving the wrong way on the highway/got drunk and tried to jump in the dolphin tank at Seaworld because they looked lonely/ate an entire uncooked pumpkin, shell and all.”
Aww…everyone loves a tearjearker, especially at a wedding. Pander to the crowd by telling them a quick story about the moment you first knew the two of them were going to be together forever, or just something nice that they did for each other. Here’s a best man speech example excerpt:
“But seriously, these two were made for each other. I remember this one time when they both got each other the same gift for Valentine’s day, identical boxes of chocolate/the same card/a gravy ladle/the heart of their nemesis/a hogtied member of congress. The look in both of their eyes when they opened that box/ice chest/coffin was priceless…and I knew they’d each found their soulmate.”
Nobody’s making any bones about it – weddings are stressful as hell. A couple of (really terrible) people have made huge piles of money filming tearful breakdowns, bridezilla fits, and epic caterer fiascoes. Talk about a specific obstacle the couple had to navigate, and express your happiness and admiration that they overcame said hurdle to get where they are today, like so:
“You, know, it wasn’t all sunshine and happiness, this wedding. Why, just the other day, the bride ripped her dress/the groom knocked up one of the bridesmaids/the president signed an official sanction against this union. Thankfully, the seamstress was able to do a quick repair/planned parenthood stepped in/they kidnapped his daughter, and everything turned out just great. We’re all blessed to be here today, and nobody’s happier than me/the voices inside my head/the people’s republic of North Korea.”
Lastly, you need to inspire everyone to raise their glasses to the continued health and happiness of the couple. This should just be a quick reminder of their future together and the memories they’ll make, as well as putting an effective period on your speech.
Consider an example:
“Everyone should aspire to this level of happiness. On that note, I’d like everyone to raise their glasses with me. Brian and Michelle, may you have all the happiness/gold/artifacts of dark and terrible power you deserve. You two have what I want/have/had but then lost to a shark attack, and I wish you many blissful years/successful heists/narrow escapes together.”
These are just a few best man speech examples; you should feel free to use whatever anecdotes and stories you feel will best complement your good wishes. A few notes: don’t ever ever ever (ever) take a dig at the bride in any way, don’t offer to buy the whole room drinks unless it’s an open bar, and don’t forget to wrap it if you start to get lucky with one of the bridesmaids, unless you want a wedding of the shotgun variety on your hands. Happy toasting, wordsmith.