Giving a best man’s speech can be an incredibly nerve racking experience, especially if you’re quite a reserved character. How to best shame and humiliate the groom without being overly descriptive, that is the question… No matter how funny that time he stole a sheep was, now is probably not the best time to bring it up. Or maybe it is.

What you can and can’t say all depends on the bride and/or groom, the type of guests at the wedding and the atmosphere. But there are some fundamental rules you should follow in order to avoid an early marital bust up and avoid falling into the “bad influence” category of friends that the future wife has no doubt already drawn up in her head.

Be Polite… To Begin With

Remember to say how beautiful the bride looks and don’t forget the bridesmaids. Try and make special mentions to the important people that couldn’t be there and thank the groom for asking you to be best man. Recall the time that the groom first told you about his wife, and remember to be ever so slightly rose tinted with the details. Then let the not so subtle ribbing commence.

Be Funny

Even if your idea of fun is creating a neat spreadsheet or alphabetising your CD collection, humour is pretty much an essential element of any best man speech. Rack your brains for amusing anecdotes, childhood memories and any story that has the potential to make the other quests laugh, and be sure to write them down as they come to you.

Hopefully the guests should be suitably merry by the time of the speeches which should make your stories even more amusing. With strategic planning, you should be able to catch them at the peak of their excitement and merriment, ideal for delivering semi-comical lines. And a touch of self ridicule always helps to offset any of your crueler one liners about other people in the audience.


No matter how tempting it is to make reference to the groom’s previous girlfriends or things he got up to when single, the bride may feel a little aggrieved. Although you and the lads might find it very amusing, one stony faced glare from the bride will convince you otherwise. Seriously, these gags are best left for the stag night.

Go the Extra Mile

Props, special guests and thorough research always go down well. Using some high tech multimedia could also make your speech more memorable. A projector showing a slide show of photographs with accompanying music can make the day a little more special. And if the groom falls asleep on his stag night, be sure to take video footage of the terrible things you do to him and proudly display on the happiest day of his life.

And Finally…

Whilst planning the speech can be tense time if you’re not the most outgoing character. But being selected as a best man is an honour in itself, so do your best to pay tribute to the groom in a suitable manner. Obviously, humour and character assassination are all part of the day, but be sure to leave the speech on a high note. This way, you’re certain to keep the bride and groom as happy as possible on their big day.

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