HOWTO: Give a Best Man Toast

So your brother / best friend / college buddy asked you to be his best man and you’ve planned the bachelor party, got measured for your tux, held on to the rings, and watched the groom get married.

Now it’s your turn to give the toast.

It’s by far the most nerve racking part of being the best man, so don’t screw it up! I’m not the best speaker in the world, but I’ve been a best man three times and have come up with three rules to follow.

1. Make fun of the groom: Don’t worry too much about your jokes about the groom. You will never have a more receptive audience in your life. They are well on their way to getting drunk at this point and want to laugh. Leave the raunchy stories for the bachelor party and stick to making fun of the groom for his hobbies or how much of a dork he was in high school.

2. Flatter the bride: After you’ve made fun of the groom, move on to the bride and talk about how beautiful/smart/amazing she is. Don’t be tempted to make fun of her! Leave that to the maid of honor.

3. Keep it Short: This is where most of the speeches I’ve seen falter. It starts out great and everyone is enamored with what you’re saying, but by the 12th minute and the 4th slide on the powerpoint, 30% of the people have slipped away to the bar, bathroom, or outside to smoke. Leave them wanting more and if you keep it under 3 minutes you should be able to memorize it and really look like a pro. Don’t forget to actually raise your glass and make it a toast.

Here’s the text from my 3rd best man speech.