In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • The importance of not dropping the ball on your best man duties
  • Topics to avoid like the plague (unless you want to be remembered for all the wrong reasons)
  • Tips for crafting a speech that will have the crowd in stitches (for the right reasons)
  • Answers to frequently asked questions that every best man has (but might be too afraid to ask)

So, grab a pint, sit back, and let’s dive into the dos and don’ts of giving a best man speech that will go down in history (for all the right reasons).

The Importance of Not Screwing Up Your Best Man Speech

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “It’s just a speech, how hard can it be?” But let me tell you, a best man speech can make or break the whole bloody wedding. You’ve got the power to either have everyone in stitches with a funny story or make them cringe so hard their faces get stuck that way.

Think about it – you’re up there representing your best mate, the groom. You’re supposed to be celebrating him and his lovely new wife, not embarrassing the hell out of them. One wrong word and you could be in the doghouse for years, mate.

So, what’s a best man to do? How do you give a speech that’s funny, heartfelt, and doesn’t result in you getting kicked out of the reception? Well, buckle up, because I’m about to tell you exactly what NOT to say.

Want help planning other things – like the stag party? Our team of experts at Stagmadness can help you get it sorted quickly.

Steer Clear of These Cringe-Worthy Topics

Making bad jokes and poking fun at people is easy. You’ll even get some laughs. You’ll feel like you’re winning the crowd over. But you’ll be missing the point.

Your speech should big up the bride, cast the groom in a likeable light, and make everyone glad to be part of the occasion. With that in mind, there are some things you should avoid.

Exes and Past Relationships

First up, let’s talk about exes. I know it might be tempting to bring up that time your mate dated that absolute nutter back in secondary school, but trust me, no one wants to hear about past relationships on a wedding day that’s supposed to be about the happy couple’s future. It’s just awkward for everyone involved.

Exes and Past Relationships

Funny example: “Remember when John dated that girl who was obsessed with her pet ferret? She brought it everywhere, even on dates! Imagine if she’d shown up today with that furry little monster. Talk about a wedding crasher!”

Serious example: “John, I know we’ve been through a lot together, including some rough patches in our love lives. But seeing you with Sarah today, it’s clear that all those past relationships were just stepping stones to finding your true soulmate.”

Embarrassing Stories

Next, embarrassing stories. We’ve all got them – those wild nights out, the stupid things we did when we were young and dumb. But a wedding is not the time to air that dirty laundry. Sure, you might think it’s hilarious to tell the story of when the groom got so pissed he puked all over the taxi, but Grandma might not find it as amusing.

Funny example: “I could tell you about the time John got so drunk, he tried to chat up a mannequin in a shop window. But I think it’s best we save those stories for the stag do, eh?”

Serious example: “John, we’ve shared so many adventures over the years, some more embarrassing than others. But through it all, I’ve watched you grow into the incredible man you are today – a man who is ready to start this new chapter with the love of his life.”

Inside Jokes and Alienating Stories

Now, I know you and your mates probably have a ton of inside jokes that you think are absolutely hilarious. But here’s the thing – not everyone at the wedding is going to get them. You don’t want to alienate half the room with speech jokes that only a handful of people understand.

Inside Jokes and Alienating Stories

Funny example: “I was going to tell the story about the ‘Incident at the Kebab Shop,’ but then I realised that only five people here would get it. And four of them are too ashamed to admit they were there.”

Serious example: “John, our friendship has been filled with so many incredible moments – moments that have bonded us for life. But today is about celebrating your bond with Sarah, and sharing in the love that everyone in this room has for you both.”

Political and Religious Rants

Politics and religion – two topics that are guaranteed to start a row. You might have some strong opinions, but a wedding is not the time or place to share them. Keep your wedding speech neutral and inclusive. The last thing you want is Aunt Margaret storming out because you made a joke about her political party.

Funny example: “I thought about making a joke about Brexit, but then I remembered that half of you voted Leave and half voted Remain. And the last thing we need is a wedding turning into a political debate – we get enough of that at Christmas dinner!”

Serious example: “John and Sarah, your love knows no boundaries – not of race, religion, or political affiliation. You two are a shining example of what it means to come together despite our differences and create something beautiful.”

The Bride’s Family

Alright, lads, this one is important. Do not, under any circumstances, make fun of the bride’s family. Keep your mouth shut. The last thing you want is to piss off your mate’s new in-laws. They’re going to be a part of his life forever now, so it’s best to start things off on the right foot.

The Bride's Family

Funny example: “I was going to make a joke about Sarah’s dad’s dance moves, but then I remembered that he’s a black belt in karate. So, Mr. Johnson, your moves are looking great tonight!”

Serious example: “Sarah, I want to take a moment to thank your incredible family for welcoming John into their lives with open arms. Your love and support mean the world to him, and I know that together, you’ll create a beautiful family of your own.”

Real-Life Examples of Best Man Speeches Gone Wrong

To help you avoid making the same mistakes, let’s take a look at some real-life examples of best man speeches that missed the mark:

  1. The best man who got too drunk: “I was so nervous about giving my speech that I had a few too many drinks beforehand. By the time I got up to speak, I was slurring my words and could barely stand up straight. It was a disaster.”
  2. The best man who shared an inappropriate story: “I thought it would be funny to share a story about the groom’s wild bachelor party. But as soon as I started talking about the stripper, I could see the bride’s face falling. I tried to backtrack, but the damage was done.”
  3. The best man who forgot to prepare: “I figured I could just wing it on the day of the wedding. But when I got up to speak, my mind went completely blank. I stumbled through a few awkward jokes before sitting back down in shame.”

By learning from these mistakes before you put pen to paper, you can avoid making the same ones in your own speech.

Other Helpful Articles

We’ve written a lot about wedding speeches. If you want help with another aspect of getting the speech correct, take a look at these:

These are all designed to help you craft the perfect speech. Now let’s look at how to give a good speech and not a terrible one.

How to Give a Speech That Doesn’t Suck

So, now that you know what not to say, how do you give a best man speech that’s actually good? Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to listen to you ramble on for 20 minutes. Aim for around 5-7 minutes tops.
  2. Focus on the positive. Talk about how great your mate is, how happy you are for him, and how much you love the couple together. Put things in a positive light!
  3. Tell a funny (but appropriate) story. A little bit of humour goes a long way. Just make sure it’s not too embarrassing or offensive.
  4. Raise a toast. End your speech by raising a glass to the happy couple and wishing them all the best in their future together.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. The more you rehearse your speech, the more confident you’ll feel on the big day.
IMPORTANT:Remember, lads, the best man’s speech is a big responsibility. But with a little bit of preparation and a lot of heart, you’ll knock it out of the park.

Speech Examples

Need some inspiration? Check out these speech examples to get you started:

  • “I’ve known [Groom] since we were kids, and I’ve never seen him happier than he is with [Bride]. She brings out the best in him, and I know they’re going to have an amazing life together.”
  • “I remember the first time [Groom] told me about [Bride]. He had this big, goofy grin on his face and I knew right then that she was special. And seeing them together today, I know I was right.”

Speech Template

If you’re really struggling, you can always use a speech template to help you get started. Just remember to personalise it and make it your own. Here’s a basic outline:

  1. Introduction (who you are and how you know the groom)
  2. Funny story or memory about the groom
  3. Compliment the bride and talk about how happy she makes the groom
  4. Toast to the couple’s future together

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if I’m not good at public speaking?

Practice, practice, practice! The more you go over your speech, the more comfortable you’ll feel. And remember, everyone there loves you and wants you to succeed.

Can I use notes during my speech?

Absolutely! There’s no shame in having a piece of paper with some key points to keep you on track. Just don’t read directly from it the whole time.

How long should my speech be?

Aim for 5-7 minutes. Any longer and you might start losing people’s attention.


Giving a best man speech can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Just remember to steer clear of those awkward topics, focus on the positive, and speak from the heart. With a little bit of preparation, you’ll give a speech that the wedding guests will remember for all the right reasons. Good luck, lads!

Veronika Tomasikova

Stag expert since 2019 Veronika has dedicated herself to exploring and sampling all the adrenaline-filled activities, bars and clubs to ensure only the best make the cut! With over 3100 Bachelor Parties organised her know-how guarantees an Epic trip!