Best Man Speech Etiquette

Follow these simple rules and you'll give a heartfelt and appropriate speech

By Alan Kirk

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At many weddings, the best man has an opportunity to give a short speech congratulating the bride and groom on their marriage. This speech can range from humorous to heartfelt, or a combination of both.


First and foremost, the best man's speech is an opportunity to congratulate the newly married couple. It is also the one time during the event that the best man can convey his sentiments to the groom and let the audience know about the groom's finer qualities. The speech can include a personal message from the best man to the couple as well.


The best man's speech includes memories that the best man has shared with the bride and the groom. It also includes best wishes for the future, and may include a joke as an ice-breaker.


Best man speech etiquette dictates that the focus of the speech should be on the bride and groom. The speech should not be created to draw the guests' attention to the best man. The speech should not devolve into a retelling of ribald or embarassing events from the groom's past, either.

Time Frame

A best man's speech should be between five to 10 minutes. Anything longer may not work. The speech should be presented before the meal is served at the wedding reception.


When preparing the best man's speech, keep in mind that you will be presented to a mixed audience. If a joke is prepared as part of the speech, keep it clean. Be careful not to embarrass the bride or groom. What you find amusing might be viewed as inappropriate by others.

About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications for several years and is a contributor to DexKnows.

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