Are you standing up in your brother’s wedding as the best man? Aside from planning the bachelor party, you have one very public and important responsibility—giving a best man speech at his wedding.
When it comes to preparing a best man speech for your brother’s wedding, there’s a lot of pressure. It’s time for you to create a speech that will impress your brother and all of the guests.
As a professional wedding vow and speech writer, I’m here to provide my expert advice. Here are 12 best man speech ideas when the groom is your brother.
Tip #1: Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
The best way to start a best man speech for your brothers wedding is to remember memories from your childhood.
Unlike other close friends, your brother is the one person who you’ve known longer than any other friend.
Think back to your earliest memories together. What do you see?
Jot down a few notes. This can be used as potential material for your speech.
Tip #2: Remember How You Played Together
While reminiscing, consider what you and your brother did to have fun together.
What video games did you spend hours playing? How did you spend every summer during your elementary years? What was it like visiting each other at college?
Brainstorm story ideas and write down more notes for speech material.
Tip #3: Remember How You Fought Together
As brothers, you likely got into a few fights. What did you argue about? What caused you to wrestle in the living room?
Consider how these brotherly love moments could be worked into your best man speech and add these notes to your list of brainstorm ideas.
Tip #4: Discover Themes
Now that you’ve completed a few brainstorming exercises for your speech, it’s time to determine which material will actually be useful.
To do this, recognize themes that can be used to tie the speech together and keep it flowing forward.
Review your notes. What themes stand out to you? Do most of your notes focus on how funny your brother is or how he was always there for you?
Decide on one theme that can be the focus of your speech.
Use this to drive the speech forward from specific story to specific story.
Then, you’ll transition from telling stories to talking about his new spouse and their marriage while still being focused on that theme.
Let’s look at an example to see how this would work.
Theme Example: My brother, being the youngest, always lost at anything we did together.
Story Examples: When Todd and I were kids, we played board games for countless hours. And it didn’t matter how many times I let him choose the game or how often he got to roll the dice first—Todd always lost.
At Christmas, we’d race to our chosen tree at the tree farm and the first one there received the honor of chopping down our family tree. No matter how much spirit and determination Todd had—his feet just weren’t fast enough and he always lost.
Tie the Theme to His New Spouse Example: As I stand here today and see my little brother with his new wife, Cristina, I can clearly see that my brother has finally won. Cristina is the most outgoing, fun, and kind-hearted person. He doesn’t have to roll the dice—he’s a winner just by being with her.
Tie the Theme to Marriage Example: Within your marriage, I wish you many more moments of winning together. From raising a beautiful family to traveling the world—congratulations on a new life and a beautiful wife of a true winner.
Tip #5: Follow an Outline
Once you’ve collected material for your speech and have chosen a theme, it can still be challenging to organize your speech.
I recommend following our outline to organize your thoughts into the format of a best man speech.
Best Man Speech Outline Example:
Introduce yourself and state your relation to the groom
Detail out stories about your brother and what you admire about him
Detail out stories about his new spouse and what you admire about them
Note why their marriage excites you and makes you happy
Close with a wish for the couple
Tip #6: Don’t Procrastinate Writing Your First Draft
Many best men procrastinate writing the speech. It can be intimidating. There’s pressure to sit down and to instantly write something amazing.
But understand this—your first draft is not your final draft.
Just write something. Get a completed draft completed.
It does not need to be perfect and it shouldn’t be. Progress over perfect is what we’re going for here.
Tip #7: Embrace Editing
Many writers will tell you—writing is really just editing and then more editing. Once you’ve completed a first draft, it’s time to review and revise.
Reread the speech. What areas could use more vivid detail? Which parts could be deleted entirely? Is there anything that’s not exactly appropriate for a wedding speech?
Rework your speech with an editor’s eye and you’ll start to see the speech being polished into something you’re proud of.
Tip #8: Phone a Friend
While you’ll likely want your speech to be a surprise for the couple and their guests, share what you’ve written with at least one other person. It’s helpful to gain an outside perspective.
Ask someone who you can trust to give you honest and valuable feedback like another groomsman or your dad.
Tip #9: Print Your Speech—Do Not Read it From Your Phone
I can’t tell you how many best men I’ve seen read their speech from their phone and how in that one instant all of their impact is gone.
It looks so tacky and it’s distracting.
This is a special moment and no one wants to see you staring at your phone to read the speech—especially when that moment will be rewatched on the wedding video.
Print your speech and bring three copies with you. Keep one on you, put one in a piece of luggage you’ll have with you that day, and give one to another groosman to keep. You’ll want backup copies just in case something happens to your original.
Tip #10: Make Sure There’s a Microphone For You
You’d be surprised but often, venues do not have extra microphones for the wedding party. Talk with your brother in advance of the wedding date to confirm that there will be a microphone for you to use.
Even with the help of mic, you’ll still need to speak loudly to ensure that every guest hears you. Be conscious of how you hold the mic to make sure it’s not covering your face for video and photographs but that it’s also not so low that it’s not picking up your voice.
Tip #11: Practice Reciting Your Speech
The wedding day should not be the first time that you start practicing your speech. Read your toast out loud three to six times before the big day.
You’ll work out any nerves and sound more confident. Plus, you’ll start to semi-memorize the speech and you won’t have to rely on staring at your paper so much.
The key with reciting a best man speech is to appear as if you’re simply telling a story at a dinner party. Channel this level of calm confidence and you’ll have the greatest level of impact.
Tip #12: Hire Help to Write Your Best Man Speech
Are you still overwhelmed with how to write a killer best man speech for your brother or are you simply too busy to get it done in time?
Work with a best man speech writer to create a completely custom toast for your brother.
At Wedding Words, I work with best men to write personalized speeches that they feel excited to recite and that guests rave about. Get in touch to see how we could work together.