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Best Man Tribute to the Bride (or Groom)

Best Man Tribute to the Bride (or Groom)

A best man’s speech is about more than celebrating (or comedy-mourning the loss of) your best mate. You also have to bring his new spouse into the speech to get full best man points. Here's what you need to be saying...

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out all the different ways the Speechy team can help you write & deliver a great speech. Or check out our new AI-powered team member, SpeechyAI.)

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The Basic Rules

The tribute to your mate’s partner doesn’t need to be long but needs to be more than a succession of clichés. The aim is to make sure your words seem genuine and suggest you actually know them (even if you don’t really!). We suggest you:

  • Say they look beautiful/handsome – ok, it’s a cliche but it’s a necessary one
  • Think of something you admire about them – even if it’s just their ability to fry up an excellent breakfast when you’re all feeling slightly ‘delicate’
  • Share any classic anecdotes of your time with them
  • Express why you think the couple work so well together

Now let’s unpack this for you…

1 – The Obligatory Compliment

This is one tradition that is not going anywhere. Everyone likes being told they look great. On their wedding day, it’s the law.

It’s perfectly fine to use one of the usual descriptive words to compliment them on their appearance; stunning, handsome, gorgeous, and beautiful are all acceptable choices. But to make your compliment really sing, go for something bespoke. Show that you’ve noticed the special effort they’ve gone to on this momentous day, or that you recognise how unique they are. Like…

It finally makes sense to me why Mark’s favourite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid, now he has his very own red-haired princess who’s a fearless open water swimmer. No chance of this one giving up her voice for a bloke though.

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2 – What Do You Admire About Them?

There’s nothing that says cut and paste more than a speech full of platitudes that say nothing identifiable whatsoever about the person you’re talking about.

Instead, look for something about their character that you couldn’t say about just any old bride or groom, even if it’s their saintly levels of patience at being a FIFA widow or their infamous cocktail-making skills.

Maybe you covet their massive record collection and appreciate the fact they’ve got your mate to stop listening to Coldplay. Perhaps their career has them going on super impressive fieldwork for an NGO and leaves your mate pining for them when they’re out of the country. Or it might just be that they’re a true people magnet, as evidenced by the 80:20 ratio of their wedding guests to your mate’s.

3 – Share A Story

Stories are always better than a succession of adjectives.

Presumably, if you and the groom are close, you’ve all had an opportunity to spend at least some time with their other half too. Forget about listing each and every occasion you’ve hung out, just choose one or two anecdotes that prove what you’ve said about their character.

If you’ve mentioned that they’re generous, a quick line acknowledging the Friday nights they’ve taxied you from the pub to your front door without commenting on the greasy kebab fingerprints in their pristine car will evidence that claim.

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3 – Why The Couple Work So Well Together

You’re in prime position to identify your best friend’s best qualities and his most irritating flaws. Knowing he’s found the person who balances out these parts of him should fill you with warm, happy feelings – and probably also some relief.

Try and explain in just a sentence or two why you think these two go together like aloo and gobi.

Maybe your friend is one of those weird people who enjoys cleaning and his new spouse leaves the kitchen looking like a nuclear disaster area after making a spaghetti bolognese. Or perhaps his partner is a professional dog groomer and your mate has the most high-maintenance, hairiest back known to man.

Say more than the obvious platitudes.

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How Your Relationship Will Affect Your Tribute

WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW THE GROOM’S PARTNER?

If you’ve barely met them (and this is true more often than you’d think) you can make a joke about it. Just a cheeky ‘He’s been keeping you locked up’ or ‘I’ve always wanted to meet the person who can beat Dave on Mario kart’ will suffice.

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE MY FRIEND’S PARTNER?

Look, in an ideal world, every day would be like a Friends episode, but occasionally there’s that one personality that doesn’t align with ours – think Janice – and they also happen to have laid claim to our best mate forever more. It doesn’t help if you feel you’ve made the effort but they’ve been colder than a penguin’s bumhole in return.

But, ultimately your friendship is bigger than your pride. So swallow it. Just crack on and say something – anything – positive about the person your friend is promising to spend the rest of his life with. If you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel, just say ‘I know Nick thinks the absolute world of you because you’re the only person in the world he’d ever give up fantasy football night for.’

Try not to sound too bitter about it.

WHAT IF MY FRIEND’S PARTNER DOESN’T LIKE ME?

Sometimes we do meet those rare people who don’t appreciate waking up to the smell of leftover kebab in their Honda Civic, or for some reason don’t get our *jokes*. And in an increasingly polarised political world, people’s outlooks on life can genuinely jar quite considerably.

If this is the case, keep a closer eye on your speech for anything that someone could take the wrong way. Keep the humour on the right side of edgy and maybe get another person to read it in advance of the day to make sure you’re not pushing it too far. Our Edit Service could also help provide an expert eye.

Hopefully though, if you’ve noticed funny qualities in your best mate, chances are his spouse has noticed them too, and your speech could just be something you finally bond over!

The Speechwriting Experts

The Speechy team are TV-trained scriptwriters/comedians by trade & we’ve helped 1,000s of speakers around the world deliver their dream speech.

Our advice has been quoted everywhere from The New York Times to Grazia and from Forbes to The Observer. Our founder has also featured on the BBC Sounds’ Best Men podcast with Jason Manford and written ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches’, published by Little, Brown.

Heidi and the Speechy Team

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''I had an unbelievable experience working with Speechy. From the moment I got in touch with them I felt supported and come the day of my best mans speech, it went down a storm with a standing ovation.''
''Speechy deserves more than 5 stars. (They) produced a factual, funny Mother of the Bride speech with just the right amount of emotion..... it was ingenious. Thank you so much for the wonderful & priceless memory of having delivered my speech at my daughter’s wedding and nailed it ... and got a standing ovation too. My children were very proud of me, including my new son-in-law! ''
''These Guys are tremendous! One main point is that its not their speech - its yours! This is because it is based totally around what you would like to say, but its the spin that Speechy puts on it, that is the magical bit... Ordinary words become a hilariously entertaining event. There were giggles, applauds, laughs, tears, cheers and standing ovation – all in that order!''
''Feeling anxious or stressed about an upcoming speech? Look no further than Speechy... I just delivered my Best Man speech this past weekend and absolutely crushed it. I was nervous leading up to the moment, but while delivering my speech, I didn't want the experience to end, the room was hooked, and laughing at every joke. Worth every penny... Thank you!''
''Navigating through the wedding industry often feels like you’re stuck on a conveyer belt....Speechy is the complete opposite. They treat you and your wedding like you’re the one and only. I couldn’t recommend them more.''
''Heidi and the whole team at Speechy are an absolute gem! In addition to their talent and extensive experience in speech writing, Heidi had an impressive way of listening to me talk about mine and my partners personal anecdotes, before putting it in such a funny and beautiful way that it felt as though she’d known us for years.''
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