Writing a great best man speech is hard. TV and movies have shown us some great best man speeches. As a result, there’s a lot of pressure to find the right balance between humor and sentimentality. You want your best man speech to be remembered for the right reasons—because it started the couple off on a good note—and not because it was delivered in a drunken stupor or completely embarrassed the bride and groom. As you search for inspiration to write a great best man speech, here are 5 memorable best man speeches from TV and movies that you can draw inspiration from.
5.) Stan’s Speech in Along Came Polly
This speech, given by the groom’s boss, is set as a humorous aside in a montage about why a marriage failed. Still, Baldwin’s character managed to get a couple of things right in this speech. He kept it short and to the point—appreciated in a room full of hungry guests—and he personalized it to the groom. That exact speech wouldn’t have been appropriate for anyone else, which is what made it sort of perfect for that wedding.
4.) Rick’s Speech in Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty is an interesting adult cartoon, as poignant at times as it is ridiculous and slapstick. When Rick is chosen as Birdperson’s best man, he gives a speech that acknowledges the difficulty of love while also ending on a note of hope for the future. This type of best man speech can come off especially well if you’re the kind of man for whom talking about love feels unnatural, for whatever reason.
3.) Charles’s Speech in Four Weddings and a Funeral
Best men are under a lot of pressure to write a funny best man speech, but one of the worst things you can do as a best man is read the audience—or the bride and groom—wrong and write a speech that offends rather than amuses. Hugh Grant shows how to do it well by delivering a best man speech that is funny without once telling an embarrassing story or joke about the bride or groom. He also managed a moment of sentimentality, which is a hard line to walk.
2.) Finn’s Speech in Glee
Some unions aren’t cut and dry. Glee explored what it looks like when a marriage unites not just the couple, but their children as well. With less cut-and-dry weddings, acknowledging any children that are in the family and also being affected by the marriage, as Finn does in his speech, can be more meaningful to the bride and groom than if you just talked about them as a couple.
1.) Sherlock’s Speech in Sherlock
Benedict Cumberbatch is an extremely talented actor—a master of the quick-moving tongue—but even taking that as a given, he surprised audiences with his masterful delivery of Sherlock’s best man speech. What’s great about this best man speech is that it shows that you don’t have to be funny to give a great best man speech if you don’t want to. Sherlock had the audience sold at the beginning, before he ever got to the jokes he had planned, just by speaking about the couple from his heart. It’s a great reminder that when all else fails, being genuine truly is the best way to write a great best man speech.
Being chosen as the best man is an honor, but it’s also a grave responsibility. Still, if you deliver a great best man speech, the groom you’re speaking for is sure to be thankful for it. Later, when he gives you your groomsman gift, you’ll feel like you really deserve the praise.