Being the best man means recounting a number of humorous anecdotes about the groom, and raising a few laughs from the audience with quippy one liners and witty jokes.
It also, however, means interjecting the wisecracks with sincerity and affection, and sometimes it’s helpful to include some words of wisdom from famous names into your speech.
Here are a few of the best quotes to use in your best man speech:
1. Friedrich Nietzsche
It’s no surprise that the acclaimed nineteenth century German philosopher had some excellent words of wisdom when it came to marriage. He is reported to have said:
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
Nietzsche isn’t the only philosopher who had something to say about marriage. This amusing quip from the ancient Greek Socrates would fit well into a best man speech:
“My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you’ll be happy. If not, you’ll become a philosopher.”
3. Traditional African saying
The author of this traditional African quote is unknown, but the words are beautifully sentimental:
“May your love be like the misty rain, gentle coming in but flooding the river.”
4. Nikki Giovanni
The famous African American poet’s sentiment about love would be a beautiful tribute to the bride and groom’s new journey together, with the quote:
“We love because it’s the only true adventure.”
5. Oscar Wilde
For a funny and slightly tongue-in-cheek quote to use in your best man speech, you can rely on the witty 19th-Century playwright Oscar Wilde for this favourite saying:
“The man who says his wife can’t take a joke forgets that she took him.”
6. Martin Luther King Jr.
The hugely influential American equal rights public speaker, whose 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is still to this day one of the most iconic speeches of the 20th Century, had a very simple but charming message about wedded bliss:
“There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.”
7. Walt Whitman
American humanist poet Walt Whitman referenced marriage when he said:
“The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.”
This touching tribute can be used in your best man speech as a nod to the bride and groom’s future together.
8. Mahatma Gandhi
As the man who inspired the Gandhi Peace Prize, it’s not surprising that this nonviolent political ethicist had some thoughts on the importance of love. A beautiful quote by Gandhi that would be perfectly suited to a wedding speech by the best man is:
“Where there is love there is life”
9. Mother Teresa
On a similar thread to Gandhi’s philosophies, Saint Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun known for her missionary work in Calcutta, had these words to say about love:
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
It’s the perfect sentiment for a newly wedded couple.
Whichever quotes you choose to use, if you rehearse your speech thoroughly, it will be memorable and well delivered, and it won’t fail to make an impact at the wedding.