9 Best Man Speech Ideas From Literature

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Literature is filled with sweeping love stories, unbreakable bonds of friendship, and moving, spur-of-the moment speeches. It's all very grand. Unfortunately, in real life, it's not so easy to condense all your feelings for a friend into one short speech or wedding toast. Especially when everyone is anxiously waiting to start on their appetizers. Do you need to make a classy, touching, amusing, and/or heartfelt best man speech for the bookish groom in your life? Then you might need one of these best man speech ideas from literature.

These speeches might not work for every best man out there. But if you're a best man (or woman, because it's 2016) with a literary bent, these might be right up your alley. The bride and groom will be touched by your way with words. The cute bridesmaid/groomsman will be impressed by your literary references. It's a win/win.

Most importantly, you want to express how you feel about your friend who's getting hitched. And sometimes you need to borrow a great author's words to express the magnitude of those feelings. But you probably don't have time to comb through all of English literature for the right words and plan a bachelor party. So here are a few quotes about love, friendship, and getting married for your best man speech:

1. Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

― Louis de Bernières, Corelli’s Mandolin

2. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

3. Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.

― Lauren Oliver, Delirium

4. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

5. What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier. The serene and lofty soul, inaccessible to vulgar passions and emotions, dominating the clouds and the shades of this world, its follies, its lies, its hatreds, its vanities, its miseries, inhabits the blue of heaven, and no longer feels anything but profound and subterranean shocks of destiny, as the crests of mountains feel the shocks of earthquake.

― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

6. To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.

― Criss Jami, Venus in Arms

7. Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves…”What will happen to us?” I asked. “There will always be us,” he answered.

― Patti Smith, Just Kids

8. Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

9. To keep your marriage brimming With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up.

― Ogden Nash, The Best of Ogden Nash

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