Groom’s autistic younger brother leaves wedding guests in tears with his heartfelt best man speech

When Sam Waldron delivered his best man speech at his older brother’s wedding on July 3, 2021, he took the couple and their 170 guests on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Everyone at the reception laughed and shed some tears as Sam, 23, who has autism, said that his big brother Jonah, 27, was his “hero” and “never looked down” on him.

At the beginning of his speech, Sam admitted he was often terrified to interact with people because of his condition, but through it all, his “best brother” would tell him that “being different is a real strength, not a weakness.”


Sam also had some sweet words for Jonah’s beautiful bride, Madison, 25, who he said had “all the makings of a great sister.”

“For me personally, Maddy, you know that sometimes I can get very uncomfortable and nervous around many people…I have never been that way around you. You give me peace,” Sam said.

“You bring peace to all of those around you. I love you, Maddy.”

Groom's autistic younger brother giving his best man's speech

In an interview with Daily Mail, Sam said he was “really nervous” before delivering the speech.

“Before I stood up, I wasn’t sure if everyone would like my speech, but I got more comfortable as I started reading,” he recalled.

Sam, who was 7 years old when he was diagnosed with autism, said that he felt he was also fulfilling a higher purpose by standing up and giving his speech despite his fears.

“I felt like I was speaking out to whoever has autism and that I was speaking for the autism community,” he said.

Jonah couldn’t help but turn emotional as he listened to his autistic younger brother.

Groom listening to his autistic younger brother

After Sam’s speech, everyone cheered and gave him a standing ovation. Jonah hugged his brother, clearly grateful and proud.

Sam described his relationship with Jonah as “simply amazing.”

“We hang out together and have fun,” he said.

People with autism may have difficulties in social interactions, but luckily for Sam, he had his family’s support. Jonah and Sam went to the same school. Sam’s big brother was there to help him.

“He would come to see me during the school day, he would come for help with a subject or as a break,” Jonah said.

The Waldron family at Jonah and Maddy's wedding

“Myself and my parents were the ones he felt the most comfortable talking to about any struggles that he had socially,” he added. “I also became his Respite Care worker, helping him practice social situations in public settings.”

Maddy, a teacher from Wartburg College was the one he met. Jonah introduced Sam to her then-girlfriend. The two quickly became close friends.

They were engaged while on a trip to Buenavista, Colorado. Sam was his best man when he returned home.

“I’ve always known that I wanted Sam as my best man,” he said.

Sam was thrilled to have the honor but was also nervous.

The couple with the autistic younger brother walking

“I felt like my dream came true,” he said. “I was nervous at first but then I felt happy because I got to be around my best brother.”

Sam practiced the speech for two days and then read it to his aunt and dad to make sure it was perfect. On the big day, Sam’s message touched everyone at the reception.

“My favourite part was when he was explaining to Maddy that she gave him peace, because that is exactly how I would explain the way she is with Sam,” Jonah said. “Everyone I saw was crying and laughing, he mixed all of that together very well.”

Jonah and Maddy shared a video Sam’s entire speech on their shared TikTok account, and it has since been viewed by millions of people.

Listen to Sam’s viral best man speech in the video below.

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