If your best friend or brother is getting married, it’s an honor to be awarded the title of best man. It means you are the most important man in that person’s life, and they want you to share this moment with them. But it’s also a lot of pressure.
Not only are you responsible for everything running smoothly, including the bachelor party, the ceremony, and having the groom’s back in all possible scenarios, but you also have to give a speech.
The best man’s speech can either be magnificent or an awkward pause in an otherwise excellent evening.
Ideally, you want people patting you on the back for your speech at the reception, not avoiding eye contact, or even worse, you!
Read our tips for best man speech opening lines below to find out how to deliver the best speech you have to offer.
Things to Avoid in a Best Man Speech
Before we get to the best ways to start your speech, we should probably make sure you don’t say anything that will ruin that great opening line. Here are just a few of the biggest mistakes the best men make when it comes to their speeches.
Know When to Stop
The best speeches have an ending. The last thing you want to do is have a great speech and then keep going too long. People will forget about all the good things you said, stop listening, and start checking their watches.
It’s good to have an organic ending to your speech, but it’s also important to know when it’s going on too long.
If you see people in the room start to look around, check their phones, or look at the groom with questioning glances, then it’s probably the perfect time to finish talking and toast the happy couple.
Don’t Get Too Personal
Telling intimate and personal stories about the groom is a surefire way to put a dampener on the wedding. Always be aware of the tales you tell. For example, anything involving sex or a strip club probably isn’t appropriate for the grandmother of the bride.
Also, don’t be too soft. Adults appreciate a best man who doesn’t pull his punches but knows where to draw the line. If you’re unsure about a particular bit, it is always a good idea to run it by the rest of the groomsmen to see what they think.
Don’t Mention Anyone’s Exes
It goes without saying that bringing up exes at a wedding reception is never a good idea. That rule is not reserved just for the groom. Mentioning anyone’s past relationships will ruin an otherwise happy atmosphere.
To remain positive, try to limit your topics to people who are present at the reception or that everyone knows.
Top 5 Best Man Speech Opening Lines
Now that you know what to avoid when preparing your speech, let’s look at some of the best ways to start your speech.
“I didn’t prepare anything, so let me speak from the heart.”
This is a great way to get the crowd on your side, even if you are 100% prepared. It’s even funnier if you pull out an extra-long piece of paper with writing on it.
“[Groom’s name] probably isn’t good enough for [bride’s name], but….”
If you want to start out with a jab at the groom, you can’t do much better than this. Everyone will know you’re joking, and then you can use it as a segue into some compliments about your friend and the couple.
“Grandma, cover your ears. This one is going to get gritty.”
Regardless of how dirty your speech is, this is a hilarious way to start out. Everyone dreads a dirty best man speech, and starting like this will break the ice perfectly.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ll be signing autographs after the reception.”
Again, this sets you up for success because it instills the crowd with your confidence. People will be excited to hear what comes next and won’t stress if you stumble or stutter.
“I first realized [groom’s name] and [bride’s name] would get married when….”
Don’t worry about this sounding like a cliché. The families will love to hear your perspective on the couple’s relationship. It’s also a great way to demonstrate how well you know the groom or both of them.
Whichever opening you choose, we’re sure it will go wonderfully. Best men are selected for their relationship with the groom and their overall charisma. If the groom likes you, then everyone else will too.
Just be yourself and have fun. At the very worst, you can rest assured knowing it will be over soon.