Writing a wedding speech can be a daunting task, especially if you’re nervous about speaking in front of a group. But it’s an excellent opportunity to let your nearest and dearest know how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them celebrating the start of your marriage with you.
Traditionally, brides don’t give speeches. They sit quietly and listen while their dad, the best man, and the groom give speeches. Brides were to be seen and not heard. But we’ve had enough of that if you’re a bride, who wants to speak at your own wedding – more power to you! We 100% support a bride being heard on her own wedding day.
Getting ready to write your bride/groom wedding speech? Awesome! We’ve got all the steps you need to write a killer wedding speech that will leave the room laughing, crying and applauding wildly by the time you drop the mic.
We gave our readers a glimpse inside the mindset of a guy’s brain in regard to weddings with the help of the hilarious and smart editors at the Plunge. Here, they share a few tips for a groom’s wedding speech.
As the bride, everyone and their mother (and probably even your mother) expects you to do a superhuman amount of planning work, with the implicit trade-off of not asking you to do a damn thing on your wedding day. So it’s time to sit back, relax, and let your future spouse thank everyone who drove you insane for months. But for now, give yourself some peace of mind and offer them these key pointers to smooth out the process.
- Be Romantic. At the ultimate celebration of true love, your partner better let everyone know how lucky he feels, instead of trying to look badass for his fraternity brothers. Assuming you’ve picked the right one, this won’t be too hard for him. However, a reminder to look you in the eye, address you by name, and play up the moment won’t hurt.
- Be Funny. You love that charming sense of humour of his, right? Now is the time for him to show it off to your friends and family with some classic, funny anecdotes about how you met, how you can bench more than him, or some other hilariously self-deprecating tale. Just remember, as much as you both loved Ali Wong’s latest special, this is about being funny, not telling jokes.
- Be Original. This fine site has its own list of suggested quotes, but we highly recommend your groom go with sincerity over a randomly chosen ancient proverb. Even if his true feelings come off clichéd, that’s better than filling his speech with the same corny quotes everyone else uses.
- Be Gracious. Your parents deserve major thanks, whether they broke the bank for the wedding or not. Make sure he thanks his parents, too as well as those who travelled from afar to eat your cake and drink your beer.
- Be Judicious. Giving thanks is one thing, but acknowledging everyone from the caterer to your photographer friend to the good Lord who brought you together is the quickest way to lose an audience and get hit with the “wrap it up” music.
- Be Preparer. Your groom will tell you he has already got it in his head, but he’ll be happy he practised when he is able to confidently deliver at the moment. If your partner continues to refuse to practice, remind him of all the hours he spent improving his Call of Duty ranking and ask if the biggest day of his life warrants that same dedication.
- Be Quick. See? Isn’t this one easier to read?
- Be Smart. In the end, your groom just needs an intro welcoming the guests, a boatload of thank-yous, some humorous anecdotes, and a romantic closer. That’s it—no need to reinvent the wheel.
- Be Resourceful. Only in the most desperate situation—if your groom truly has no earthly idea where to start—would we advise you to have him find a canned speech online. There are actually websites that sell “conventional groom toasts.” For $16, you fill in the blanks, and they’ll spit out a stock speech with the names preloaded. One such excerpt (with our fill-in-the-blank choices italicized):
Groom’s Wedding Speech Checklist
You could just get up and ramble for 10 mins, or you could plan ahead and write your groom speech ahead of time. You guessed it, we’re fans of planning ahead. Let’s start with the basic groom speech structure when you sit down to write. This is an easy starting place:
- Thank the guests for coming – give a special shout out to anyone who’s come a long way
- Thank any staff of professionals who worked on the day – only those present
- Thank the celebrant – if present
- Thank anyone who helped in the lead-up to the day (outside of the wedding party and immediate family) – anyone who gave lifts, stitched bunting, glued centrepieces etc.
- Thank anyone who took part in the day itself – ceremony readings, music, wedding cake baker etc
- Mention your other half’s parents and siblings – this is a good time to tell them how happy you are to join the family, how welcome/terrified they made you, how you promise to be there for their son or daughter/brother or sister.
- Mention your siblings – be specific about things they helped you with, special memories. This is also a good time to mention any other special family members, grandparents, step-parents, etc.
- Mention your parents – if both your parents are present, thank them both individually, usually an anecdote about the kind of person they’ve taught you to go down well.
- Thank your wedding party – make sure both sides get a mention, though it’s fine to gush a bit harder about your best man!
- Thank your other half – for marrying you, for looking gorgeous, for being wonderful, and all the other good things you can think of! Remember to tell them all about why you love them and why you can’t wait to get started with married life.
DOS, DON’TS & MAYBE’S FOR GROOM’S WEDDING SPEECH
- Do: Thank their guests for attending, particularly those who have travelled from far and wide.
- Do: Mention any special guests (i.e. elderly relatives)
- Do: Thank their new in-laws (particularly if they are hosting the wedding)
- Do: Mention their own parents – this is an opportunity to thank them for all those years of help and support.
- Do: Talk about the bride, in a way that balances warmth with a little bit of humour.
- Do: Introduce the best man.
- Do: Finish with a toast to the bridesmaids.
- Don’t: Spend more time building up the best man than the bride.
- Don’t: Waste too much time thanking people who’ve been paid to do a job (e.g. caterers or planners)
- Don’t: List so many ‘thank yous’ that the speech resembles a school register.
- Don’t: Talk for too long. Generally, I recommend 10 minutes as an optimum speaking time.
- Don’t: Forget this is a celebration of love, not an opportunity for a 10-minute comedy stand up routine.
- Maybe: Mention any friends or family who has made huge efforts in organising the day
- Maybe: Say thanks to the flower girls, page boys and ushers
- Maybe: Talk about those who are not able to be there on the day and relatives (grandparents) who has passed
- Maybe: Acknowledge a friend who has been a source of strength or inspiration over the years
Best Tips Groom Speech
While good groom speeches will have the audience sharing a laugh, a great groom speech should also include some heartfelt moments too. Don’t be afraid to add in some heartfelt comments about how you feel about your new wife and your family and friends. The easiest way to do this is to think about your new wife. Talk about your feelings for your new wife, remember how you first met and why you wanted to marry her. An easy technique is to address that part of the speech directly to her and tell her how happy she has made you, how you can’t believe your luck, and how you’re looking forward to building a future together. Use specific anecdotes, such as the moment you realised you were in love and would be with your now wife forever. Also, don’t forget to tell her again how beautiful she looks.
Time is the other issue with the groom wedding speech. Avoid a long speech at all costs. Remember that typically several speeches will take place, so you want to take up too much time, and you definitely want to avoid boring all the guests. While your speech should have substances, keep it short and sweet for the best results. You have a lot to say and can’t spend 20 minutes doing so. When you sit down to write your groom speech, the hardest part will be fitting in so much into such a short space of time. Once you start writing, coming up with ideas and things to say won’t be the issue. It is going to be difficult to weave all these elements together in an original, memorable way and doing so while being very concise.
- Focus on your wife: We know you love your best ban. We know you want to talk crap about him in front of lots of people. Just remember what your wedding is about. It is about you and your wife: fewer jokes, more love.
- Yes, call her ‘my wife’: We recommend you do this early in the groom speech. Mention ‘my wife and me’. Do it right and you will It will always receive a warm clap and will help set your nerves.
- Say thanks as a couple: Most grooms start their speech by thanking their guests for coming and thanking everybody involved. Remember to ask your wife if she wants to thank somebody and ensure you speak on behalf of both of you.
- Be nice to your in-laws: Thank your father-in-law for his words of wisdom after his speech. Mention that you are thankful to both parents for allowing you to marry their beautiful daughter. This is a good time to tell the bride or the first time how stunning she looks.
- Use humour, but not too much: Inject a little humour into the speech, but don’t feel the need to force it. It should be a balance of serious and heartfelt with some humour mixed in. It isn’t a chance to make jokes at the bride’s expense or include smutty jokes or do 10 minutes of stand up comedy.
- Prepare for the speech: By this, we mean that you should stay somewhat sober for your speech. We also mean that you should take this seriously and spend time writing the speech and practice.
- Dedicate part of the speech to your wife: The most important part of a grooms speech is the part where he talks about his feelings for his new wife. Address this part of the speech directly to her and tell her how happy she has makes you how you can’t believe his luck, and how you looking forward to building a future together. Use real anecdotes where you can.
- Compliment your wife: Make sure you tell your wife how beautiful she looks. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell her in front of a large collection of your friends and family, so make the most of it and make her feel amazing.
- Keep it clean: Make sure you don’t use bad language or distasteful content. Anything that could cause offence should be left out.
- Make eye contact: The more meaningful parts of your groom’s speech will be more powerful if you actually make eye contact with your wife.
- Avoid lists: Boring. Period. Lists suck, and they are dull. Your guests will walk out on you (maybe).
- Thank your parents: Thank them for everything, for making you the man you are today: the lessons, the homework help, the advice. Overall, the support in every aspect of your life.
- Cross-reference: This is an easy one to forget. Check with your best man that you aren’t repeating things.
- A simple toast: End the speech with a toast to your wife.