Your Complete Guide to the Wedding Speech

Writing a wedding speech can be one of the most daunting and stressful tasks for the members of a modern day wedding party. Whether you're the father of the bride, the best man, a bridesmaid or the groom and have never had a problem cracking a few jokes or giving a decent presentation in work, the idea of the 'wedding speech' can leave you numb with panic. But before you throw your laptop out the window and pray for some cosmic intervention to save you from this nightmare, we're here to tell you that writing a decent wedding speech isn't as difficult as it seems. Remember wedding guests are positive listeners; they will be supportive, they don't expect much, they want to laugh, and will, even if you're not funny, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Groomsmen, the main thing you've to remember is that it's a toast not a roast, keep that in mind and everyone will be happy it went smoothly. To help you on the right track to speech success we've put together these wedding speech tips...

The New Wedding Speech

Traditionally the father of the bride, best man and groom were the only people who formally toasted at a wedding, but nowadays we're seeing the bride, maid of honour and bridesmaid say a few words, and in some occasions the 'Toast Time' opening up to the floor. Truth is, nothing is set in stone when it comes to weddings any more, and if you know your dad or best man will have their day ruined worrying about public speaking, you can let them off the hook and ask a friend or relative to say a few words instead. Your bridesmaid might sing a song or a wedding guest might have written a poem to celebrate your marriage - tailor your speeches to your day, and don't let tradition dictate who gets their say on your Big Day.

Father of the Bride Speech

  • Keep it short - You can let guests know you'll be brief to take the pressure off you and them! 
  • Tell your daughter how beautiful she looks, how talented and wonderful she is and how proud you are of her.  
  • Keep jokes to a minimum - You don't have to be a comedian. A short quip is fine but keep it polite and relevant! 
  • Say something (nice) about marriage and thank your wife [if relevant] - (now is not the time to take pot shots at her cooking by the way). 
  • Thank the guests for coming - If there's one or two who have come from afar to be there, or some elderly guests you'd like to mention, thank them here.
  • Finish by welcoming your son or daughter-in-law into the family and tell everyone to enjoy their night. Simple!

Photo by  DKPhoto

Best Man Wedding Speech

  • Introduce yourself - Tell guests your name and how you know the couple. 
  • Thank/Berate the groom for choosing you as Best Man - This can be a jokey part, how you were chosen over the others etc...
  • Praise the bride/couple, say what a great day it's been so far.
  • Talk about your relationship with the groom, add in some anecdotes but remember it's a family affair, so keep the jokes clean and don't mention anything untoward (or, God forbid, vaguely criminal) the groom might have got up to as a young fella. Remember - toast not roast.
  • Don't mention anyone's ex, even if you think the bride or groom come out on top, just DON'T.
  • Keep the in-jokes to a minimum - You guys might get a good laugh out of screaming Wubbalubbadubdub! but your guests will be lost.
  • Tell everyone how incredible the couple are, or even better, tell them. Say how they've changed each other, how good they are to each other and how happy they make each other, and the people around them. 
  • Propose a toast, and find out who won the speechstake!

Groom Wedding Speech

  • Thank guests, tell them how overwhelmed you are to have so many friends come to support you and your new partner.
  • Tell your partner how beautiful he or she looks. This will be incredibly easy.
  • Mention the groomsmen, bridesmaids, and how fantastic they've been helping you to plan the Big Day.
  • Thank both sets of parents, say how welcomed you've felt by your partner's family, and how much your family loves your partner.
  • Tell everyone about how you first met, or how you first knew he/she was the one.
  • Tell the story of the engagement, the ring, how you proposed...
  • Thank the staff at the venue for an amazing day.
  • Tell your partner how happy he or she makes you and how much you're looking forward to growing old with them. Mention the little things he/she does that you love, the things you want to learn together, the places you want to go... 

Photo by  DKPhoto

Bride Wedding Speech

  • Welcome your guests and special guests and thank everyone for coming. 
  • Mention the ceremony, how you felt walking up the aisle, or reference anything funny that's happened so far in the day.
  • Thank the Best Man and groomsmen for being awesome. Tell them how good they look.
  • Thank your girls - and mention other special friends who didn't make the cut! Thank them for wearing matching dresses. 
  • Tell the story of how you met, or your first date, how you knew he/she was the one for you, or how you felt when you got engaged.
  • Thank your mother, mother-in-law and the dads. Similar to the groom's speech, mention how welcome you feel to the new family. Tell your parents how much you've learned from them, and from their marriage. And how you know you'll keep learning from them still.
  • Mention any marriage advice you've been given since you got engaged, funny or otherwise.
  • Mention anyone who is missed on the day, or anyone who has passed away. Your speech can be completely heartfelt if you feel that way, just take the chance to say what you want to say. 
  • Talk to your new husband/wife and tell him/her what he/she means to you (and anything you couldn't fit in the vows!), how supportive and great they are, how they make you a better person, and how you can't wait to grow with them.

Maid of Honour Wedding Speech/Bridesmaid Wedding Speech

  • Introduce yourself
  • Thank the bride for choosing you as a bridesmaid/maid of honour, and tell everyone how you felt being asked.
  • Talk about the bride, you can have a little bit of fun with this - say how she never/always wanted to get married, how she planned her wedding years ago and how glad you are she's been taken off your hands. Mention how she has coped with wedding planning - but make it positive in the end, because she created an amazing day.
  • Tell the bride/groom how happy they've made your friend. How great they are together and how happy you are for them both.
  • Thank the parents for doing such a good job on two amazing people.
  • Mention anyone who is missed, and who you think the bride/groom would like to be acknowledged. Read any telegrams that have been sent.
  • Toast the happy couple and tell the guests you'll see them on the dancefloor!

Main photo by  DKPhoto