Essential Components: How to Write a Speech That Rocks
Giving a wedding speech is a great honor, but most of us immediately get writer’s block or freak out at the thought of coming up with what to say. Where do you start?
Before you begin your wedding speech or toast preparation, write down some thoughts about the couple’s relationship, how they met, how you know them, their personalities, or general thoughts about marriage. Once you have some of these ideas down on paper you have a framework to work from.
Make Your Speech Personal
How do you know the bride and groom? How do you feel about them? Were you involved when the bride and groom met? Do you know details of the proposal? Do they have cute nicknames for each other? It makes sense for anybody giving a speech to make it personal. Guests are going to appreciate the love and connection that comes from doing that.
Add A Touch of Humor (but not too much)
We love wedding speeches with humor. It is great if you can add a few one-liners and make a joke or two. In saying that, the best speech balances funny with heartfelt. If it’s too sentimental, you’ll have guests falling asleep. If you’re doing a 10 minutes comedy routine, then you could offend people and you lost the meaning of the special occasion. It is about balance.
Thank Everyone Who Deserves a Thank You
Thank the relevant people and make sure you’re specific where you can be. This takes some preparation, make sure you ask around to see who helped out with the wedding. And don’t forget the families of the bride and groom too, as well as members of the bridal party.
Write a Strong Speech Opener & Closer
You need to get people’s attention immediately. That means having a strong opener and a strong closer. Use a short Irish wedding toast, a cute saying or a funny quote. The idea is to give your best wishes, sum up the spirit of marriage or to give a toast.
The Ideal Speech Length
There are going to be a bunch of wedding speeches. Don’t bore people with a long speech. Save the long or potentially embarrassing stories for the bachelor or bachelorette party. Be brief and memorable.
Practice Your Speech Before The Big Day!
Practice and preparation makes perfect. Make eye contact and speak to all the guests. You can’t do that while looking down at a piece of paper or just going off the cuff. That means you need to prepare and have something written down and rehearsed. Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of the mirror and rehearse till you are comfortable and confident. Practice until you look good, until you can watch yourself in the mirror – and ultimately look at the audience – while speaking.
A Few Things Not To Include in Your Speech
The rules here are quite simple. First things first, it’s never funny to make racist jokes or comments about any of the families’ cultures or traditions. Leave out all profanities or jokes that are on the obscene or offensive lines.
Poke fun at the groom but don’t cross the line and hurt anyone’s feelings. Leave out stories of drunken nights or exes. Steer away from any sexual innuendos as well. Use your common sense.
You want to walk away with the bride and groom feeling good, not humiliated.
The Groom’s Speech
The groom’s wedding speech is a big deal. Everybody wants to know what the groom has to say. In his speech, a groom will toast the bridesmaids and thank them for a job well done and will thank his groom’s party for their support throughout.
The groom’s speech also includes a special thank you to his parents and maybe even include some special memories of them. He’ll need to thank the bride’s parents and thank guests for coming and giving gifts. Finally, the groom has to show some love for his new wife, dedicating a portion of his speech to her.
The Father of the Bride speech is one of the most anticipated moments of the entire evening. It can also be one of the most emotional. You can use this moment as an opener to the night’s festivities as well. Having the father of the bride welcome guests to the celebration and thanking them for all coming and showing their love.
The father of the bride may also talk more casually about his feelings and relationship daughter. It’ll also be nice to acknowledge the two families coming together as one. As you can see, there is some heavy lifting for great wedding speeches to happen, and for the father of the bride, in particular, there is a lot to cover in a short period of time.
The high-level pointers for the father of the bride speech are:
The best man’s speech is always a highlight of the celebration as well. People expect to get a few laughs and see the groom nervously giggling as well. It’s important to throw out the appropriate thank you’s here as well, especially when it comes to the bridesmaids and fellow groomsman.
As such a close counterpart to the groom, you’ll also need to throw in some, well, throwbacks as well. It’s a great time to reminisce as well as talk a bit about the couple’s relationship and how it grew from an outsider’s perspective.
The high-level pointers for the best man speech are:
The maid of honor’s speech isn’t expected to be witty and full of laughs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go in for some great jokes! Add a bit of humor if that’s within your wheelhouse but also know that it’s a great time to boost the bride with lots of amazing words as well as share any sentimental stories you have of the newlyweds.
Just like the best man is to the groom, the maid of honor is the bride’s closest counterpart so a bit of warmth and love is definitely expected to show in the wedding speech. Memorable moments from your own relationship are also a welcomed addition to the toast.
What makes a great toast isn’t necessarily the length or even the delivery – because a great toast comes in lots of different forms.
You can be a bit nervous and shaky and still pull out a beautiful, long and sentimental speech that tugs at everyone’s heartstrings and leaves a lasting impression on the bride and the groom. But something short and sweet can pack a mighty punch as well. It’s really about the prep and the content. Your hard work and heartfelt words will be noticed.
Great Example Toasts
Greatest wedding toast of all time! Cool song.
Taylor Swift “Love Story” Wedding Toast
Perfect Maid of Honor Speech
How to Give a Wedding Toast Video
Greatest & Funniest Best Man Speech
What is the Order of Speeches at a Wedding?
In the good old days, wedding speeches were simple. You had the Father of the Bride and the Best Man. Each would get up, give a quick toast and it was over. These days, we have lots of wedding speeches. Just about every person at the wedding gives a speech, so having some kind of order of wedding speeches not only makes sense, but has some wedding etiquette to it too.
The wedding speech order can vary and nothing is set in stone, but as a couple you must remember that the key goal of this part of the wedding is to ensure guests are enjoy themselves and that everybody gets to hear what is said. Broadly, that means speeches happen towards the end of the meal.
If you take the standard order of wedding speeches, the Best Man will give his speech or toast first. He will toast the bride and groom and is, generally, the MC for the night. After the Best Man speech the groom will respond, toast his new bride, and thank the parents and so on. The Father of the Bride gives his speech last.
We mentioned early on that lots of people give speeches, so in the spirit of being thorough, here is the definitive long-list of wedding speeches order that you should keep in mind:
Best Man give his speech
Maid (or Matron) of Honor gives her speech
Father of the Bride gives his speech
Parents of the Groom give their speech
Groom gives his speech
Bride gives her speech
Any other Guests of Honor give their speeches
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