Traditionally, the wedding reception is home to several speeches from the wedding party and the bride and groom’s parents. It’s a time to celebrate the new marriage and share stories of fond memories of the couple. Your groom speech is a chance to share how much you love your bride, but writing the groom’s speech can be daunting for those who haven’t attended several weddings this year to see them in action. Here’s an easy format you can follow to write the perfect groom’s speech for your big day.
WELCOME YOUR GUESTS
Start off your speech by welcoming those who have come to help you celebrate your marriage. Thank them for coming to share this special day with you and your new wife. You can give specific welcomes, but try to stick to the basic categories: friends and family. Sometimes is may be ideal to start out with a joke to break the ice, have a look at some of our funny examples.
THANK THOSE WHO HELPED
In this section, you’ll want to thank those who have had a significant role in making your wedding a reality. This includes those who funded the wedding (though this doesn’t need to be stated aloud during the speech), parents, supporters, the Best Man, and the Maid of Honor. You can also thank anyone in your life who had a large role in supporting your relationship before your engagement. Is there someone who introduced the two of you? A married couple that mentored you during your relationship? A community that you both belong to that supported your relationship? These people helped make your wedding happen, so take a moment to thank them publicly.
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ADDRESS YOUR WEDDING PARTY
Take a brief moment to thank and acknowledge each groomsman and bridesmaid. Even just calling each one by name and thanking them for helping your big day run smoothly is enough. Everyone likes to be recognized.
FAWN OVER YOUR LADY
At this time, you can look your bride in the eyes and share how much she means to you. This part of the speech can be made very personal, and is intended to make your bride feel loved and adored in front of all of your guests. Remember to include aspects of her physical beauty as well as her character and what makes you love her. You can be sappy or you can remain more formal, but remember not to lean too far in one direction. Too formal, and it won’t feel natural and true. Too sappy, and everyone will be rolling their eyes by the end of it, including your bride.
INTRODUCE YOURSELVES AS A MARRIED COUPLE
After you’ve talked about how great your blushing bride is, you have the chance to tell everyone present what you are as a couple. You can share a meaningful or funny story, describe how you met, and talk about how she has changed your life since meeting her. You can talk about how you look forward to growing with her over the years, or share a value the two of you intend to base your lives on. If you share a religious affiliation, this is a good time to bring that up if you intend to make it the basis of your shared life. This is the first time you get to introduce yourselves as a married couple, so think about how you want to represent your new marriage to your guests.
FAWN OVER YOUR LADY…AGAIN
You’ll want to end your speech by talking once more about how much you love your bride. This is the day to celebrate how much you love her, so take every opportunity to do that! You don’t need to drag the speech on, but make sure the last thing you say is about how much you love your wife.
WHAT NOT TO SAY
Almost as important as what you do include in your speech is what you choose to leave out. Obviously, you’ll want to leave out any profanity, but make sure these don’t make it into your final speech either:
- Over-used cliches. Unless it’s one that really speaks to your relationship, try to keep it original.
- Excessive thank-yous. Thank the important figures in your relationship, but it’s not necessary to thank every person who helped with the wedding in a small way.
- Innuendos or sexual remarks. This should go without saying, but keep it PG for the sake of your bride’s conservative grandmother.
Even the most experienced public speaker can get flustered at the thought of speaking at his own wedding, so it’s normal to feel nervous about the speech. Keep these points in mind to make sure your speech is well-received and natural:
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you go over your speech beforehand, the more comfortable it will be to give it. You don’t need to feel pressured to memorize it, but make sure you can give the whole speech without reading straight from your notes
- Look your bride in the eye. Don’t stare her down the whole time you speak, but you should make intentional eye contact while you’re talking about how much you love her.
- Use tasteful humor to keep a lighter mood. Sharing a funny story or telling a short joke can put your guests at ease and make the whole speech feel more conversational.
- Keep it brief. Choose your words carefully and intentionally to avoid dragging on your speech. A short but meaningful speech is easier to deliver than a long speech that is full of verbal fluff.
Most importantly, remember that the speech you give at your wedding won’t be the only thing people remember. As long as your bride can tell that you love her from your speech, nothing else matters.