how to write a wedding speech
Story by Lauren Smith photos by Justin Aaron
Wedding speeches are a great opportunity to thank guests for sharing in the day and for the bride and groom to publicly declare their love for one another. It can also be a chance to showcase talents!
While many of us don’t like public speaking, spending time writing your speech for the wedding day is a good way to calm your nerves and feel prepared.
Traditionally there were three speeches. The father of the bride, the groom and finally, the best man. The groom’s speech was on behalf of himself and the bride, and it was his responsibility to thank guests for attending, share stories and then thank and introduce the best man. Today anything goes, be it funny stories (perhaps with a dash of humiliation) serenades and sweet sentiments. Surprise dances and musical numbers are also a fun twist. Be creative.
Elements of the Speech
- While there’s no right or wrong way to organise a wedding speech, here’s a guide to help get you started.
- As a general rule, speeches should be less than 10 minutes
- Short and simple is more engaging for your guests
- Don’t focus on humour, be truthful and the rest will follow
The ‘thank yous’ from the bride and groom are important and let your nearest and dearest know how grateful you are for their presence and also for any help they have given in bringing the day together.
Some acknowledgements you might consider making:
- To your guests
- To people who have travelled to be there, or who weren’t able to make it. This is a good time to mention special people in your lives
- The people who helped make the day happen including friends, family and suppliers
- To your in-laws for accepting you into their family
- To your parents, for making you the person you are today
This is your opportunity to talk publicly about why you love your partner. Tell a story about your new husband or wife; share your silly inside jokes or your favourite thing about your partner.
Brides may also choose to share a story about their bridesmaids, and grooms about their groomsmen.
- Print your notes in large font. You may prefer cue cards rather than a piece of paper that may give away your shaking hands
- Practise your speech with a friend, or record yourself to get a sense of timing
- Check with your partner to make sure you’re not telling the same story; or if you do, coordinate by sharing different perspectives and aspects of the event
- If speaking on behalf of you and your partner choose ‘we’ instead of ‘I’
- A toast is a great way to end your wedding speech
- To the bride/groom
- To the wedding party
- To the guests
- To loved ones who couldn’t be there
- To love
- To a beautiful future