Tips On Creating A Memorable Wedding Speech
Traditionally, wedding speeches got only by men, usually members of the family and most often fathers of the bride and groom, and were meant to be blessings upon the happily married couple. These blessings got in a very solemn and serious manner and were meant as wishes of happiness and fertility. At some point, it became expected the best man would always give a speech after the wedding, and then quite a few years later, women joined the speech-giving tradition. Nowadays, it’s not only expected that numerous or all people in the wedding party will give a speech but the bride and groom themselves often feel the need to give speeches at their own weddings.
It often seems like the wedding speech movement is now like a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and with more elaborate speeches every several years. Gone are the days when a short, 30-second welcome for the family and I we imagine you have many years of happiness and a lot of kids speech was delivered from the fathers of the groom and bride. Now, we have the 4-to-7 minute well-rehearsed as well as sometimes read-from-a-piece-of-paper speech expected of nearly everyone in the wedding party, including the bride and groom.`nd touching, bringing tears for the eyes of the women and teary-eyed smiles to the lips with the men, in today’s wedding speeches, its often expected that there will be at least one humorous antidote given per speech and if the speech giver fails to provide some humour in his or her speech, its generally looked at as not as good as those speeches that made everyone in the audience roar with laughter.
Tips On Creating A Memorable Wedding Speech
Being asked to deliver a wedding speech can feel equal parts humbling and terrifying! Not only is there the daunting thought of speaking in front of a crowd, but there’s also the overwhelming task of writing a memorable speech that ticks all the right boxes, from humorous to heartfelt. No pressure, right?!
If you’re currently trying to prepare for your wedding speech duties but feeling stuck with writer’s block, we’re here to help. From etiquette tips to wording examples, keep reading for our top tips on writing an epic wedding speech that leaves a lasting impression. Writing and delivering your wedding speech can feel almost as nerve-wracking as sharing your vows! While your wedding speech is an amazing opportunity to give a special thanks to your loved ones, it can also be seriously daunting.
The good news? There are some super simple guidelines to follow when it comes to writing an engaging and memorable wedding speech, and it’s probably easier than you think. Keep reading for our top wedding speech tips, templates and wording examples to inspire you for your own big day.
How to Write a Great Wedding Speech: Etiquette Tips
Before you sit down to craft your speech, take a moment to think first about the bigger picture. Whether you’re a bridesmaid, best man or sibling, there are a few etiquette guidelines you should keep in mind to ensure your speech is memorable for all the right reasons. We’ve rounded up the most important “unspoken rules” for a wedding toast below:
- A great wedding speech strikes the perfect balance between sentimental and light-hearted. If your speech is overly sentimental and gushy, it might feel uncomfortable amongst a large crowd. On the flip side, if it’s too light-hearted and silly, it might come across as disrespectful or insincere. A 50:50 ratio will ensure your speech hits the mark!
- The sweet spot for any wedding speech is generally between 2-5 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to deliver a meaningful speech without losing the interest of guests or impacting the reception timeline.
- While funny anecdotes are a great way to personalize your speech, steer clear of any embarrassing stories (or mentions of ex-partners!) that could make anyone feel uncomfortable. Keep it clean!
- On that note – some gentle teasing is completely fine if that suits your relationship with the couple, but don’t paint anyone in an unflattering light. Playful humour should only be used if you’re 150% sure it will be well-received!
- Don’t copy a speech you found online word-for-word. Templates are a helpful starting point for ideas and inspiration, but the best wedding speeches are always personalized to reflect your relationship with the couple.
- Make sure your speech is directed at both of the newlyweds. Even though you’ll probably have a closer relationship with one half of the couple, it’s important to address both parties instead of delivering a one-sided speech. This is their big day, after all!
What Does a Bride or Groom’s Wedding Speech Need to Include?
There are a few essential elements to tick off throughout your wedding speech to ensure it’s a great one. Your wedding speech doesn’t have to belong (or boring!). It can be short and sweet, formal or informal, cheeky or playful. You can deliver your speech together with your partner, or say a few words individually – whatever feels right for you!
No matter which format you choose, it’s important to thank the right people, keep your guests engaged, and maybe even get them laughing. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you begin crafting your wedding speech:
A quick introduction.
Whether it’s a formal welcome or a funny joke to break the ice.
Words of appreciation
The main purpose of your wedding speech is to share your words of thanks and appreciation. This should include:
- A special thank you to any guests who have travelled
- A general thank you to everyone for attending
- A special thank you to any loved ones who have helped you out with the wedding preparations (like your parents, bridal party or siblings)
This is where you might want to share an anecdote or two from your relationship history. Depending on the tone of your speech, this could be a funny story or a sweet memory. Some ideas could include:
- How you met
- The moment you realized they were “the one.”
- Your proposal story
- Your funniest memory together
- A memorable adventure shared
Words of affection
If you’re delivering your speeches individually, take this time to share a few heartfelt words of affection to your partner. You can talk about how much they mean to you, their best qualities, and your hopes and dreams for the future.
End your speech with a toast to your new partner – or if you’re delivering your speech together, a toast to all of your loved ones for being there.
14 Epic Wedding Speech Tips
- If you’re the first to speak, remember to introduce yourself and your relationship to the couple. Will your speech follow another? Then acknowledge the introducer who spoke before you.
- Grooms can score serious brownie points for using their new titles as husband and wife, or Mr and Mrs Brides love to hear this when their grooms give their speech.
- Keep brief cue cards to hand to remind you of what comes next, so you can relax, and the speech flows.
- Cue cards also stop you from burying your head in paper – your guests want to see and hear you.
- Don’t rush – it’s easy to speed up when you’re nervous, so take deep breaths and pace yourself.
- If you’re hosting a large wedding or have chosen a venue with high ceilings, consider using microphones to ensure everyone can hear you.
- Practise your speech for the perfect timing. It shouldn’t feel too fleeting, but, for the sake of your guests, it’s best not to ramble on for hours on end.
- Anecdotes and stories are essential components of a quality speech – just make sure you string them together with a common theme.
- Make sure your speech celebrates and includes both newlyweds and not just the person you are closest to.
- While you should definitely write the speech ahead of time, we love it when grooms leave a small space free to express how they feel right there and then – emotions that only actually getting married can bring.
- Road test your jokes. This will help you give any overly inappropriate innuendos or references to ex-partners the axe before it’s too late.
- But equally, don’t be too serious! Speeches at weddings and presentations at work are not the same thing.
- Don’t forget to finish with a toast, say the right thank yous and oversee the giving of gifts where required.
- Enlist an ensemble of visual aids or props if you wish, but ensure your venue is geared up for the technology and have a trial run in advance!
Write a Memorable Wedding Speech
If you’ve been asked or made a toast at a wedding, you can sympathize with the best man above. When it comes to writing wedding speeches, there are so many emotions that come into play, as well as pressure to entertain, emote and leave a lasting impression.
As you sit down to write down your speech, check out the do’s and don’ts below:
DO: Keep it short
Remember, your contribution is a small part of a larger ceremony. Chances are, the attendants will have to hear speeches from several other people before dinner is served. Keep in mind the dances, cake cuttings, and toasts that will follow your wedding speech. Don’t hold your audience captive with a song and dance or slideshow.
Before the big day, time your speech. Many consider 5 minutes to be a very long speech. 2-4 minutes can be ideal. If you’re in doubt about timing, reach out to the bride/groom.
If under 5 minutes sounds daunting, remember that you have the rest of the night to share anecdotes. You might want to get a lot across during your moment in the spotlight, but there will be plenty of time during the evening to share stories with other guests.
DON’T: Go crazy during cocktail hour
This simple tip should go without saying, but I’ve witnessed this at weddings. Alcohol might sound like a perfect way to calm your nerves, but at the end of the day, it might dull communication skills. If you’re nervous, take a few breaths and take a moment practice in the bathroom. Don’t allow yourself to hit up the open bar in excess.
DO: Share a (short) anecdote.
Anyone in attendance at the wedding can rattle off cliches about the happy couple. As someone asked to give a speech, you are uniquely qualified to share a story that exemplifies the pair. When considering topics to talk about, try to pinpoint a short story or anecdote that you share with the happy couple.
This is an opportunity to show your personality and share your special connection with the bride and groom.
DON’T: Forget the bride (or groom)
At one wedding I went to, I witnessed a maid of honour speech that went into great detail of the bride’s 21st birthday. While funny and telling of the bride and maid of honour, this had little or nothing to do with the couple we gathered to celebrate.
Make your toast to both the bride and groom. Although you are probably closer to one of them, the day is about the couple, not just half of them.
DO: Be yourself
Whether it’s a longstanding relationship with the wedding party or your eloquence on stage, you’ve been asked to make one of the wedding speeches. The bride and groom know your personality, so play to your strengths.
If you’re funny, be funny. You don’t need to try for tears if that’s not your style. Being authentic is your greatest tool for your toast.
DON’T: Feel pressure to memorize
On such an emotional day, don’t rely too much on your memory to guide you through your toast. Since the speech will be short and concise (see above), don’t worry if you have to bring up a piece of paper (or cell phone, I know, it happens now) for assistance.
If memorizing works for you, by all means, go up there and speak from the heart. But for many of us, when it comes to nerves, a tool like this can help you give your best performance.
Relax, smile and don’t forget to raise your glass for a toast! Cheers to a happy couple and your successful wedding speech!