Wedding Speeches Do's and Don'ts

champagne glasses and microphone at wedding or event
Wedding Speeches Do’s and Don’ts

Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to many people, and the thought of writing a speech if you are part of the wedding party can be quite daunting. Some planning, preparation and practice can help make it a less stressful time for everyone!

Remember that the guests are on your side and are there to enjoy themselves.  Click To Tweet

Remember that the guests are on your side and are there to enjoy themselves. Speeches are often given before the meal begins, which is more relaxed for everyone. It also makes it even more important not to speak for too long. Three to five minutes is plenty of time for a speech. That’s between 500 – 750 words.

Toasts

Decide in advance which members of the wedding party are toasted and by whom. It makes it easier on everyone!

Traditionally, the Father of the Bride speaks first. He welcomes the guests, welcomes his new son-in-law into the family, talks about his daughter and toasts the bride and groom.

The father of the groom welcomes the guests, welcomes his new daughter-in-law into the family, talks about his son and toasts the bride and groom.

The groom responds in his speech. He thanks guests for coming and for gifts; he thanks both sets of parents; he thanks the venue staff; he compliments the bride. He might talk about how they met, or got engaged. He may have gifts for members of wedding party and he toasts the bridesmaids, and toasts the bride’s parents if they are the hosts.

The best man is the last person to speak and usually has a few humorous stories to get a few laughs. He introduces himself and says how he knows the couple. He compliments the couple, maybe saying how good they are for each other. He tells a few stories about the groom, reads out messages from absent family and friends, and concludes with a toast to the couple.

Bride and Bridesmaid Speeches

I gave a speech at my wedding 25 years ago. It has become slightly more common now, but not much!

If the bride is giving a speech, it will be after the groom. She could thank guests for coming, thank her parents and the bridesmaids, talk about the groom and give a toast.

The bridesmaid will speak before the best man. She thanks the bride and can tell a story about her. She could compliment the groomsmen and give a toast.

Some Do’s and Don’ts
Have at least a brief outline of what you want to say Click To Tweet

DO:

  • Have at least a brief outline of what you want to say
  • Keep it short
  • Ask other members of the party what stories/ toasts they will be using to avoid overlap
  • Practice aloud to get familiar with the content
  • Get a second opinion on the content
  • Tell stories, but keep them appropriate to the guests
  • Try to check out the room in advance to get familiar with it
Avoid telling in-jokes during the speech Click To Tweet

 

Don’t

  • Drink too much before the speech
  • Tell “in-jokes” as you exclude a portion of the guests
  • Mention anyone’s Ex

There are lots of guides online for speeches, but remember to keep it simple, in your own words and be genuine in what you say. Enjoy it!Remember that the guests are on your side and are there to enjoy themselves.