Writing a wedding speech can be a daunting task, especially if you’re nervous about speaking in front of a group. But it’s an awesome opportunity to let your nearest and dearest know how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them celebrating the start of your marriage with you.
Traditionally, brides don’t give speeches. They sit quietly and listen while their dad, the best man and the groom give speeches. Brides were to be seen and not heard. But we’ve had enough of that. If you’re a bride who wants to speak at your own wedding – more power to you! We 100% support a bride being heard on her own wedding day.
Getting ready to write your bride/groom wedding speech? Awesome! We’ve got all the steps you need to write a killer wedding speech that will leave the room laughing, crying and applauding wildly by the time you drop the mic.
Decide on the logistics
Before you get to the nitty-gritty of speech writing, figure out some of the big picture issues. Who is going to be giving the speech? Are you speaking together or separately? If you’re giving two separate speeches, who is going first? When in the night are you giving the speech? How long will the speech be? What’s the tone going to be?
Start with your thank yous
This one is easy! You start your speech by giving a round of thank yous. Thank all of your guests for coming, thank your wedding party for supporting you, thank out-of-towners for making the trek, thank your parents for all their love, thank your new spouse’s parents for welcoming you into the family, thank special people who made the day possible, thank vendors, THANK THEM ALL! Or, y’know, thank who you want to thank.
Mention those who couldn’t be there
This step is optional, but if you’d like, it’s a great time to pay tribute to people who couldn’t be at your wedding. This could be important people who couldn’t physically make it, maybe they are unable to travel or sick. Or this could be people who have passed on that you want to honour on your special day.
Add a short & sweet anecdote
Here’s the fun part: now you get to gush about your boo! Include a short story about how you met, when you knew you were in love or a funny tidbit from wedding planning. The idea here is that you want to share a cute story, nothing embarrassing. And you’ll want to keep it short, especially if you and your spouse are both sharing little stories. You’ll also want to double check with anyone else giving speeches that you’re not all re-telling the same story.
End with your partner
You made it! You’re at the end of your speech. Now all you have to do is address your partner and cue the waterworks. This is where you let your brand new husband or wife know how happy you are to be married to them, how much today has meant to you or anything you weren’t able to fit into your vows.
Practice makes perfect
Especially if you’re nervous, rehearse your speech. Stand in front of the mirror, ask someone in your wedding party to lend an ear or recite your speech to your dog. And if you’re planning on doing the speech together and splitting up the different sections, you’ll definitely want to practice with your partner. If there are parts of the speech you want to keep as a surprise for the big day, that’s totally fine. Just rehearse the rest together so you know who says what when.
Mix it up
You know what we say – your wedding, your way! So if you’re really nervous about giving your speech in front of so many people, maybe you can give a speech at your rehearsal dinner in front of a smaller audience instead. If you’re scared you’ll be all teary by the end of the speeches, forget the tradition of the couple speaking last and do your speech first. And if the idea of a speech totally terrifies you, skip it all together! You can give out cards to your loved ones or talk to them one on one and let them know how much you appreciate them making your wedding day magical.
Last minute dos & don’ts
* DO: write it down and don’t try to wing it. Have a paper copy so you’re not frantically trying to find your phone only for it to die when you’re halfway done your speech.
* DON’T: wait until you’re too drunk to give your speech. If you think you’ll be sloshed by 8:00pm, give your speech by 7:00pm.
* DO: feel free to respond to other speeches. If you go last, you can totally improvise a bit and thank you dad for his sweet words or try to defend yourself in the story your best man just told.
* DON’T: hog the mic. If you and your partner are giving the speech together, divide it up so you can both speak equally.
* DO: be courteous of your guests’ time. Especially if you have a lot of speeches planned, try to keep yours short and to the point.
* DON’T: share anything too embarrassing, too intimate or too inside joke-y. Trust us, you’ll regret it when your nana comes up to you later and asks you to explain that story from the time you had a pregnancy scare in Vegas.
written by Riana Ang-Canning
Are you planning to give a speech at your wedding or did you give one at your wedding if you’re already married?
What tips do you have to future speech-givers?