Bridal Club Magazine
Tips For Preparing A Good Wedding Speech
Public speaking, it comes naturally to some and not to
others. Wedding speeches are no exception. If you are
one of the lucky ones chosen, it will be because you are special to
the bride and groom. Your speech will be a precious moment in
their day that will be remembered for the rest of their lives.
Traditionally, the speeches are held after the meal and before
the cake is cut. If you feel that you will be extremely
nervous, discuss it with the bride and groom. They could try
having the speeches before the meal so that everyone can relax and
enjoy the food without the pressure of what is to come.
Planning your speech the night before, or five minutes
beforehand, is not conducive to a great speech. Make sure you give
yourself plenty of time.
Being well prepared is half the battle. Know and be
comfortable with what you want to say and practice it in front of
the mirror or a friend. Try taping or videoing it, so that you can
see or hear how you come across. You will be able to notice if you
need to slow down or if you are mumbling. Remember to
breathe, this helps with nerves on the day.
Plan your speech with a beginning, middle and end. No
table is big enough to hide under if no one laughs at your jokes,
so keep them short and the swear words at home. Good speeches
can bring the house down with laughter and set the mood.
Speeches in bad taste can leave people feeling awkward and
offended. The golden rule, if you wouldn't be comfortable
saying it with your mother in the room (and she probably may be),
leave it out. Sound out the guest list first before if you
have questionable content, especially if there are children to be
present. Try not to drink too much alcohol previous to
speaking. It will hinder your voice projection as well as
helping you to say things you never intended.
Cue cards are great. They eliminate bulky, noisy pieces of
paper and if you have rehearsed, all you need is a few words on
each card hidden in your hand to remind you. Best of all, they
make you appear more spontaneous. Just in case you mislay it,
have the speech written out in hard copy and give it to someone who
will be there.
Remind yourself in your cue cards to 'pause'. Rushed
speeches get the audience feeling nervous, just as long ones get
them huffing. Time yourself as you practice, and remember
five minutes is plenty of time to say what you need to say
Don't leave your cards at home even if you think you know the
speech by heart, in all the excitement and nervousness of the day,
you will forget people you really wanted to thank. Remember,
to err is human.
If you have to refer to something that other guests may not know
about, explain it to them. Check with the other speech
givers, to make sure no one steals anyone's thunder when it comes
Keep eye contact with the guests, at least a few seconds with
each one before moving on. It will keep them engaged with
what you are saying.
Above all, enjoy yourself. Make the gift of your speech to the
bride and groom, one that comes from your heart.
A Master of Ceremonies or Toastmaster,
traditionally stands and introduces the speakers by name and role
to the guests. This person is chosen because of their
relationship to the bride or groom and their confidence in their
speaking abilities in front of an audience.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE
If you are the Father of the Bride, then you will act as the host
and speak first. (this is traditionally because the father most
usually pays for the wedding) You will speak on behalf of yourself
and your partner. (the brides mother)
Here are some hints on what you might like to include in your
- You may like to pass comment on the success of the wedding so
far - perhaps mention any amusing mishaps.
- Thank all those who have contributed towards the costs of the
- Tell everyone about your daughter - and include any short
stories of her growing up and how proud you are of her.
- Officially welcome the Groom to your family. You could
tell the story of how you first met, and what you first thought of
- Mention that you are looking forward to getting to know the
Grooms family better - or if you already know them well, then share
any pleasant experiences you have had together.
- Finish your speech with a toast to the Bride & Groom.
Traditionally the Grooms speech is given between the Father of the
Bride and the Best Man. As the Groom, you are speaking for
both yourself and your new wife (if she prefers not to give her own
speech). Some couples like to make the speech a joint
These are some things you might like to include:
- Thank people by name, who have helped with the day - e.g. the
person who has made the cake or the reception venue staff
etc. You may need to have this written down in advance.
- Tell of your joy at the arrival of this day. Perhaps
tell the story of how you met your new wife, who made the first
move - you get the picture.
- Speak to your new wife and let her know publicly how you feel
about her. Say what your expectations of your new future
- Thank everyone for coming on 'our special day' and mention any
guests with apologies, perhaps due to illness and wish them
- Give thanks to the bridesmaids, flower girl, pageboys, both
sets of parents, and so on and hand out gifts.
- Introduce your best man, in order to acknowledge him to the
guests - you could show concern that he may embarrass you in his
- Finish with a toast to the bridesmaids.
The wonderful thing for the bride, is that there are no traditions
when it comes to giving a speech. This can take away any
anxieties for saying the wrong thing, but still - we give a few
guidelines on how you may like to do this.
- Thank your guests for coming - especially anyone that has
traveled a long distance.
- Give thanks to anyone who has helped with the planning for the
wedding, and thank any bridesmaids, pageboys, flower girls - and
hand out presents.
- You might like to tell everyone about your Mum, dad or both,
and your relationship with him or her, especially if you are
- Tell all of your excitement and joy of being married to your
new husband (maybe tell a story about how you first met or got
engaged) - and give a personal message to him from you.
- Thank your new in-laws for welcoming you into their
- Thank the guests for the gifts.
As a way to finish, you could toast the guests. Often a
bride and groom will make a joint speech.
BEST MAN'S SPEECH
The Best Man's speech is one that most people can't wait to hear.
Traditionally, you will speak last, after the Father of the Bride
and the Groom. (Usually by this point, the guests will have
consumed quite a bit of wine with the toasts!) The
expectation is that you will humiliate the Groom with some
embarrassing stories of his past, but these days it is not
necessary. Only use jokes or humour that are in good taste
and if you are comfortable in doing so. If there is not a
toastmaster, you will introduce each of the other speakers by name
and role (Father of the Bride, etc.)
Here are some hints on what you might like to say:
- Thank the Bride and Groom for the gifts to the bridesmaids and
- Read out any messages from friends or family who could not make
it to the wedding.
- Tell stories about the Groom. Try not to use offensive
language or say anything that might upset the Bride!
- Tell the guests how you met the Groom and about your
relationship. Let them know also, that you can see that he is very
happy with his Bride.
- Speak to the Bride and Groom directly to give them your
congratulations and wish them well for the future.
- Usually the Bride is left out of the Best Man's speech - you
may want to mention the first time you were introduced or how lucky
the Groom is to have found someone as caring/beautiful/special as
Finish your speech by announcing that the bride and groom will
now cut the cake.