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  • Wedding Ideas & Advice
  • Wedding Reception Ideas
  • Who Gives a Speech at a Wedding Reception? How to Write a Wedding Toast Tips for the Father of the Bride Speech How to Write a Best Man Toast Advice for the Maid of Honor Speech What to Know About a Newlywed Toast Public Speaking Experts' Wedding Speech Tips 60 Quotes to Use for Your Wedding Toast

Public Speaking Experts Share Their Top Tips for Giving an Amazing Wedding Speech

Check out their best examples and advice to learn how to knock it out of the park.

how to have a good wedding speech

Photo by Kurt Boomer

In This Article

Most people would agree that public speaking isn't easy, and this is especially true when you're feeling the added pressure that comes along with giving a speech at a loved one's wedding. Not only do you have the attention of dozens (if not hundreds!) of guests you probably don't know, but you're also trying to appeal to a group of people in a wide range of ages from all different phases of the couple's lives. What's more, you want your speech to delight the couple of the hour and be as appealing to your group of friends as it to the newlyweds' grandparents. All in all, it's a tough task.

Before you panic, know that we're here to help. Ahead, we're sharing a comprehensive guide on what you should include in your speech , how to nail your delivery, and questions to consider to get the brainstorming process started—all from noteworthy speakers, well-established speechwriters, and wedding planners (who have seen it all).

Wedding Speech Template

Every great wedding speech has one thing in common: the right flow. Factor in these guidelines to help you find your own organic rhythm.

Open With a Statement or Question

Don't lead with a joke or a reference to how nervous you are. "The goal is to engage your audience, not make it a boring one-way message," says award-winning motivational speaker Jaime Pfeffer . "You'll lose them if you do this."

Introduce Yourself

After your opener, introduce yourself, says Fallon Carter , a wedding planner, even designer, and professional speaker. "A lot of times, people don't know who is speaking, and they don't know their relationship to the bride or the groom," she says. "It's really important to identify yourself, so make sure you've prepared something."

Address Your Audience

As speaker and life strategy coach Mark Black, CSP , points out, focusing on yourself only enhances nerves. "Instead, concentrate on your audience and how you want them to feel. This will help you to speak from the heart, allowing your speech to do what it's supposed to do: Make the couple feel special while also engaging the audience."

Focus on a Few Points

Seasoned speaker Susan Bender Phelps, CEO of Odyssey Mentoring & Leadership , says her top guideline is to select one to three aspects of the newlyweds that you love and appreciate, along with no more than three short stories to illustrate each of these points (or that one point). "The simple, succinct story or stories where the bride and groom are the hero will work best." This is an excellent way to structure your speech and keep your message focused.

How Long Wedding Speeches Should Be

The ideal length for a speech is three to five minutes, with five minutes being the absolute maximum you should speak for. That's it. "I’ve never been to a wedding where anyone said, 'That was a great wedding, but the best man speech was just too short and that  ruined  it,'" says David Litt , the speechwriter for former President Barack Obama and author of Thanks, Obama .

Carter agrees: "I always say anywhere between two and five minutes—and no more than five minutes," she says. "You want to keep things short and sweet." It's just as important to keep in mind when the speech will take place when determining length, since toasts are often timed with meal courses: "Be mindful of how long a course generally takes or how long it takes people to eat," Carter adds, noting that most courses last between 15 and 20 minutes and that several speeches have to fit inside each window. "If there are other people speaking, you want to be mindful and give them space."

Wedding Speech Tips

Now that you've established the right framework for your words, take note of these essential tips for acing the delivery from a few speaking pros.

Rehearse Regularly

The better prepared you are, the more confident you'll be and the better your speech will be, says author and professional speaker Barry Maher . A good rule of thumb is to practice the speech enough that you can remember the points you want to make and the order in which you want to make them. That way, you can look out to the crowd and make eye contact every so often.

Record Yourself Practicing

Use your phone to take a video of yourself practicing, suggests Kate Kenfield , speaker and sex educator. "It can be a little uncomfortable to watch yourself, but you'll be able to identify distracting mannerisms, such as the verbal pauses 'um,' 'uh,' and 'like'." It's also a good idea to practice your speech in front of someone else. "A second opinion can help you craft your piece and make it that much stronger," she says.

Don't forget body language! Rehearse the speech in front of a mirror and notice things like your facial expression, eye contact, and hand position.

Avoid Alcohol

Although it may be tempting to look for some liquid courage, alcohol definitely won't do you any favors, warns keynote speaker Amy Morin , author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do . "It may cause you to slur your speech and forget your lines, so wait until after your toast to celebrate," she advises. If you need a drink to loosen up the nerves or can't refrain from participating in a toast without being rude, stick to one glass of Champagne before you address the crowd.

Use Nerves to Your Advantage

A little nervousness can actually liven up your speech. "I get worried if I'm not a little nervous," says Maher. "I'll actually try to make myself a little tense to get my energy level up." The key is to harness that energy and communicate it in a positive, genuine way; tensing up to the point that you forget your words or panic won't make for a great presentation.

Be Yourself

Keep in mind that you're not putting on a show, only sharing your personal perspective. Trying too hard to force the funny can yield the opposite of the desired effect, cautions Matt Dalley, co-founder of Simply Eloped . "I've noticed that keeping it short and sweet, heartfelt and warm, and coming across as authentic and focused on the couple is something we are all capable of and generates some very wonderful moments," he says.

Never Embarrass the Newlyweds

It's a wedding toast, not a roast. While this should go without saying, keep the bachelor or bachelorette party jokes out of it, and remember that grandma and possibly a few colleagues are in the audience, notes Laurie Battaglia , a keynote speaker and workplace strategist. "It's okay to look back at childhood and refer to something funny, but ask yourself if you'd like 200-plus of your closest friends knowing that story about you."

Use Your Notes

Reading your speech straight from a piece of paper is a big no-no. However, having a couple of note cards handy is encouraged. "You're likely to be nervous, excited, and exhausted, which can make you forget your lines," explains Morin. "The audience won't care if you glance at your notes. In fact, there's a good chance they won't even notice."

Wedding Speech Brainstorm Ideas

Need some inspiration? Ask yourself these questions to get the brainstorming process going.

  • Who will speak before you? After you? How will this affect the content of your toast? (Perhaps you want to include a reference to their speech, thank them for an introduction, or introduce the next speaker).
  • Is there someone you should thank for making the event possible and inviting you to speak?
  • What would you want to hear in this speech if you were in the audience?
  • Is there a favorite story or memory that the couple would want you to share with their friends and family?

Wedding Speech Examples to Make Your Own

So, what does it look like when all these elements come together? Wedding vow and speechwriter Katelyn Peterson , owner and creator of Wedding Words , offered us three examples of successful toasts to inspire your own.

Maid of Honor Wedding Speech Example

"Hi, I’m Maya, the bride’s older sister . With Lucy being three years younger, we fell right into our respective roles as sister-rivals growing up. We constantly fought over stolen clothes, monopolizing the phone back when landlines were a thing, and what boy band to blare from the car speakers. I’m still Team Backstreet Boys while Lucy is forever indebted to NSYNC.

Looking back on those memories, I should have stepped up and granted Lucy permission to wear my favorite sweater for picture day, to hand her the phone once in a while, and to let her play, 'Bye Bye Bye.' Even I can admit that’s a good one. But despite Lucy being the younger sister , she has always been more patient, more accommodating, and more thoughtful than me. And that’s because when it comes to the people she loves, she’s all in.

She’s the one to prioritize their desires. She’s the one to compromise first. And, she’s the one to support their dreams as if they were her own. 

This is why it makes me so happy to know that Lucy has found a home in David. He matches her in compassion, thoughtfulness, and warmth. And I know he’ll spend his life prioritizing her desires, being ready to compromise, and supporting her dreams as his own.

Cheers to Lucy and David! May you always feel loved because you always put each other first."

Best Man Wedding Speech Example

"Hello, everyone. My name is Luke and I’m the best man . I met Robert eight years ago when I became his neighbor. His reputation preceded him as I had heard about the 'Block Party King' before my closing papers were inked. 

Rob has never been the guy to wear fancy clothes. In fact, I’m still in shock seeing him in that tux tonight. And he’s never been the guy to show off even though the work he’s put into his vintage Mustang could make Henry Ford himself envious.

But when it comes to cooking, he should receive an award. His pulled pork is a staple at our summer block parties and his homemade barbeque sauce has remained our neighborhood’s best-kept secret. But the most satisfying part about his delicious dishes is that there’s always plenty to go around. And Rob makes sure your plate is never empty. I have no idea how he pulls it off, but Rob has a covert ability to scoop seconds onto your plate without you ever seeing him do it. I hope you all came hungry tonight, folks. You’ve been warned! 

The first time I met Jasmine I could immediately tell she was an amazing person. She laughed at his jokes which I never thought anyone would get. She supported his career and the nonstop travel involved. But most importantly, whenever we’re all hanging out, Jasmine is the one always topping off Rob’s plate with more pasta, more chicken, more of everything. When she’s around, it’s never empty. 

And that’s when I saw what a perfect match they were for each other. I know they will always put each other first, make sure their needs are met, and will never allow the other to go hungry.

So let’s raise our glasses to toast the newlyweds! As you begin this next chapter together, may your plates and your hearts always remain full."

Father of the Bride Wedding Speech Example

"Good evening, family, and friends. I’m Daniel Lee, the father of the bride. I’d like to welcome you to this special occasion where we get to celebrate the love between my daughter Allison and her new wife, Kristin. 

Standing up here today, I’m reminded of all the moments that led to this significant one. The dance recitals that ended with standing ovations and the soccer games that concluded with winning scoreboards. 

But, while those were fun and rewarding times, those aren’t the moments I cherish most with Allison. The memories that make me smile the brightest are those in-between the big stuff moments. It’s the makeshift magic shows in our living room using a bedsheet that Allison confiscated from our linen closet to convert into a curtain. It’s the countless tea parties she hosted with exclusive invitations just for me and her beloved stuffed bear, Buttons. And it’s the way she’d beg to stay up for just five more minutes but was asleep on the couch by minute number two.

Those everyday, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments with Allison are the ones that gave color to my life and filled my heart with a happiness I never knew could exist.

So, my beautiful daughter, as you begin your life with Kristin today, I have one wish for you: May your warmest memories come from the ordinary moments throughout your marriage, and may those moments give you a reason to smile brighter every day. Cheers! I love you both." —Daniel

What Not to Say in a Wedding Speech

Your job when delivering a wedding speech is to keep things light—tell an anecdote, make an emotional connection, then wish the couple well before you close out. Anything that doesn't feel definitively positive should be avoided. "I would advocate against bringing up negative details, specifically past relationships or past spouses," says Carter. "Skip anything that you wouldn't want to be physically recorded and played over and over again—this is a rule of thumb."

Keep it light, delicate, and present- and future-focused, Carter adds. "If you're going to go into the past, make those stories really intentional," she says. "Bring those stories back to who they are now. Your mission is to create a great environment and vibe and to potentially give some information about one of the newlyweds, so that it's enlightening for all guests."

A Guide to Wedding Reception Toasts

Who Gives a Speech at a Wedding Reception?

How to Write a Wedding Toast

Tips for the Father of the Bride Speech

How to Write a Best Man Toast

Advice for the Maid of Honor Speech

What to Know About a Newlywed Toast

Public Speaking Experts' Wedding Speech Tips

60 Quotes to Use for Your Wedding Toast

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How To Write A Wedding Speech: The Ultimate Guide For Do’s, Don’ts, and Delivery PART 1/3: Do’s

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How To Write A Wedding Speech: The Ultimate Guide For Do’s, Don’ts, and Delivery PART 2/3: Don’ts

how to have a good wedding speech

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how to write a wedding speech dos

how to write a wedding speech dos

Someone you love is getting married, and you’ve just been asked to give a speech at the wedding. What an honor! But also, if you’re not used to giving speeches, what a nightmare! Public speaking can be scary , which is why many people prefer to avoid it. But when your bestie asks you to make a speech at his or her wedding, it’s time to rally. But now you’re wondering if you even know how to write a wedding speech! What makes some wedding speeches fun and memorable, and what makes others cringy and fall flat? We’ve got you. We’ve put together the ultimate guide for how to write a wedding speech, focusing on things you definitely should do, things you definitely should NOT do, and then how to deliver your killer wedding speech like a pro.

If you’re wondering how to write a wedding speech, here are a few “Do’s” to keep in mind.

  • Start planning early
  • Introduce yourself and how you know the bride and groom
  • Thanks to hosts, guests, and wedding party; congratulate the couple
  • Make it personal
  • Think of 3 traits with 3 stories
  • Talk about the couple
  • Have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Consider your audience
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • It’s okay to be simple and meaningful

1. Start planning early

If you don’t know how to write a wedding speech but the bride just asked you to give one, this is not a time to procrastinate. Public speaking is one of the number one fears many people have, so it’s likely you’ve avoided giving too many public speeches before this. And unless you’re a performer or a veteran improv comedian, you might not do too well winging this one. If you get nervous in front of an audience (as most of us do), the best defense against freezing up when you take the mic is being prepared. 

As soon as you know you’ve been asked to give a speech at the wedding, begin jotting down notes immediately. Whenever you’re inspired by a thought of the couple or remember an anecdote that might be worth retelling, make note of it. This will help to give you a pool of ideas to draw from when you start writing down the speech.

Begin gathering ideas and writing the speech a couple of weeks to a month before the wedding. You’ll need time to edit, fine-tune it, and make it concise. And as wedding showers, bachelorette parties, and other wedding festivities begin, you might find there are entertaining stories from these events you want to add as well. If you want to write it all at once, you can do that too. However, make sure to sleep on it and come back with fresh eyes. You don’t want just “okay,” you want your speech to be heartfelt and meaningful.

You will also want to begin early to give yourself time to practice and rehearse your speech plenty of times.

2. Introduce yourself and how you know the bride and groom

No matter how large or small the wedding is, it’s likely you will not be familiar with many of the guests on one or both sides. And they won’t be familiar with you either. So don’t leave them guessing! 

Make sure when you start to write a wedding speech to introduce yourself and mention how you know the couple. This will help them understand the context of your speech, which will also help it to be more well-received. 

3. Thank hosts, guests, and wedding party; congratulate the couple

It’s also courteous to take this time to thank the hosts and other members of the wedding party for all the hard work that went into the event, and to thank guests for being there to support the newlyweds, especially those who had to travel far. 

It’s also a good time to officially congratulate the newlyweds and offer them your personal well-wishes for their future. It is imperative that you don’t forget this part, because they are the whole reason you’re there and giving a speech!

4. Make it personal

Whether you are the maid of honor, the best man, father of the bride, or just a friend, you were asked to give a speech because of your close connection and relationship with either the bride or groom (or both). 

And since you know your friend as well as you do, you probably have plenty of stories to share; so the next tip for how to write a wedding speech is don’t hesitate to make it personal and share those stories! This will also help guests get to know the other half of the couple they might not know as well or are just meeting for the first time. And those guests who do know them will love hearing some entertaining stories they might not have heard yet.

5. Think of 3 traits with 3 stories

If you’re finding it difficult to come up with anything, a useful approach for how to write a wedding speech is to think of 3 positive defining traits or qualities of the bride or groom and recount three stories or examples that illuminate a time they exhibited these traits. These stories could be comedic, heartwarming, or both. Just make sure they are relevant and entertaining!

6. Talk about the couple

If you’re the maid of honor and have been chatting up the bride for the whole speech, part of how to write a wedding speech is to make sure at some point it circles around to the groom, too, and to the two of them as a couple.  

Recount the time you met him, or how you remember talking about him with the bride in the beginning stages of their relationship. If you don’t know the groom all that well, talk about how good they are as a couple and about how happy he makes her. 

And If you’re not a fan of the groom, this is not the time to air your grievances. Always keep it positive. 

7. Have a beginning, middle, and end

All good speeches have a good flow and take the audience along with it. 

Don’t let your speech fall flat or jumble together in a haphazard confusion of disconnected anecdotes. Give it the structure of an overarching theme, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

We are not talking about a novel here, just make sure there is a direction to where the speech is going, and that the destination, end, or sentiment is achieved. It doesn’t need to be Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, but a three-act structure does help keep you grounded. Most people also follow a story easier when there is a clear direction for a story or speech. 

8. Consider your audience

The next thing to keep in mind when considering how to write a wedding speech is to make sure you consider who your audience is. 

This is not the bachelor or bachelorette party. There will be a wide range of people present from children to the elderly, and from close friends of the bride and groom to casual acquaintances and coworkers. Make sure your speech is free of any crudeness that might not be fit for such a varied audience. Also, this isn’t the time to take a shot at any of the religious cermonies.

Be considerate and keep it positive and use language everyone can relate to. 

9. Keep it short and sweet

You want your speech to be meaningful and memorable; but the wedding is not about you, and yours is not the only speech. 

No one ever complains about a speech being too short, but they do begin to grumble if it runs on too long. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when figuring out how to write a wedding speech is to keep your speech between 2-5 minutes long. Any longer than 5 minutes and you’ll lose everyone to thoughts of cake and whether or not to Cupid Shuffle later. 

10. Add humor

Don’t be afraid to be funny! Another tip for how to write a wedding speech is that if you’ve got a lighthearted, creative, joking side, use it and add humor to your speech! Everyone likes to be entertained. 

This doesn’t mean you should scour the internet for generic wedding-themed jokes, but if you’ve got some good original material to use that helps relate a story about the bride or groom in a comedic way, do it. As long as you’re not making fun of the couple but having fun with them, jokes are great. Or you can even poke fun at yourself to illuminate a higher quality in your bestie. It’s all about making the newlyweds shine. 

If you’re creative and have other talents, use them! If you are musical, bust out your instrument and/or vocal cords and make the speech in the form of a song! Use props, and get the other guests involved! The newlyweds will feel special because you created something for them, and the guests will love joining in the fun.

11. It’s okay to be simple and meaningful

If entertaining isn’t your thing, that’s okay! Don’t force it – just be yourself. It’s okay to be simple and meaningful with your speech. Always keep in mind when you go to write a wedding speech that what’s important is that you are genuine and speak from the heart.

Hopefully, you found these tips for how to write a wedding speech helpful, and can start writing today! And stay tuned to our blog for the next part in this ultimate guide for how to write a wedding speech where we highlight a few things you should definitely avoid.

Love this content and want more? Read more about weddings on our blog ! Involved in the wedding planning process and the bride is still looking for a venue ? Give us a call today and we’ll help you find the perfect place!

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Jennings Trace

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Wedding Speeches: How to Write and Deliver a Memorable Toast

how to have a good wedding speech

Wedding speeches are an important tradition that adds a personal touch to the wedding celebration. They allow loved ones to share their feelings and memories, express gratitude, and wish the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness. However, with the rising trend of online marriages due to the ongoing pandemic, wedding speeches have taken on a new form. Online marriages refer to weddings that take place virtually, with the couple and their guests participating from different locations through video conferencing platforms. 

In this post, we will discuss how to write and deliver a memorable toast, both for in-person and virtual weddings.

Who gives speeches at a wedding?

At a traditional wedding, certain people are expected to give speeches. These people include the father of the bride, the best man, and the maid of honor. 

Here is a breakdown of the traditional roles of speech givers at a wedding:

  • Father of the Bride: This speech is typically the first one given, and it sets the tone for the rest of the speeches. The father of the bride welcomes the guests, thanks them for coming, and talks about his daughter and his relationship with her. He will usually end the speech by toasting the newlyweds.
  • Groom: The groom will usually give a speech after the father of the bride. He thanks everyone for coming, talks about his bride and their relationship, and thanks her parents for their support. He will usually end the speech by toasting his bride.
  • Best Man: The best man is responsible for giving the final speech of the night. He will typically start by thanking the groom for choosing him as his best man. He will then share stories about the groom, including some embarrassing ones, and end by toasting the newlyweds.
  • Maid of Honor: The maid of honor will typically give a speech after the groom. She will thank the bride for choosing her as her maid of honor, share stories about the bride, and offer advice for a happy marriage. She will also usually end by toasting the newlyweds.

However, more modern variations have emerged over the years, and other people may give speeches at a wedding as well. These could include the mother of the bride, the bride herself, the groom's parents, or close friends of the couple. It's important to keep in mind the wishes of the couple and to ensure that all speeches are appropriate and in good taste.

Tips for Writing a great wedding speech

Here are some tips to help you write a great wedding speech:

  • Prepare and Practice: Don't wait until the last minute to start writing your speech. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and practice. Write down your thoughts and ideas, and then organize them into a logical structure. Practice delivering your speech several times, either by yourself or in front of a trusted friend or family member.
  • Structure Your Speech: A great wedding speech typically follows a basic structure. Start with an attention-grabbing opening that will capture the audience's attention. Then, move on to the body of your speech, where you will share your thoughts, stories, and advice. Finally, end with a memorable conclusion and a toast to the newlyweds.
  • Keep it Positive: A wedding is a joyous occasion, so keep your speech positive and uplifting. Share stories that celebrate the love and happiness of the couple, and offer words of encouragement and support.
  • Use Humor Wisely: Humor can be a great way to connect with the audience and lighten the mood, but be careful not to go overboard. Avoid jokes that are inappropriate or offensive, and keep in mind that what may be funny to you may not be funny to everyone.
  • Share Personal Anecdotes: Personal anecdotes are a great way to personalize your speech and connect with the couple and the audience. Share stories that highlight the couple's strengths and unique qualities, and that demonstrate the love and support they have for each other.
  • Avoid Sensitive Topics: Avoid topics that may be sensitive or controversial, such as politics, religion, or past relationships. Stick to positive and uplifting messages that celebrate the love and happiness of the couple.

Tips for delivering a great wedding speech

Here are some tips to help you deliver a memorable speech with confidence:

  • Manage Your Nerves: It's normal to feel nervous before giving a speech, but there are techniques you can use to manage your nerves. Take some deep breaths, visualize a positive outcome, and remind yourself that the audience is there to support you.
  • Project Your Voice: Make sure you speak clearly and project your voice so that everyone in the audience can hear you. Take your time, speak at a moderate pace, and avoid rushing through your speech.
  • Maintain Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with the audience to help build a connection with them. Look around the room and make eye contact with different people, but avoid staring at one person for too long.
  • Use Pauses: Using pauses can help you emphasize key points and give the audience time to digest what you're saying. Don't be afraid to take a moment to gather your thoughts and take a breath before continuing.
  • Vary Your Tone: Varying your tone can help you keep the audience engaged and prevent your speech from sounding monotonous. Use inflection to emphasize key points, and adjust your tone to match the mood of the moment.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: The more you practice your speech, the more confident you'll feel on the day of the wedding. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself or give your speech to a trusted friend or family member for feedback.

Examples of great wedding speeches

Here are some examples of great wedding speeches to inspire you:

  • Father of the Bride Speech: This father of the bride speech is both touching and humorous. He speaks from the heart and uses personal anecdotes to illustrate his love for his daughter and his joy at seeing her marry the man she loves.
  • Best Man Speech: This best man speech is funny, charming, and heartfelt. He tells stories about the groom that show both his good qualities and his quirks, and he ends with a touching message of support for the newlyweds.
  • Maid of Honor Speech: This maid of honor speech is both heartfelt and inspiring. She talks about the bride's strengths and qualities and offers a message of love and support to the happy couple.
  • Bride's Speech: This bride's speech is touching and emotional. She speaks about her love for her new husband and her gratitude for the support of her family and friends.

What makes these speeches effective is that they all have a clear structure, with an opening that captures the audience's attention, a body that tells personal stories or expresses heartfelt sentiments, and a conclusion that offers words of wisdom or congratulations to the happy couple.

For more inspiration, there are many online resources that offer examples of great wedding speeches, including Hitched , Wedding Forward , and LoveToKnow Weddings . 

Additionally, In the spirit of embracing new experiences, you may want to craft a heartfelt and personalized wedding speech by using Provenance , which has a number of modern online tools, including a Ceremony Builder, Vow Builder, and Toast Builder, as well as more in-depth services like professional speechwriting and public speaking services.

Wedding speeches are an important part of any wedding ceremony, as they provide an opportunity for loved ones to express their feelings and support for the happy couple. Whether you are the father of the bride, the maid of honor, or any other speech giver, there are certain tips and techniques you can use to write and deliver a great wedding speech that will be remembered for years to come.

Remember, a great wedding speech can have a profound impact on the newlyweds and their guests, and can create cherished memories that last a lifetime. So, if you have a wedding coming up, start preparing your speech early, and use the tips and resources we've discussed to create a memorable and meaningful tribute to the happy couple.

Common questions

What is the best time during the wedding for speeches?

Traditionally, speeches are given after the meal and before the cutting of the cake. This allows everyone to enjoy their food and drinks before the speeches begin and also ensures that the speeches do not run too late into the night. However, some couples may choose to have speeches earlier in the evening or during the reception, depending on their personal preference.

How long should a wedding speech be?

The length of a wedding speech can vary, but generally, it should be no longer than 5-7 minutes. This allows enough time to deliver a heartfelt message or share a few humorous anecdotes without losing the attention of the audience.

Is it okay to use humor in a wedding speech?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to use humor in a wedding speech, as long as it is appropriate and not at the expense of anyone present. However, it's important to balance humor with sincere sentiments, so that the speech doesn't become too light-hearted or frivolous.

What should I do if I forget my speech during delivery?

If you forget your speech during delivery, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. You can take a moment to gather your thoughts, look down at your notes (if you have them), or ask someone to prompt you with a question. If all else fails, you can simply speak from the heart and express your feelings in your own words.

How can I involve the audience in my speech?

One way to involve the audience in your speech is to ask them a question or invite them to participate in a brief activity. For example, you could ask them to raise their glasses for a toast or have them shout out a particular phrase or response at certain points in your speech.

How do I end a wedding speech?

A good way to end a wedding speech is to offer a message of congratulations or well wishes to the happy couple. You can also thank them for the opportunity to speak and express your gratitude to those who helped make the wedding day special. Finally, you can invite everyone to join you in raising a glass for a final toast to the newlyweds.

Online Marriage with Courtly

In recent years, online marriage has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional in-person weddings. Online marriage allows couples to legally tie the knot without the need for physical presence in a courthouse or a place of worship. One platform that has garnered a lot of attention for its online marriage services is Courtly. We offer customizable ceremonies, licensed officiants, and a virtual marriage license, making the entire process streamlined and efficient. 

Couples can choose from a range of ceremony options, including secular, religious, and interfaith ceremonies. Furthermore, we offer additional services such as wedding planning, premarital counseling, and online resources to help couples prepare for their big day.

One of the key benefits of online marriage with Courtly is convenience. Couples can get married from the comfort of their own home, without the need for travel or extensive planning. This can be particularly appealing for those who have busy schedules, are unable to travel, or simply prefer a more intimate ceremony. Additionally, the online marriage option may be more affordable than a traditional wedding, as it eliminates many of the expenses associated with a physical ceremony.

However, it is important to note that online marriage is not without its drawbacks. Some may argue that an online ceremony lacks the personal touch and emotional impact of a physical wedding. Some countries may not recognize online marriage as a legally valid option, which can be a barrier for couples looking to obtain legal recognition of their union. It is important to do thorough research and ensure that online marriage is a legally valid option in your location before making any decisions.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

Get married online.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online.

‍Elope on a Budget: Tips for a Beautiful Wedding Without Breaking the Bank

All about apostilles: who needs them and why, is a us marriage certificate valid in other countries, 5 tips for choosing the best online wedding service, planning a spring wedding: themes, colors, and flower choices, trending wedding dress styles for the modern bride, essential tips for creating a wedding budget, the ultimate wedding planning checklist.

how to have a good wedding speech

How To Write A Good Wedding Speech Even If You're Not A Writer

Senior Reporter, HuffPost Life

<a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/little-girl-gives-wedding-speech_n_596ccf1be4b03389bb192f49" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-internal-link" data-vars-item-name="Funny wedding speeches" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="5b16cb63e4b0599bc6dd97ee" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/little-girl-gives-wedding-speech_n_596ccf1be4b03389bb192f49" data-vars-target-content-type="buzz" data-vars-type="web_internal_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Funny wedding speeches</a> may be the gold standard, but not everyone is a comedian. Below are some tips for the <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/topic/best-man" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-internal-link" data-vars-item-name="best man" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="5b16cb63e4b0599bc6dd97ee" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.huffpost.com/topic/best-man" data-vars-target-content-type="feed" data-vars-type="web_internal_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">best man</a> or <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/topic/maid-of-honor" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-internal-link" data-vars-item-name="maid of honor" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="5b16cb63e4b0599bc6dd97ee" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.huffpost.com/topic/maid-of-honor" data-vars-target-content-type="feed" data-vars-type="web_internal_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">maid of honor</a> to help you compose a toast that's humorous but also meaningful.

Being asked to deliver a wedding speech should be an honor, in theory. But in reality it can feel more like an unjust punishment for being a great friend or a beloved sibling .

Writing the speech is often a daunting task because of the importance of the occasion, the pressure to be both poignant and funny and, of course, general fears about getting up to speak in front of a large, attentive group.

“For many people, public speaking is not something they do that much,” Simon Bucknall , author of The Best Man Speaker: The Definitive Guide to the Best Man Speech , said. “Certainly there are plenty of people for whom it will be the biggest speech they’ve given in their lives in terms of what’s at stake.”

But don’t freak out just yet, because we have some simple but useful tips to help you craft a great wedding speech, whether you’re the maid of honor or best man , from people who’ve done it and lived to tell the tale.

How To Start

For a lot of us, getting started is the biggest challenge. You’re probably sitting by yourself, staring at a blank document on your computer with zero idea of where to begin. Bucknall recommends that, before you draft your speech, first think about who you’re acknowledging in your toast ― the bride and/or the groom ― and then make a list of qualities that person possesses. Maybe they’re compassionate, hilarious and extremely organized. Then start thinking about some personal stories about him or her that support those qualities.

At this stage, Bucknall suggests calling another one of this person’s close friends, family members or maybe even their intended for a quick chat. One or two of these conversations will help you gain some additional insights about the person of honor and should help get those creative juices flowing, too.

“At my own wedding, my best man interviewed my mother,” Bucknall, who came in second at the 2017 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking , said. “I feel very confident that one or two stories featured in his speech could have only come from one of my parents. And it does take the loneliness out of the process a bit.”

Now that you’ve chosen your two to three qualities and stories, use those key pieces to give your speech some structure so you’re not just aimlessly rambling on (you want the speech to clock in at no more than five minutes). And it really doesn’t need to be complicated: quality one, story one, quality two, story two.

“The golden tip for public speaking generally ― it’s one of the things I learned in Toastmasters that’s absolutely invaluable ― make a point and tell a story or tell a story to make the point. So for a wedding speech, here’s the person, here’s a quality they have ― ‘they’re so loyal’ ― and then tell a story about that.”

Other Things To Include

Open by briefly mentioning how you know or are related to the bride or groom for any guests who may not be aware.

Thank guests, other members of the wedding party and the hosts of the occasion. You may also want to acknowledge people who wanted to be at the wedding but couldn’t for some reason, whether it’s someone who couldn’t attend because of a travel issue or friends or family members who have died .

Give some genuine, heartfelt praise, not just for the friend or family member who asked you to make a speech but also for his or her new husband or wife. After all, this speech isn’t just about your BFF or your brother ― it’s also about the couple as a whole.

Weddings are personal occasions and so full of emotion. Your speech should include personal touches or details that match that. “Audiences are very sensitive to whether the speech is really for them or whether it’s something that’s just been pulled off the internet or just been dashed off,” Bucknall said. “The care with which the speaker points out, hints at or references things ― whether it’s in jokes or at particular individuals ― those little nuances matter enormously.”

Don’t forget to end by asking guests to raise their glasses to toast to the newlyweds.

Things NOT To Include

Tempting as it may seem, copying another speech you found on the internet is a big no-no. “It completely torpedoes the point about them being personal occasions,” Bucknall said. “So cutting and pasting or using template scripts, I just think that’s nonsense.”

Steer clear of crude language. That means skip the swearing and any explicit stories, no matter how entertaining you think they are. “Crudity is still too common, particularly from male speakers,” Bucknall said. “It’s just not needed. The reason it happens, of course, is because the speaker is panicking about being funny. It’s disastrous.”

It might seem obvious but please don’t include any mentions of the bride’s or groom’s past boyfriends or girlfriends.

Don’t make fun of the new husband or wife. Some gentle ribbing might be appropriate if it’s directed at your friend or family member, but painting their new husband or wife in an unflattering light is not a good look. “It’s a day [for them] to be golden,” Bucknall said.

Some Final Thoughts From Viral Wedding Speech Stars

Take a page from Kelsey and Maddie Hallerman, who gave a rather epic speech at their sister Caitlin’s wedding in 2015. It ended up going viral and has since been watched more than 7 million times. The musical toast consisted of a medley of some of the bride’s favorite songs, but the co-maids of honor changed up the lyrics to include references to their childhood and the newlyweds’ love story, too.

“The first step was trying to pick the songs. Michael Jackson, Tina Turner — that was the music we grew up on and the music we knew Caitlin would love,” Hallerman told HuffPost. “Once we had our songs, we began working on the lyrics. We knew we wanted to tell a story, from Cait as a kid, to her and John meeting, to their eventual engagement and marriage. With that framework, we were eventually able to knock out each song.”

John Boswell, who was best man at his brother David’s 2016 wedding, also decided to do something less traditional and performed a toast set to the tune of “Whole New World” from “Aladdin” ― fitting because the bride’s name is Jasmine. With help from his wife and sister, he composed a speech that wowed the bride, groom and their guests.

“I like to work from an outline or big idea and then work backward,” Boswell said. “So, first, what’s the overall goal or idea? Then, how do we get there. Is there something special that comes to mind ― a story, or song, or experience? And then work from there to format the toast and fill in the details.”

Now, going the unconventional route isn’t for everyone. So you shouldn’t feel compelled to do something really out-of-the-box (like the viral toasts you see on YouTube ) if it feels awkward or unnatural to you. There’s nothing wrong with doing something simple but meaningful.

“Don’t sing a song or do something extra because of a pressure to be different,” Hallerman said. “If going the heartfelt and sincere route feels more authentic, then you do you. We wrote a song because we have so much fun expressing ourselves that way, and we knew Caitlin would love it. ”

And if you are going to do something unconventional, make sure you fully commit to it, Hallerman said.

“You really have to go for it. Don’t hold back or worry that your voice doesn’t sound good,” she said. “Our voices were terrible. I mean truly horrendous — we listen back to all the cracking and screeching and our stomachs churn. But we didn’t care in the slightest! We just wanted to put our all into it and have fun.”

Now stop procrastinating and go forth and write something awesome ― whatever that means for you.

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How to Write Your Wedding Speech: Etiquette Tips and Wording Examples

How to write your wedding speech etiquette tips and wording examples

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.


Should You Give a Speech at Your Wedding?

You might be wondering if you really need to give a speech at your wedding in the first place. Isn’t that job reserved for your cheeky best man and proud parents?

With all of the craziness surrounding your wedding day, it can be tempting to leave all of the speeches up to your loved ones. But truthfully, we think a speech from the happy couple is a beautiful addition to any wedding reception.

Think about it like this. How many opportunities do you have to show your appreciation for all of your favourite people together in one place? Not to mention any guests who have made an effort to travel, help out with the wedding preparations, or simply support your relationship over the years. There’s bound to be some well-deserved words of thanks for the special people in your life, and a heartfelt toast is the perfect way to show your gratitude.


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 be long (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.
  • 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)
  • How you met
  • The moment you realised 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.
  • A toast. 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.


Wedding Speech Wording Examples

Now that you know what needs to be included in your wedding speech, how do you pull it all together? Personally, we think the best wedding speeches are warm and light-hearted with a good dose of humour, while still being meaningful and sincere.

If you’re feeling stuck with writer’s block, draw some inspiration from our wedding speech templates below. We’ve included options that range from formal to cheeky to best suit the tone of your day!

The introduction:

“Hi everyone, and welcome to our wedding reception – it means the world to have you all here”

“Hi everyone – I guess it’s time for me to do this speech I scribbled down this morning over a glass of champagne!”

“Hi everyone. Before I go any further, I just wanted to make a quick toast to some really important people who I’m sure you’ll meet throughout the evening. Without them, honestly, none of this would be possible. Here’s to our bartenders!”

Words of appreciation:

“I want to first say a huge thank you to each and every one of you for being here. We feel incredibly grateful to have such an amazing group of friends and family, and it means the world to have all of our favourite people together in one place.

There are a few people in particular that deserve a special shout out. First, to our loved ones who have travelled interstate or overseas – [ make mention of guests who have travelled, or the different locations people have travelled from ]. We really appreciate you making the effort to join us – it wouldn’t be the same without you here!

I also wanted to say thank you to the people who have helped us plan this day, especially [ make mention of your bridal party members, parents, siblings or other helpers ]. We couldn’t have done this without your generosity and support.

And of course, to [ partner’s parents/family members ] who have always welcomed me with open arms. I feel very lucky to be joining such an amazing family today!”


Light-hearted anecdotes:

“It feels so surreal to be standing here at our wedding reception. It seems like only yesterday we [ share a funny anecdote about your first date, or the beginning of your relationship ]”

“I know that some of you might not remember how [ partner ] and I first met, and I feel like this is the perfect time to take a walk down memory lane – [ share a sweet memory or funny story about how you met ]”

When I first met [ partner ], I was instantly attracted to his rugged good looks and quiet confidence. Little did I know I was signing up to a lifetime of [ share a funny quirk, hobby or passion of your partner – for example, “failed cooking attempts and bad dad jokes”]

Where do I start with [ partner ]? They’re smart, good looking, kind, charming – sorry, [ partner ], I’m having trouble reading your handwriting. You’ll have to tell me the rest later.”

Words of affection:

“In all seriousness, I did want to say a few words to [ partner ]. You make me so happy, from the way you [ share something you love about your partner ] to the way you [ share some of your partner’s best qualities ]. Thank you for everything.”

“All jokes aside, I honestly don’t know where I would be without [ partner ]. Over the years, we’ve [ talk about your shared experiences, achievements and milestones ]. I can’t think of a better person to share the rest of my life with.”

“So with that being said, I’d like to raise a toast to the love of my life, my new [ husband/wife ]. Cheers!”

“So before we get back to the party, I want to raise a toast to my partner-in-crime, my best friend and my new [ husband/wife ]. Here’s to [ partner ]!”

“So now that the speeches are out of the way, let’s get back to the open bar! We love you all, and can’t wait to spend the rest of the night celebrating with you. We’d like to raise a toast to you guys, our favourite people on the planet. Thank you for being here!”


Wedding Speech Etiquette Tips

While the above templates and wording examples can be a great starting point, you have complete freedom to personalise your wedding speech however you like! Whether you want to keep things sweet and silly or romantic and heartfelt, your speech should reflect your personality and the relationship you share with your partner.

With that being said, there are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind for a well-received wedding speech:

  • If you and your partner are writing your speeches separately, be sure to agree on length and tone before you get started. You don’t want to plan a hilarious speech packed with jokes and funny anecdotes, only to have your partner deliver something deep and meaningful in return.
  • Don’t embarrass your partner! While playful jokes and funny stories are always a good idea, be mindful of where to draw the line.
  • Keep it short and sweet, especially if you have loved ones delivering their own speeches, too. Between 3-5 minutes is ideal, with 10 minutes being the absolute maximum.
  • You don’t need to go into specific detail when it comes to thanking your parents for any financial contributions. Talking about money during your wedding speech might feel a little awkward! Instead, make mention of their generosity and support instead.
  • Practice makes perfect! If the thought of delivering your wedding speech feels seriously daunting, be sure to practice your speech out loud before the day to boost your confidence. Try to memorise the most important elements of your speech until you feel comfortable, so you don’t have to rely solely on your notes.

Remember, it’s usually the thought of delivering your wedding speech that feels the most terrifying. Once you get started, you’ll find the nerves will quickly fade away. Simply keep these wedding speech guidelines in mind, speak from the heart, and you can’t go wrong. You’ve got this!

Need some help writing your vows, too? Check out our ultimate guide to writing your wedding vows here for some wording examples to get you started.

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how to have a good wedding speech

Ultimate Guide to Writing & Delivering a Great Wedding Speech or Toast

It doesn’t matter whether you’re giving a  bridesmaid speech, best man speech , father of the bride speech or the groom’s wedding speech .

Giving a wedding speech or toast can be nerve-racking. It doesn’t have to be though.  Just follow some basic rules and do some preparation work to ease the stress.

We’re here to help with the logistics and inspire your thoughts as well!

Essential Components Every Speech Needs to Rock – Make Your Speech personal – Add a Touch of Humor (But Not Too Much) – Thank Everyone Who Deserves a Thank-You – Write a Strong Speech Opener & Closer – The Ideal Speech Length – Practice Your Speech Before The Big Day! – A Few Things Not to Include in Your Speech The Groom’s Speech The Father of the Bride Speech The Best Man Speech Maid of Honor Speech What Makes a Great Toast? – Short & Sweet, or Long & Heartfelt? – Great Example Toasts – Toasts to Avoid – More Posts to Help You Create a Great Speech

Looking for a Specific Speech? We’ve Got You Covered

  • Groom’s Speech . Examples, guides, and tips.
  • Best Man Speech . Helping the best man create an awesome best man speech. Examples included.
  • Maid of Honor Speeches . How to come up with a great maid of honor speech. Examples included.
  • Father of the Bride Speech . Your daughter’s getting married. Here’s to delivering a heartfelt speech (with examples)

Essential Components: How to Write a Speech That Rocks

Essential Components: How to Write a Speech That Rocks

Giving a wedding speech is a great honor, but most of us immediately get writer’s block or freak out at the thought of coming up with what to say. Where do you start?

Before you begin your wedding speech or toast preparation, write down some thoughts about the couple’s relationship, how they met, how you know them, their personalities, or general thoughts about marriage. Once you have some of these ideas down on paper you have a framework to work from.

Make Your Speech Personal

How do you know the bride and groom? How do you feel about them? Were you involved when the bride and groom met? Do you know details of the proposal? Do they have cute nicknames for each other? It makes sense for anybody giving a speech to make it personal. Guests are going to appreciate the love and connection that comes from doing that.

Add A Touch of Humor (but not too much)

We love wedding speeches with humor. It is great if you can add a few one-liners and make a joke or two. In saying that, the best speech balances funny with heartfelt. If it’s too sentimental, you’ll have guests falling asleep. If you’re doing a 10 minutes comedy routine, then you could offend people and you lost the meaning of the special occasion. It is about balance.

Thank Everyone Who Deserves a Thank You

Thank the relevant people and make sure you’re specific where you can be. This takes some preparation, make sure you ask around to see who helped out with the wedding. And don’t forget the families of the bride and groom too, as well as members of the bridal party.

Write a Strong Speech Opener & Closer

You need to get people’s attention immediately. That means having a strong opener and a strong closer. Use a short Irish wedding toast, a cute saying or a funny quote. The idea is to give your best wishes, sum up the spirit of marriage or to give a toast.

The Ideal Speech Length

There are going to be a bunch of wedding speeches. Don’t bore people with a long speech. Save the long or potentially embarrassing stories for the bachelor or bachelorette party. Be brief and memorable.

Practice Your Speech Before The Big Day!

Practice and preparation makes perfect. Make eye contact and speak to all the guests. You can’t do that while looking down at a piece of paper or just going off the cuff. That means you need to prepare and have something written down and rehearsed. Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of the mirror and rehearse till you are comfortable and confident. Practice until you look good, until you can watch yourself in the mirror – and ultimately look at the audience – while speaking.

A Few Things Not To Include in Your Speech

The rules here are quite simple. First things first, it’s never funny to make racist jokes or comments about any of the families’ cultures or traditions. Leave out all profanities or jokes that are on the obscene or offensive lines.

Poke fun at the groom but don’t cross the line and hurt anyone’s feelings. Leave out stories of drunken nights or exes. Steer away from any sexual innuendos as well. Use your common sense.

You want to walk away with the bride and groom feeling good, not humiliated.

The Groom’s Speech

The groom’s wedding speech is a big deal. Everybody wants to know what the groom has to say. In his speech, a groom will toast the bridesmaids and thank them for a job well done and will thank his groom’s party for their support throughout.

The groom’s speech also includes a special thank you to his parents and maybe even include some special memories of them. He’ll need to thank the bride’s parents and thank guests for coming and giving gifts. Finally, the groom has to show some love for his new wife, dedicating a portion of his speech to her.

The high-level pointers for the groom speech are:

  • Keep it lighthearted and add (some) humor
  • Remember to thank everyone
  • Focus on your wife
  • Pick out good quotes or one-liners to reference
  • Remain calm and contained

Read more about the groom’s speech .

The Father of the Bride Speech

The Father of the Bride speech is one of the most anticipated moments of the entire evening. It can also be one of the most emotional. You can use this moment as an opener to the night’s festivities as well. Having the father of the bride welcome guests to the celebration and thanking them for all coming and showing their love.

The father of the bride may also talk more casually about his feelings and relationship daughter. It’ll also be nice to acknowledge the two families coming together as one.  As you can see, there is some heavy lifting for great wedding speeches to happen, and for the father of the bride, in particular, there is a lot to cover in a short period of time.

The high-level pointers for the father of the bride speech are:

  • Stay loving and supportive
  • Add sentiment and humor too
  • Take time to reflect
  • Include your wishes for the couple’s future
  • Be confident

Read more about the father of the bride speech .

The Best Man Speech

best man speech tips

The best man’s speech is always a highlight of the celebration as well. People expect to get a few laughs and see the groom nervously giggling as well. It’s important to throw out the appropriate thank you’s here as well, especially when it comes to the bridesmaids and fellow groomsman.

As such a close counterpart to the groom, you’ll also need to throw in some, well, throwbacks as well. It’s a great time to reminisce as well as talk a bit about the couple’s relationship and how it grew from an outsider’s perspective.

The high-level pointers for the best man speech are:

  • Humor is a must
  • Memorable stories of the groom
  • Memorable stories of the couple
  • Funny one-liners
  • Well wishes
  • Solid delivery

Read more about the best man speech .

Maid of Honor Speech

The maid of honor’s speech isn’t expected to be witty and full of laughs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go in for some great jokes! Add a bit of humor if that’s within your wheelhouse but also know that it’s a great time to boost the bride with lots of amazing words as well as share any sentimental stories you have of the newlyweds.

Just like the best man is to the groom, the maid of honor is the bride’s closest counterpart so a bit of warmth and love is definitely expected to show in the wedding speech. Memorable moments from your own relationship are also a welcomed addition to the toast.

how to have a good wedding speech

Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks for 2016

The high-level pointers for the maid of honor speech are:

  • Be heartfelt
  • Boost the bride

Read more about the maid of honor speech .

how to have a good wedding speech

What Makes a Great Toast?

Short & sweet, or long & heartfelt.

What makes a great toast isn’t necessarily the length or even the delivery – because a great toast comes in lots of different forms.

You can be a bit nervous and shaky and still pull out a beautiful, long and sentimental speech that tugs at everyone’s heartstrings and leaves a lasting impression on the bride and the groom. But something short and sweet can pack a mighty punch as well. It’s really about the prep and the content. Your hard work and heartfelt words will be noticed.

Great Example Toasts

What is the order of speeches at a wedding.

In the good old days, wedding speeches were simple. You had the Father of the Bride and the Best Man. Each would get up, give a quick toast and it was over. These days, we have lots of wedding speeches. Just about every person at the wedding gives a speech, so having some kind of order of wedding speeches not only makes sense, but has some wedding etiquette to it too.

The wedding speech order can vary and nothing is set in stone, but as a couple you must remember that the key goal of this part of the wedding is to ensure guests are enjoy themselves and that everybody gets to hear what is said. Broadly, that means speeches happen towards the end of the meal.

If you take the standard order of wedding speeches, the Best Man will give his speech or toast first. He will toast the bride and groom and is, generally, the MC for the night. After the Best Man speech the groom will respond, toast his new bride, and thank the parents and so on. The Father of the Bride gives his speech last.

We mentioned early on that lots of people give speeches, so in the spirit of being thorough, here is the definitive long-list of wedding speeches order that you should keep in mind:

  • Best Man give his speech
  • Maid (or Matron) of Honor gives her speech
  • Father of the Bride gives his speech
  • Parents of the Groom give their speech
  • Groom gives his speech
  • Bride gives her speech
  • Any other Guests of Honor give their speeches

how to have a good wedding speech

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How to Write a Wedding Speech

Last Updated: September 23, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jenny Yi . Jenny Yi is the Founder of Chloe+Mint, an award-winning full service event planning company that specializes in wedding planning, design and floral design. Jenny has been in the industry for over 5 years, and also works closely with notable brands and celebrities on branding and events. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 595,036 times.

For most people, their wedding day will be among the most important days of their lives. As such, it is customary for a close friend or loved one to deliver a speech congratulating the newlyweds on their union. This can be a nerve-wracking prospect if you’re the one called upon to give a speech in front of a big, expectant crowd. As the speechwriter, it will pay off to make sure that you’re organized, keep it concise and practice extensively beforehand.

Sample Speeches

how to have a good wedding speech

Writing a Meaningful Speech

Step 1 Introduce yourself to the crowd.

  • The best man and maid of honor are usually each asked to make a short speech on behalf of the wedding party. After that, the microphone is sometimes turned over to whoever would like to say a few words.
  • Saying your name and briefly summarizing your history with the bride or groom will be enough. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Remember, the focus of your speech is the married couple.

Step 2 Open with a joke.

  • Use jokes judiciously to break the initial tension and keep the crowd relaxed. Try not to let your speech turn into a stand up comedy routine.
  • Keep your humorous stories and remarks appropriate. There will be people of all ages in your audience, including children.
  • Funny stories might include a funny story about the bride and groom's meeting, or an anecdote about one of them as a child.

Step 3 Share memories of the bride and groom.

  • Sharing unique memories or stories is much more effective than simply complimenting the bride or groom because it is a more personal touch.

Step 4 Offer advice or well-wishes for the future.

  • If you decide to use a quote for this segment of the speech, make sure it is short, relevant and not a cliche.

Step 5 Thank everyone in attendance.

  • Acknowledging the people who helped make the wedding festivities possible will make you appear humble, as well as making them feel appreciated.
  • Express your gratitude in a couple sentences. There’s no need to go on and on thanking every person individually by name.

Making Sure You're Prepared

Step 1 Write the speech well in advance.

  • Treat your speech like you would a school assignment. Compose several drafts, check it for errors and have a friend proofread it to make sure it sounds good.

Step 2 Know when you’re expect to deliver the speech.

  • Familiarize yourself with the order of presentation if multiple speeches are to be given.
  • Don’t spend the entire ceremony fretting over your speech. If you’re sufficiently prepared, you won’t need to give it a second thought until it’s time for you to deliver it.

Step 3 Practice, practice, practice.

  • Know your speech word for word, but try not to sound like you’re simply reciting it from memory. Pace yourself and give every passage emphasis, emotion and clarity.

Step 4 Bring your notes with you.

  • Put your entire speech on a couple note cards rather than a several large sheets of paper. Not only will this look better, it will help you keep your speech at the appropriate length.
  • Only look at your notes if you draw a blank or forget the next part. This will allow you to keep your eyes up and engage your audience. Even the most riveting speech will be a bore if the person giving it is reading off a note card the whole time.

Giving the Speech

Step 1 Maintain your composure.

  • Take a few slow, deep breaths. Think about what you’re saying and shut out all other distractions. Imagine that you’re giving your speech to one person instead of a room full of people.
  • Have a drink or two if it helps your nerves. Just don’t have too many—you want to be focused and clear-headed when it’s time for you to take the floor.

Step 2 Keep it short and sweet.

  • It’s perfectly okay to give a short speech. Simply say a few kind words, raise a toast and hand back the microphone.
  • Speak slowly and deliberately. It’s easy to start chattering too fast when you’re nervous. By talking slower than you feel like you need to, you’ll probably be going at just the right speed.
  • People who are underprepared or extremely anxious tend to talk aimlessly. Avoid this by sticking to what you’ve written and look to the crowd for cues about when their attention is evaporating.

Step 3 Be sincere.

  • Take a moment to speak to the bride and/or groom directly.
  • It’s normal to get a little choked up! As long as you can finish your speech, there’s no need to worry. It may even be flattering, as it will show the people you’re talking about how much you truly care.

Step 4 Finish with a toast.

  • It’s customary for the best man or groomsmen to toast the bride, and the maid of honor to toast the groom.

Expert Q&A

Jenny Yi

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Keep quotes to a minimum, as other people's words can distract from what you're trying to say yourself. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
  • If you're stumped on how your speech should flow, approach it the way you would a story: give it a beginning, middle and end. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Ask an honest, objective friend to give you feedback on your speech after you've finished writing it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to have a good wedding speech

  • Never use a premade template you find on the internet to write a wedding speech. Your speech should be a product of your own unique thoughts, feelings and experiences. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 1
  • Don't drink too much before delivering your speech. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 1
  • Leave out especially embarrassing or offensive anecdotes. These are usually considered bad form. You're supposed to be honoring the married couple, not getting a laugh at their expense. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 3

You Might Also Like

Write a Speech Introducing Yourself

  • ↑ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2110745/Lost-words-Top-tips-write-winning-wedding-speech-deliver-like-pro.html
  • ↑ https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-toasting-tips-for-the-maid-of-honor
  • ↑ https://www.presentationmagazine.com/the-structure-and-etiquette-of-wedding-speeches-1041.htm
  • ↑ http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/07/22/how-to-write-deliver-good-best-man-speech/
  • ↑ https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-toasting-tips-for-the-maid-of-honor/
  • ↑ https://finley-h.schools.nsw.gov.au/content/dam/doe/sws/schools/f/finley-h/localcontent/how_to_write_a_speech.pdf
  • ↑ https://mediacenter.toastmasters.org/2014-07-01-10-Tips-for-the-Perfect-Wedding-Toast

About This Article

Jenny Yi

To write a wedding speech, start by introducing yourself and explaining how you know the bride and groom. Then, share some fond memories, like stories from when you were kids or how you met. Next, offer well-wishes to the bride and groom, such as wishing them health, happiness, and prosperity. Alternatively, try opening with a joke or funny anecdote, but make sure that your remarks are appropriate for everyone in attendance. Finally, briefly thank everyone for coming and for making the celebration possible. For tips on how to memorize your speech so that it doesn’t sound rehearsed, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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In This Article

  • 3 Ways How To Start A Speech
  • Tips On How To Start A Speech
  • Things to Avoid

Important Questions To Answer Before You Start

  • Examples To Find Inspiration
  • Wedding Party & Reception

How to Start a Wedding Speech: Captivating Openings

Natalia Bayeva

nagi.graphy via Instagram

If you’re not used to public speaking it would be easy to get stuck on how to start a wedding speech. However, the good thing is once you start, once you get out that door, you are on a roll. So, as long as you can get that part out of the way, you can be sure to hit your home run.


Giving wedding speeches can be nerve-wracking sometimes, and if you find yourself fussed about your opening or closing lines. Or even a tad worried about the speech, we’re here to guide you.

Quick Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

What goes first in a wedding speech.

The common opening line for wedding speeches is a greeting and introduction. So, something like, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m (name) and delighted to welcome you all here tonight.”

Who speaks first in wedding speeches?

In the traditional wedding speech order, the father of the bride speaks first, followed by the groom, and then the best man before others.

3 Ways How To Start A Speech For A Wedding

how to start wedding speech groom

If you are thinking about how to start a speech for a wedding, well, it’s important to keep the type of event in mind. There are several factors that can determine the way you start your speech, the type of speech that you give, and how you close it. This would include:

  • The general mood of the event (formal, informal, relaxed, etc).
  • The time of the wedding event.
  • The location.
  • And, your part in the wedding.

Start With An Introduction Of Yourself In A Usual Manner

Although how to start a wedding speech for father of the bride would be different from if you’re the best man. It is always great to start with an introduction. And so, no matter your part in the wedding, introducing yourself would be the polite way to start.

Start With A Joke

Start with a quote.

Whether you’re thinking about how to start a wedding speech for a sister or a friend, you cannot go wrong with a good quote. If you have a sentimental quote about love, or a favorite quote you both share, this will always be a good idea. And whether you choose to give a quote or a joke, always remember to smile.

Tips On How To Start A Speech At A Wedding

how to start wedding speech bride

With the right tips on hand, you wouldn’t need to worry much about how to start a speech at a wedding. Use this guide to get your nerves in check. Start strong, and finish well. With the right guidance you’ll do well whether you’re making a speech for a friend, your child or the love of your life.

  • Get ready beforehand: If you are worried about how to start a wedding speech as a maid of honor or best man, the last thing you want to do is wing it. To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail, so be sure to get ready well ahead of time.
  • Don’t think you need to know your whole speech off by heart: While you might have a good memory, do not rely completely on it. Prepare your speech and write it out in handy notes. You don’t need to write all of it, you could just make cue cards to help with each point.
  • Practice in advance including reading aloud: Whether you’re figuring out how to start a speech of best man at wedding or a bridesmaid, you need to rehearse. Practice as much as you can in advance.
  • Record yourself to listen how you sound: Recording yourself in audio or videotape will help as well. While it might be a tad uncomfortable, you will get a better idea of any improvements you’d need to make as you practice more.
  • When giving your speech – always make eye contact: When you’re wondering how to start a wedding speech for a brother or friend, remember about eye contact. Eye contact connects you to the audience.
  • Be yourself: Try to relax, don’t fret and share your perspective on the couple. Just be yourself and the message will be passed across easily. If you are anxious, the guests will feel it too.
  • Emotions are ok: It is okay to tell a story that means something to you, and if it does, it is also okay to show emotion. Be it tears or laughter, emotions add feeling to your words.
  • Tears are ok: A wedding is a celebration of love, and happy tears are always welcome. So, don’t feel the need to hide those emotions if they rise to the surface.
  • Improvisation is ok: You might consider improvising if your nerves threaten to get the best of you. In the end there is no hard and fast rule for giving your speech.

Things to Avoid When Starting Your Wedding Speech

how to start a wedding speech guests table setting

tweedcoastweddings via Instagram

  • Rambling or Going Off on Tangents: It’s important to stay focused and concise when delivering your wedding speech. Avoid rambling or going off on unrelated tangents that could lose the attention of your audience.
  • Prolonged Stories or Anecdotes: While sharing a brief and meaningful story can enhance your speech, be cautious not to go into excessive detail or share prolonged anecdotes. Keep your speech engaging and to the point, ensuring that it doesn’t drag on for too long.
  • Mentioning Past Relationships or Exes: It’s best to avoid bringing up past relationships or mentioning exes in your wedding speech. Focus on celebrating the love and joy of the couple’s present relationship, rather than delving into the past.
  • Overindulging in Alcohol before the Speech: It’s essential to maintain a clear and coherent delivery during your wedding speech. Avoid overindulging in alcohol before your speech to ensure that you speak confidently and coherently.
  • Insults or Negative Remarks: Steer clear of making any negative or insulting remarks during your wedding speech. It’s a time to celebrate and uplift the couple, so focus on expressing your love, support, and well wishes for their future.

Remember, a well-crafted and heartfelt wedding speech will be appreciated by the couple and their guests, so it’s important to avoid these common pitfalls to ensure a memorable and positive experience for everyone involved.

how to start wedding speech newlyweds

sirpillasoirees via Instagram

Knowing the answers to a few questions can be helpful if you’re struggling with how to start a wedding speech for a groom or bride. The answers to these simple questions could as well help you create your speech. For instance:

  • Who will speak before you? This could influence the content of your speech or toast. You might want to pick up where they left off, say a few words about them, or thank them for introducing you.
  • When will you speak? The timing of your speech could also decide the type of speech that you give. If it’s early in the day, you might consider something more formal and quick. If it’s late in the day during dinner, a more relaxed, fun and cheerful speech would be nice.
  • Is there a memory the couple would want to share? If there is anything specific the couple would like you to mention, it would be a good idea to find that out beforehand and include it in your speech.
  • How much time do you have? Most speeches don’t go above 5 mins. Being aware of how much time you have to speak, will also help you in drafting your speech and deciding what should be said and what should be left out.

How To Start A Wedding Speech: Examples To Find Inspiration

How to start a wedding speech for mother.

There are several ways to start your wedding speech as the mother of the bride or groom. If you are worried about how to start a wedding speech for your daughter or son, the examples below can inspire you.

Hi everybody! I am the mother of our wonderful bride. I am very happy that so many people joined the celebration of our special day today!
Good evening! Who does not know me yet, I am the mother of the bride, _. It’s hard for me to hide my emotions on this wonderful day and I would like to thank all our guests for being with us today!
My name is _. Who does not know – I am the mother of the groom. I am glad to welcome you all here tonight.

How To Start A Wedding Speech For Father Of The Bride

A wedding celebration is not just about the couple, but also about their loved ones. As father of the bride or groom, you would be feeling a lot of emotions on such a big day. You can start your wedding speech by introducing yourself, expressing those emotions, and telling everyone how much this day means to you.

You should probably all know who I am, and if you don’t – I _, the bride’s dad. Welcome to our celebration!
The highest happiness on earth is the happiness of marriage. And today we are all here to congratulate our beautiful newlyweds.
Wedding is the most important day in every girl’s life, welcome to my beautiful daughter’s wedding. If someone does not know me, I am the father of the bride, _.

How To Start A Wedding Speech Maid Of Honor

As maid of honor you would have lots of material for a wedding speech. Just deciding how to start your wedding speech and how to organize all of the words can get you on your way.

Hi all! I am _, a bridesmaid. I am so happy that _ got married today. It is such a joyous event for all of us.
You probably know me as a bridesmaid, _. But today you will also recognize me as the queen of the dance floor, because the bride warned that there would be dancing until the morning! Jo, I’m just kidding!
Today is a special day and we are here to celebrate with our newlyweds! We have been preparing for a long year and now this day has come!

How To Start A Speech Of Best Man At Wedding

Whether you have a joke, a quote, or a story to share, as the best man everyone would be interested in what you have to say. So, try to be yourself and read out the words as you have planned and rehearsed.

My dear, _! I’m so happy that you found the girl of your dreams and today is your wedding, but I’m so sad that now you will stop hanging out with me like we did at the university. Okay, I’m kidding! I’m still very happy!
Hi everybody! I’m best man, my name is _, and who doesn’t know I’m a single – this is information for the table where the bridesmaids are. I would like to congratulate our dear newlyweds on this wonderful day!
Good evening everyone! When I was preparing this speech, I was thinking how I can fit my attitude towards _ and our 20 years of friendship into 7 minutes. But, I found a way out – we have the whole night ahead!

How To Start A Wedding Speech For Sister

As the sister of the groom or bride, you won’t need to worry about how to start a bride’s wedding speech. There are many paths to follow. After introducing yourself you could tell a joke about your sibling, tell a story about the couple, or talk about your joy at seeing them hitched finally.

My dear sister! You are so beautiful today! I am so glad that there are so many people here today, and we all gathered to congratulate you and _ on such a special day!
Hi everybody! I am the groom’s sister, _. I would like to say a few words about my brother and welcome his new wife to our family.
I’m _, the groom’s younger sister! All my life I wanted to have not only a brother, but also a sister. How happy I am that now my dreams have come true! _, welcome to our family.

How To Start A Wedding Speech For Brother

Sometimes you feel as if you cannot find the right words, or your nerves get the best of you. However, with preparation, there are more than enough words to express your joy for your brother on his wedding day.

As the brother of the groom, I would like to say a few words about him. I remember when I was 9 and he was 7, we promised each other never to mess with girls. And today we are at his wedding!
Today our family has become bigger! And I’m incredibly happy for these two so happy! I have always been protective of my little sister and only wanted her to date a nice guy. And it happened just like that!
Hello everyone, I’m _. According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. And I totally agree. So sorry, but I’ll be brief.

How to Start a Wedding Speech for a Best Friend

Starting a wedding speech for your best friend requires a heartfelt and personal approach. Here’s an example of how you could begin:

Good evening, everyone. For those who don’t know me, my name is [Your Name], and I have the incredible honor and privilege of standing here today as [Best Friend’s Name]’s best friend. First and foremost, I want to express my deepest gratitude to [Couple’s Names] for allowing me to share in this joyous celebration of their love. Today is not only a celebration of their union but also a testament to the unbreakable bond of friendship that [Best Friend’s Name] and I have shared throughout the years.

How To Start A Bride’s Wedding Speech

As a bride, you wouldn’t need to start your wedding speech with an introduction since everyone attending would no doubt know who you are. Your speech would mostly be one of thanks to your guests, love for your partner a story or two if you like, and an overall expression of joy for such a special day.

I’m so happy to welcome all of you here today to celebrate our wedding and thank you for choosing to spend the day with us!
I want to thank everyone who is with us today – thanks to you this day has become even more special. It will be such a pleasure to see all the photos and videos from our holiday as soon as possible, I’m sure they will be amazing!
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston created just the best song. And I will always love you too, my dear husband.

How To Start A Wedding Speech For Groom

Just like the bride, the groom would not need any introduction. The groom’s speech could begin with supporting the words of the bride or be totally different.

I would like to join all the words of my wife! Thank you for being with us today on this special day.
If someone does not know me, I _, groom. Or already a husband. Haha, I’m kidding. Today was just the best day, I did not even imagine that everything would be like this.
Hi all! I‘d like to add a few words to my wife’s speech. Like most men, I don’t like attention, photo shooting, etc. But today it wasn’t stressful, it was so relaxed and easy-going thanks to everyone who was with us!

It’s quite common to fret about how to start a wedding speech. However, with some inspirational examples, banging tips and a strong start, you can tackle any wedding speech successfully whether you are the best man, groom, or even mother of the bride.

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Wedding blog, the ultimate guide to wedding speeches and toasts.

how to have a good wedding speech

Image by Hugo Coelho . See more of this real wedding here . Read on about nailing wedding speeches and toasts

Wedding speeches and toasts may be the most daunting things to write and deliver, but they’re also one of the best parts of any wedding. They give guests a unique perspective on the couple, make you laugh, make you cry, and bring the room together. So, to take some of the pressure off your shoulders, here are some tried-and-true tips for writing a killer wedding speech and toast!

how to have a good wedding speech

Image by Emily Delamater Photography . See more of this real wedding here

The Basics Of Wedding Speeches and Toasts

Who gives toasts and speeches.

Traditionally, the best man, the maid of honor (MOH), and both sets of parents give speeches for the couple. You’ll also find that the couple gives a welcome and gratitude speech. However, here at Junebug , we believe it’s entirely up to you and what you want for your special day. 

We’ve seen brides give the newlywed speech, and we’ve seen best friends give speeches instead of the MOH or best man. If you’re going the non-traditional route, we don’t recommend an open-mic situation where anyone can speak, and we don’t recommend having more than five speeches or guests will start to get restless.

When do speeches and toasts take place?

Most speeches and wedding toasts are given during the wedding reception , either before or after dinner. If you’d rather they be more intimate or you aren’t having a traditional reception, you can also have them take place at the rehearsal dinner .

What is the correct order for speeches?

Did you know that wedding speeches have a logistical order that is typically followed? While it may seem like such a minute detail, it actually makes more sense than you’d imagine. It usually starts with the couple. This gives you the opportunity to welcome and thank your guests for coming. From there, it traditionally goes in this order:

  • The hosts (typically the parents)
  • Maid of honor

Every couple has their preferences on who they want to speak and the order in which they want them to speak. As we mentioned earlier, it’s your wedding. If you have a maid of honor who hates public speaking, or you want your best friend to give the speech rather than your best man, go for it. The same goes for the order we just listed.

How long should wedding speeches and toasts go?

No matter how long you’ve known each other, try to keep speeches under five minutes. In fact, three minutes is the sweet spot. Even if you have countless things to say, three minutes can feel a lot longer than you’d expect. Keeping it short and sweet will keep everything, including the newlyweds, happy.

how to have a good wedding speech

Image by Ana Hinojosa . See more of this real wedding here

Steps For Writing Killer Wedding Speeches and Toasts

The hardest part of writing a speech is knowing where to start. If you’re drawing a blank or having difficulty narrowing down the stories you want to tell, start by making a list of your favorite qualities about the newlyweds. Chances are there are many amazing qualities about them, so making a list of your top three favorites will help you craft a personalized speech tailored to them.

To expand beyond that, you can ask yourself these questions as well:

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Is there anyone speaking before or after you? If so, how will it affect the content of your speech?
  • What is the general tone you want to convey in your speech? Emotional? Joy? Funny?
  • What are some of your favorite memories with the newlyweds? These memories can be based on the individual getting married or them as a couple
  • What do you see when you envision their future with one another?
  • Is there any advice that you want to share?

When it’s time to start writing, use the following general outline to help create a great speech from beginning to end.

1. Introduce Yourself

Tell everyone your name and a brief explanation of how and when you met the couple or how you’re related. Everyone may not already know who you are, so a little context will go a long way.

2. Tell A Relevant Story

Go back to the list you created and choose a story that reflects the qualities you love most about the couple. This should be relatable, endearing, and appropriate. Make sure you have a point to the story so that you can seamlessly tie it into your speech at the end.

3. Reminisce about the day you met their partner

Everyone in that room will likely have seen different pieces of the couple’s love story, so tell their story from your perspective. Talk about the day you met their significant other for the first time and the moment you realized this was the person they were going to marry.

4. Talk about what you love about their partner

Although your main responsibility is to talk about one of the newlyweds, every speech should ultimately be about both of them. Tell their partner why they are the best choice for your friend and what qualities you love most about them.

5. Talk about your hopes for their future as a couple

If you’re married, this is where you can insert your best piece(s) of advice for a healthy marriage. If you’re not married, wish them a long, happy, and healthy life together. Make your wishes and your advice personal to their relationship and end on a positive, optimistic, and heartfelt vision of their future.

6. End with a toast

Ending a speech can be just as challenging as starting it, which is why we recommend ending with a wedding toast. Ask everyone to raise their glass and toast to the wonderful couple—and, in your own mind, to the killer speech you just gave!

Junebug Tip:

The Art of Etiquette’s wedding guest books include ten speech sheets that will give a beautiful space for your loved ones to write the perfect speech that is short, sweet, and sentimental. We love that they’ve included these thoughtful speech sheets that will double as a wedding keepsake in your guest book.

how to have a good wedding speech

Image by Annabelle Agnew Photography . See more of this real wedding here

Tips For Giving Wedding Speeches and Toasts

Don’t drink too much beforehand.

We love open bars at weddings as much as the next person, but you don’t want to be slurring your words or drunkenly rambling in front of everyone. Just a couple of sips of liquid courage will get you through those few minutes in front of the crowd, we promise!

Don’t make it about you

It’s okay to be relatable by telling a story, but remember that this speech is about them . After you’ve introduced yourself, move on to talking about the newlyweds and their relationship.

Don’t humiliate the couple

There’s nothing wrong with jokes. In fact, some of the best toasts and speeches inject humor throughout. However, don’t use crude language, tell inappropriate stories, or mention past relationships. The moral of the story is if there’s even the slightest chance someone could feel uncomfortable about something you want to say, leave it out.

Keep it short and sweet

We mentioned this earlier, but it’s an important one! Chances are there will be at least two other people giving speeches before or after you, so keep your speech to five minutes max . If you go any longer than that, the couple and their guests may start getting a little antsy. If you aren’t sure how long your speech will take, our next tip will help.

Practice beforehand

You practice for speeches for school and work, why should a wedding be any different? Rehearse your speech with a friend or in front of the mirror. It will help get some of the nerves out and allow you to make sure it all flows before the big moment. 

Keep in mind that you’ll naturally speak more quickly when you’re handed the microphone, so as you’re practicing make sure you remind yourself to slow down. 

Write your speech down

With all the excitement and nerves of the day, there is a good chance you’ll blank out or forget parts of your speech. Even if you plan to memorize it, write it down and bring it with you just in case. Nobody will fault you for holding notes–just be sure to look up occasionally!

Pass these tips along to everyone giving a speech and toast at your wedding, and get ready for some pretty epic and heartfelt moments! Then start thinking about how to keep the party going all night with these wedding reception songs guaranteed to get your guests dancing .

guide to wedding speeches and toasts

Image by Jordan Jankun Photography

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Being the standout at the wedding speeches and toast is quite tricky. You have to be funny for everyone, or even a heartfelt story to tell for the guest and couple. This guide really tick all the boxes for build an ultimate wedding speech.

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How to Begin a Wedding Speech: Our Favourite Opening Lines

Handy one-liners to get your speech off to an amazing start.

how to have a good wedding speech

If you've read our feature on how to make a great wedding speech , you'll know that it's really important to start strong! Well, today, we're showing you how to do exactly that, with a list of the best wedding speech opening lines . The beauty of this list is that it works for any kind of wedding speech, whether you're the bride, groom, best man, bridesmaid, father-of-the-bride, or even the flower girl or the groom's granny! We've made sure to include lots of different options so there's something to suit every style of speech, whether you want to keep it super simple, bring the audience to tears, or wow them with a joke ! Some of our wedding speech opening lines can be customised, too, to help you make your speech even more personal. So, let's dive in!

how to have a good wedding speech

Our Favourite Wedding Speech Opening Lines

To help you find what you're looking for, we've split our sample opening lines into three categories; simple and sincere opening lines, funny opening lines and opening lines with quotes from famous people.

Note: (name) can indicate yourself, the bride/groom, the couple as a whole, or another member of the wedding party.  

Wedding Speech Opening Lines: Simple and Sincere Opening Lines

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you (name) for the kind introduction."

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. As (name's friend/relative), I'm delighted to welcome you all here tonight."

"Thank you so much, (name), for such a wonderful introduction. I only hope I can live up to your kind words!"

"Hello everyone. I hope you're all having a great night so far."

how to have a good wedding speech

"Hello, I'm (name) and, for those of you who don't already know me, I'm (relation to couple)."

"Hi everybody, I'm (name), and I'm here to talk a little bit about my good friend (name)."

"Hi everyone, I'm (name), and I'm going to talk a little bit about (name). When I was writing this speech, I asked myself how I could sum up (X) years of friendship, laughter and adventures in one speech, and I decided that I can't. We'd be here all night."

"Hello everybody and welcome. I think we can all agree that it's been a wonderful day so far. (Couple names), you should be really proud of the amazing day you've put together. We're all very lucky to be a part of it."

"Hello everyone. I hope you're all having a great night so far. My life changed completely on (date, year), when (name) came into my life, and it changes again today, as they embark on their latest adventure with (name)."

"Hi everybody. Thank you for the warm welcome. Mark Twain once said that 'there are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.' I'm definitely in the former category, so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm a little bit shaky this evening."

wedding speech opening lines funny opening lines sincere opening lines (9)

Wedding Speech Opening Lines: Funny Opening Lines to Make Guests LOL

"Hi everyone, I'm (name), and before any of you ask, yes I am single."

"Hi everyone, I'm (name), and I'll be your speaker for the next 95 minutes."

"Hi everybody. If you don't know who I am... well, you're probably at the wrong wedding! But stick around, we need extra people for the conga line."

"Hi everyone. You're probably wondering why I gathered you here today. I've got a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity that I know you're going to - sorry, wrong speech!"

"Hello everyone! Thank you all for being here on such an exciting night. Yes, the rumours are true, I will be debuting some new choreography on the dance floor this evening. But in the mean time, I suppose I should talk a little bit about (couple names)."

"Hello, and welcome. You may know me as (name's friend/relative), but tonight, I go by the title, (name), Lord of the Dance."

how to have a good wedding speech

"Hi everyone. Just in case you don't already know, I'm (name) and I'm the best man. There are some really successful, good-looking, charming men in the room tonight, but now that it's written on the ceremony program in black and white, it's official - I am the best."

"Hi everyone, I'm (name), and I'd like to begin my speech with a quote from the great Seamus Heaney/Maya Angelou/Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Mother Teresa... but unfortunately I left my speech in my other jacket. So you'll have to make do with me!"

“Hi everyone. If I could just say a few words … I’d be a better public speaker! That gag was actually stolen from Homer Simpson, which should give you an idea of the caliber of speech you can expect from me tonight.”

"Hi everyone, and welcome. Webster's dictionary describes a wedding as, 'The process of removing weeds from one's garden'. That's a Homer Simpson quote, which should give you an idea of the caliber of speech you can expect from me tonight.”

how to have a good wedding speech

"Hello everyone, I'm (name.) According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right?"

"Hi everyone. When I was preparing this speech, (name) gave me a list of topics that were strictly off-limits, so I'd like to start with those."

"Hi everyone. I'm (name). Anyone who knows me knows that I'm (name)'s biggest fan. So much so, that I was actually quite hurt when I learned that I wasn't going to be involved in the first dance!"

"Hi everyone. I just want to take a few minutes to talk about my good friend (name). I first met (name) when we were 13, and since then, I've always looked up to him. He was, after all, the only 6ft 2' student at (school name)!"

"Good evening everyone. To our English speakers, I'd like to say welcome, we're delighted that you could be with us today to celebrate the marriage of (couple names). To our (other language) speakers, I'd like to say (use Google Translate or ask a native speaker to translate, 'My llama is very handsome. I hope my translation is correct.')"

how to have a good wedding speech

Wedding Speech Opening Lines: Beginning with a Quote

"Hi everyone. I'd like to begin my speech with a quote from Dr. James Dobson, who said, 'Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without.' "

"Hi everyone. I'd like to begin my speech with a quote from Franz Schubert, who said, 'Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.' "

"Hi everyone. I'd like to begin my speech with a quote from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, 'There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.' "

how to have a good wedding speech

"Hi everyone. I'd like to begin my speech with a quote from Franklin P. Jones, who said, 'Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.' "

"Hi everyone, I'm (name.) I hope you're all having a wonderful day so far. When I got married to my partner (name), somebody told me, 'Don't just be husband and wife, be president of each other's fan clubs,' and I'd like to pass on that same advice to (couple)."

"Hello everyone. I'd like to begin with a quote from Mignon McLaughlin, who said, 'A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.' Over the past (x) years, I've had the pleasure of watching (name) fall in love with (name) over and over again."

You've found your opening line - now what? Click over to this feature  for a handy checklist of people to thank in your wedding speech.

Image credits

Adam and grace, via one fab day, see more in:.

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How to write the perfect wedding speech

Whether you’re a wordsmith or not, the prospect of crafting and giving a wedding speech can be a little nerve-wracking — particularly if you’ve never had the pleasure. to make things easier, we’ve compiled 10 tips to help you nail your wedding speech..

If you’ve been sitting in front of a notepad for approximately two hours and three coffees, procrastinating writing a killer wedding speech because you haven’t the foggiest where to start, then let us provide some relief and inspo.

Between the team, we’ve brainstormed 10 tips we think will help you nix the butterflies, knuckle down, and write a bangin’ wedding speech that guests will be talking about (favourably) for years to come.

10 tips for writing the perfect wedding speech.

Timeless and romantic for Sophia and Kyle at their Quat Quatta wedding, Ripponlea. Photos by Kairos Works.

1. Engage your audience.

If you pay attention to only one of these tips, it should definitely be this one! Giving a wedding speech is a lot like telling a story. If you’re not making eye contact or speaking with tone, they’re going to lose interest very quickly. It’s always beneficial to put personality and flair into a speech.

This comes out naturally when chatting to a group of friends or when reading to a child. Take a deep breath, relax, and speak conversationally — not formally as if you’re about to give your year 11 science presentation.

Bonus tip: Try not to read from a sheet or cue cards if possible, and if you must use them, stick to brief notes and dot points. This will help you tell the story far more naturally.

2. Structure.

Sticking with the analogy of a speech being like a story, it’s a good idea to think carefully about the structure. Great stories have a beginning, a middle and an end — and your speech will be easier to follow should it be structured in a similar way.

Bonus tip: Conclude your speech by referring back to your opening remarks.

Austinvilla Estate Gold Coast wedding for Gabie and Scott by Commonstudios Photography. Boho rustic wedding QLD.

3. Balance humour with emotion.

Adding a couple of zingers or funny lines is a fantastic way to get the audience to engage with your speech, but remember, no one is expecting you to be the next Jerry Seinfeld!

Humour should ideally be used in moderation, and your bestie’s reception isn’t an opportunity for you to perfect your stand-up comedy routine (yes, even if it’s really good).

You might like to start out with a good joke to break the ice, but keep in mind that grandparents and children are likely to be present so avoid anything too risqué .

Bonus tip: Balancing jokes with emotional anecdotes is a surefire way to nail your speech.

4. Don’t get wasted.

Do we… even need to say this one? No matter how nervous you are, it’s not especially wise to down eight cocktails pre-speech. Giving a wedding toast when drunk is a recipe for disaster — and embarrassment for your friend.

It’s smart to set yourself a limit, such as only having one or two drinks before giving your speech. That way you can settle your nerves without being in danger of slurring your words.

Luxe coastal wedding for Maddi and Dan at Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows near Newcastle, NSW. Images by Tatiana Rose Photography.

5. Timing is everything.

Trust us, if you go on for too long, things will get a little… awkward. Cue guests shifting in their seats and polite smiles from the happy couple. When it comes to giving a wedding speech, it’s important that you keep it short and sweet. Aim for around five minutes and you will be on the right track.

Bonus tip: Time yourself when practising. Or better yet, present your speech to someone else and ask them if they think it’s getting a little monologue-y.

6. Take it seriously.

One thing that you need to keep in mind is that being asked to deliver a speech at someone’s wedding is * Anchorman voice* kind of a big deal . While it’s okay — nay, encouraged — to have a little fun with it, it’s still important to take the responsibility very seriously. You have the honour of telling the happy couple’s story so you need to treat it with the respect it deserves.

White Chapel Black Hall Kalbar Wedding Luke Middlemiss Photography Ashlee Mark 39

7. Practise makes perfect.

The less you need to rely on your notes, the more natural your speech is going to sound on the day. The best way to get yourself to a point where you are not dependent on your notes is to practise, practise, practise! Run through your speech at every opportunity using everyone and anyone as your trial audience.

Bonus tip: Beginning practising is difficult as you actually need to think about giving the speech. Try to push through the nerves and practise anyway, even if you feel silly — your future self will thank you for it.

8. Choose a quote.

If you’re at a loss finding somewhere to start, then it can be useful to include a quote or a song lyric. However, make sure that the quote you choose is appropriate.

Stay away from tired quotes that have been done to death and pick out something that really means something to the newlyweds.

READ MORE: Need song recommendations? These beautiful wedding songs are big hits with our readers.

Romantic, elegant, classic style for Lana and Peter at their Cargo Hall wedding by Showtime Event Group at South Wharf, Melbourne.

9. Know your own style.

So, we’ve mentioned that when giving a wedding speech you’re going to want to connect with your audience. And if you’re forcing yourself to be someone that you’re not, then you’re going to find this a bit tricky.

If you’re not exactly known for being a laugh a minute then don’t feel pressured to make jokes! Similarly, if you’re generally a bit of a clown, then a formal, sentimental speech might not feel genuine. Instead, play to your strengths.

Bonus tip: Determine your own personal style and stay true to it.

Above all else, relax! Your speech is just a few minutes of the whole day, and everyone wants you to do well. Remember why you’re doing this: you love your friend and want to congratulate them and wish them a happy marriage — try to focus on them and what they mean to you.

READ MORE: Real brides share their best hens and bucks party ideas

Burnham Grove Estate elopement for Jess and Andrew, Camden NSW, photographed by Puzzleman Productions.

So you’ve nailed the perfect speech, but have you planned the bachelor or bachelorette party? You’ll find some fab ideas when perusing our list of hens and bucks suppliers .

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Worried About Writing A Wedding Speech? An Etiquette Expert Shares Her Top 5 Do's and Don'ts (Exclusive)

Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, says when it comes to wedding speeches – practice makes perfect!

how to have a good wedding speech

When it comes to writing wedding speeches Jacqueline Whitmore has a few tricks up her sleeve.

As an etiquette expert, she says one of her main suggestions when it comes to wedding speeches is to maintain eye contact with the bride and groom as well as the audience to convey your sincerity.

"Speeches follow a set order with the best man, maid of honor and parents of the couple speaking before other guests," the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, an etiquette industry’s leading coaching and training company, tells PEOPLE.

Speaking with PEOPLE Whitmore shares 5 of her top pieces of advice for preparing and giving a speech at a wedding. One of the most important tips she wants people to keep in mind? Keep it simple!

1. (KISS) Keep It Short and Simple 

"One of the cardinal rules of wedding speech etiquette is brevity. While it's tempting to share a lifetime of memories and anecdotes, guests may not have the patience for a long-winded speech," Whitmore says.

"Keep your speech concise and to the point, focusing on the most important messages or stories you want to convey."

2. Know Your Audience

"Understanding your audience is paramount when crafting your wedding speech. You'll be speaking in front of a diverse group of people, including family, friends, and sometimes even children," she says.

"To ensure that your speech is appropriate and engaging for all, avoid using inside jokes or references that only a few people will understand. Instead, opt for universal themes like love, unity, and happiness that resonate with everyone in attendance," she adds.

3. Keep it Upbeat and Positive 

Whitmore says: "A wedding is a celebration of love and happiness, so your speech should reflect these positive emotions. Choose your words carefully, and steer clear of controversial topics or any anecdotes that could be embarrassing or hurtful to the couple (i.e., past relationships)."

"It's also wise to avoid excessive use of humor, as it can be a double-edged sword, potentially offending or alienating some guests. A balance between humor and sincerity is the key to a memorable and well-received speech," she continues.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

"Rehearse your speech multiple times to ensure you feel comfortable delivering it," the expert adds.

"Practice will help you avoid stumbling over words and will increase your confidence when speaking in front of a large audience. Consider recording yourself or rehearsing in front of a trusted friend or family member who can provide constructive feedback," she shares.

5. Keep it Classy

"The final piece of advice for mastering wedding speech etiquette is the art of toasting. At the end of your speech, it's customary to raise your glass and propose a toast to the newlyweds," Whitmore says. "When doing so, remember to keep it concise, classy, and heartwarming. You can say something as simple as, "To the love, joy, and lifelong happiness of [couples’ names]!" 

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Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

How to write an amazing wedding speech in 6 steps.

By Tansey Tang

how to have a good wedding speech

Writing your wedding speech can be a daunting task. We have some wedding speech examples and tips to help you bring the house down!

Y our wedding is the perfect opportunity to tell your loved ones just how much you love and appreciate them, especially as they’ve gathered to celebrate your newest milestone and shower you with their blessings. While your heart may be full of emotion and gratitude on your wedding day, it can be difficult to convey them eloquently on the fly, especially if you’re a little drunk and a lot nervous! Take some time to write your wedding speech beforehand, and practise delivering it too.

You can choose to give your wedding speech together as a couple, or thank the people in your lives individually; just be sure to figure out beforehand who’s saying what and who’s going first, so you don’t end up being repetitive.

In your wedding speech, you’ll want to thank and appreciate the most important people in your life, such as your parents, siblings, bridal party, and close friends, and also thank them for their help with the wedding. You should also thank your guests for taking the time to celebrate with you. You can share a sweet anecdote or two about your journey as a couple, and finally, end with a thank you and a toast to your new spouse.

how to have a good wedding speech

Wedding speech examples

It can be daunting to write a wedding speech—not to mention delivering it! We break it down into manageable parts for you and offer some examples of how you might thank the people in your life.

1. Start your wedding speech with a welcome for your guests

“Good evening. Thank you for joining Jasmine and I on our very special day. Tonight, we’re very happy and honoured to have you all with us. Seeing you all here together means the world to us both.”

2. Thank your parents and your in-laws

“To Mum and Dad, thank you for your love and unconditional support my whole life. Thank you for making sure we never lacked anything growing up, including wise advice on our studies, careers, and relationships. You’ve taught me so much, and given me the freedom to grow into my own person. You’re the best parents anyone could ever have, and I love you both deeply. Your marriage is an inspiration, and you’ve shown me how marriage is about understanding, patience, love, and forgiveness. I hope that what David and I build will be just as special as your marriage.”

“To my new Ma and Pa, thank you for welcoming me into your family with such open arms. Thank you for all of the wonderful dinners you’ve invited me to, and for your patience when teaching David and me some of your delicious recipes. We also truly appreciate all of your help with the wedding. The tea ceremony you organised was so beautiful. And thank you for raising such a fine son. David’s respect for family, his hard work, his strong character—they are a credit to you. I am blessed to have him as my new husband.”

3. Shout out to your siblings

“To my big brother and partner in crime, thank you for always taking the heat when we get into trouble with Mum and Dad, for cracking me up with a lame joke even when I beg you not to tell it, and for helping me with all my un-IT-savvy questions. And of course, thank you for introducing me to David. I might still be on the shelf if it weren’t for you.”

“To my little sister, my built-in best friend, and my maid of honour, I love you. Thank you for being my support system and my listening ear. Thank you for all the frank fashion advice, and for always being my plus one to workshops and craft sessions when I ask. Thank you for all of your help planning this wedding and for staying up so many nights working on DIY projects with me; I couldn’t have done this without you!”

how to have a good wedding speech

4. Thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen, and everyone who helped you out

“To my groomsmen, thank you for standing by my side today and braving unnameable food and undignified challenges with me this morning. I also thank you in advance for all of the alcohol you’re going to drink in my stead later.”

“To my bridesmaids, you are my oldest and dearest friends, and I’m so honoured to have you in my bridal party. Thank you for your love and support over the years, and for all of your help during the wedding. Thank you for being here for me once again on this special day. I love you all.”

“To all of our wonderful friends who helped us emcee, usher, coordinate, and decorate, thank you so much!”

5. Finally, share a little about your journey and thank your new spouse.

“Last but definitely not least, I’d like to thank my new wife. Jasmine, the day I met you, I knew my life was going to change forever, and today, you’ve made me the happiest man on earth. You are the smartest, most beautiful, and most caring woman I know. I’m so lucky you agreed to be my wife, even though you’ve seen me do the moonwalk. I can’t wait to go on new adventures with you, and I know that together, we can brave anything.”

6. End with a thank you for all of your guests

“Thank you, everyone, for joining us as we celebrate our new chapter. We hope you enjoy the rest of your evening!”

how to have a good wedding speech

Wedding speech tips

Take note of these few extra pointers when preparing your wedding speech, and you’ll be ready to slay your audience!

1. Write it down

Unless you’re a Toastmaster with a lot of confidence and experience at public speaking, don’t try to wing your wedding speech! Start writing your wedding speech at least a few weeks before your celebration to give yourself time to polish it.

2. Avoid inside jokes

Try to keep inside jokes to a minimum as a consideration to your other wedding guests who aren’t privy to your punchline.

3. Keep it short and sweet

Time yourself giving your wedding speech and aim to keep it under five minutes, especially if there will be a number of other people giving speeches.

4. Don’t overshare

Grandma going to be at your wedding? You might want to leave out your pregnancy scare story. If your boss and colleagues will be there, you might want to edit thanking your bridesmaids for listening to your work rants.

how to have a good wedding speech

5. Coordinate

If you’re each giving separate wedding speeches, remember to sit down and share your speech content so you don’t have too much overlap, or have very different tones with someone being very formal while the other cracks a lot of jokes. Plan your time too, and try to have both speeches roughly equal in length.

6. Practice makes perfect

Finally, practise, practise, practise! Once you’ve edited and polished your wedding speech, it’s time to stand in front of a mirror and practise delivering it. Get comfortable with the flow of phrases, and get familiar with which section comes next. With lots of practice, you’ll feel less nervous once you’re on stage.

7. Respond to other wedding speeches

While totally winging your wedding speech isn’t recommended, a little improvisation is great and adds a candid touch to your speech. For example, if your speech is after your best man, feel free to defend yourself in the story he just maligned you with. Or, you can thank your dad or your bridesmaids for their sweet words.

We hope these wedding speech examples and tips help you write a killer speech!

Credits: Feature image from Yeon Hee and Pei Qian’s Elegant Destination Wedding at Andaz Singapore by John15 Photography

All content from this article, including images, cannot be reproduced without credits or written permission from SingaporeBrides.

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Published on: 26 April 2021

Category: Weddings 101

Tagged in: Wedding Speeches

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It can be quite nerve-wracking, standing up and saying a few words at a wedding – whether that’s a groom’s speech , a father of the bride speech or the greatly anticipated best man’s speech . We explain how to begin your wedding speech with some wedding speech   introduction examples, so you can start strong and feel confident.

READ MORE:   We Reveal The Most Popular Wedding Poem

How to Start Your Wedding Speech

1. always introduce yourself.

Whether you’re the groom and everyone is there because you invited them or you’re the best man who has flown in from overseas for the occasion, it’s always polite to introduce yourself. Smile as you do it and make a bit of a joke if you feel tense, or reference how important the day is if you don’t feel like joking:

“Hi, I’m [GROOM’S NAME] – you should probably all know who I am, and if you don’t, well done for sneaking in unnoticed.”

“Hi, I’m [BEST MAN’S NAME], but you can call me by my full name: [BEST-MAN’S-NAME-WOULD-YOU-LIKE-A-DRINK].”

“Hello, I’m [FATHER OF THE BRIDE’S NAME] and I’m so delighted to welcome you all here on this beautiful day.”

It’s becoming more common for the maid of honour or bridesmaid to give a speech, as well as the bride . If you’re giving one, feel free to mix up these examples.

Image: Sally Rawlins Photography

Don’t go overboard with a long-winded introduction about yourself – a line or two about who you are and your role in the day will be enough. If you’re the best man, it’s fine to start with a joke – we’ve got some of the best, tried and tested best man jokes to inspire you, or scroll down for even more speech introduction examples…

2. Make Eye Contact

Pick a few reassuring faces in the crowd and pitch your speech to them – but don’t focus just on one person. Aim for a couple of different locations around the room so everyone feels as those they’re included in the speech. If the idea of making eye contact is too much, pick inanimate objects to focus on but mix them up.

READ MORE: Father of the Bride Speech Examples

3. Have Notes to Hand

Don’t think you need to know your whole speech off by heart – you’ll feel more confident if you have your notes to hand and no one will judge you for it. If you don’t want it to be too scripted, simply give yourself cue cards to work from.

4. Don’t Drink Too Much

Don’t try and drown your nerves – it’ll only make starting your speech more difficult. Save the celebratory drinks for after you’ve completed your speech – slur free!

Image: Danielle Smith Photography

Speech Introduction Examples

Here are a few more ways to introduce your speech, no matter what role you’re playing in the wedding day – just tweak it to suit you and your speech.

“Friends and family of [NAME] and [NAME], thank you for being here today to celebrate their marriage.”

“The highest happiness on earth is the happiness of marriage.”

If you love this William Lyon Phelps quote, you’ll love our edit of the most inspiring quotes about love and marriage .

“Welcome to the most important day in the lives of [NAME] and [NAME].”

READ MORE: The Best Maid of Honour Speech Examples

“Today, promises have become permanent and friends have become family.”

“Today is a celebration and we are here to celebrate with [NAME] and [NAME].”

“Thank you for joining us today on such a wonderful occasion.”

“We would like to welcome all of you here today to celebrate and thank you for choosing to spend the day with us.”

“Love has brought [NAME] and [NAME] and everyone in this room together today.”

READ MORE: Tips To Writing A Great Groom’s Speech

“My name is [BEST MAN] and it’s an honour to be here today as [GROOM]’s best man.”

“Hi, I’m [NAME] and it’s time for me to do this speech I scribbled down about an hour before the ceremony started.”

“I must admit, I’m not accustomed to public speaking. Up until I was asked to give this speech I thought a toastmaster was a kind of kitchen appliance!”

“Before I begin, I must admit that [NAME] and [NAME] have asked that I remove anything resembling innuendo from this speech – I’ve promised if I come across anything even slightly risqué, I’ll whip it out immediately.”

If you’re still worrying about your wedding speech, don’t miss our guide on how to deal with wedding speech nerves .

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Field Notes

Overwhelmed With Writing Your Vows? A Professional Wordsmith Could Help.

In recent years, social media has helped increase demand in this new wedding vendor category. “Vows have gone viral,” one expert said, “and there’s greater attention to the moments that go wrong.”

Professional vow writers are becoming more popular as more couples seek help to craft their vows.

By Alix Strauss

The 200 guests at Rachel Mumford’s backyard wedding in Malibu, Calif., were suddenly on their feet, clapping, giving her an unexpected ovation. Forty-eight hours earlier, she probably wouldn’t have felt as calm or confident.

The handwritten pages of vows she had in her relaxed grip were now a “structured, organized, funny, intimate and condensed version of our love story,” said Ms. Mumford, 53, who married Brandon Coxton at their home on July 3, 2022. “I wanted my vows to be real, personal and intimate.”

She managed to check off all three boxes after hiring Brian Franklin, a founder of Vows & Speeches , a writing service for wedding participants that he started with his wife, Nicole Franklin, in 2021.

It is a niche service, he said, that has long been lacking in the wedding industry. “This is part of the wedding that has not traditionally gotten professional guidance,” Mr. Franklin said. “Putting your whole relationship into one to two minutes to say how you feel is not an easy task.”

Ms. Mumford, who is a founder of Barry’s, a boutique fitness chain, would agree. She procrastinated in writing her vows, then panicked. “I have great ideas and passion, but I’m not a writer,” she said. “Brian has a comic ability. He knows where to find funny moments.”

After hiring the writing service, she said, “I felt prepared, not alone, and confident.”

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. For those who are able to afford another component, a speechwriter could be an option. Below, three professionals share their writing process, unique styles and advice for those who hope to write their own. Each also offers delivery coaching via Zoom.

The Therapist

Tanya Pushkine calls herself the Vow Whisperer . Based in New York, she works one on one with couples to create a four-minute, 500-word bespoke speech.

“Couples have too much to say and don’t know how to write from their heart,” said Ms. Pushkine, who has shaped more than 300 vows over the last four years.

To start, she sends couples a questionnaire of 25 “deep, self-reflective questions” like: When did you know for sure that your partner was the one? How has this partner made you a better person?

The answers become the beginning and body of the speech. For the end, she focuses on the future: “I ask, What kind of life will you have together? How will the other person help shape your growth? And, What does each person promise the other? Those answers encapsulate why you’re standing there.”

Once Ms. Pushkine receives the answers, and after several edits, she creates the final 500- to 700-word speech.

Couples’ speeches are also tailored to complement each other — a needed step, as sometimes only one person opts for her service. “The goal is to establish a vibe, so there’s a balance,” she said. “If one is a comedian and the other is not, we might have to rework the speech. I have to work with both personalities.” Ms. Pushkine also officiates and does ceremony production; she is ordained by the Universal Life Church and American Marriage Ministries.

Advice: “Be vulnerable, emotional, and trust yourself. The more vulnerable you are, the more beautiful the speech will be.”

The Humorist

Mr. Franklin of Vows & Speeches asks at least 50 questions because he “loves to hear even the most minute details,” he said. During a 60-minute follow-up phone conversation that he arranges with clients, he might ask even more. Like Ms. Pushkine, he revises and shares drafts over email until everyone is pleased.

“Details tell the story — finding out one person collects sneakers, or another knew his fiancée loved Ariana Grande and took her to a show and learned all the lyrics beforehand are gems and define a person in a dimensional way,” he said. “People forget to tell those stories unless they’re asked. Those nongeneric stories draw the attention of the audience.”

A bad speech, he added, can lead to dangerous moments at a wedding. “If it’s off-color, inappropriate, boring or too long, it sucks the energy out of the wedding as food gets cold,” he said.

Social media, Mr. Franklin said, has helped increase demand in the vow-writing industry. “Vows have gone viral and there’s greater attention to the moments that go wrong,” he said. “There is more pressure to get it right to avoid disaster stories.”

Over the last two years, Mr. Franklin, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife and business partner, previously worked as a political consultant and communications strategist. During the pandemic, he shifted his focus to speech writing, mostly for weddings, working with couples, their parents, maids of honor and best men. Fees vary from $400 for one partner, $600 for both partners and $500 for other wedding party members.

“Most popular are the mothers — I’ve written a hundred of those,” he said, adding that 30 percent of his customers, like Ms. Mumford, are panic buyers who reach out on, say, Friday for a wedding on Sunday.

A parent’s speech is often the hardest, he said, because it typically runs twice as long as the couple’s vows. “They have to speak to and about the couple, sometimes highlighting each person individually, so there’s more to do,” he said.

Advice: “People have a reading voice that’s different than a speaking one. I tell everyone, ‘Push louder and more enthusiastically on humor, and drop your voice down and softer on the sweeter lines.’”

The A.I. Specialist

In 2014, Jen Glantz placed an ad on Craigslist offering to pose as a bridesmaid at strangers’ weddings. It went viral. Then she created Bridesmaid for Hire, a company that provides a bevy of bridesmaid services and support. Soon after, she started receiving requests to write their speeches.

“Maid of honor speeches have gotten more elaborate,” said Ms. Glantz, who lives in New York. “People go on TikTok and see these crazy speeches and think, ‘I want that, but I don’t know how to do it.”

She recommends keeping remarks about 800 words, depending on one’s speaking pace. “It’s an important element because it’s the most memorable,” she said of speeches. “It’s supposed to be a gift to the couple.”

Crafting a maid of honor speech, which runs $375, typically involves multiple calls and rounds of edits, said Ms. Glantz, who also transcribes her conversations with couples. The overall process can take four to five hours.

For those on a tighter budget, she uses a maid of honor speech generator , an artificial technology program she helped create that replicates her customized service in minutes and creates speeches that cost $35.

Before she started using the program in September, she could write only up to seven speeches per month. In October, her program wrote 50 for her clientele. Come December, Ms. Glantz plans to expand her business to include brides, grooms and best men.

According to Ms. Glantz, the tool, which she says mimics her writing style, was generated from 30 audio transcriptions and finalized speeches she was hired to write. It creates “a completely personalized and customized speech for you, while integrating unlimited edits and feedback until you think the speech is perfect,” she said.

If you say something inappropriate, Ms. Glantz said, the program asks you to reconsider. “If you say a joke and the tool thinks it isn’t funny, it will give you an alternative way to say it,” she said.

The program offers a variety of lengths and tones through a drop-down menu.

Advice: “Pull out the heartbeat behind the relationship you have with the person. Specific stories and details and nostalgic old memories that create a lingering effect work best.”

Weddings Trends and Ideas

Vows: Worried about writing your own vows? Consider hiring a professional .

Marrying at Home : From stoops and staircases to backyards and balconies, couples are choosing the comforts of home as wedding locations .

Vendors: For many couples, working with businesses that share their values and support people from diverse backgrounds is an important part of the planning process .

Swimwear: Beaded and bedazzled, fancy and frilly, lacy and Lycra-fitted — bridal bikinis are here .

Weather Forecasts: Want to avoid a rainy ceremony? This expert can help .

Dress Shopping: As more brides seek personalized shopping experiences and distinctive designs, the bridal industry is shifting to accommodate their needs .

Wedding Night Sex:  If you fell asleep on the big night, don’t worry: You are in good company .


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    End with a toast. Cap off your speech on a fun and sentimental note by ending with an actual toast. Dalo recommends this foolproof example: "Please join me in raising a glass to the happy couple. Cheers to X and Y, and best wishes for a lifetime of laughter!" Afterward, go in for a hug with the couple, making for the perfect photo op!

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    Introduce yourself and acknowledge them. Focusing on the audience and engaging them will help you speak from the heart. Avoid alcohol: While getting some liquid courage can be tempting, it is best to lay off the alcohol until after your speech. Alcohol could turn short funny wedding speeches into something long and nonsensical.

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    Start with an attention-grabbing opening that will capture the audience's attention. Then, move on to the body of your speech, where you will share your thoughts, stories, and advice. Finally, end with a memorable conclusion and a toast to the newlyweds. Keep it Positive: A wedding is a joyous occasion, so keep your speech positive and uplifting.

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    The easiest way to write a wedding speech is to start with the introduction. This part of the speech requires the least amount of creative thought. It's easy and to the point. Simpy, welcome guests, state your name and your connection to the couple. Wedding Speech Introduction Examples: Welcome, everyone.

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    "Hello everybody and welcome. I think we can all agree that it's been a wonderful day so far. (Couple names), you should be really proud of the amazing day you've put together. We're all very lucky to be a part of it." "Hello everyone. I hope you're all having a great night so far.

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    Conclude your speech with good manners. Say things like: "Thank you for your time. You can get back to your meal now," "Thank you for being a good audience. I can see why all of you were invited here tonight", and "I appreciate the energy all of you are giving off. It made doing this speech very easy.

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