I’ve put together the Ultimate Wedding Speech Guide for anyone giving a speech at a wedding. Because wedding speeches aren’t just the responsibility of the Best Man these days, it can spread across the whole bridal party. I’ve got some general tips and advice, as well as a 10 step practical guide to writing a wedding speech.
Confidence & Charisma
When it comes to making a wedding speech, preparation is key! But even the most well-written speeches can have tumbleweed moments if they’re not delivered with confidence and charisma. So be confident – in your writing style, and when it comes to tapping the mic and addressing your audience. Your wedding speech needs to appeal to all the guests, family, friends, colleagues, ages etc. Start off by introducing yourself, remembering that not everyone will know who you are or how you know the bride/groom. Let everyone know at the beginning that you’ll be brief, 10 minutes is the average length of time for a speech.
The Expectation is Real
You, and everyone else, know there’s an expectation that you have to be funny so it’s important you get off to a good start. Getting a joke in early will break the ice and help settle any nerves you may have. It doesn’t have to be a gag about the groom, everyone is expecting that, too. Nor do you have to be crude or vulgar to be funny either. If something funny happened the night before, that morning or during the ceremony – say it. Most likely everyone else will be thinking it and eager to know if you’re going to mention it. Failing all of the above, self-deprecation goes a long way, and the Irish are exceptionally good at it!
Image by Brosnan Photographic
Acknowledge & Compliment
As we all know, a huge amount of time, effort, co-ordination and money has gone into the wedding day. So make sure you acknowledge that in your wedding speech and say how well you think the day has gone so far. Feel free to give a shout out to those people you know have played a big part in making the day so memorable and such a success. Flattery is always appreciated, so complimenting the bridesmaids, thanking your fellow groomsmen and toasting the bride and groom is going to be a sure winner.
Remember He’s Your Mate
During a wedding speech, many people expect to hear some wild tales about the groom from the Best Man, but remember that he’s your mate. You can make a joke at his expense, but you don’t need to take him down. Don’t humiliate the groom or over-step the mark. The last thing you want is to ruin the day for the bride, the groom and their families. Remember, what might have seemed hilarious at the time, might not come across as funny when you tell the story a second time. Finally, don’t start something you can’t finish. You don’t want to be half-way through a lengthy, complicated story and wish you’d never started it.
Image by The Fennells
It can depend on the couple and the type of wedding they are having, but don’t be afraid to get creative! With the rise of social media and technology there are lots of user-friendly video editing apps and software out there. If speeches really aren’t your thing, give a short introduction and put together a short video instead. A few weddings I’ve been to recently have featured these often very funny videos, put together by friends and family and they’ve gone down a storm! There’s also a fab guy in Cork, Cormac from Be-Spoke Wedding Speeches in Rhyme, who puts together the most incredible rhymes and poems for wedding speeches. I’ve heard a few examples of his ingenious work and they are a sure way to create something truly memorable and unique.
A bit of Dutch Courage is okay, but don’t get drunk before you give your speech. Don’t panic, ramble or mumble and remember to look up – don’t read straight from the sheet. Don’t be vulgar or insulting and definitely don’t mention any previous partners or infidelity. And finally, don’t end the speech by revealing you once slept with the bride, or are hoping to sleep with one of the bridesmaids either! Get a friend or your partner to look over your speech, they’ll soon tell you if you’ve gone too far.
10 Step Best Man Speech Guide
Image by Curious Robin Films
Introduce yourself and how you know the Groom
How/when he asked you to be his Best Man and your reaction/response
Funny story about the Groom
What the Groom means to you
How you know he’d found the one, and you knew he/she was the one for him
How you met the Bride/Groom
Funny story about the bride/couple together
How they compliment each other as a couple
Compliment the Bride and Bridesmaids, thank your fellow Groomsmen
Congratulate the newlyweds, wish them well on their day and toast to their future