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  • 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.

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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
  • currently on Public Speaking Experts' Wedding Speech Tips
  • 60 Quotes to Use for Your Wedding Toast

Related Stories

  • The Wedding Speech Order You Should Follow at Your Reception
  • How to Write a Father-of-the-Groom Speech
  • How to Write the Perfect Best Man Speech
  • How to Write a Maid of Honor Speech
  • How to Write a Sister-of-the-Groom Speech
  • How to Write and Deliver a Perfect Father-of-the-Bride Speech
  • Bride’s Rant About Her Mother-in-Law Sabotaging Every Part of Her Wedding Weekend Is Going Viral
  • 39 Funny Wedding Toasts and Speeches That'll Get the Whole Room Laughing
  • How to Write Simple Wedding Vows
  • How to Write a Rehearsal Dinner Toast
  • How to Write a Heartfelt Letter to the Bride If You're Her Bridesmaid, Friend, or Family
  • The Best Timeline for Your Wedding Day
  • Mother-of-the-Bride Speech Examples and Writing Tips
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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

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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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How to Write—And Deliver—The Perfect Wedding Speech

By Shelby Wax

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

If one of your nearest and dearest is tying the knot, it’s possible you may be asked to give a speech during the wedding festivities. And while having an opportunity to share your love and memories at a major milestone event is an honor, there’s no denying that it’s a big ask—especially if public speaking isn’t your forté. A wedding speech presents a unique challenge: There’s no set formula for how the speech should play out, but it often requires sentimentality, a touch of humor, and the good sense to know when to wrap it up.

Are you a member of the wedding party that wants to (or has been asked to) give a toast at an upcoming celebration? Read ahead to learn how to write and prepare for your big moment.

Who Gives a Wedding Speech?

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First off, it’s important to make sure that the couple definitely wants you to give a toast at their celebrations. Traditionally, the maid of honor, best man, and parents of the couple will give a speech at the wedding. However, the couple should explicitly ask these guests well in advance to give a speech so they have plenty of time to prepare. They may also choose additional wedding party members to give toasts at the reception or pre-wedding parties; but if the couple has not asked you to give a speech, do not prepare one. Speeches are carefully placed into a wedding timeline so the day will stay on schedule, and an additional five minutes could cut into strategically timed moments of the celebration.

The to-be-weds also have the right to curate the day as they wish, and occasionally at a rehearsal dinner or welcome party, the couple may open the floor to additional toasts. But if this doesn’t happen, grabbing the mic unexpectedly for an off-the-cuff speech (especially after a few glasses of wine) will not be appreciated.

How to Write a Wedding Speech

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

If you are asked to give a toast, it’s important that you don’t just wing it. “First, recognize that speechwriting is a creative process,” shares Allison Shapira, founder and CEO of Global Public Speaking . “Give yourself plenty of time to be creative (i.e. not the night before, when you already have so much to stress about). Wait for your most creative time of the day, and turn off any distractions. Spend some unrushed time thinking about your relationship to the couple, and what you’d like to say.”

While there’s no exact template to follow, there is a good basic formula to adhere to. “The framework I recommend for a wedding speech is: story, message, blessing,” she shares. “Tell a heartwarming story, share the message or value behind that story, and then offer a blessing or wish for the couple based on that message.”

“Typically, we advise our speakers to try to bring the audience on a journey where you initially try to make them laugh, then get to the real depth of the speech and earn some tears, then bring the whole speech full circle with a deep insight or story about the couple that ends with a funny final punch,” shares Steven Greitzer, CEO and founder of Provenance , an AI company that specializes in helping write personalized wedding vows, ceremonies, and toasts. “It’s important to have a good balance of humor and sentimentality because, if it’s a full roast, it can feel like you’re just doing a standup comedy show for your own benefit and it could lack substance. Or, if it’s too overly emotional, it can get heavy and perhaps a bit too somber for a wedding celebration.”

When choosing a story, Shapira recommends reading the room. “It should obviously be good-natured, without making anyone look bad. And, it all depends on the family dynamics,” she says. “What one family considers good-natured, another family could consider scathing. Choose someone in the audience whom you think could give you some helpful feedback, and practice the speech with them in advance.”

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

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Greitzer adds that it's important that both members of the couple are highlighted in the speech. “Great anecdotes showcase who each person was before meeting, their synergy together, and their individual and collective growth,” he shares. If you don’t know one member of the couple very well, don’t be afraid to get creative. “One of the best speeches I’ve seen was from a bridesmaid who hadn’t really been able to spend too much time with her best friend’s fiance because of the pandemic,” Greitzer shares. “She creatively read texts she found in her phone that gave her a hilarious timeline of her friend falling in love.”

If you’re still not sure where to begin, consider giving an AI platform a try to help you form your toast. “The Provenance tools guide speakers to create unique, and personal ceremonies, vows, and toasts without the stress. It’s a partner in your brainstorming process; a way to help you verbalize what you were trying to say—but faster,” explains Greitzer. “Instead of being some outdated, mad-libs-style template, the expert-curated prompts inspire special stories and insights, ultimately weaving your responses together into a custom, editable first draft.”

A final writing tip from Shapira? “I definitely recommend creating an outline but do not recommend writing the speech out word for word. When we script the entire speech, it sounds too formal,” says the public speaking expert. “I recommend first brainstorming the content, rearranging it into a logical structure, then drafting a general outline which you can bring with you to the event. While it may look better to simply give the speech ‘from the heart,’ the stress involved in trying to memorize your speech is simply not worth it.”

How to Deliver a Wedding Speech

Writing a wedding speech is half the battle—next comes your performance. It’s important that your toast has a good flow, feels natural, and doesn’t drag on. Here’s where the idiom “practice makes perfect” rings true. Shapira advises giving yourself a few weeks of rehearsal to make your speech feel authentic and fluid. Her recommendations? “Read your speech out loud and make sure it stays within the time you have allotted. Read it to someone else and get their feedback. Record it and watch it back. We use a tool called AMPLIFY to get AI-based feedback.” She adds, “Don’t memorize the speech, but do read it out loud and make sure it sounds like your voice.”

The ideal length of a toast is between two to four minutes, which translates to around 500 to 1000 words on a page. Still, Greitzer notes, “The perfect length for the wedding toast complies with whatever length the couple wants it to be. Many guests don’t realize that long speeches can impact the whole evening’s timeline and affect the caterer, DJ, and so much more.”

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While it’s now common to see toasts being read off a phone, both experts agree that it’s much better to print out your speech. “Reading off of a phone comes with the risk of distractions from notifications, a weird backlight that can affect the color of your face in photos, finicky technical difficulties, and having that annoying sound interference with the mic,” says Greitzer. (You also should make sure your speech is legible with a large font and wide spacing so you can easily find your place.)

The final hurdle of giving a wedding toast is getting over your nerves. “Find a quiet place right beforehand to center yourself (perhaps the bathroom or a corner of the room), pause and breathe, and remind yourself why you care about the couple,” recommends Shapira. She also adds—perhaps unsurprisingly—that it’s best to hold back on alcohol consumption ahead of the toast. “No one expects a perfect or professional speech; they want a unique, authentic message. The speech isn’t about you—it’s about the couple. Once you reframe the fact that the center of attention isn’t on you, you can relax.”

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

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How to Write a Wedding Speech

Last Updated: March 19, 2024 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 605,582 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.

Things You Should Know

Professional wedding planner Jenny Yi says the wedding speech should be “impactful, short, and sweet.” Explain how you know the bride and groom, share a quick backstory on how they met, then wish them well as a couple.

Sample Speeches

how to write the best 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

  • 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 write the best 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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How to Write a Wedding Speech (with Examples)

by Ryan Hart | Updated on September 22, 2023 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Writing a wedding speech can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’ve never given one before. You want to make sure you honor the couple, entertain the guests, and avoid any embarrassing mishaps.

But don’t worry, with a little guidance , you can write a memorable wedding speech that will leave everyone feeling touched and inspired.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to write a wedding speech, along with examples to help you get started.

Whether you’re the best man, maid of honor, or a close friend or family member, we’ve got you covered. We’ll cover everything from how to structure your speech, to what to include, and even tips on how to deliver it with confidence.

Person giving a wedding speech

What is a Wedding Speech?

A wedding speech is a way for family members and friends to honor the newly married couple, share their thoughts and memories, and wish them a happy future together.

It is a chance to express your gratitude for being part of their special day and to thank them for inviting you to share in their joy.

Wedding speeches are typically given at the rehearsal dinner , the day before the wedding, and toward the end of the reception dinner on the wedding day.

The best wedding speeches are heartfelt, sincere, and personal. They should reflect your relationship with the couple and your feelings towards them. A good wedding speech should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should not be too long, as it may become boring and lose the attention of the audience.

Knowing Your Role

When it comes to writing a wedding speech, it’s important to know your role in the wedding party. Here are some tips on how to approach writing your speech depending on your role:

Father of the Bride’s Speech

As the father of the bride , your speech should be heartfelt and emotional. Share stories about your daughter and the joy she has brought into your life. Welcome the groom into your family and express your love and support for the newlyweds.

Maid of Honor’s Speech

As the maid of honor, your speech should focus on the bride and your relationship with her. Share some funny stories or heartfelt moments that highlight her best qualities. Be sure to also thank the groom and his family for welcoming you into their lives.

Best Man’s Speech

As the best man, your speech should focus on the groom and your relationship with him. Share some funny anecdotes or stories that highlight his best qualities. Be sure to also thank the bride and her family for welcoming you into their lives.

Mother of the Bride’s Speech

As the mother of the bride, your speech should be heartfelt and emotional. Share stories about your daughter and the joy she has brought into your life. Welcome the groom into your family and express your love and support for the newlyweds.

Father of the Groom’s Speech

As the father of the groom, your speech should focus on the groom and your relationship with him. Share some funny anecdotes or stories that highlight his best qualities. Be sure to also thank the bride and her family for welcoming you into their lives.

Mother of the Groom’s Speech

As the mother of the groom, your speech should be heartfelt and emotional. Share stories about your son and the joy he has brought into your life. Welcome the bride into your family and express your love and support for the newlyweds.

Structuring Your Speech

When it comes to giving a wedding speech, structuring it properly is key. This will help you stay on track and deliver a memorable speech that hits all the right notes. Here are some tips on how to structure your wedding speech:

OpeningIntroduce yourself, your relationship to the couple, and thank them for inviting you.
BodyShare a story or anecdote about the couple, offer words of wisdom or advice, and give a toast.
ClosingEnd with a final thought or sentiment about the couple and thank them for including you in their special day.

The opening of your speech is crucial as it sets the tone for the rest of your speech. Start by introducing yourself and your relationship to the couple. You can also thank the couple for inviting you to be a part of their special day.

If you’re nervous, it’s okay to start with a joke or a light-hearted anecdote to break the ice. Just make sure it’s appropriate for the occasion and doesn’t offend anyone.

The body of your speech is where you can share your thoughts and feelings about the couple. This is where you can tell a story or anecdote about the couple that highlights their love for each other.

You can also offer some words of wisdom or advice for the couple as they embark on this new journey together. This can be a great opportunity to share a quote or a poem that resonates with you.

The closing of your speech should be short and sweet. You can end with a final thought or sentiment about the couple and their future together. You can also thank the couple and their families for including you in their special day.

If you’re giving a toast , make sure to raise your glass and offer a heartfelt congratulations to the couple.

Example Wedding Speeches

Maid of honor speech example:.

Hello, everyone! I’m beyond thrilled to be here today as the Maid of Honor for these two incredible people. You know, when [Bride’s Name] asked me to be her Maid of Honor, my first thought was, ‘Does she really know me? Is she sure about this?’ But here I am, and I couldn’t be happier!

[Bride’s Name] and I have shared so many laughs, tears, and unforgettable moments over the years. We’ve been through thick and thin together. And when she introduced us to [Groom’s Name], it was like the missing piece of the puzzle just clicked into place.

Now, [Groom’s Name], I have to say, you’ve really brought out the best in [Bride’s Name]. You’ve filled her life with so much love, laughter, and joy. And I can’t thank you enough for that.

To the newlyweds, may your love continue to grow stronger with each passing day. May your journey together be filled with adventure, kindness, and endless inside jokes that only you two understand. And may your love story be as beautiful and inspiring as the two of you are.

So let’s raise our glasses to [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name], to love, laughter, and a lifetime of happiness! Cheers!"

Best Man Speech Example:

Hey, everyone, I’m honored to be up here as the Best Man for this fantastic couple. Now, when [Groom’s Name] asked me to be his Best Man, I was like, ‘Really? Me?’ But then I remembered all the adventures, mishaps, and laughter we’ve shared over the years, and I thought, ‘Yep, I’m the guy for this job!’

[Groom’s Name] and [Bride’s Name], you two are a perfect match. I’ve watched your love story unfold, and it’s been a privilege to witness the love and respect you have for each other.

[Groom’s Name], you’ve always been there for me through thick and thin, and I have no doubt you’ll be there for [Bride’s Name] in the same way. And [Bride’s Name], you’re not just gaining a husband today, you’re gaining the best partner in crime you could ever ask for.

So, here’s to [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name], to a lifetime of adventure, love, and laughter. May your journey together be filled with joy, shared secrets, and lots and lots of dancing. Cheers!"

Best Friend Speech Example:

“Hello, everyone! Wow, what a beautiful day to celebrate the love between [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name]. I’m not the Maid of Honor or the Best Man, but I am a close friend, and I’ve been lucky enough to witness the magic of their love story from the beginning.

[Bride’s Name], we’ve been through so much together – from school crushes to college shenanigans. And when you introduced me to [Groom’s Name], I knew he was something special. He brings out the best in you, and together, you make an incredible team.

[Groom’s Name], you’re not just gaining a wife today; you’re gaining an amazing friend and confidant in [Bride’s Name]. You two complement each other in the most beautiful ways.

So, here’s to [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name], to a love that’s as strong as it is genuine. May your journey together be filled with laughter, support, and all the adventures you can dream of. Cheers!”

Family Member Speech Example:

Good evening, everyone! My name is [Your Name], and I am [Your relation to the bride and groom]. I’m thrilled to be here tonight to celebrate the love and commitment of [Couple’s names].

When they asked me to give a speech tonight, I was a little nervous. I mean, what do you say about two people who are so perfect for each other? But then I remembered something that [Bride’s name] once told me: “ Love isn’t about being perfect , it’s about being perfectly imperfect together.”

And that’s exactly what these two are. They’re imperfect in all the right ways, and that’s what makes them so perfect for each other. So here’s to [Couple’s names], two imperfect people who are perfect for each other. Congratulations, you two!

Close Friend Speech Example:

Hello, everyone! My name is [Your Name], and I am [Your relation to the bride and groom]. I’m honored to be here tonight to celebrate the wedding of [Couple’s names].

When I first met [Bride’s name], I knew she was something special. And when she introduced me to [groom’s name], I knew he was the one for her. These two have been through thick and thin together, and they’ve always come out stronger on the other side.

And that’s what love is all about, isn’t it? It’s about being there for each other through the good times and the bad. So here’s to [Couple’s names], a couple who knows that love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a commitment.

Incorporating Personal Touches

When it comes to giving a wedding speech, it’s important to make it personal and meaningful. After all, you’re speaking in front of the couple’s nearest and dearest, and you want to make sure that your words come straight from the heart.

One way to do this is to incorporate personal touches into your speech. This can be anything from a funny story about the couple to a heartfelt message about your own relationship with them.

When choosing what to include in your speech, think about what makes the couple special. What are their unique qualities and what do you love about them? What are some of the key moments in their relationship that have brought them to this point?

Once you have some ideas, consider how you can weave them into your speech in a way that feels natural and authentic. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Keep it short and sweet: While it can be tempting to go on and on about how much you love the couple, it’s important to keep your speech concise. Aim for around 3-5 minutes, and focus on the most meaningful moments and messages.
  • Use specific examples: Instead of making general statements about the couple, try to use specific examples that illustrate their qualities and personalities. This will make your speech more engaging and memorable.
  • Get personal: Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences and feelings about the couple. Whether it’s a funny story about how you first met or a heartfelt message about what they mean to you, your personal touch will make your speech more meaningful.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Finally, make sure to practice your speech ahead of time. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable on the day, and ensure that your words come across as genuine and heartfelt.

Addressing the Audience

When it comes to giving a wedding speech, one of the most important things to keep in mind is your audience. After all, you are speaking to a room full of people who are there to celebrate the happy couple, so it’s important to make sure your speech is engaging, entertaining, and appropriate for the occasion.

First and foremost, you want to make sure your speech is inclusive of everyone in the audience.

While you may have a close relationship with the bride or groom, it’s important to remember that there are likely guests in attendance who may not know you or the couple as well. Make sure to introduce yourself and provide some context for your relationship with the couple.

It’s also important to consider the tone of your speech. While it’s okay to inject some humor and lightheartedness into your speech, you want to make sure it’s appropriate for the occasion.

Avoid making any jokes or comments that could be perceived as offensive or inappropriate.

If you’re addressing parents or family members in your speech, make sure to acknowledge their role in the couple’s lives and express your gratitude for their support.

Similarly, if you’re speaking as the best friend of the bride or groom, take some time to reflect on your friendship and share some heartfelt memories or anecdotes.

Keep in mind that you’re speaking to a room full of people who are there to celebrate the happy couple, so make sure your speech is a reflection of that joy and excitement.

Delivering the Speech

Now that you’ve written your wedding speech, it’s time to deliver it. Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but with a little preparation, you’ll be able to deliver your speech with confidence. Here are some tips to help you deliver your speech like a pro:

  • Practice, practice, practice. Rehearsing your speech will help you feel more comfortable with the material and reduce your nervousness. Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend to get feedback on your delivery.
  • Take deep breaths. If you feel nervous before your speech, take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. This will help you relax and deliver your speech more effectively.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. When you’re nervous, it’s easy to speak too quickly or mumble your words. Make a conscious effort to speak slowly and clearly so that everyone can hear you.
  • Make eye contact. Look at your audience as you deliver your speech. This will help you connect with them and keep their attention.
  • Use body language. Gesturing and moving around can help you convey your message more effectively. Just be sure to avoid any distracting movements.
  • Don’t be afraid to pause. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts or take a breath, don’t be afraid to pause. This will help you deliver your speech more effectively and give your audience time to absorb your message.

With a little preparation and practice, you’ll be able to deliver a wedding speech that will be remembered for years to come.

Dealing with Nervousness

It’s completely normal to experience nervousness when giving a wedding speech. After all, you want to do your best and make a positive impact on the happy couple and their guests. Here are a few tips to help you manage your nerves and deliver a memorable speech:

  • Practice, practice, practice : The more you practice your speech, the more comfortable you’ll feel delivering it. Practice in front of a mirror, with friends or family, or even record yourself and listen back to it.
  • Focus on the positive : Instead of dwelling on your nerves, focus on the positive aspects of the experience. You have the opportunity to share your love and well-wishes with the couple, and that’s something to be proud of.
  • Breathe deeply : Deep breathing can help calm your nerves and give you the energy you need to deliver your speech. Take a few deep breaths before you begin, and continue to breathe deeply throughout your speech.
  • Visualize success : Visualize yourself delivering a successful speech. Imagine the audience laughing at your jokes, nodding in agreement with your sentiments, and giving you a standing ovation at the end.
  • Project confidence : Even if you don’t feel confident, projecting confidence through your body language can help you appear more confident to your audience. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and speak clearly and slowly.

By following these tips, you can overcome your nervousness and deliver a wedding speech that you and the happy couple will remember for years to come.

Tips for a Memorable Speech

Writing a wedding speech can be intimidating, but with the right tips and tricks, you can deliver a memorable speech that will leave a lasting impression on the newlyweds and guests. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Tell the Couple’s Story

The most memorable speeches are the ones that tell a story. Start by brainstorming some memories or anecdotes about the couple that you can weave into your speech.

Think about the moments that defined their relationship, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the things that make them unique. By sharing these details with the audience, you’ll create a speech that feels personal and heartfelt.

Keep it Short and Sweet

While it’s tempting to share every detail about the couple, it’s important to keep your speech short and sweet. Aim for a speech that’s no longer than five minutes. This will give you enough time to share your message without losing the audience’s attention.

Practice Makes Perfect

The key to delivering a great speech is practice. Start by writing down your speech and then practice delivering it in front of a mirror or with a friend. This will help you get comfortable with the material and ensure that you’re able to deliver it confidently on the big day.

Focus on Friendship and Happiness

Weddings are all about celebrating love, friendship, and happiness. Make sure your speech reflects these themes by focusing on the positive aspects of the couple’s relationship.

Share stories that highlight their love for each other, their friendship, and the happiness they bring to each other’s lives.

Use Humor Wisely

Humor can be a great way to lighten the mood and engage the audience, but use it wisely. Make sure your jokes are appropriate for the occasion and that they don’t overshadow the message of your speech. Remember, the goal is to celebrate the couple and their love, not to steal the show.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of writing a wedding speech, it’s a good idea to read some real speeches to see how it all comes together.

Look for examples of speeches online or in books. Watching or reading other people’s speeches can give you inspiration and a better understanding of how to make your speech unique and special.

You might also want to check out books or articles about public speaking and storytelling, as they can help you improve your delivery and engagement skills.

And remember, it’s always a good idea to review some tips on wedding etiquette to make sure your speech is respectful and fitting for the occasion.

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Struggling to Write a Wedding Speech? It’s All in the Details.

If you’ve been charged with saying a few words about the newlyweds, here are some tips to help ease your anxiety and inspire you to speak from the heart.

how to write the best wedding speech

By Dina Gachman

Massive parties with 10-piece bands and champagne fountains gave way to backyard microweddings and Zoom celebrations during the pandemic. But one tradition has stayed strong, and even thrived, over the last year: the wedding speech.

Love them or hate them, “a speech gives people something to talk about, and it’s an amazing bonding juice,” says Heidi Ellert-McDermott, the founder of Speechy , a British company that creates bespoke speeches for weddings around the world. “It can really kick-start a party.”

Public speaking, whether it’s in front of 10 people or 100, can be intimidating, and if you’ve ever sat through a lengthy, cliché-riddled wedding speech, you know it’s not so easy to pull off a memorable toast.

“We’re all so acutely aware that no one has any idea what tomorrow will bring,” said Marisa Polansky, a founder of the Brooklyn-based speech writing service Speech Tank with Kristine Keller. “The fact that two people want to tackle that tomorrow together feels especially noteworthy. As such, there’s more pressure on speeches to bring a weightiness or gravitas to the event, I think. But it’s an opportunity, too.”

If you’ve been charged with saying a few words about the couple, there are a few things to remember that will help you ease your anxiety and inspire you to speak from the heart.

Ask Yourself ‘Why Me?’

If you’re staring at a blank page, take a step back and think about your relationship to the couple. “Start by asking yourself why you’re giving the speech,” said Tess Barker , 38, a Los Angeles-based comedian who has a “deep résumé as a bridesmaid.” Thinking about your relationship to the couple can help you focus on memories you share, and remind you that you’re not giving a State of the Union address — you’re simply speaking to someone you care about.

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How to write a great wedding speech

A toastmaster is here to help you, well, master that toast.

how to write the best wedding speech

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The wedding toast is one of the great forms of amateur oratory. Speakers at weddings are chosen because of their relationship to the couple rather than rhetorical skill. This is why the best wedding speeches are heartfelt, humorous, and genuinely moving. It's also why they're the stage for so many public speaking fiascos. If you've never been bored or embarrassed during a wedding speech, you haven't been to many weddings.

This isn't because people are just bad speakers or speech writers. If you aren't used to public speaking or aren't familiar with wedding-toasts as a genre, it's not easy to get it right the first time out. That's why we spoke to Scott Minnes, president of the Advanced Speakers Toastmasters Club in Ottawa. Toastmasters is a club dedicated to perfecting the art of public speaking and, over the years, Minnes has helped coach a lot of people through wedding speeches. He gave us some advice on the content, form, and delivery of a great wedding speech.

Content: Celebrate the couple and let everyone in on it

The purpose of the wedding speech, said Minnes, is to help celebrate the new couple and to help them and the whole audience enjoy their day. Anything that doesn't help to achieve this should be edited out.

One of the most common errors is to try to turn the wedding speech into a stand-up comedy set. "People think they need to be funny and clever in their speech but this isn't accurate," Minnes says. He doesn't think you should avoid humour, but simply that the speech should be about the couple, not showing off the speaker's wit. He also cautioned against telling stories that simply embarrass the person they're being told about. A little gentle ribbing in the service of a greater point is okay, but if the only thing a story does is embarrass their target then it should probably be left out. In Minnes's experience, "The most powerful wedding speeches are warm, sincere, good-natured and well-thought-out." It's a celebration, not a roast.

Another common content mistake is to address the toast exclusively to the couple (or even one half of the couple), including a lot of inside references that only they will understand. Minnes advised us to "avoid the wink-wink inside jokes and comments, they are lame for most of the audience." Remember, the audience includes all of the guests. If your whole speech is about things that they can't follow, it can feel boring and alienating. Personal anecdotes are great, but make sure to make the significance of them clear to most present.

Form: Five minutes, three or four main points

"The toughest speeches to sit through are the ones that go on too long and are not well thought out," said Minnes, "especially if there are a few of them." The wedding toast may seem like an important responsibility. This is your chance to publicly express your love and support for the couple, tell everyone how great they are, and to impart some wisdom and good wishes for the future. You probably have a lifetime of shared memories, and it's normal not to want to leave anything out. But you have to. In fact, you should leave almost everything out. Because if you try to say everything that's in your heart, you'll turn your toast into a party-filibuster that obstructs the important business of eating, dancing and making merry. These people are here for a party. Don't bore them.

Minnes recommends limiting your speech to five minutes. This is enough to give a very powerful speech without losing momentum and the attention of the audience. In order to stick to this timeline, you must also avoid trying to say too much. Take the time to put together a simple logical flow of ideas that is easy to follow.

Minnes proposes the following structure: opening; three or four main points; concluding remarks and wishes. According to this structure, you're only spending about one minute on each part of the speech, so stay brief.

Preparation and delivery

Just as the most tender sentiments can be smothered by poor speechwriting, great writing can be spoiled by poor delivery. Poor delivery comes in many forms: forgetting what you were going to say, rambling entirely off track; reading from notes without looking up; mumbling through the important parts; and others. Good delivery is simple. Speak clearly and as you normally would when addressing other humans. You do it all the time in conversation. However, if you're not a very experienced public-speaker, making a prepared speech sound natural can be tricky.

The best way to ensure your speech goes well is to write it well ahead of time and then practice it out loud as though you were speaking to an actual audience. Better yet, find an actual audience and practice it in front of them to get feedback and to accustom yourself to the gaze of a public. In fact, providing practice and feedback for this kind of thing is one of the main purposes of toastmasters clubs like the one Minnes belongs to. According to him, "If you just practice by reading the speech in your head it won't help much. You need to get used to the sound of your own voice and the expressiveness and rhythm of the words." You also need to get a feel for the main points of the speech, when to pause to let something sink in, what to emphasize and what to say as an aside. This is especially important, Minnes told us, if your speech has some very emotional moments. Practicing ahead of time can help you recognize the parts that will be tough to get through and figure out how best to get through them.

On the day, Minnes warns against drinking too much ahead of the speech. Weddings are fun and public-speaking can be nerve-wracking, but try to keep a clear head and voice until your duties are discharged. Do stay hydrated though. "Otherwise," said Minnes, "your mouth will feel extra dry and you'll feel like you are tripping over your words."

If you're nervous, remember that wedding toasts are the ideal public-speaking situation for beginners. Everyone is there to celebrate and wants to have a good time. Even if you break down in tears mid-speech, they'll probably applaud you. So relax and have fun.

Clifton Mark writes about philosophy, psychology, politics, and other life-related topics. Find him @Clifton_Mark on Twitter.

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Wedding Speeches: How to Write and Deliver a Memorable Toast

how to write the best 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.

Pre-Wedding Jitters: Advice For Engaged Couples…From A Therapist

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how to write the best wedding speech

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How To Write a Wedding Speech Everyone Will Remember—In a Good Way!

how to write the best wedding speech

Picture this: Your best friend in the entire world just asked you to be the maid of honor for her wedding ! You couldn’t be more excited to help her pick out her dream dress, plan an unforgettable bachelorette party , and stand next to her on the most important day of her life. And then it hits you. Being the maid of honor means giving a wedding speech in front of potentially hundreds of people.

how to write the best wedding speech

We get it — that’s a ton of pressure. Public speaking, in general, can be incredibly nerve-racking, not to mention the added pressure of wanting to make your friend feel loved, valued, and appreciated on her big day. The best way to handle those nerves ? Preparation! Start writing your speech as early as possible, and then practice, practice, practice. 

If you need some help putting together that perfect speech, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re the maid of honor or simply a loved one asked to say a few words, read on to find out exactly how to write a wedding speech everyone will remember. Follow this framework to ensure you’ll feel confident and prepared when the moment comes.

1. Start by introducing yourself

First things first: Let the audience know who you are and how you know the couple. This can be very straightforward, so don’t worry about adding humor or extra flair to this part. There’s plenty of time for that later! Simply share your name and your role in the wedding so guests know who’s speaking.

2. Tell a story about your friend

Next, dive into a few memories you share with the bride or groom—whomever you are standing up for. Keep these stories appropriate and family-friendly. N ow is not the time to embarrass the newlyweds in front of their grandparents. Consider starting with a funny anecdote before moving into a heartwarming story. Then, try to tie them together as best as you can. These stories should have a purpose, meaning they should highlight something you love about the person you’re standing up for. 

Here’s an example: When I first moved to town in 3rd grade, I didn’t know anyone. Rachel saw me sitting alone at the lunch table one day, sat down beside me, and introduced herself. She even shared her pudding with me. To this day, that’s the kind of person Rachel is: caring, generous, and kind. I can’t wait to see how she brings these qualities to her marriage.   

You’re welcome to add in some funny one-liners where applicable. But, in my opinion, it’s best to keep things sweet and sentimental, especially for a maid-of-honor speech. Save the jokes and embarrassing stories for the best man. 

3. Share an anecdote about the other person

Even though you’re likely standing up for just one half of the couple, it’s important to show your love and appreciation for both of them. This is a great time to talk about your first time meeting the other person and how you felt about their budding relationship. Then, weave in a story highlighting something you admire about them. Explain why you think this personal attribute will be important in their future together. Again, leave the embarrassing stories out —you want to express your approval of your best friend’s new spouse, not stir up ill will. 

A great example would be a story about how the groom once bought your dinner when you were stood up on a double date you had planned together. Explain how much it meant for him to step up for you in a low moment and how you look forward to seeing him take care of your friend in the future.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jessica Bordner Photography (@jessicabordnerphoto)

4. Explain what you love about their relationship

Here is the part where you tie it all together. You’ve highlighted the qualities you love about each person, and now it’s time to share how their relationship has made a positive impact on your life or inspired you in some way. 

They’re the reason everyone has gathered together in celebration today. Does their relationship inspire you to be a better partner in your own relationship? Does their goofy energy spark joy in everyone around them? Highlight exactly why you think these two people are meant to be together. 

5. End by raising a glass

After all, a wedding speech is meant to be a toast, so don’t forget this part! One of the best ways to wrap things up is to share your hopes for the couple’s future. Depending on what you know about the couple’s personalities or future plans, this can be simple or specific. You could offer your best wishes for their plans to raise a family or travel the world together, or simply wish them love and happiness in their marriage. Invite the audience to raise a glass in celebration and say “cheers” to the newlyweds.

Other wedding speech tips to note:

Keep it short and sweet.

The perfect wedding speech is around 3-5 minutes. You don’t want to drag on for 10 minutes and lose everyone’s interest. On the flip side, don’t speed through it, or people may not remember it afterward. 

Leave embarrassing stories out

This is not the time to reminisce about drunken nights out or bring up unpleasant memories from previous relationships. While it’s OK to include some humor, it’s always best to share memories that everyone will look back on fondly. 

Make it personal to the couple

Personalize your speech as much as possible. Avoid clichés where you can, and be specific in your sentiments. The audience should come away from your speech feeling like they know you and the couple a bit deeper. 

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How to write the perfect wedding speech

Easy Weddings

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 .

Suppliers you'll love.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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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.

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples

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.

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples

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.

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples

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!”

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples

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!”

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples

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 write a wedding speech as we hit peak marriage season

There are three templates to download thanks to comedian Rob Madin

  • 09:38, 21 JUN 2024

how to write the best wedding speech

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This Sunday, June 23, is set to be one of the most popular wedding dates of the year with almost 4,000 marriages across the country in one day. Travelodge has partnered with comedian Rob Madin to write a selection of wedding speeches which can be downloaded, giving you light relief when it comes to composing the ultimate wedding speech.

The three adaptable speeches can be used as the foundation to write your own personalised words or serve as a form of inspiration. Whether you're ‘The Joker’ looking to bring the house down with wall-to-wall ‘bants’, or want to tug at the heart strings and set off the parents with ‘The Tearjerker’ - an emotional journey through the happy couple’s best moments. Or perhaps, you're more of a ‘Creative Curveball’ who likes to take a maverick approach.

Travelodge Master of Ceremonies said: “It’s that time of year again, where couples get ready to say their ‘I do’s’. Whilst wedding season should be a time of love and cheer, if you’re the one giving a speech on the big day, they can also be incredibly nerve wracking. So, as well as offering our guests king sized comfort and great value accommodation, we’re going one step further this season by helping those tasked with ‘saying a few words’ by launching our Wedding Speech Menu offering - just another reason you Better Get a Travelodge.”

Our three speeches are live on the Travelodge website www.travelodge.co.uk/blog/news/wedding-speech-menu .

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    On the roster to give a wedding speech? Public speaking experts provide tips on how to give the best toast at any wedding event. 90 years of expert advice and inspiration, for every couple.

  2. How to Write a Wedding Speech: Your Easy Step-by-Step Guide

    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!

  3. How To Write A Wedding Speech: The Ultimate Guide For Do's, Don'ts, and

    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 ... If you get nervous in front of an audience (as most of us do), the best defense against freezing ...

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    Thank Your Guests. The first step when it comes to how to write a killer bride speech: thank your favorite people! The room is filled with loved ones who put in the time, money and effort to support you on your special day, so the first words you say should be a big, heartfelt "thank you." 2. Shout-Out Your VIPs.

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    Day 1 was a bit rough, but hey, they're over it now. I would also like to thank them for having such a beautiful, intelligent, kind, and caring daughter. I hope to do you both proud and thank you both for everything you have done today and to make today happen.". The groom's wedding speech starts at the reception.

  7. What to Say in a Wedding Speech & What NOT to Say

    5.0. ( 10) See all vendors. "When drafting a wedding speech, the speaker would start it based on what their role is in the wedding," Chertoff says. For example, " the father or mother of the bride or groom may start by thanking everyone for attending, since they may be the host of the occasion." If you're giving a maid of honor speech or best ...

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    Remember, the focus of your speech is the married couple. 2. Open with a joke. Start by telling a joke or recalling a humorous anecdote to loosen up the crowd (and yourself. Humor is very disarming, so getting everyone laughing right off the bat can help dispel some of the nerves of giving a speech.

  9. How to Write a Wedding Speech (with Examples)

    Tips for a Memorable Speech. Writing a wedding speech can be intimidating, but with the right tips and tricks, you can deliver a memorable speech that will leave a lasting impression on the newlyweds and guests. Here are some tips to help you get started: Tell the Couple's Story. The most memorable speeches are the ones that tell a story.

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    Structuring Your Speech. Now for the fun part - pulling your speech together! A great wedding speech will usually include the following key elements. You can use these elements as a simple outline to build your speech around: Introduction. Words of thanks. Personal anecdotes. Praise for the relationship. Toast.

  13. Short Wedding Speeches: Tips and Examples That Will Inspire You

    Wedding speeches are a long-time tradition of weddings. And, if you have an important role at a wedding, such as best man, father of the bride or maid of honor, you would be expected to give a speech. While the thought of giving a speech might be nerve-wracking, it might comfort you to know that the best speeches are short and sweet.

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    Split each area of the speech into sections and brainstorm each part. For example, if a father of the bride wants to describe an endearing feature of his daughter, start with the feature and think of everything you can say about it and jot it down.". 2. Introduce Yourself.

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    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.

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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.

  17. How to Write the Perfect Wedding Speech

    You could offer your best wishes for their plans to raise a family or travel the world together, or simply wish them love and happiness in their marriage. Invite the audience to raise a glass in celebration and say "cheers" to the newlyweds. Other wedding speech tips to note: Keep it short and sweet. The perfect wedding speech is around 3-5 ...

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    10 tips for writing the perfect wedding speech. Image: 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.

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    Tip #2: Brainstorm Ideas for Your Speech. Next, complete the "pen to paper" exercise. Keep your pen to paper for 20-minutes while you brainstorm ideas for the speech. Write down any memory or feeling you have about the bride, groom, and upcoming wedding. This is not the time to self-critique, over-analyze, or edit.

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    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.

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

    This should include: 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) Light-hearted anecdotes.

  23. How to Write a Wedding Speech for Your Best Friend's Wedding

    Tip #2: Focus on Your Best Friend. Start your wedding speech by sharing stories about your best friend. Here are some writing prompts to help you come up with stories that could be worth including in your wedding speech. Describe a time that something didn't go as planned.

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    Travelodge Master of Ceremonies said: "It's that time of year again, where couples get ready to say their 'I do's'. Whilst wedding season should be a time of love and cheer, if you're ...