Wedding days are stressful enough without having to worry about the whole speech thing. Most people have at least a little stage fright when it comes to public speaking. Even when surrounded by friends and family, the room can be a little intimidating. However, most weddings require at least one speech to welcome guests and express your appreciation for the support from your loved ones. Here, we offer tips on how to write your wedding speech so you can deliver it with confidence and make your wedding day memorable.
Acknowledge Your Partner
A big faux pas many couples make is to gush on about their BFF, parents, cousins who they haven’t seen in years, or even their first grade teacher, without a single word about their new life partner. Make sure you share some heartfelt words to express the joy you feel on this day thanks to the person who brought everyone together.
Include a Toast
A good way to round up a wedding speech is to seal it with a clinking of glasses and a toast. If you are presenting a speech as a couple, you toast your guests. If you are delivering your speech solo, you toast your partner. You can also go all out and propose a few toasts, ending with your partner if going solo. Your bridesmaids, best man, wedding party, inlaws, etc. can all get a heartfelt shoutout and glasses raised in their honour.
Include an Introduction, Middle, and End
Like any written or spoken words, it is always best to keep focused and have a beginning, middle, and end. Your introduction should focus on welcoming everyone to your reception and commenting on the day. The middle should express appreciation to the people most important to you, whether it is parents, best friends, someone that introduced the two of you, people who travelled far to attend, etc. Some safe areas to cover include:
- Thanking your in-laws for welcoming you into the family.
- Thanking your own family for their love and support, and including maybe a personal story related to your childhood.
- Complementing the bridesmaids/groomsmen with a story about your best man/maid of honour.
- Special shoutouts to people who have always been there for you.
- A few words about your future together.
As mentioned above, you can include your partner and then end with a toast.
How to Make Your Speech More Heartfelt
Instead of simply listing people and thanking everyone for being there, consider sharing a story or two relevant to the day or the people who mean the most to you. You might speak about another couple who inspired your love, how you met your partner, tell a funny story about your childhood, joke about planning the wedding, or sing the praises of your partner.
Wedding Etiquette Basics
In the world of extreme political correctness, you need to make sure you stick to some common wedding etiquette basics including:
- Discuss tone with your partner to make sure you both avoid an approach, tone, or topic that could be offensive and ruin your day.
- Make sure you don’t ramble on, sticking to an agreed-upon time of about 3–5 minutes, and never exceeding 10.
- Avoid anything that will embarrass your partner, even if said with pure affection and good humour.
- Don’t mention things like thanking your parents for paying for the wedding; in fact, don’t mention money at all.
- Practice your speech in front of people you trust so you feel more comfortable with the words, but also get feedback on potential sore spots you should maybe leave out.
- Speak from the heart, and don’t worry about fumbling the words—you’re in a room with people who love and respect you, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed.
- Be mindful of etiquette for other cultures, especially if you are marrying someone with a different background, religion, or nationality.
- Keep things clean, and avoid swearing, or smutty comments about the wedding night.
- If presenting a speech with your partner, don’t interrupt them or make side comments that will throw them off-track or, worse, embarrass them.
Although public speaking isn’t for everyone, with some carefully chosen words, practice, and a swig of champagne, you should be able to pull your speech off flawlessly.
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