As I once heard from my father, the Groom’s speech should be like a girl’s skirt – long enough and decent, but short enough to get your attention.
Making a speech at your own wedding is perhaps one of the most daunting moments! After your Best Man has introduced you by annihilating you with jokes and Father of the Bride has got everyone emotional about his little girl growing up, you’re now the last to go. As the man of the hour, it’s the most important speech of the day.
Your wedding day reflects you and your bride, so make sure that shines through in the speech. Make it personal to you both, and make sure you tell a story! You deserve more than just ‘a boring speech’, so have a clear beginning, middle and end and you’ll hook all your guests from the start! That way you don’t have a speech full of random thoughts and private jokes.
9 out of 10 times, a groom makes his speech on behalf of himself and his new wife. So, it is extremely important to get this right – no pressure! Public speaking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but with our tips below on what to say, the dos and the don’ts, it will be a walk in the park!
TIP 1: INTRODUCTION ETIQUETTE
The Groom’s speech is always the last, so make sure you begin by thanking those who spoke before you! This also provides you with an opportunity to thank those who have travelled far and wide to attend the big day – the people make the party!
Whilst thanking people, make sure you thank your new wife, her family and your family. These are the people who have been planning the big day with you, providing you with unconditional support and invaluable advice. Mentioning specific names, where you can, always make your speech WAY more personal.
TIP 2: KISS – KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
On average, we would say keep your speech no longer than 8 minutes. Humour, emotion and gratitude are key to ensure your speech is all rounded and 8 minutes gives you enough time to tick all those boxes.
Remember, your guests have sat through a couple or more speeches already and they want to get on the dancefloor. Keep this in mind when you brainstorm ideas to figure out what jokes and stories will make the cut, and which ones your guests can live without.
TIP 3: ‘WE’ NOT ‘I’
As you’re making this speech on behalf of you and your new wife, it’s important to make sure you use ‘we’. In addition to this, remember this speech is about both of you, your wedding day and the new life you’re about to start.
Make sure your speech hits the core of your relationship. Use these moments to tell your nearest and dearest of your relationship milestones. They want to know how you met, how you proposed and what made you realise she is the one! Bring the emotion and tell your story like it’s a movie.
- Don’t go on about your stag and how much of a lad you are. Also, don’t go on about your own life achievements and make the speech all about you.
- Avoid any awkward or embarrassing stories about your Bride – let her have this one day as a Princess.
PUT THE ‘WE’ IN ‘WEDDING’.
TIP 4: EVERYONE NEEDS A GOOD LAUGH
Okay, so as man of the hour, you want to include a little bit of humour to keep everyone’s attention. This is the best day of your life (so far), you’re not making a eulogy. So, throughout the speech, add some light hearted comments and jokes.
- Add some puns
- Funny story
- Gentle humour
- Witty comments
- Don’t start telling inside jokes that only your best men or close friends will understand
- Avoid ‘lad’ humour or teasing a random friend that not everyone in the room knows
- Don’t take the mickey out of the bride
- Although you may have something incredibly funny or interesting to say about your new bride, it may be best to check with her sister or best friend if it is appropriate to ensure you aren’t going to embarrass or humiliate her in the process.
- Keep the humour as natural as it is to you. Don’t overdo it or feel like you need to treat this as a stand-up comedy performance!
TIP 5: MUM & DAD
You would have thanked them briefly at the beginning of your speech, but this is an opportunity to extend your gratitude to them for everything they have always done. They have played a vital part in planning this wedding and in your life and some sincere words go a long way.
Thank your new family too, for welcoming you as their new son. It is also a good idea to remind your in-laws that you plan to do everything you can to take care of their little girl! They’ve given their blessing and her hand in marriage, but it is nice for them to hear that reassurance.
TIP 6: SINCERITY
You don’t want to be a soppy groom, but being a little cute and sentimental will gain you some brownie points. The aim is to get your guests to feel that emotion, get a lump in their throat and maybe even shed a tear,
I understand that public speaking or even expressing your feelings out loud is something that may not necessarily come naturally to you, but try your best to speak from your heart.
Along with the points in Tip 3, don’t forget to tell your bride how you feel about her and remind her that you love her. I won’t go into this part too much. Take a step back and just think about the reasons you love her and what makes her special to you.
Depending on your circumstances and families, it is nice to touch on those who could not be there. Give this section some real thought!
TIP 7: THE WEDDING PARTY
As you near the end of your speech, revert back to the thank yous.
This is the point where you may wish to give some gifts. For example, flowers to your mothers and a special thank you to your wedding planners. It is also nice to give a special mention and maybe even give something to the bridesmaids, maid of honour, best men and siblings! They have enjoyed the fun part of the planning with you, but nevertheless have had to hear about your wedding endlessly since you got engaged. Their support, advice and assistance throughout the whole process has helped make it run so smoothly.
TIP 8: THE END
After your good 8 minutes full of jokes, stories, sentiments towards your families, it is time to raise a toast to your new beautiful bride, of course. Thank your guests one final time for being there, and use this opportunity to get your guests ready for an incredible night ahead!
TIP 9: DELIVERY IS EVERYTHING
Now, you don’t need to prepare for your speech or start writing it from the moment you get engaged, but definitely start giving it some thought. Mind map ideas, speak to close family members if you need advice. Delivery is everything, and a solid delivery comes with confidence. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people can stand up and completely fluke it whilst say all the right things, but some people need more preparation than others.
Once you have written your speech, make sure you rehearse it in front of someone. That may be your best man, or your father – but make sure it is someone who you know will give you an honest opinion.
TIP 10: THE BACKUP PLAN
If all else fails, just break into song…
Lots of love, Saheli x