How to Write a Wedding Speech

Spring has quickly taken over and this means that we can already see excited brides dreaming of wedding designs and finishing their sitting arrangements for their wedding. Everyone is quite busy and in a hurry to make all of the necessary preparations for their wedding day. For the groom, the best man, the father of the bride and the chief bridesmaid, one of their biggest problems is knowing how to write a wedding speech and this is what could keep them awake at night.

If you are in a similar situation, and you are supposed to give a wedding speech, but think you are not funny, consider your current speech boring, or are quite nervous, then you have come to the right place to seek answers. In the following text you will learn how to create a brand new wedding speech everyone will like, and be touched by. No matter if you are the groom himself, the father of the bride, the best man or the chief bridesmaid, this advice will help you get through the speech in the best possible way.

As wedding photographers with a lot of experience, we know that in the end it’s the pressure that gets most people when they are thinking about their wedding speeches, writing them and sharing them with everyone at the wedding.

We’ve heard a lot of wedding speeches over the years, both good ones and bad ones, and we know what the difference between those two is. As a speaker, your goal is to create a witty and clever speech that does not offend anyone, conveys sincerity and love without making any of the wedding guests cringe.

To us, it’s incredible how often people make the same mistakes over and over again, such as the best men telling vulgar and embarrassing stories about the groom.

Each and every wedding speaker has different obstacles that he or she must overcome, luckily there are some key rules that can help you successfully deliver your story without embarrassing yourself or the couple.

Best man wedding speech

Like it or not, at some point of your life you are probably going to be the best man for one of your mates. This is an amazing honour indeed, and this is why most people are excited about being the best man for their best friend. As a best man, one of your bigger duties is to say a “couple” of kind words about your brother/friend and his spouse.

If you had been to as many weddings as we have, you would know how often best man speeches turn into an awkward, drunken mess. This mix of booze, emotion and lack of preparation leads to random rambling, telling embarrassing and inappropriate stories that can only make the groom feel bad at his own wedding, as hundreds of friends and family members will probably just sit there, judging him silently. If you don’t want to embarrass your friend/brother, and want to really be the best man, here is what you need to do:

Be prepared

A best man must always be prepared. He is the groom’s safety net, and someone who can be relied on to get the job done, which also applies to the wedding speech. You simply cannot go to the wedding without preparing your speech at least a little bit. Take some time to brainstorm and when you create lines that seem like you could use them, write them down. You can include some thoughts of yours that concern the bride and the groom, jokes, stories, or some quotes you like and that are suitable for the occasion.

Be sober

Of course, you will look to enjoy the night and a bit of alcohol can also help you get rid of any nerves. However, don’t overdo it and go all sloppy drunk for your speech. If you go too far you risk forgetting the speech, or saying something you will regret later.

How to start the Best Man Speech

The opening lines of your speech should express gratitude. Thank everyone who made this amazing day possible. It is good to single out the parents of the newlyweds by their name, and make a toast to them for raising two amazing people and making this wedding possible. Thank all of the guests that came to the wedding.

Make a connection

The best possible way you can structure your speech is to look for a story that connects your friend and the support you offered to the couple at some point. Tell a story about how the groom complained to you about how he would never find the woman he was looking for and then, suddenly, his new wife appeared in his life. Find some interesting details that only you know about the groom and how he felt, the things he talked about, and how he acted towards his new wife when their relationship was still young.

Don’t tell inside jokes

Inside jokes are for the people who know them alone. Not everyone at the wedding will know the inside jokes you have with your friend, and this is why you should leave them out for latter, when you two are alone. If you’re struggling to find a funny story that you can use then check out this site for some great one liners.

Don’t talk for too long

There is nothing more irritating than some drunk person rambling nonsense and going on and on. Before your turn to give a speech, chances are that people listened to the bride’s father and the groom. By the time your turn comes, people will have already become anxious to eat their cake. You should try to keep your speech brief. It’s better to be remembered for a witty heartfelt 5 minute speech than a dragged out overcooked 15!

End your speech with a quote

Avoid complicating the whole thing. One of the best and easiest ways to end your speech is with a quote that wraps your whole story nicely. Find a suitable wedding speech quote that touches everyone at the wedding. Once you’ve done this, propose a toast by raising your glass and saying something like “To a lifetime of happiness for ____ and ____! “ You can find some of our favourite quotes here.

Groom wedding speech

A lot of people like to say that the groom’s speech is the easiest one to make at a wedding. All a groom’s speech has to do really is to express gratitude to all the people that helped make the wedding possible and tell all of the guests how much he loves his new wife. However, not all of the guests present are there because of the wedding, they are there for the newlyweds and this is why there is so much pressure on the groom’s speech.

People are far more interested in what the groom has to say than the rest of the speakers at the wedding. This is why we have designed a structure of the speech you can use, or adapt to your liking so that you can deliver an affective speech at your wedding:

You don’t have to leave all the witty comments to the best man you can throw a few in yourself.

The first thing you MUST do is thank your in-laws for their help with organizing the wedding, for raising a beautiful daughter and for father-in-law’s kind words in his speech.

Thank all the wider family of your bride for welcoming you into their lives. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get along quite well, you should try to explain to them how much your new wife means to you and how grateful you are to them for raising her to become who she is today. This should be a long part of the speech, but try and include all the important people in it.

You should also turn to your family members and express your gratitude to them as well. Be thankful to them for bringing you up and try including a funny anecdote about some amusing event that took place when you were a child. You should individually mention your wife’s mother and your mother, and explain to them how amazing they are for giving life to both of you. Don’t go down that cheesy sentimental road, but if you get this bit right every mother in the room will be emotional! If you have gifts or flowers for them this is the moment to offer them.

After you’ve moved on to the bridesmaids, thank them for all the work they’ve done without forgetting to mention how lovely they look. Always remember that you are giving the speech in the name of your wife as well, so feel free to use “We”. If you have prepared some presents, this is the right moment to give them to the bridesmaids. You can also propose a toast.

Do this for your best man as well and give him the presents you’ve prepared.

Finish the whole thanking part by naming all the people who helped with the planning and organization of the wedding. People will feel appreciated for being recognized.

Now comes the hard part. The moment when you have to speak honestly from your heart about the love you have for your new wife. You can start of by telling the story of your first meeting, or some other story from your relationship that shows how strong your bond is. Make sure to give a lot of thought to what you put into this part of the speech. Make sure to make eye contact with your new wife whilst telling her and the group how you feel. Keep it together here – we’ve seen many a groom go to pieces at this point!

Leave the rest to your best man and you can wrap it up with a joke about him.

Father of the Bride Speech

Your speech is the most important one because you are speaking for both yourself and your new wife, and this is who people want to hear – those that are getting married. But still, don’t bore the people to death with long and confusing stories.

When it comes to writing a speech for your daughter you are the person that can do it best. Why? Simply because you have the most emotions concerning your daughter and when you look at her you will instantly feel the emotions you have for her and transfer them to paper. If you don’t know where to start the easiest and best way to go is to start working on your speech while watching your daughter do some regular, everyday activity, such as preparing food, playing with children or working; just look at her.

Try to remember what you were thinking while you were watching her do her activities. Is the feeling of happiness or pride present? Of course it is, once you do this and your deepest emotions surface, memories will come flooding back of moments that are embedded deep inside you. No matter what feelings and emotions take over, make sure that you write them all down and save them for your speech. The reason why you should write your feelings in short lines like this is because people often face the same problem when trying to write their speech – their mind simply goes blank. But, with a couple of these notes you will have memorized the emotions and that are most important, and have a good example of when and how you experience them.

When you are writing your speech there are a couple of things that are always good to include. Generally, stories to which people react very well are childhood stories from the father’s perspective. Make this story fairly short and keep in mind that this is a special day for your daughter, and that you should look back on joyful memories, not those embarrassing ones, but you can add a joke here and there.

If you can’t remember any stories, you can say what she was like as a baby, at school or as a teenager. As a father, you should be the one that mentions these things because the groom’s parents can relate to you and learn more about your daughter, as they might not know her as well as their son does.

You may wish to tell everyone about how much she changed after she met her new husband and what she was like back then, before she found her husband. After that, you can segway into a story about what she’s like now that she has found the man of her life. All of these stories are good for showing people why they are such a good couple and how they complement each other.

The third, and the most important point you should cover is how your daughter affects you and what feelings you have about her. You can start off by telling all the guests how she made you feel when she was little, how her ups and downs affected you and then progress to the present, explaining how this grown up makes you feel now, when you are giving her away to her husband.

Basically this is everything you should cover in your father of the bride speech. Your whole speech should be from around 700 to 1,000 words in total. This is just a general guide but if you go to far beyond this, your stories must be very engaging so as not to lose the crowd. The important thing to remember is to make it fairly brief, after all the groom is the one getting married and that’s why his speech is the most important one.

Chief bridesmaid wedding speech

Even though it’s not a tradition that chief bridesmaids make speeches at weddings, it is becoming more and more popular, as weddings are a lot more flexible, original and non-traditional. More commonly, chief bridesmaids are asked to make a speech at the bridal shower, but this is quickly changing. The first thing you need to remember is not to gloat, no matter how happy you are about being chosen for this important role. This can make others feel as if they aren’t included in the whole thing, especially if someone has a long relationship with the bride and has traveled a long way to be there for her on her special day.

Preparing your chief bridesmaid speech

If you were chosen to be the chief bridesmaid by the bride and given the freedom to hold a speech at the wedding, then you will have to dig deep into your friendship to find the right words and beautiful moments the two of you shared and tell them to all the guests. On the other hand, if you are asked to make a speech instead of somebody else, let’s say the father of the bride, then you will have to follow the advice above.
Just keep in mind that, although your speech is important, it’s the least important one to the majority of people gathered and you will have to make it brief, since the guests can get quite anxious from listening to 4 long speeches in a row. Here are the three essential parts a chief bridesmaid’s speech should have:

The introduction part

You should start off by saying something about your relationship with the newly married wife:
Make sure to express just how grateful you are to be the chief bridesmaid and how much it means to you.
Say that you are amazed at how fabulous the bride looks and that it’s truly her day.
For example: “I am very pleased and so proud to have the honor of speaking as a chief bridesmaid at Marsha and John’s wedding. Marsha and I have been friends for over 15 years. Since we first met in college, we were inseparable and learned a lot together, both as students and as people. I must say that you have never looked happier. This is your special day and you should enjoy it to the fullest, I wish you all the happiness for your future together.”

Say thanks to the best man and the ushers

Besides the fact that there is no official protocol, it is generally a good idea to thank the best men and ushers for their contribution to the wedding.

Make a toast to all the ushers and the best man

Express your gratitude to the parents for raising these two people and making the wedding possible
Say thanks to all the ushers for all the work they did and let them know that they are an important part of the wedding, and that without them the wedding could not run smoothly. Complement the best man on doing a great job of keeping the groom in shape and helping him get through all of this. Lastly, say thanks to the parents, their help for organizing the wedding and raising two amazing people that found each other and are the cause of this great gathering.

Final toast to the groom and bride

Round up your quick speech by making a toast to the bright future that awaits the newlyweds. Try not to be too sentimental, as there are many other people who will, or have made speeches that had their share of sentimentality and you will probably have to make sure it’s not overdone:
Give a big thanks to everyone present.
Explain how excited you are to have your traditional dance with the best man (if this is planned).

Make a toast to the newlyweds.

For example: “I will keep it short by saying thank you all for coming, I hope you all enjoy this magical day for Marsha and John. I will certainly enjoy my dance with David; David I hope you took some dancing lessons. But seriously, let’s all take a second to make a toast for these two special people, may you live a long and happy life together. Cheers!”
No matter what your role at the wedding is, make sure that your speech comes from the heart and that you share your real feelings with everyone. Remember to keep it short and don’t let your speech last longer than 10 minutes. Do something relaxing before the speech to ease the tension (if you can) and look at the crowd when talking to them, so that your words have true meaning.

Best of luck; I hope this helps you deliver a memorable wedding speech everyone will enjoy and remember.