Wedding Planning

How to Write a Wedding Speech // 13 Useful Tips

by:   on: 10th January 2015

Best Man speech / funny / Top Table / Surprised / Laughing

Image credit: Paul White Weddings

How to give the perfect wedding speech is probably one of the biggest worries for many men – whether they are being allocated best-man’s duties or they are father of the bride/groom or even the groom himself!

Not forgetting that these days we get many brides and mums wanting to say a few words too. I did at my own wedding, and you know what – I fluffed it! Seriously, I did. And that is because I didn’t follow my own advice from below. It wasn’t horrendous, but I didn’t prepare, practice and blabbed a lot stuff. I literally repeated everything that my husband had said a few short moments ago… Awkward! 

Avoid making the same mistakes and read on about writing that perfect wedding speech. This is aimed mostly at the best-man speech writing advice, but I am sure that dads and anyone else wanting to say a few words at a wedding could benefit from it too.

1. Plan it well in advance

Do not even consider writing the speech the night before the wedding or even leave it to an hour before you due to speak! Even if you are great at public speaking, chances are your nerves & emotions will get the better of you and you forget all you want to say and will end up blabbing…. More about blabbing in a tip #3…

2. Get Creative

Decide if you want a traditional speech or if you would prefer something a bit more unusual and wacky. You know the couple well so if you think they will ‘get it’ – go for it. Sing, do a slideshow, write a poem or else. Everyone will appreciate your creativity and efforts! 

3. Structure it & don’t blab

Structure your speech – don’t go on rambling on for ages – people will get bored and distracted. It is better to keep it short, sweet and to the point. 5 minutes should be sufficient time for you wedding speech.

Be sure to state the obvious – reiterate how the day is about the couple and pick some personal points to why they are so perfect to one another. Stay away from the common clichs, instead, find out how the couple compliment each other in different ways and what makes THEIR relationship so unique. 

4. Say your Thank YOU’s

It is always nice for people to be appreciated for their effort and involvement in a wedding. Compliment and thank the wedding party, the guests and the parents. It is always nice to thank Bride & Groom too for putting on a lovely wedding too. I also think it is a lovely idea to mention loved ones that are no longer with us ( best to check with the couple before the wedding tough so not to upset them) or special people who were not able to make it to the wedding. 

5. Know your Audience

When writing your speech, consider the audience – will there be any children and elderly people in the room? Ensure that your speech is appropriate for everyone in the room – there is nothing worse than an offensive or out of place comment followed by the silence in the room (tumbleweed moment…) instead of the rupturing applause and laughter. Instead, keep the naughty details of the stag do and wild nights partying to a minimum and no swearing please!

6. Don’t Google it!

I mean, you can use Google for inspiration and ideas (probably this is how you found this post in the first place!), but please, don’t just copy and paste someone else’s speech – personalize it. Do put some thought in what you have to say – you have been trusted a very important role on someone’s wedding day, so it is only fitting that you put some effort in to make it as personal and as touching as possible. 

7. Practice, Practice, Practice! 

Don’t try and wing it – it rarely every works. While it may seem like a great idea to say whatever pops to your head in a spur of the moment, in reality you will end up trailing off and jumping from one point to another, and may even say something REALLY inappropriate. It could happen to the best of us! To avoid this – PRACTICE. Type up your speech, edit it print it, and read it out loud to yourself or a good friend as often as you can. It will help you to get more comfortable with speaking out loud and remember the flow of the speech. Don’t try to memorise it all though – instead, remember to make some cue cards to get you started and help you stay on track if the nerves will get the best of you. 

8. Ask for feedback 

Ask your partner or a good friend who’s opinion you trust for a feedback. Read the speech out loud in front of them and check their reaction. If you get no response – ask what could have been said differently and what should be avoided. Edit the speech and try again. 

9. Don’t over think it

Okay, I know I said to ask for feedback, but don’t concentrate TOO MUCH on it. It is so easily done so don’t be conscious of or try to please everyone. My advice – stay true to yourself and your style and instead of trying to make it perfect and too polished. Do use feedback to tidy it up, but don’t feel you need to change the whole thing! Breathe. You have written it with the couple at heart. It cant get much better than that! 

10. Save those few pints for after the speech 

Think again before you have that shot tequila or another pint before your speech. While you may be tempted to calm the nerves – stay away from alcohol. Especially if the speeches are before the official meal. Drinking on an empty stomach, the excitement and the pressure is not the best combination. No one wants to hear slurring best-man blabbing about that night out 3 years ago (it normally seems like a good idea to add few extra bits after a few pints, but you will regret it when watching it back on the wedding video!!) 

11. Always check people can hear you

Pretty self explanatory really – make sure everyone is ready and they can hear you well before you start. Guests who cant hear you will get bored and could end up whispering which can get a little frustrating and distracting.

12. Toast The Couple

It is customary to toast the newlyweds at the end of your speech and lets admit – you will too be looking forward to that drink. Before you start your speech make sure everyone’s drinks are toped up and toast-ready. Be sure to make a nice toast wishing couple a happy future and then – BOTTOMS UP! 

13. And …. Relax 

I think this is the most important thing when giving a speech at the best friends wedding – relax and enjoy it! Use this opportunity to share some great stories about the couple and wish them all the best in their married life together. It may be only chance to get send you sincere best wishes before the party ( we know that men don’t like all emotional fluff!!) so just take a few deep breaths, relax and enjoy! 

I hope you found these tips helpful and if you have any suggestions or advice of your own – please comment bellow and let us know your thoughts.

In the mean time – good luck with writing your wedding speech I am sure it will be a cracker!  


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about the author

Dalia Courridge

Founder and managing director of Norfolk Brides. Social Media and Marketing consultant by day. Obsessed with all things creative and beautiful - form eclectic weddings, to stunning interiors and abstract art. Addicted to working out and weightlifting. Cannot start the day without a strong coffee.

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