If you have been asked to be the Maid of Honor or Best Man at a wedding, it is traditionally part of your duties to give a speech at the wedding reception. This is a special opportunity to shower the happy couple with sentimental stories and well wishes, but public speaking isn’t the easiest task for everyone. Below, we have a guide to writing a wedding speech including dos, don’ts, and an easy template to follow.
One of the most common mistakes that is made when writing a wedding speech is procrastinating. You don’t want to be that Best Man who is scribbling down a couple of words mere moments before the wedding. You’ve been given the honor of sharing your personal stories about the newlyweds at one of the most important days of their lives so make the most of it!
Start thinking about how you’re going to give your wedding speech at least a few months prior so you feel prepared and have time to practice — yes, even in front of a mirror. If you can memorize your speech, that’s great! Otherwise, stick to note cards or notes on your phone.
Writing the Speech
Here is a step-by-step on everything to include in your speech and in what order:
- Introduce yourself and state you know the couple
- Thank everyone for attending
- This is a good time to thank the parents of the couple for hosting as well
- Choose 2-3 (appropriate) stories
- This could be about a memorable trip you took together, a sweet story from childhood, or a funny story from college
- Add in a joke
- Including a light-hearted joke about the bride or groom is sure to get the crowd laughing
- If this does not come natural to you — skip it! Simple and sentimental will go a long way.
- Talk about when they began dating, stories that you have of them knowing the other was “the one”
- Words of advice and well wishes for the future
- Toast to the newlyweds
Keep It Concise
When writing a wedding speech, it’s important to consider the length. It’s easy to go on and on about your best friend and all the fun stories you have, but you will lose guest attention quickly if you do so. Our suggestion is to try to keep your speech to around 3-5 minutes. We speak at about 100 words per minute in a speech, so 300-500 words is just right. You can still gush about the bride or groom, just keep it short!
Save the Bubbly Until After
We have all been to a wedding where someone has had a few too many and ends up slurring through and rambling through their speech. Try to keep drinks to a minimum to avoid embarrassing the couple and yourself. Then celebrate with a glass of champagne after!
Make It About the Couple
As you begin writing a wedding speech, you may find yourself writing about your experiences and how their marriage makes you feel. It’s okay to toss this in every once in a while, but remember that the speech should surround the couple, their love, and wishing them a happy future. Notice when your speech includes the words “I” and “me” and see how you can reword these spots to focus on the newlyweds. This includes avoiding talking about past boyfriends and girlfriends.
Wedding Guys Wisdom: You and the bride or groom likely have some inside jokes, but this isn’t the best time to talk about them. It can be confusing for guests and lead to crickets from the crowd so stick to stories that are easy to understand!
Speak from the Heart
Asking to speak at a wedding is an exciting and somewhat scary task. Just remember at the end of the day to speak from the heart and directly to the happy couple. Stick to these guidelines and you’re sure to give a sweet and memorable toast.