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How to write a groom's speech

Posted: Tuesday July 08, 2014

Wedding speeches can seem a daunting task for any groom.  You have to captivate your wedding guests for a short amount of time, but it can seem like forever and many grooms put a lot of pressure on themselves to produce the greatest wedding speech of all time.  In truth, a groom’s speech is probably the easiest of all the wedding speeches as there is a fairly simple structure that most grooms follow and if you stick to that and you can’t go too wrong.

Your speech will follow the father-of-the-bride’s speech, so start off by thanking him for his speech, for his permission to marry his daughter – or son - and for the help he and his family have given you in the lead up to the wedding.  

You should then thank the bride’s wider family for all they have done in the lead up to the wedding and for welcoming you into their family.  Unfortunately, not everyone gets on with their new in-laws, but you should try to find one or two positive things to say, even if it’s to congratulate them on their beautiful daughter.  Find some praise for your new mother-in-law!

Your focus should then move on to your own family.  Again, thank them for their help and, if you have one, now is the time to add a nice or funny anecdote about your childhood.

If your new wife has chosen bridesmaids, move on to thank them for supporting your wife on the big day.  If you know of any friendly gossip from the Hen Do, mention this now.  You are talking on behalf of your new wife as well now so say “we” rather than “I”.  Many couples give a toast to the bridesmaids at this point.  Follow this up by doing the same for your Best Man.

Round the thankyous up by naming anyone else who has helped with your big day.  If you have gifts for anyone, now is the time to hand them out.

You should then focus on your bride.  Obviously tell her how wonderful she looks.  Talk about when you first met or the way she makes you feel.  Add some humour if appropriate, but try not to make a joke art your wife’s expense, unless she is expecting it.  Perhaps talk about some of your favourite memories of you as a couple or your plans for the future.

Once you have finished making everyone in the room cry, hand over to your best man.  Introduce him to your guests as some may not know his name or his relationship to you.

Groom’s speeches do’s and don’t

- No Googling! - A great speech is one from the heart that only you could have written.  Although many pre-written speeches exist on the internet, it will be obvious that your speech has been written by someone else.
- Less is more – We’ve all been to weddings where one of the speeches drags on.  While your guests do want to hear your speech, they don’t want to listen to your talk for hours.  Keep it down to five minutes or less. 
- Rehearse and get feedback – Ask your best man, dad or other close friend to listen to your speech and give honest feedback and take it on board.  
- Don’t worry about memorising – No one expects you to remember a speech word for word.  Right yourself some notes to keep you on track.
- Think positive – the majority of your guests want your speech to go well.  They are on your side.  If you slip up, don’t worry.  If you need a sip of water, don’t worry.  No one will mind as long as your speech is sincere, honest and personal to you.

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