How to Give a Wedding Speech

Feb 23 2012

Raise your hand if you have a bit of anxiety at the thought of public speaking … Just what I thought–that would be most of us! Have you been asked to give a wedding speech or wedding toast? If you have, you are most likely a Father of the Bride, Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honor … Have no fear! Remember the words of Arthur Ashe–the famous tennis player “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Below are helpful tips on how to give a great wedding speech.

{Emmanuell & Susan’s Private Yacht Wedding}

yacht wedding

To the Bride and Groom–be sure to first ask those key members of your family and wedding party if they want to offer a toast or give a speech at the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Give them time to prepare for it. To the Wedding Party–be prepared to give a short toast–just in case you’re asked at the last minute.

Tips to Giving a Great Wedding Speech

What does a wedding speech consist of?

1. Introduction
2. A funny, or lighthearted story
3. Well wishes for the couple
4. Ends in a toast
5. 2-5 minutes in length

What should the tone be like?

1. Celebratory and positive
2. Anecdotal
3. Congratulatory
4. Sincere
5. Focused on the couple. Honoring them.
6. Along the same formality of the wedding

What to say in a wedding speech:

1. Keep it positive. Keep it short. Keep it simple. If the speech or toast goes on and on, there are increased chances of losing the attention of the audience and saying something that shouldn’t be said: something really dumb.

2. Introduce yourself and how you know the couple. Chances are, not everyone knows you and your history with the bride and/or groom.

3. Make it personal. Based on your relationship with the couple, tell your version of a sweet, funny or touching “short” story that is relevant to the bride and groom and their love for each other. Let your personality shine through … so if you’ve got a great sense of humor–make it funny. If you’re a super-sensitive soul–make it touching. Be yourself!

4. Congratulate the couple. Wish them well. Raise your glass! Be sincere!!

Is Preparation Key?

Yes! Even if the speech is only 2 minutes long, spend plenty of time deciding on which story to tell. Prepare an outline. Practice in front of the mirror. Practice in front of a good friend. Carefully choose the right words–ensuring that they’re not offensive or negative. Practice. Practice. Practice.

What advice do you have?


Add Your Comment.

One thought on “How to Give a Wedding Speech

  1. Good advice! I like how you mentioned the tone should be “along the same formality of the wedding”. So true!

    I once witnessed a “bachelor roast” at a more formal/conservative wedding. Was it funny? Yes. But was it appropriate for the audience — esp. the parents/grandparents? No!

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