Wedding speeches are crazy. As lovely as they are, this is one of the more nerve racking parts of the day for those involved; the father of the bride, groom and the best man. Some people choose to give speeches before the wedding breakfast, allowing the groom et al to enjoy their celebratory meal. Tradition has it that the toasts should be made after dinner, leaving those responsible for addressing the room looking quite pale during what should otherwise be a delightful meal. So, if you’re the groom what should you do to make sure that the speech goes well? We’ve all heard the tip about imagining the audience naked, well forget about it, all that’s going to do is make you feel awkward talking to your in-laws post speech. Simply remember that you’ve got a warm crowd, they’re your friends and family so they shouldn’t be too critical.
Write the speech far enough in advance that you will have time to practice. This is important because if you know what you’re going to say, you can recite from memory or use cue cards to jog your memory, if needed. Nothing looks cooler than a groom that can recite his speech without referring to a visual aid. Nothing will make you more nervous than having your head pointing down at a scrappy piece of A4 paper, desperately trying to decipher your own handwriting. There are heaps of wedding etiquette books that will have you thanking absolutely everyone, including people such as the vicar, who probably isn’t even at the wedding breakfast. That’s a bit much really – remember your guests will have to sit through this waiting for you to get to the good bit, when you talk about your bride. On this subject of unnecessary parle, a modern tradition is to thank ‘the lads’ for the stag weekend. Don’t. You got drunk big deal nobody else cares, especially those that weren’t invited. Smash through the formalities, talk honestly about your new wife then hand over to the best man for him to roast you.
If you need a checklist, work through the points below and you’ll be fine.
- Following on from the father of the bride’s warm-up speech welcoming you into the family, thank him for his kind words.
- Extend your thanks to the rest of the bride’s family. Namely the mother of the bride, especially as she probably did more to help organising than you did.
- Don’t forget to thank your own parents for turning you into a person capable of marriage.
- It’s customary to remark how beautiful the bridesmaids look and to thank them for their help and hard work. This is usually followed by a roll call of anybody else that helped with the wedding planning.
- Then the main attraction. Don’t forget to wax lyrical about your beautiful bride, explaining the story of how you met, fell in love and came to realise that she was the one.
- Finally say thanks to your best man, before handing him the mic and praying that he goes easy on you in his speech.
It’s customary to present gifts during the speeches although it has become more popular to give out gifts during the morning as the bride and groom get ready with their separate entourages. This adds to the personal element of gift giving, creating some great shots for the bridal prep. And it’s less for you to remember.