Giving a speech in front of a crowd of people can be a daunting experience. You can almost guarantee the speeches will be the groom’s least favourite part of the wedding journey.
Traditionally in a heterosexual wedding it is the best man’s job to get the room in fits of laughter, while the father of the bride’s job is to welcome the groom into the family and tell the world how amazing his daughter is. You need to do both as well as thanking everyone and share your own love story. So no pressure then!
Preparation is the key
Give yourself plenty of time to write and practise your speech. Don’t leave it until the last minute. With so many other things to sort out the few months before the wedding, it’s tempting to put the speech to one side. Giving yourself 6-8 weeks before the wedding will give you plenty of time to prepare, create a good structure, practice and refine your masterpiece!
Get a joke in to warm the crowd
Every Groom’s speech should start with a joke or two. It will put everyone at ease and lighten the mood. A funny anecdote from when you first met your beautiful bride or her family would work perfectly. Your jokes should be nice and affectionate, so go easy on any embarrassing details!
One of the two main jobs of the groom’s speech is to thank everyone, so do this after your warm up jokes. You have just followed the father of the groom so he comes first, then the list includes:
- Everyone for coming (maybe special mentions to guests who have travelled a long way).
- Brides parents
- Your parents
- Best man and ushers
- The bridesmaids
Don’t forget to give both sets of parents an equal billing! You should specifically target both Mother’s, as they will probably have had a major role in helping to plan the wedding. You are speaking on behalf of you and your partner so use the term ‘we’ rather than ‘I’
Keep it Short (but sweet)
Your guests have to listen to the father of the groom and the best man’s speeches too, so keep yours to less than fifteen minutes, ideally ten. Nobody wants to nurse a warm glass of bubbly!
Don’t try and be Mr comedy if you are the more retiring type. This is the most important speech you are ever likely to give so the real trick is being yourself and playing to your own strengths. Don’t forget your audience are all the special people in your life, there really is nobody to impress with an artificial performance. Heartfelt and honest wins every time.
Time for presents
Another traditional role of the groom’s is to give out the presents. It’s best to do this after the thank you’s and before you enter the main part of your speech; how much you love your bride!
Tell her how much you love her
The main task of is to tell your partner how much you love her. So this should be the main focus of your speech. Concentrate on what makes your partner unique and gentle pokes at her quirks can be fun too. But most importantly it should be heartfelt and honest. Your audience will love you for that. Your last toast should be to your amazing new partner, which will end your speech perfectly.
You should be able to give your speech from memory, but to give you total confidence on the day have some notes ready. If your nerves get the better of you they will be there to fall back on.
Top tips for nerves
If you have followed my advice about planning early, you should have such a knockout speech you can’t wait to deliver it. Rehearsing the speech a good few times will give you time to iron out any kinks and give you plenty of practice at timing your jokes well. You can also video yourself to check your pacing and see what needs improving.
Don’t have too many drinks before, as too much Dutch courage could really backfire! Take a deep breath before you start and keep a glass of water handy. Remember everybody is behind you and a slightly shaky start can be endearing. The thing to remember is nobody is judging you!