Suggestions on how to make a wedding speech

For many, the thought of having to make a speech terrifies them and the longer it’s left, the worse it gets.

The art of good speechmaking is to prepare it well in advance and you will certainly gain confidence by constantly rehearsing it. Try and finish on a high, as your audience will remember your speech because of it’s ending.

Your speech should not last for more than 10 minutes – only the very best speakers can keep an audience interested for longer. Keep it short and punchy and always avoid bad language and blue humour, remembering that you may have four generations from great grandparents to children in your audience.

Unless you have been asked at the very last minute to give a speech, you should have enough time to prepare, so start thinking about what you are going to say.

A speech should be in three parts:
• The introduction
• The main body
• The conclusion

The introduction is the easy part because it is normally thanking people as in “Thank you for coming” – “Thank you for your kind words”…

The main body is the information you have gathered together and will form the main part of the speech. Try and create a theme so that one story leads to another, always leaving the best story to last.

The conclusion should be your final word, remembering it’s the finish that counts.

So what is the secret of making a memorable speech? Plan it, time it, rehearse it. And never try to memorise it.

The Father Of The Bride

The traditional theme of the Bride’s father’s speech is to welcome and thank, on behalf of himself and his wife, family and friends for coming, especially those who have travelled a long way and from overseas. He should also thank the Groom’s parents for their help and welcome his new son-in-law into the family, perhaps commenting on the first time they met.

Next he should concentrate on his daughter. This can often be a very emotional time for the father, but it is nice to reflect on his daughter’s life from childhood to the beautiful bride on her wedding day.

His speech should end by asking everybody to stand, proposing the toast to “The Bride and Groom”.

The Bridegroom

The traditional theme of the Bridegroom’s speech is to thank his new father-in-law for the toast and for welcoming him into the family, and of course for the wedding breakfast.

He should thank his parents for their support and the wedding guests for coming, and at the earliest opportunity say “My wife and I”, which always brings applause. He then needs to say a few well-chosen words about his new wife.

He should conclude by thanking his Best Man for looking after him and also the Bridesmaids for assisting his wife.  His speech should end by asking everyone to stand for the “Toast to the Bridesmaids”.

After the speech, the Bride and Bridegroom may wish to distribute presents and flowers to those who helped and had a duty on the day.  The Groom may, however, prefer to distribute these gifts during his speech, aided by his new wife.

The Best Man

The traditional theme for the Best Man’s speech is to reply to the toast on behalf of the Bridesmaids, and, at the same time, thank the Groom for inviting him to be his Best Man.

He should then tell some amusing stories about his past association with the Groom, which may cause some mild embarrassment, but remember such remarks should always be harmless and in good taste.

He may wish to read out cards or messages from guests who have been unable to attend. He should conclude by thanking the Hosts, on behalf of the guests, for their hospitality and the wedding breakfast and, having asked everyone to stand, he should then propose a toast to the Hosts.

The new modern trend is for the Best Man to end his speech by proposing a toast once again to the Bride and Groom, instead of the parents and Hosts, but this is entirely up to him.