The wedding season is almost upon us. If you’re a groom, you may already be worrying about what to say in your wedding speech, and how to minimise your chances of a ‘tumbleweed moment’. As ever, we’re quick to point out that every wedding and every groom requires a different approach.
However, there are some quick ways to guarantee positive feedback from your guests, whether it’s sighs, laughs or rapturous applause!
Say “My Wife and I…”
Early on, drop in the olden but golden “My wife and I…”. Loathed as I am to ever suggest a recycled line, this one is part of the wedding tradition fabric. It doesn’t matter how many times guests have heard it before, it will always receive a warm cheer and set your nerves at rest.
Thank Your Hosts
Include brief but heartfelt thanks to the hosts (assuming it isn’t you!). If it’s your in-laws you’ll earn brownie points from all sides.
Mention Those Who Couldn’t Be There
Add a brief mention of those who couldn’t be with you on the day. It allows for a sentimental moment to reflect on and remember loved ones not there. But don’t dwell too long on this; it is a day of celebration after all.
Don’t Be Over-Sentimental
Strike the right balance between talking about how wonderful your new wife is, against the more self-deprecating effect she’s had on you and how you’ve changed for the better as a result. Too much slush can leave your audience wilting.
Thank Your Parents
Don’t forget to mention your own parents, and not just for their contribution to the wedding. Thank them for those things you always took for granted; lifts to school when you were ten, freezing afternoons on the side of a muddy sports field watching you make a fool of yourself, or for helping you learn to drive. Anything that demonstrates the love and support they have provided for so long.
Mention Your Best Man, But Keep it Brief
Don’t include too much about the best man. In-jokes on this front are strictly discouraged.
Toast the Bridesmaids
Include a heartfelt toast to the bridesmaids. They are quite likely your bride’s best friends, so mention how beautiful they are and what supportive mates they’ve been to your new wife. The guests will love it as much as the bridesmaids.
Your speech doesn’t provide as much opportunity for raucous laughter as the best man speech, and nor should it. Ultimately it is a chance to celebrate your love for your new wife, whilst thanking her and others for helping you reach this point in your life. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of excuses for getting the guests to laugh, clap and generally feel good through your speech.
Guest post by Lawrence Bernstein of Great Speech Writing
Image from Shoop’s Photography