I’ve started writing my Groom’s speech in preparation for our wedding in just 5 weeks’ time! I still have a couple of weddings still to shoot before our big day and a certain lad’s weekend to attend so thought I should get cracking before I have to hurriedly jot it down the morning before!
I’ve done some initial research using my go-to tome for weddings, The Debretts Wedding Guide and they’ve outlined some initial points to get me started; these are the main things I’ve considered covering:
Thank the Father of the Bride (or equivalent) for their words
You’ll need to thank the previous speaker. I think you’ll need to wing it with a couple of sentences about what they mention about you or the bride, but generally be grateful for their words and for welcoming you into the family. This is a good way to get the ball rolling on the next part of thanking the parents, unless you consider doing this toast below, which I would do before going further:
Toast to Absent Friends
This is sometimes done by the Father of the Bride (or equivalent) but you may want to speak with them about whether they’re going to do it, as it might be more appropriate for the Groom to do it. You may know a little more about who the absent friends are (depending on how traditional you’ve been in the wedding etiquette). I’m particularly mentioning two very important close family members who can’t be there but also making a general toast to all who couldn’t make it on the day.
One way of honouring a particular absentee has taken the form of a wedding favour in past weddings I’ve photographed, usually as donations to charities.
Say thank you to lots of people, particularly:
- Everyone for coming
- Best Man & Ushers
- Significant people who have helped out with the organisation of the wedding day
A few words should be said to thank everyone for coming to the day. Guests have usually spent a lot of money to come and travelled far to be present. Mentioning money can be seen as a bit of a faux pas, but you can mention how far people have travelled, highlighting those who travelled from foreign countries to those who have walked from round the corner.
Mention both sets of parents, you can talk about your upbringing and for them raising you (you can slip in anecdotes here!) and give out gifts to people in this section. You may wish to mention the Bridal party thank-yous when you talk about them later.
A few words about my beautiful new wife
Miss this out and you’ll pay for it! If you’re a true romantic this might be easy for you, but if not then try researching romantic quotes from their favourite books, and think long and hard about what you’re going to say. That said, speak from the heart and I’m sure you’ll be fine.
Introduce the Best Man
Introducing the best man, whilst keeping it light-hearted, usually involves the Groom damaging his integrity to tell truthful stories about him, whether it’s a tendency to bend the truth or just outright lie. Also take a moment to thank him for everything he’s done for the wedding and for being a fantastic friend to you through the years.
Toast the Bridesmaids
Traditionally, the Groom ends his speech by toasting the Bridesmaids although I’ve also heard plenty of blogs refer this as being something the Best Man does. Perhaps check who is toasting who and adjust speeches accordingly. In any case, definitely thank the Bridesmaids for helping the Bride and compliment how beautiful they all look.
A few more tips…
- Don’t have too much to drink beforehand, keep a clear head!
- Keep it between 8-10 minutes long
- Start out with “On behalf of my Wife and I…@ as this always gets a cheer!
- Don’t try and wing it – You can memorise the speech but have notes on hand just in case you loose your place. I have seen people do it ad-hoc but it’s never as good as someone who has prepared something and you don’t risk missing people out.
- If this is either yours or your bride’s second marriage think carefully about what you say. Include children from previous relationships and thank them for their support and understanding.
I’ve found these websites helpful, particularly the checklist below.
The Groom’s Wedding Speech Checklist
- Have you practised your speech either in front of the mirror or with an audience?
- Have you worked out how to use the microphone, if there is one?
- Have you made sure your speech will appeal to a wide range of people and not offend anyone?
- Is your speech funny, affectionate and charming without being offensive?
- Have you included thanks to everyone necessary, particularly your new father-in-law for allowing you to marry his daughter, your parents for their help in organising the day, the best man for his help and the guests for attending and giving you gifts?
- Have you given a gift to both mothers?
- Have you complimented your new wife?
- Have you thanked the best man for his help?
- Have you timed your speech and made sure it’s about 5 – 8 minutes long and no longer?
- Have you written your speech down on handy cue cards (if you think you might go blank on the day)?
- Have you remembered to end your speech with a toast to the bridesmaids?