How to write a groom’s speech
It’s one of the most daunting jobs for the groom (apart from the proposal, of course!), but with a little advice and prep, the groom’s speech doesn’t need to be stressful! Here’s how to write the perfect groom’s speech…
Strike the right tone
Unlike the best man’s speech, the groom’s speech should be a balance of funny stories and jokes, and heartfelt moments and sincere thanks. This can be a hard balance to achieve, but the jokes keep everything a little more lighthearted, rather than a list of formal thank yous. It doesn’t have to be laugh-a-minute, but some funny moments will keep people engaged and put everyone at ease. If you’re struggling, think of some funny stories from your relationship; did the proposal go to plan? What quirky habits do you love about your other half? What’s the funniest thing she’s ever done? Try to keep things personal and avoid cut-and-paste lines from the internet.
Thank the right people
A lot of the groom’s speech involves thanking people, and this is a non-negotiable when it comes to proper wedding etiquette. The people you should thank include: the guests for attending, both sets of parents, your father-in-law for his speech, the best man for your stag do, and the bridesmaids for their support of the bride. Although some couples like to give out thank you gifts during the groom’s speech, we recommend leaving this for another time, as it can slow down proceedings and cause your guests to get bored.
Focus on your partner
After the thank yous, the main focus of the speech should be your new wife. If you’re not a naturally romantic person, or aren’t used to professing your love for them, then this can be a tricky subject to approach, but the key is to keep it heartfelt and sincere. Think about how your life has changed for the better since you met her, when you first realised you wanted to marry her, and what traits you hope any future children would inherit from her. You can make a couple of light-hearted jokes, but don’t turn it into a roast – this should be a genuine moment of appreciation for your partner. Don’t forget to tell her how beautiful she looks, either!
Stick to a structure
The worst speeches lack structure, and bounce around all over the place. A good starting point to to split your speech into two halves – in the first half, do the traditional thanks, finishing with thanking your new wife for agreeing to marry you and for helping to plan a fantastic wedding. You can then move on to the part of the speech where you talk about your relationship and compliment the bride, before finishing with your final toast to your new wife and throwing in a one-liner to reference the best man’s speech. Traditionally the groom’s speech finishes with a toast to the bridesmaids, but we think it works better to toast them earlier in the speech, during the thanks.
Talk for too long
There’s nothing worse than a speech that runs too long. You want it to be long enough to get in all the thanks, while not rambling for hours, so we recommend that you keep your speech to about 10 minutes long. Practice makes perfect – you should read your speech aloud a few times to check the flow and timings, remembering to leave gaps for laugher.
Leave it until the last minute
Whatever you do, DON’T write your speech the night before the wedding. The earlier you work on it, the more prepared you’ll feel on the day – plus, if you start thinking about it early, then you won’t be struggling to come up with ideas for anecdotes or jokes when your mind has gone blank with pre-wedding nerves. It’s always clear when a speech has been hurriedly written, so show your guests and your other half that you’ve put some thought into it.
Try to outdo the best man
Remember that you’re writing a speech, not a stand-up comedy routine. If you’re a natural clown and have a reputation for being funny, then this can sometimes be a hard temptation to resist, but bear in mind that you still have to thank everyone and talk about your love for your new wife, so trying too hard to be funny can result in tonal whiplash.
Be afraid to get a second opinion
Your speech doesn’t have to be a secret. We recommend having another pair of eyes look over the speech for you, whether this is the maid of honour, your best man, your parents or even the bride herself if you need reassurance. They can help you practice and give you ideas or suggestions if you’re stuck.
Looking for more advice? Take a look at our Groom section!