If you’re one of the lucky ones asked to give a speech at a wedding, don’t let the pressure get to you! It’s an opportunity to express your love for the couple and make the wedding extra memorable.
We’ve all heard horror stories about the worst wedding speeches. They usually include someone talking too long, having a little too much to drink, or telling stories and jokes that fall flat with the audience. We’ll give you tips so you can give a wedding speech that people will talk about for years!
Who Usually Gives a Wedding Speech
Traditionally, the father of the bride or groom gives a wedding speech. In some cases, people other than those directly related to the couple may speak at their wedding—for example, the couple may ask members of the wedding party or special guests to say a few words.
If you’re asked to speak at someone else’s wedding, only accept if you feel confident that giving a wedding speech will be something that comes naturally to you. If public speaking is terrifying or overwhelming to you, perhaps another friend or relative would be better suited.
You don’t have to give a wedding speech, even if you’re the closest friend to the wedding couple! If speaking in front of hundreds of people just isn’t your thing, that’s okay—you can still congratulate them and show off how much fun everyone is having at their wedding by cutting loose on the dance floor!
Wedding Speech Prep
Practice, practice, practice. You should know what you’re going to say before the wedding, so it doesn’t feel like a stressful last-minute task. If you want to be super prepared and memorize your wedding speech word for word, fantastic! But if not, go over some talking points before the wedding, so you don’t forget what you wanted to say.
Most wedding speeches are between five and ten minutes long, but there’s no set time limit! It all depends on how comfortable the speaker is with talking in front of a crowd and the audience. If there are lots of people or children, it is best to keep the speech short and sweet.
Best Wedding Speech Practices
Here are a few guidelines that will help you write a wedding speech everyone will love listening to:
- Write your speech with the audience in mind. Your speech should be meaningful to the couple and their families and not uncomfortable.
- Practice your speech in front of family and friends. You don’t want to get up there and not know what you’re going to say, but it’s okay to also live in the moment and be spontaneous within your practiced speech.
- Don’t bring attention to yourself too much—focus on the wedding couple. The audience wants the couple to look good, so make it about them! People love personal stories—make sure to keep your speech short and sweet (about five minutes).
- Play to your strengths. If you don’t feel comfortable with personal anecdotes, tell a joke. If jokes aren’t your thing, stay away from them because the audience will be able to tell if you’re being authentic or not.
- Match your speech to the environment. If the reception takes place outside, it’s okay to loosen up a little! It’s important to know what the venue will be like, so your speech isn’t too formal or casual.
- End your wedding speech on a high note!
The best wedding speeches are delivered from the heart and are not forced. If you’re comfortable practicing in the mirror and in front of friends, you’re ready! Stay calm and enjoy the moment! After all, you’re there to support the couple and have fun!