Wedding Day Speeches

Bride and groom enjoying the bwst man's speechWhen my husband-to-be chose his best man we had no idea of the anxiety we had inflicted upon him. It wasn’t the suit he was worried about, or losing the rings; arranging the stag do or being a witness, no what was keeping him awake night after night was the thought of writing the speech.

The poor man approached us a few days before the wedding and begged to be released from that particular Best Man duty. One look at his sleep ravaged face and anxious, pleading eyes told us that no man should be put through such an agony so to his immense relief we let him off the hook!

He certainly is not alone in spending nights awake with worry about what to put in the speech. Wedding speeches are major causes of stress and anxiety in those asked to do them. Father of the Bride, Best Man, Groom and even Chief Bridesmaid are all expected to say a few words to a room full of people about those closest to them. Make a hash of it and you may never be forgiven, but if it goes down well then you’ll be a hero and will have the whole room eating out of the palm of your hand.

Traditionally, speeches are made after the wedding breakfast is finished and the cutting of the cake ceremony has been performed. The toastmaster will serve the drinks and the first of the nervous party will get to their feet ready to make one of the most important speeches of their lives (no pressure then!).

Here then, are a few tips about the order of the wedding speeches, who is thanked, subjects that should be touched upon and who you should traditionally propose a toast to:

The Father of the Bride Speech

  • Thank those for coming to share in your daughter’s big day.
  • Reminisce about her as a child, but steer clear from embarrassing tales and personal details.
  • A few witty puns or amusing stories featuring both the bride and groom go down well.
  • Compliment her husband.
  • Propose a toast to the happy couple.

The father of the bride's speech and duties book

This guide to being the father of the bride covers everything you need to know, from sample jokes to duties on the day. It’s a must read for every nervous father.

The Groom’s Speech

  • The Groom is next in line and usually thanks his new father in law for his kind words (assuming the father of the bride has read the above book and all has gone smoothly!).
  • Other thanks will be for the Best Man and the bridesmaids for their support.
  • A few words about his new wife, possibly an amusing anecdote about the marriage proposal.
  • A proposed toast to the bridesmaids and Best Man.

The groom's speech and duties book

The Groom’s speech and duties aims to give you a few tips about what to cover in the Groom’s speech and general advice to help you get through the day!

The Best Man’s Speech

Possibly the most eagerly awaited speech of them all!

  • Recount how you were asked to be Best Man, about your friendship with the groom etc.
  • Witty puns and jokes about the groom, but keep them appropriate, the bride doesn’t want to hear about ex-girlfriends or what you all got up to on the stag night.
  • Some compliments for the bride.
  • A toast to the parents of the bride and groom.

The Best Man tips and advice on speech and duties book

The Complete Best Man is an excellently rated book that covers everything you need to know and makes being a best man seem like a piece of cake, wedding cake at that!

The Chief Bridesmaid’s Speech

This is a totally optional speech, it’s not tradition for the chief bridesmaid to make a speech or a toast at all, but if she wants to say a few words she can.

  • Share details of your friendship with the bride and likewise as the Best Man will have done, recount a few amusing tales that won’t cause her to hold her head in her hands with embarrassment.
  • Thank the bride and groom on behalf of all the bridesmaids for asking them to share their special day.
  • Propose a toast to the good health of all the guests who have travelled far and wide to be there.

The Bridesmaid's wedding: an essential guide for your role

The Bridesmaid’s Wedding is a handy little guide that is particularly helpful for explaining the role of all the bridesmaids on the wedding day as well as giving tips to the Maid of Honour or Chief Bridesmaid on making a speech at the wedding breakfast.

Keep it Short!

It is said that the best speeches are the ones that leave the audience wanting more. So keep it short and sweet. I’ll never forget one Best Man who, at my sister’s wedding, went through every single card for the bride and groom, reading each one out whilst the rest of us crawled under the tables for a nap. So even if you just thank everyone for coming, wish the happy couple luck and propose a toast – it’s much better than mumbling a nervously prepared essay. And just one last tip – don’t be tempted to get slaughtered before your speech, it’s not big, it’s not clever and will not make you any more attractive to the bridesmaids!

These other wedding speech ideas from Amazon should make the difference between a speech they’ll never forget and one you wish they would.

How to write wedding speeches and propose toasts One liners for wedding speeches and how to get laughs

Useful Links
The world’s largest collection of best man speech material. Access to ready-made speeches and 1000′s of opening lines, groom put-downs, tributes and toasts allowing you to create a memorable best man speech.