Writing a speech for a wedding

Wedding Speach

For many, writing a speech for a wedding can be very tricky. You’ll usually only do it once or twice in your life at most, so it’s not something you’ll ever practise loads, and you want to make sure you’re happy with it because most people will find it nerve-wracking to read anyway. But the good news is, with a few clever tips, you can nail the speech, make it easier to deliver, and get the whole crowd laughing (or crying) along.

Get the focus right

You’ll want to begin with a quick introduction of who you are but get it out of the way. You’re not there to talk about yourself. If you’re a best man, you should be focused on the groom (but don’t forget to mention the bride too), while the father of the bride will of course talk more about his daughter yet welcome the groom into the family at the same time.

Start with a laugh

At a wedding, everyone wants you to do well when you deliver your speech. And you can get them onside even sooner with a good joke. It should be personalised to the groom, bride or both, but not an inside gag that most of the room won’t understand. If you struggle to write one, there are plenty to find online, but try to avoid the most cliched ones – you might only deliver one speech, but you’ll attend a few weddings, as will the guests, and nobody wants to hear the same recycled lines.

Set an appropriate tone

Most importantly for the best man’s speech but always something to consider is reading the room. Don’t tell tales of drunken debauchery if the room is full of children or older relatives who may be shocked. You can have a bit of fun, and if you know the family well and are confident you can push the envelope then absolutely go for it, but always play it safe if you aren’t sure.

Structure and timing

The speech should entertain, but ultimately guests want to eat, dance and mingle. So, keep it no longer than 10 minutes. Have a clear structure too – don’t jump back and forth between subjects or you’ll confuse, and then bore, your audience.

Finally, wish them well

Whether it’s words of advice, or just heartfelt honesty, always end your speech with a positive message for the couple. You’ll end on a high note, and if you can be genuine and touching, you’ll get a few happy tears from the audience too – and then you know you’ve nailed it.

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