Your wedding day is, without doubt, one of the biggest days in your life, but it’s also one of the biggest days in your Brides too.
It’s a momentous and joyful occasion, and yet for many Grooms, it’s a day that is significantly marred by one thing; the looming dread of having to stand up in front of their family and friends to give a speech.
Like many Grooms before you, you are bound to be feeling the pressure of having to get your grooms speech just right at a time when you should be enjoying every moment to the full, so worrying about giving your grooms speech could mean you miss out on the excitement of the build-up of your day until it’s time for your speech.
We want you to be able to enjoy giving your speech rather than just trying to get through it with lunch still in your stomach, w want you to actually look forward to doing so here is some advice for you to get you started.
So when it comes to your wedding speech there is no such thing as being over-prepared. By preparing thoroughly and fully understanding what is involved you can turn this speech from something you may be really nervous about to something you may really enjoy.
By writing your speech carefully and perfectly and learning how to control your nerves your speech can become a highlight of your day and a cherished memory for you and your Bride.
When to give your speech?
Traditionally most speeches are done after your wedding breakfast. However, tradition is out of the window nowadays and given that you may be one Groom that is dreading the speech, you can consider bringing this forward. You can choose to have the speeches before the wedding breakfast, meaning that you deliver your speech first so you can then relax and actually enjoy your meal, the same goes for any other speakers too.
What’s the normal format?
Traditionally first up is Father of the Bride, followed by the Groom, followed by the Bestman. In reality, your grooms speech will be the easiest of the three because your father-in-law will have to go first to break the ice with your guests, then you will just inherit a warmed up audience.
Much of your speech will be taken up by thanking people who have helped with the wedding so there is much less pressure on you to actually be funny or to think of writing something amazing. Your Bestman will give the last speech and this is one there is usually the most pressure.
Get an early start!
There will be so many other things that will demand your attention between now and your wedding day and your speech is just one of them that needs your attention. Don’t be tempted to put off preparing your speech. Leaving it till the last minute or worse still just winging it on the day is often a recipe for disaster. If you practice your speech over and over again it will develop such familiarity and in term build your confidence
Your mantra should be: Prepare, Practice, Deliver!
So what to do first?
The first thing to do is to start a draft plan of your speech. Write down some simple bullet points to help you start the speech. Divide your speech into sections so that it takes the audience on a journey for example:
- Welcome your guests and thank them for joining you and your Bride on this special day.
- If you have friends that have been unable to attend or if you have lost a loved one, acknowledge them and do a toast to absent family or friends.
- Tell the audience something about you and your Bride (see below on “what else to say”)
- Tell the Bride how beautiful she looks
- Thank You’s & Gifts
- Give your Bestman a good handover, if you have a Toastmaster they can do this for you.
Who to thank?
It’s traditional for the Groom, on behalf of himself and his Bride to thank certain people and this could just be to say thanks, present gifts to them, or propose a toast. So here is who to thank and why!
- You must thank your new Father-in-Law for his speech and for welcoming to you to the family. (if they are no longer with us, then thank the person that took on that role and make sure you ask your Bride if she wants anything included or wanted to say something herself).
- Ensure you thank guests for joining you on your special day and for the gifts.
- Best thank both sets of parents for their contribution (financial or otherwise)
- Remember to thank your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen/Bestman, Page boys, Flower girls. (present gifts if any)
- Thank anyone else who has helped towards the wedding. (and always a nice idea to thank your suppliers to make them feel valued)
- Always thank Mums for their support (generally you would present them with a Bouquet of flowers).
- Thank your lovely Bride for planning such an amazing wedding day for you and your guests, thank her for marrying you and making you the happiest man alive. Obvs!
- Finish of with a Toast to your Bride
Something to note…
Start and end strong, and always finish with a Toast. This defined finish will bring your speech with a definite conclusion for your guests whilst giving you a smooth handover to the Bestman.
Top tip: Start your speech with “My wife and I” it will always get an immediate cheer!
So you have a draft, what to do next?
Now however rough of a draft your speech may look like, ask your Bride-to-be whether they want to be consulted. The speeches are one part of the wedding that traditionally does not involve the Bride so consulting with her on your speech is a great opportunity to make her feel included and score you some brownie points, plus ensure you have not missed anything important you may not think about.
Practice, practice, practice
Back to my mantra Prepare, Practice, Deliver. Start practising speaking out loud, and loudly as you will need to project your voice on the day to reach all your guests. The more you practice the more comfortable you will be when it comes to doing it.
Your Guests Experience
The speeches are always part of the day which most guests look forward to but it’s just good to remember that a short speech will be more memorable will leave your audience wanting more yet a long speech might make the audience restless. It can appear quite self-indulgent if you do this and it’s also unfair on the best man who is still to come he will be nervously waiting.
Top Tip: Remember to stop talking before your audience stops listening
Dont Be Too Generic
The last thing you want to do is deliver a speech that could’ve been given by any Groom about any Bride. Every Groom is different and so is every Bride so you must use this to your advantage.
Perfecting Your Grooms Speech
You can use whatever techniques work for you to either memorise your key points or find your own style. Make the mirror your friend, learn to stand still (so many grooms sway from side to side badly, it can make your audience feel nervous), say your speech out loud, get used to your own voice, video yourself doing the speech and then watching it back so you can see if you fidget or sway or if you like the style whilst you are presenting the speech. This is one day in your life, make it count.
Top tip: Make sure you and your speakers put on their jackets for the speeches. Even if it’s a hot day, for that short time, it would look so much better when you are formally dressed in your grooms wear in your photos
The King Of Speeches
If you have lots of swagger and you are planning on having a complex speech that would include props and videos etc, then just make sure that you are well prepared. Check and double-check that your venue can provide all the equipment needed and ensure you test it at some point before the speech. Nothing worse than failing technology in a speech that kills the moment
Hopefully this will help you get you on the road to a perfect grooms speech. Good luck and enjoy it.