Wedding Speeches: How To Plan & What To Do

How To Write A Wedding Speech?

Giving a wedding speech can be a daunting task. Public speaking is understandably stressful; you can have visions of it going wrong and feeling embarrassed. It’s a completely normal thing to feel nervous about and you are not alone.



Read on for advice, tips, and tricks that will make your speech planning and performance easier. With the right insight and practice, any feelings of fear are sure to minimise. To find out how to plan a wedding speech, where to start with a wedding speech, and most importantly, how to give a good wedding speech, carry on…


Groom, bride and wedding party showing off wedding suits.

Ted 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt, Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


What Order Should Wedding Speeches Be In?

Weddings are traditional and, as a result, there is a traditional order to things. The most common traditional order for wedding speeches is Father Of The Bride, the Groom, the Best Man, the Bride, and the Maid Of Honour.



However, while tradition exists, it is so frequently broken and there is no need for you to follow it if you don't want to. Plus, tradition rarely allows for space for those deviating from traditional norms. In your own wedding, you can have as few or many wedding speeches as you like, in any order. The speeches are there to provide a purpose in the wedding day, if you meet that purpose, do as you please.


Jack Brook's Cricketeer Wedding Guest Outfit

Jack Brooks Wedding Guest Outfit


What Are Wedding Speeches For?

Wedding speeches at their core come down to being about two things: gratitude and love. They should be in place to thank the guests for coming, to express love for the newly-married couple, and to share in a nice moment of appreciation for all the day has had to offer. This can be achieved in as many or as few speeches as needed. During your wedding speech planning and writing, coming back to this core meaning can be a useful tool for helping you not get distracted from what is really important.



However, knowing what should wedding speeches be about doesn’t help you get started writing one, nor help you deliver the best wedding speech possible...


Cody navy suit for men worn on Bath Circus.

Cody 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt, Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


Practical Wedding Speech Essentials

When it comes down to how long should a wedding speech be, keeping it short is always the best direction. Aim for somewhere between two to five minutes and do not go over that. While you may have a lot of stories, anecdotes, and love you want to share in your speech, a long speech can bore your audience, meaning you lose attention. For the best possible results, a short and concise speech that keeps to exactly what you want to convey is the best possible route.



To make it easier to keep it short and sweet, make sure your wedding speech remains focused. Don’t try to include everything. Choose one central theme, relate it to a story or anecdote, and keep the focus there. This way, you’ll have time to properly convey what you want to say, make a heartfelt point, maintain your audience’s attention, and be happy with your overall result.


Wells pale blue men's suit worn by model.

Wells 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt, Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


Talking about focus, it’s important to aim your wedding speech at everybody in attendance. You need to think about your entire audience, not just your group of friends or just your family. Explain anecdotes as if you were talking to a stranger, because to some people you may be one. Keep it appropriate if you’re being playful, consider if you’re using age-appropriate language for everybody in attendance, or if the groom’s grandmother necessarily needs to hear the story you’re planning to tell from the worst of the groom’s bachelor life. Your focus for the content of the speech needs to be small, but you need to look at the bigger picture of who is hearing the message



Lastly, and importantly, keep your wedding speech complimentary. There’s a lot of pressure to be funny at weddings, especially in the Best Man’s speech. Of course, an obvious route for humour can be to poke fun at the newly married couple. This is completely normal and every couple expects a joke or two at their expense during the speeches. However, keep the overall speech complimentary. Nobody wants to listen to five minutes of a speech about the happy couple where there’s not a nice thing said. It can get awkward. A joke or two is fine but be sure the overall message is complimentary – and that you include positive comments about the couple too.


How To Plan A Wedding Speech


Now you know that your wedding speech has to be concise, focused, and nice, sharing a message of gratitude and affection, where do you start your wedding speech writing? Here’s how to plan a wedding speech.


Mix and match Dion and Ted wedding outfit.

Jamal's Wedding Attire


Take some time to consider your relationship to the couple or the specific individual you are representing, whether that’s your child, friend, sibling, or elsewise that is getting married. When did you meet? Who are they to you? How have they changed your life? What have you learned from them? What have you learnt together? Why are they so important to you? What is your favourite thing about them? Don’t be afraid to be heartfelt, the newly-married couple will surely appreciate it.



Try and make a list of some anecdotes relating to the above question. If you think the couple are very kind and generous, how have they displayed this with actions? If the groom’s positive outlook on life has improved yours, think of a specific instance. Stories are an excellent inclusion to a wedding speech. They can provide comedy, emotion, and structure. Utilise them in yours. Pick an anecdote or two that relate to a specific point you’re trying to make. For example, if you want to talk about how much the two of you have grown up, talk about how you first met contrasted to when you were asked to be in the wedding party – talk about what’s changed for the better and how you feel about the people involved. It’s an easy formula to follow but still makes every speech unique.



Start off by introducing yourself to the audience, alongside describing your role in the wedding and your relationship to the couple. This only needs to be a simple sentence, but it makes sure everybody at the wedding knows who you are before you jump in. It’s a simple starting point that you should utilise.


Elwood cream suit worn by model groom.

Elwood 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt, Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


Structure your speech. Start off with your introduction and thank the guests for coming to celebrate the couple, talk about your relationship with the couple, then move on to your anecdote. Use your anecdote to make a point, then allow for a heartfelt toast where you cheers to the couple. It does not have to be set up exactly this way but understand how each part of your speech directly relates to the next. If you can easily bullet point each part of your speech, you’ve succeeded in creating something structured. This should help keep you concise and to the point, making your speech successful. Plus, it can help with nerves to know exactly what’s next and how much time you have until the end.



Lastly, allow yourself a mic drop finish. Think of the central themes you’ve discussed and bring them into a heartfelt line before your toast. If you’ve spent the last few minutes discussing how great of a friend the bride is, sum it all up by saying something like ‘I hope today we can give you a fraction of the happiness you have brought us, you deserve it’ and then your toast to the couple. Bringing together your overall message in a mic drop conclusion makes it absolutely clear as to what you were saying, ties everything up nicely, and leaves you on a high point. Don’t overthink or overdo the ending – simple can be clear and emotive, leaving you in the best possible position when you finish your speech.


How To Give A Wedding Speech


Knowing what you want to say and why should say it still doesn’t help you with how to give a wedding speech successfully. Public speaking can be a point of fear for some people and a point of nerves for a lot of people. Here’s some simple preparation plus advice to help you perform your best with the least nerves possible.



To control your nerves, help you get some feedback, and boost your confidence, you need to practice your speech out loud. Not only that, you need to practice your speech in front of other people. Get somebody you trust to listen to your speech, give you feedback, and time you to make sure your speech isn’t too long. Doing this will help ease your nerves on the big day, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing, have it rehearsed, and have improved on your first draft. It may feel embarrassing, but it’s a key step that you must take.



You may feel nervous as you get up to speak or are given the microphone. Whilst it can be tempting to share how you feel, we’d recommend not doing so. Saying you feel nervous might just make you feel even more pressure. When you take the stage, take a deep breath, look at the couple to be, and start your speech as intending. Nobody is going to mind if you fumble a word, or need to clear your throat– a lot of people in the room will empathise with any nerves you show. Don’t worry about looking or feeling nervous, be glad you prepared, and focus on what matters.


Groom sat wearing Marco black suit for men next to bride.

Marco 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt


It's completely normal to have not memorised your script, everybody takes notes up. However, your speech notes should be just that, notes. Taking a rigid script up with you will give you no flexibility, give you no capacity to react to an audience’s reactions, and will keep your eyes glued to the paper, instead of aiming your speech to the married couple and reception. Make details notes from a script, practice with those notes, and give yourself some flexibility.



Lastly, remember to take your time. No, we don’t recommend taking twenty minutes of time. However, don’t rush through every word either. Not only does that not allow for what you’re saying to be properly understood, it’ll ruin the full impact of what you’re saying. Practice your speech with space to breathe, for possible laughter, and practice it so you don’t rush and can be understood. Take your time, feel confident in your preparation, speak clearly, and relax. With all the work you’ve done, you ought to.


Groom's party wearing Ted brown suit for men.

Ted 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt, Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


Wedding Planning With SUAVE OWL

For more wedding planning blogs with SUAVE OWL, read Wedding Day Attire For Men: What to Wear and How to Choose, read The Groom's Accessories: Finishing Touches for Your Wedding Look, and browse our full blog selection full of style guides and how tos for weddings.



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Groom's party wearing Elwood cream suit for men.

Elwood 3-Piece Suit, SUAVE OWL White Shirt, Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set

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