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The Groom’s Speech

Your wedding is not the time to assume the role of stand up comedian. This doesn’t mean your groom’s speech can’t be entertaining. Obviously, you don’t want to bore your guests with a soppy, sentimental speech. Certainly incorporate a little humour, but leave the corny jokes to your best man.

As the groom, your speech is all about sincerity. A the same time, it should cover some ‘housekeeping’ – i.e. your job is to ensure that everyone who has contributed to your day is acknowledged and publicly thanked.

There’s no specific need to be funny. If you do choose to inject humour, be sure it’s not at anyone’s expense.

Basically, what you say will very much depend upon your personal relationship with both your own family and your bride’s.

The groom’s speech can present some challenges simply because there is an expectation that you’ll express all the sentiments of love, which puts you at risk of sounding overly mushy and sentimental; however, a certain amount of mushy sentiment is excusable given the circumstances. Your speech should clearly express your love for your bride, while also representing you to your new in-laws as someone of substance.

Timing — Restrict your time to about 5 to 7 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll risk boring your guests, who, after all, are waiting to party. As a rule of thumb, 750 to 1000 words amounts to about 5 to 7 minutes of delivery.

Be heard — Whatever else, if there’s a microphone use it. You might think you have a booming voice, but, believe me, you are competing with incidental noise and your volume quickly tapers off once you relax and get into your delivery.

In a nutshell, here’s what your speech should include:

  • Your acknowledgement of the sentiments expressed by any speakers who went before you. Particularly acknowledge the father-of-the-bride and thank him for consenting to giving you his daughter’s hand in marriage.
  • Acknowledge and thank the bride’s parents for welcoming you into their family. Acknowledge their contribution to raising the daughter with so many of the characteristics you admire and love about her. Thank them for any assistance they have offered in the lead up to your wedding day.
  • Next, of course, thank your own parents. In particular, your mother needs a little tender loving care, so it’s perfectly fine to tell her how much you love her too.
  • Acknowledge grandparents or great grandparents, and anyone who has travelled from afar or gone “above the call of duty” to attend your wedding.
  • Express your love for your bride. Remember to refer to her as “my wife” at some time in your speech. Perhaps, it will sound awkward, but, believe, me your guests will love it. Talk about how happy you are thanks to your wonderful partner.
  • Acknowledge any step-children. It’s important that all children who are a bonus acquisition with this union know they are loved and valued. Tell your new step children how much you love that the marriage is a “package deal.” It goes without saying, if you have children of your own, you’ll also acknowledge your devotion and commitment to them.
  • Thank the guests for coming and for sharing this day.
  • Thank the best man, usher(s), minister or celebrant and anyone who played a part in the preparations for your wedding.
  • Thanks your bridesmaids, matron of honour, flower girls and page boys. Propose a toast to them.
  • Finally, thank your new wife a second time, tell her again how happy she has made you by choosing to be your wife.

Yes, this might seem like pretty dry content, but no doubt you can stimulate a smile with an anecdote about how you two first came to meet, or by relating your story about a clumsy proposal, or recalling your first date, or by recounting a case of misunderstanding. You might also take a mischievous shot at your best man by pre-empting something you know he’ll feel the urge to share with your guests.

Of all the speech makers at your wedding, the one made by the groom is probably the most predictable in terms of content, but it’s also the one your guests want to hear. Be prepared. Rehearse out loud and rehearse often.

Just one more suggestion, and this is advice I gave to my own son prior to his wedding day: If you’re feeling particularly nervous about making your speech, consider changing the order in which the speeches are scheduled. Be the first to speak, perhaps even use your speech to welcome your guests. It’s OK to be nervous about speaking; it is after all, an important day, and perhaps the most important speech of your life. When you elect to speak first, you can then settle back and enjoy what others have to say.

Oh… and hold back on the alcohol until after you’ve made your speech.

With your first official duty as husband “done and dusted,” it’s time to celebrate!

Like some help writing your toast or delivering your wedding speech like a professional?

Feel free to call The Occasional Speaker at 0400 778807, or fill out our contact form to request more information.

We’re here to help!