The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Speeches

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Wedding Toast by Lisa O'Dwyer Photography

Image Courtesy of Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

Whether you’re the father of the bride, the best man, chief bridesmaid, the tips and tricks to making a memorable wedding speech are pretty much universal.

The most important tip of all?  We can’t stress it enough:  speak from the heart, and keep it short and sweet.

Wedding Speech by Lisa O'Dwyer Photography

Image Courtesy of Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

Wedding Speech Dos:

  • If you’re the best man or the chief bridesmaid, DO introduce yourself, and mention how you know the bride and/or groom.
  • DO talk about how happy the couple is together, and how suited they are for each other.
  • DO remember that there may be older relatives present, so keep your speech appropriate.  Dirty jokes are best left at the stag or hen parties!
  • DO read from your notes if it helps you conquer your nerves.  Every wedding guest knows that making a speech can be nerve wracking you can even throw in a little joke about how nervous you are.
  • DO thank the people who helped to make the day so special, particularly the parents of the bride and groom.
Bridesmaids Speech by David McAuley Photography

Image Courtesy of David McAuley Photography

 

  • DO look at the couple!  Many best men or maids of honour face the entire room, but the bride and groom will appreciate your wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness more if you’re speaking directly to them.
  • Do confer with the other speech makes to ensure you are not overlapping on items. Guests can get easily bored if they are hearing the same thank yous over and over again.
  • DO be sober for your speech.  After dinner you can cut loose, but your speech is a memorable part of the couple’s big day, so don’t let it get messy.
  • DO keep it short, sweet and from the heart.  Sometimes the most meaningful speeches are the shortest, as long as they’re truly genuine.
  • DO try to smile!
Best Man Speech by Lisa O'Dwyer Photography

Image Courtesy of Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

Wedding Speech Don’ts:

  • DON’T mention past relationships or marriages the bride or groom might have had.  Instead, focus on how happy you are that the bride and groom have found each other, and how perfect they are for one another.
  • DON’T tell inside jokes only a few people will understand them, and it will put the guests off.  Instead, mention something funny or amusing about the couple a funny story about how they met, or a disastrous date, for example.
  • DON’T talk about yourself.  It’s fine to mention how you know the couple, but don’t keep the spotlight on yourself for too long!
  • DON’T ridicule the bride or groom.  Funny stories or anecdotes are one thing, but embarrassing someone on their wedding day is a definite no-no.
  • DON’T let your nerves get the better of you.  At the end of the day, you are speaking from the bottom of your heart about a couple that means a lot to you.  Everyone gets nervous, but if you keep it short, sweet and heartfelt, it’ll all be over before you know it!
Wedding Speeches by Lisa O'Dwyer Photography

Image Courtesy of Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

 

If you’ve given a wedding speech, we’d love to hear about your experience. Just leave a comment below.

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