The dos and don’ts of a groom’s speech
No pressure but next to saying your vows your speech is probably your biggest responsibility on your wedding day.
The good news is everyone’s on your side, willing you on.
They’re all ready to laugh, cry and cheer at the appropriate moment.
Even better, there’s a bit of a set formula for groom’s speeches with a list of time-honoured thank yous to get through.
You may not be used to public speaking and the very thought of delivering you big day speech may fill you with dread but stick to our dos and don’t and you’ve got this!
DO put the time in and prepare properly. You may normally be a fan of winging it but today is the day to deliver a well thought out and structured speech that’s from the heart.
DO speak after your new father-in-law. There’s a traditional order to wedding speeches which usually kicks off with the father of the bride (or groom) who was normally the one on hosting duties.
DO remember to thank your father-in-law for his kind words “on behalf of my wife, or husband, and I!” Anyone who has ever attended a wedding knows the power these seven little words have to get the groom’s first cheer!
DON’T wait till after the wedding breakfast for the speeches if you don’t want to. Again, tradition used to dictate that you had the meal first, speeches after, but if you’d rather get them done and dusted and enjoy your meal without the nerves then go for it.
DO remember to say all your thanks yous. Traditionally the groom starts with his father-in-law, thanks the guests for coming, his new in-laws for welcoming him to their family, his own parents for getting him to this day, the best man and ushers and the bridesmaids.
DO give your mothers a gift at this point. You and your other half can present them with bouquets for a nice touch.
DON’T give out all the presents to the bridal party now. Give out gifts to your ‘maids and ushers the night before, otherwise you’ll be here all day!
DO speak about your other half. Once you’ve made all your thank yous the rest of your speech can be dedicated to your new husband or wife. This is your chance to declare to everyone just how much you love them and share some of your love story. It could be what first caught your eye or some of the proposal story.
DON’T speak for too long. How many times have you been a wedding guest and had a sweepy going on how long the groom would speak for? Eight to 10 minutes should be plenty of time to say everything you want to without your guests having a surreptitious glance at their phones under the table.
DO keep your jokes appropriate! “What happens on the stag” is a phrase designed for wedding speeches. You may find it hilarious that Cousin Johnno passed out blind drunk with his bare bum hanging out and head in the toilet but spare your auntie’s blushes.
DO remember to raise a toast to absent friends. Weddings can be tinged with sadness with families missing loved ones so be sure to acknowledge them.
DON’T have too many dutch courage drinks beforehand. A gregarious groom is one thing but a slobbering wreck is something no one wants to see.
DO give a joint bride and groom or groom and groom speech if you’d prefer. It’s your day so it should be up to both of you to decide how to give the speeches.
Finally DO have fun! It’s not every day you’ve got the full attention of your nearest and dearest so make the most of it.