How to write the best wedding day speech?

When people see my wedding collections, I’m often asked for any tips on how to write the best wedding day speech. Wow, I’ve heard a lot of amazing speeches over the years. Some of which have genuinely left tears-of-laughter in my eyes.

There surely isn’t a better time to share with all your friends the journey of how you both came to be, or what it means for you all to be here? And really, while they’re all gleaming at you and the speakers are turned on, why not stand up, get out your notes? Let’s go!

Humour, like nobody else.

Even the tiniest amount of humour can be so useful. It can warm your friends & family up, and even relax yourself too. There are, however, a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Be yourself. If you ain’t Jimmy Carr, that’s really quite excellent, because believe-it-or-not, the people in the room love you far more than Jim.
  • Try your very, very best to avoid canned wedding-day jokes you’ve read on the internet, in a book, or heard somewhere else. *
  • Personal stories are a great way to get some laughs, some are likely tried and test! **

*Christmas Crackers

I have mentioned it’s best to avoid the ‘canned wedding-day jokes’ you’ve heard before and read on the internet, but I think there is a small exception to this. It’s fine to kick things off or warm up a crowd with something they’ve heard before, it’s all a bit of fun and will bring people together very quickly by sharing a joke that everyone knows and agrees with – much like those Christmas cracker jokes. Any wonder we only get them out once a year, eh…

Just don’t rely on them, I think one is enough.

Are you taking notes?

There is nothing wrong with bringing notes. I know people are sometimes overwhelmed by the idea of memorising everything, but don’t let this consume you.  After all, it’s about what you share, rather than how good your memory is.

A couple of common suggestions would be to write everything out, and then condense it into key bullet points, which will allow you to speak more freely. Or similarly, use note ‘cards’, which can be a bit easier to flick through for some. It’ll give you a point of reference, rather than something to read word-for-word.

Try not to read through everything word for word because you’re cutting off your engagement with the people who you’re trying to connect with. This is a little thing though, as it’s easy to just read through things a few times and then go from your bullet points/notes.

Do A Dry Run

It’s a great idea to test out your speech. You’ll naturally try reading it out whilst you’re writing it, but once it’s all edited and in a decent draft, try reading it to a friend or two. This will help a lot with judging the flow of speech and a general impression of how people react.

For stringent testing purposes, alcohol is advised here

Let’s go Scandinavian

I have witnessed too many fantastic occasions where people have “broken the rules”, so if you wish to, there is no reason to keep to the traditional Father of the Bride, Groom & Bestman. Yes, the bride is allowed to speak! Even more, if this is your wedding, you make the rules.

It’s becoming more popular to ask (via the invites) if any of your guests wish to “say something”. So, if a dear friend wishes to share a story, they can do so during the speeches, and a rough order can be laid out to keep things flowing together. Having an informal master of ceremonies is a wise idea, just a friend with a good set of lungs to announce each person. If you’re at a posh hotel, you might have a guy in a red jacket, but if not, a friend is more than sufficient.

The Technicalities 

If you’re hosting the wedding (rather than just doing a speech), consider the acoustics of your venue when setting up.

Richard! I’ve got a million other things to think about! You’re telling me I should be fiddling with acoustics now!?”

I know! I am a pain! But really, give someone else the task, it doesn’t take long. Just make sure that everyone – front to back – gets a clear reception of the speech. You want to connect with everyone and bring people together, so it is important guests can actually hear whoever is speaking.

**What do I actually say?

Well, it should obviously be personal, so I’ll leave that to you but a couple of easy tips:

  • Use a personal story, funny or simply heartfelt, if it’s specific and personal, the whole room will be able to relate to it.
  • Story arc. If you use a personal story or reference near the beginning, try tying things off by referring to it at the end. Perhaps now in a new light, with the context of the wedding day. This will guarantee a strong finish.


How to write the best wedding day speech?