If you’re reading this, chances are you are a Maid of Honour or part of a wedding and are researching how to write a wedding speech.
Maybe you’ve been in this position before and are only doing a little research to refresh yourself on the wedding speech structure, or perhaps you’re brand new to this role and feeling unsure of what’s expected of you.
Regardless of your experience, you’ve come to the right place! I’m a professional wedding speechwriter with over five years of experience writing custom wedding speeches.
What is a Wedding Speech?
The traditional purpose of the wedding speech is to congratulate the newlyweds and wish them happiness in their marriage. Sounds simple, right?
The Modern Wedding Speech
We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of the bridal party delivering their speech as a custom rap or ballad with personalized lyrics to fit the happy couple. The audience claps along and the newlyweds and in awe of the delivery.
Or maybe you’ve seen the viral speech that was so funny people were gasping for air and wiping tears from their eyes.
Or maybe you’ve seen the speech so touching that every wedding attendee was in tears by the end of the speech.
My point? There can be some pretty high expectations when it comes to writing the perfect wedding speech, and the media portrayal of the successful speech can skew our perception of what makes for a good wedding speech.
A good wedding speech doesn’t need choreography or to double as a stand-up comedy routine.
A good wedding speech should come from the heart and should stay true to your personality. Structure wise, the speech should include the following elements:
How to Write a Good Wedding Speech
In its basic form, the wedding speech only requires three parts to be successful:
- An Introduction:
-Introduce yourself and share how you know the person you’re representing with the speech.
-Not everyone in attendance may know who you are, and so a quick introduction is an excellent way to start a speech.
- A Memory:
-Share a memory about you and whoever you’re representing–bonus points for sharing why this memory is so special to you.
-This is a great way to share a personal piece of information that bonds you to the bride/groom and shares your connection with the audience.
-This can be a sentimental story or a funny story–whatever you think best suits your speech tone.
-It’s also a great idea because it shows your friend/family member that you remember the special times together, and this can make her/him/them feel special and loved.
Congratulate the happy couple! This step is pretty simple, but a lot of people forget to congratulate the couple, so take the time to congratulate the newlyweds in your speech.
That’s it! For a simple wedding speech format, these three elements are an excellent formula for writing a wedding speech.
Should you be looking for more to add to your speech you can also consider:
- Acknowledgements–thanking anyone who added individual contributions to the wedding day/events:
-A tradition (that isn’t as common anymore) is acknowledging the parents for their contributions to the wedding.
-You may also consider thanking the bridal party for their help with events or even the newlyweds for having you be part of their day. This all depends on your comfort level and familiarity with people’s contributions.
- How the newlyweds met:
-Sometimes the story of how the couple met can be extraordinary, meaningful, and fun to hear (though do avoid stories about cheating/hookups… obviously).
- How you first met the partner:
–This one is popular with close friends or siblings because people often like to share how they knew that the newlyweds were well-suited from the start
Topics to Avoid
- Previous romantic relationships:-
The wedding speech intends to celebrate and congratulate the happy couple, and NO ONE wants to hear about a loved one’s previous relationship, especially at their wedding
- Inside jokes:
-While inside jokes are amusing for the people involved, they are empty and often meaningless for everyone else. To keep your speech engaging and focused, stay away from a speech filled with inside jokes
- Personal announcements:-
This speech is for the newlyweds, and the focus should remain on the couple. Avoid any big announcements about yourself or other people (i.e. this is not the time to propose to your partner or announce a pregnancy etc.)
- Insults (even if you think they’re lighthearted and funny):
-A wedding speech is not the time to roast or embarrass either of the newlyweds.
-There is a difference between being funny and being hurtful, so be conscious of the difference when writing your speech
Be courteous and respectful of the audience and avoid swears during your speech.
Wedding speeches should be between 2-4 minutes. Anything over 5 minutes feels long, and people lose interest. Focus on keeping your speech concise.
Still not sure?
Should you still feel unsure about your speech, and if you’d like some professional help, I’d love to work with you! Feel free to contact me or find my shop here or follow my Instagram page for more wedding speech tips!