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 simply doing a little research to refresh yourself on the wedding speech structure or maybe you’re brand new to this role and feeling unsure of what’s expected of you.
Regardless of your experience, you’ve come to a great place! I’m a professional wedding speech writer with over 4 years 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 really only requires three elements 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 a nice way to start a special speech.
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 actually 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 a great 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 special contributions to the wedding day/events
A tradition (that isn’t as common anymore) is thanking 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 special, meaningful, and fun to hear (though do avoid stories about cheating/hookups).
- 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 perfectly suited from the start
Topics to Avoid
- Previous romantic relationships
The intention of the wedding speech is to celebrate and congratulate the happy couple and NO ONE wants to hear about a loved one’s previous relationship, especially at their own wedding
- Inside jokes
While inside jokes are really fun 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 stay 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.)
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 of the audience and avoid swears during your speech.
Wedding speeches should be between 2-4 minutes. Anything over 5 minutes feels long and so 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!
Obviously, ultimately this speech is yours and you are in charge of your tone and content. This post is meant as a starting ground for your speech.