What Do You Say in a Wedding Speech?

TEXT: "WHAT DO YOU SAY IN A WEDDING SPEECH?"

Whether you’re a parent, best friend or sibling writing a wedding speech can feel stressful and overwhelming. To help make the process easier, I’ve got a few tips to help you brainstorm what you might include in your memorable wedding speech.

Before you start writing, I have a quick brainstorm exercise that helps writers focus their speeches with something special and memorable for the person they’re representing:

Brainstorm Exercise

Favourite Quality

  • Quality – Take some time to sit and reflect on your favourite quality about the person you’re representing (e.g., their sense of humour).
  • Why – With the sense of humour example, take a few more minutes to think why you like this quality so much (e.g., their sense of humour has turned so many regular situations into fun and memorable adventures)
  • Memory – Next, take a few more minutes to brainstorm memories where you feel they’ve best shown this quality.
    • Try to choose memories that:
      • Are family-friendly
      • Include you and the person you’re representing (e.g., the Bride) and maybe their partner as well (though not always necessary)
      • Shows why this quality makes them such a great friend/sibling/child etc.
      • Makes the person you’re representing feel special (never roast or insult someone)
  • Choose one – Once you have one or a few memories you’d like to share in your speech, narrow it down to just one memory

Save this memory for now, we’ll come back to it later!

How to write your wedding speech

Now that you have a memory or even a special quality about the person, you can start drafting your speech.

While this can change, a common speech will follow this template:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Thank anyone who needs a special thank you (e.g., wedding party for planning events, guests for attending, etc.)
  3. How you met the person you’re representing with the speech
  4. A memory
  5. Acknowledge the newlyweds
  6. Congratulations

But what goes in each section?

1. Introduce Yourself First Thing in Your Wedding Speech

Here you can simply add your name and if you’ve been given a specific role in the wedding.

Here’s an example: Hi everyone. My name is Jac, and I’m Ryanne’s Person of Honour.

If you’re a parent or a sibling, you can also add that into your introduction.

Wedding speech example #1.
Best friends outside hugging with the caption: "Hi everyone. My name is Jac, and I'm Ryanne's Person of Honour."

2. Give Thanks to Those Who Helped With the Wedding

You certainly don’t have to thank anyone in your speech, however,

  • If you’re a parent of one of the newlyweds, it is common to thank the guests for attending
  • If you’re a person of honour, it is common to thank the wedding party if they helped plan wedding events
  • You can also acknowledge specific people for their contributions (e.g., a person in attendance for officiating, specific people who went above and beyond for the wedding etc.)
  • You may also choose to thank the couple for having you be part of their special day

If you’re not sure who to thank or feel overwhelmed by this section, and you’d rather not add a thank you for fear of leaving someone crucial out, you can always just acknowledge what a great day it’s been.

Here’s an example: I hope everyone is having a great time; I know I am!

3. Share how you met the person you’re representing with the wedding speech

Obviously, if you’re related, this part isn’t necessary; however, if you’re a friend, this is a great section to add a little personalization to your speech.

Consider:

  • How many years ago you met
  • Where you met
  • First impressions

While not necessary for a great speech, this information can come together to add more understanding about your relationship with the person you’re representing. This doesn’t have to be some significant memory; it can be something simple and silly too—whatever best suits your relationship!

Here’s a silly but cute example:  I first met Ryanne 8 years ago in our high school biology class. Like all great friendships, ours started over a love of food. I still remember looking over and seeing the giant bag of Doritos they had stuffed in their bag. Ryanne must have noticed me eyeballing the chips because they tilted the bag over to me to share, and we’ve been inseparable ever since!

Wedding speech example #2.
Two friends laughing over food with the caption: " Ryanne must have noticed me eyeballing the chips because they tilted the bag over to me to share, and we've been inseparable ever since!"

4. Share a memory about you and the person you’re representing in your wedding speech

Remember the brainstorming exercise at the beginning of this blog? Here’s where you can share what you found. Whether you’re sharing a memory or describing their best quality, this can be a really special part of the speech for your loved one.

Here’s an example: Over the years, Ryanne and I have made so many memories and what stands out to me is how their humour has been at the center of it all. Like the time we were flying to Las Vegas for our friend’s birthday celebration, but we ended up delayed in another city because of a snowstorm. While being stuck in an airport during a blizzard isn’t ideal, Ryanne knew how to make it memorable and, within no time, had me and everyone around us laughing and sharing stories!

5. Acknowledge the newlyweds

Remembering that today is about the newlyweds, it’s essential to acknowledge them in the speech. This can be short, depending on how well you know their partner, but it’s important to include something.

Consider:

  • A memory where the person you’re representing shared how they knew they wanted to marry their partner
  • A memory where the person you’re representing shared how excited they were to be getting married
  • A memory where you were with the couple and saw how in love they are
  • A description of something that makes the couple’s relationship special
  • A wish for their marriage
  • A piece of marriage advice
  • A quote that suits their relationship or what you hope for their wedding

The possibilities here are pretty endless and depend on your comfort level and how well you know the couple. If you don’t know the couple well, consider focusing on what you wish for their marriage.

Here’s an example: Ryanne and Ty, as you start this new journey, I wish you a marriage filled with endless love and lots of laughter.

Wedding speech example #3.
A group of friends clinking champagne glasses with text that reads: "Ryanne and Ty, may you share a loving and joyful marriage. Congratulations you two—cheers!"

6. Congratulations!

The final piece to the wedding speech is congratulating the couple, which can be short and sweet.

Here’s an example: Ryanne and Ty, may you share a loving and joyful marriage. Congratulations you two—cheers!

It’s time to edit your wedding speech

Now that you have a draft of your speech, it’s time to edit. Take your time here (if you can). Read over your speech, edit for grammar, share it with others for feedback and make any necessary changes you might like before the wedding. Once you’re happy, it’s time to practice, practice, practice!

Hiring a professional wedding speech writer

Whether you’ve tried crafting your own speech, still have no idea where to start, or just don’t have the time, hiring a professional is a great way to ensure you have a meaningful speech to share.

Learn 8 Tips for Choosing the Best Wedding Speech Writer

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients and offer a variety of affordable speech options. To visit my shop, click here.

an image of a computer screen that shows the Etsy shop of a professional wedding speech writer with text that reads: "Click here for a custom written wedding speech"

Questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

 Britney

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