Do I Have to Give a Wedding Speech?

text: "Do I have to give a wedding speech?" with pink wedding flowers in the background

Maybe you’ve been asked to stand with your best friend as their Maid of Honor? Perhaps you’re the Best Man for your brother’s wedding, and you’re honored to have been asked to fill this role? But the dreaded feeling of giving a speech may leave you wondering, “Do I have to give a wedding speech?”

if the thought of giving a Maid of Honor speech or Best Man speech makes you want to crawl into a hole, keep reading!

Do you have to give a wedding speech?

I believe no one has to give a speech if they really don’t want to.

Things to consider

But before you tell your loved ones that you’d like to pass on the wedding speech, consider a few of the following questions around why you don’t want to give a speech.

1. Are you feeling scared of standing up in front of an audience?

Is it fear that holds you back? If so, take a few minutes to sit with the fear to see where it’s coming from. Is it fear because you’ve never given a speech to a large audience before? Are you fearful that you’ll be judged?

Take some time to reflect on this fear and see if there’s an opportunity to face the fear instead of hiding from it. Is there an opportunity to try something for the first time even though it’s scary? It is a chance to practice not worrying about what people think of you? However, if this fear comes from deep anxiety or social fear, I encourage you to talk with a trained professional.

Interested in 7 speech delivery tips for your maid of honor speech? Check out the blog!

2. Are you afraid that your speech won’t sound good?

If the fear is coming from insecurity about your ability to write a good speech, then there are some ways to overcome this fear! There are many blogs online that teach people how to write wedding speeches. There are templates you can purchase to help you get started. And there are even professional wedding speech writers who will help you write a speech from the heart.

3. Are you afraid you don’t have the time to commit to another duty?

Does the fear come from the time commitment of all the wedding party duties? If so, I encourage you to talk with the engaged couple about this fear as they will likely understand. There may be duties or tasks they can remove from your to-do list so that you would have time for a speech (if you want).

4. Are you worried you don’t have enough to say?

It’s not uncommon for members of the wedding party to know very little about the couple, so giving a heartfelt speech might feel impossible.

Consider talking to mutual friends or family members to try and gather some stories and traits about the couple. If that’s not an option, consider hiring a wedding speechwriter to help you with this situation. I have worked with dozens of clients who know very little about the couple and always come out with a beautiful and meaningful speech.

Alternatives to the wedding speech

If, deep down, you still want to give a speech, there are a few alternative options:

  • Pre-record your speech and have them play it at the wedding, so you don’t have to speak live in front of the audience
  • Consider a very short toast (one or two sentences) to simply congratulate the couple and wish them all the best with a cheers at the end. These can be under a minute long and still a sweet gesture to the couple.
  • Write your speech, but have a friend or family member read it on your behalf
  • Write your loved one a personal love letter in place of the speech and give it to them the night before the wedding
  • Have another member of the wedding party join you for a joint speech, so you have someone up there with you

You’ve decided you don’t want to give a speech, what do you do?

If you’re sure you don’t want to give a speech, it’s time to tell your loved one you will not be giving a speech at their wedding.

If possible, set a time to meet with them in person. Let them know you care about them and are dedicated to supporting them through their wedding planning process and their big day, but you don’t feel comfortable giving a wedding speech.

It’s ok if they’re disappointed

Understand that they may express disappointment or sadness over your decision. However, you don’t need to feel pressured to change your mind. If they express concern over not having anyone speak, suggest asking someone else from the wedding party or even a family member to give a speech.

Try and ground the conversation in kindness and respect, and your loved one will likely understand where you’re coming from, even if they’re a bit sad at first.

Remember, at the end of the day, no one should ever be able to force their loved ones to do things they do not feel comfortable doing.


Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out! I’d love to hear from you 😊

Wishing you all the best,


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