6 steps for the best ever groom's speech

The perfect speech is easier than you think

wedding day schedule

The groom’s speech should actually be a pleasurable experience – it’s your chance to toast to your bride, and say thank you to key members of the bridal party. There’s not nearly so much pressure on you as there is on your best man, so try to relax. Just imagining how he must feel leading up to the most anticipated speech of the night should go some way towards calming your butterflies.

There are only a few things that are really expected from the groom’s speech and they’re quite easy to achieve, no matter how bad a public speaker you are.

Traditionally the father of the bride speaks first and thanks all the guests for coming. He then normally says a few words about his daughter before proposing a toast to the happy couple. After he’s sat down, it’s your turn to step up.

What to include in your speech:

  • Thank the father of the bride for his speech and his toast
  • Say something about what this day means to you and about your gorgeous new wife
  • Give out thank-you gifts to your best man, ushers, bridesmaids, the mothers of the bride and groom and anyone else who has helped bring this day together. If your new wife is also planning to make a speech, then some of these thank yous may fall to her instead
  • Finish by toasting the bridesmaids

For some more details about what content should be included, check out this groom’s speech guide from speech writing pros, All Speeches Great & Small.

The 6 essential rules for the groom’s speech:

1. Sincerity is key

You need to be entertaining but, more importantly, sincere. Your guests will be expecting the best man to provide the belly laughs, not you. They really just want to hear you talk about how important this day is and what your new wife means to you.

2. Time it right

Roughly seven minutes is perfect for the groom’s speech. Five minutes is also fine, especially if you’re nervous and there are lots of other speakers. 10 minutes should be the absolute maximum speech length, for you and everyone else, otherwise your audience will start to drift off!

3. Learn your lines

Commit as much of your speech to memory as you can, so you can look at your guests and your bride when you’re speaking. If that’s too much, try to at least memorise the opening lines so you can make a good start. Then use cue cards as reminders of the key points and to help keep everything in the right order.

4. Slow and steady

Speak loudly and try not to rush. The temptation will be to speed through it all if you’re nervous and it will come across garbled. If guests don’t know what you’re saying then you won’t get the responses you’re after. 

5. Manage those nerves

Take deep breaths, have a sip of water before you start and try to smile. Remember everyone in this room loves you! For more tips on controlling your nerves check our feature here.

6. Don’t go it alone

It’s not unusual for modern brides to say a few words too but there’s no traditional format for when and how this happens, so it’s totally up to you. Your fiancée might want to follow you, before the best man’s speech, or it might be nice if she speaks straight after her father so she can thank him for his kind words about her. Alternatively, you could both stand up together and share a speech. Sharing is caring!

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