The groom's wedding speech can be the hardest one to get right. The right people must be thanked or they will be upset but you don't want your speech to just be a list of names.
So how do you keep your speech personal whilst still making sure you tick all the boxes?
Here are some things to remember.
What the groom's speech must include
Traditionally, the grooms wedding speech includes all the following.
* Thank the father of the bride for his speech
* Thank the guests for sharing the day with you
* Thank both sets of parents and give thank you gifts to both mothers
* Compliment your new wife and say a few words about how much she means to you
* Thank the best man for his help (or lack of)
* Toast the bridesmaids
How to make it more personal
But rather than strictly following a lis of rules, I've always found it better to make the speech about you and your new bride rather than anyone else in the room, and use that as an excuse to thank people along the way. How?
You'll be surprised how easy it is to tie the thank yous into your reminisceing. Let me show you what I mean.
Example groom's speech
Good afternoon everyone, and let me say what a delight it is to Sarah and I to see so many faces we know and love here today. Of course there's a few faces that Sarah doesn't know and a fewI don't love, but the less said about those the better... You know who you are...
I want to thank Marcus for that lovely speech and for all the help he and Adeline put in to make today happen. Especially I'd like to thank them for raising Sarah to be the wonderful person she is. Even if she can be a little bit cruel.
Let me tell you what I mean. I first met Sarah on a speed dating night. I sat down at the table opposite this beautiful woman and she said to me "If you could be any kind of animal what would you be"
It's a pretty typical speed date question and I had a perfect answer lined up for it, I meant to say "I'm a Lion, because I'm ferocious, majestic and spend most of my time asleep." Instead though, overcome by nerves, I said "I'm a lie-in."
Sarah's has been using that slip up against me for 5 years now. Every Sunday morning, when I hit snooze on the alarm, she lets out a roar. And I can't tell you how she mean she gets when we visit the big cats at the zoo.
Talking of big cats, I do want to thank my parents too, for all their help today, and for looking after me for all theoe years. I know I wasn't the easiest kid to bring up, mostly because I resisted it in every way possible, but my parents persisted and made me a man almost worthy of Sarah.
I say almost because I still have some friends in my life like my best man here, Darius. Darius has been around since I was a kid and unlike me, he hasn't aged at all yet, physically or mentally. He's probably the person who most got me into trouble as a kid, and still gets me into trouble at least once a week. Today he's my best man and he's not got me into trouble yet today, but it's only 3pm so it's early yet. But for all that I am thankful for him always being there for me, for organising the stag do, and for betting me to put the word "poo-bum-face" into this speech.
Most importantly, I want to thank my beautiful bride, Sarah, for sticking with me, through the good times, the bad times, and the Darius times, and for showing me more love than I could ever deserve every single day. She's changed my life in more ways than I can mention, and I can't wait to see all the ways she goes on changing it.
Finally, I just want to give a big thank you to the Bridesmaids, they've been a real support to Sarah over the last few months, and they've done an excellent job at keeping the groomsmen at bay today. And so can I ask you all to raise your glass to... the bridesmaids.
Do's and Don'ts
As you can see you speech can be fun and still thank everyone it needs to. In the end it should reflect your personality and that of your new bride.
If you want the speech to be even better aim for the following
- Do let your partner read the speech before the wedding (but leave out the bit where you talk about her). She might want to add or change something and you are talking for both of you.
- Do take your time. Speak slowly and give the guests time to take in every words
- Don't thank anybody you're paying. Your thanks to them is the money (and the generous tip you'll include) when it's all over.
- Don't give out gifts during the speech. It slows it down and breaks up the flow. Either give out the gifts in a block afterwards or, even better, do it privately they night before.
- Don't feel like you have to speak. If you're a very nervous speaker you can always ask your partner to stand up and talk for you.
- Don't get too drunk before the speech. Save that for the dance floor later.
- Don't talk for more than 10 minutes.
IN the end it's all about you and your wife
Keep the focus on the two of you (which after all is the reason everybody is there) and people will be so overcome by the emotion of it all, they won't care what else you have to say.
And of course, if all this sounds like too much effort, why not just hire me to write the speech for you instead?