The Groom’s Speech – What to Include?

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Our Useful Groom’s Speech Guide

The groom’s speech is an important part of a traditional wedding ceremony and one of the most eagerly anticipated moments of the day. It typically comes at the end of the wedding breakfast and is the transition from wedding formalities into more of a party atmosphere. Writing and giving a speech of this importance can be daunting. So here’s a useful groom’s speech guide detailing how long it should last and what to include.

Groom Speech Length – How Long is Too Long?

The Groom’s wedding speech is all about balance. You want it to be long enough to cover all the essentials, but short enough to keep people interested. Ideally, the groom’s speech shouldn’t last more than ten minutes. Guests will start to get bored and fidgety if you ramble on, so try to keep things short, sweet, and meaningful. You can find out exactly how long your speech is by practicing it and timing how long it takes you to say everything as you would on the big day. Remember, you don’t want to rush your words. Pause where necessary and leave time for sentimental coos and laughter.

Top tip: If you’re nervous about giving a speech and hate the thought of being in the spotlight for too long, keep things brief. Lead a toast to your partner and thank the wedding team before sitting down and enjoying the rest of the day. Another option could be to stand up as a couple. Making a joint speech will ease your nerves and give your wedding a modern twist. This is a great option if you’re both terrified of talking in front of an audience.

Groom Speech Structure

In a traditional wedding ceremony, the groom is usually in charge of thanking people and leading toasts. It’s a very important role and while the structure isn’t set in stone, a groom’s speech could go something like this.

  1. Thank the previous speech giver

The father of the bride (or someone chosen to fulfill this role) traditionally gives a speech before the groom. Therefore, the first thing a groom should do is thank the previous speech giver on behalf of himself and his new bride or husband.

  1. Thank the guests

The next thing to do is to thank all of your guests for coming. Some may have travelled far and wide and you could make a mention of this. Show your appreciation by listing the countries people have travelled from to lighten the mood and create a sense of unity. This might also be a good place to pop in memories of your travels as a couple. Perhaps you met your best man while backpacking and have remained in touch ever since. Or maybe you went to visit friends who moved abroad and now they’ve come to see you on your special day. Mentioning such moments will help people feel appreciated and loved.

  1. Thank the partner’s parents

As the groom, it’s expected for you to say a few words of thanks to your partner’s parents. Something along the lines of how well they’ve raised your partner will be great. And, if they’ve paid for or are hosting your wedding, it’s important to thank them for making your dream day come true. If your wedding breakfast is being held at their home or in a marquee in their garden – lucky you! Make sure you compliment the setting.

  1. Thank the groom’s parents

The groom’s parents also deserve a mention. Again, mention how supportive they have been (if that applies) and that you’re grateful to have their love. It’s all a bit soppy but that’s what weddings are for, right?

  1. Thank the best man

The next shout-out goes to the best man. Thank them for their help with the wedding and arranging your stag do if you had one. If you want to add a touch of appropriate humour, this is probably the moment. But keep things clean and inoffensive. Remember, even if you were dancing on tables until the early hours of the morning, your grandma probably won’t want to hear about it.

  1. Say thank you to other helpers

Next is your time to say thank you to anyone else who has played an important role in your wedding including ushers, witnesses, and anyone who gave readings.

  1. Thank the mothers of the bride and groom

As well as thanking both sets of parents, it’s also important to focus specifically on the mothers of the bride and groom (or of both partners). It’s a nice touch to present these special people with a gift, perhaps a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

  1. Thank the bridesmaids

The groom should pay special thanks to the bridesmaids and maybe even present them with a small wedding favour. They too could receive flowers or perhaps luxury sweet cones. An item of jewellery marking the big day is also an option.

  1. Thank your bride/partner

The speech should end with an elaborate thank you to your bride/partner. This is the perfect time to shower them with compliments before leading a toast to them. Ideally, this should be the most sentimental part of your speech and an amazing finale. It should make your partner feel like the most special person in the whole world so take time to craft something meaningful and deliver your speech with passion.

Groom Speech Examples

When it comes to writing your speech, it can be easy to get tongue-tied and not know what to say. Overthinking can lead to writer’s block so take your time to put your speech in order and familiarise yourself with the various thank you messages you’ll make.

Of course, adding a touch of personalisation to your groom’s wedding speech is a nice idea. While thanking mum and dad can be straightforward, you may wish to write something fancier and more meaningful when talking about your bride. So, think about:

  • Where you first met. Do you have a funny first date story that you don’t mind sharing?
  • What made you feel in love with them? How did you know they were ‘the one’? Perhaps your partner has a particular character trait you adore?
  • What qualities do you admire about them the most?
  • How have they made your life better? Can you share one of your funnies or happiest moments as a couple?
  • If you’ve got kids, this is the perfect time to thank your partner for making you a dad and for being an amazing mum/parent.
  • Your hopes and dreams for the future. Maybe you want to travel or maybe you want to become a parent for the first time or add to your family.

The best way to write a meaningful groom’s speech is to let your thoughts flow and write them down as you think. Let your mind wander and from there you can fine tune your favourite moments into a speech that’ll make your audience laugh and cry for all the right reasons. To help you out, you could also talk about your best memories with your other half before writing your speech. This will jog your memory and help you focus on the most important moments shared as a couple.

How to Present Your Groom’s Speech

If you’ve invited lots of guests and are having your wedding breakfast in a huge room, it might be a good idea to organise a microphone for the speeches as this will prevent you from straining your voice. If your wedding is a smaller affair, you’ll be fine just talking to your audience in your regular voice. Be sure to:

  • Speak slowly and clearly – don’t rush your words out of nerves as if people can’t hear the punch lines to your jokes or your sentimental words, you won’t get the reactions you hope for. And this can be a little bit embarrassing.
  • Stand with confidence. You’ve just married the love of your life and are in a room of people who love you (hopefully). So, you’ve every reason to stand tall and proud.
  • Avoid drinking too much before your speech. Sometimes, grooms get so nervous that they have one too many alcoholic drinks before their moment. This can lead to embarrassing slurs or forgetting parts of the speech. Save the drinks for the disco.
  • Learn your words. But if you need a piece of paper with speech prompts written down, don’t give yourself a hard time. Just make sure you keep your speech on you or locate it before everyone sits down to eat. After all, you don’t want to be fumbling around for it during the father of the bride’s moment.

The Dos and Don’ts of a Groom’s Speech

As with all formalities there are things you should do and things you shouldn’t. We’ve focussed on the overall structure of a groom’s speech but what are the dos and don’ts of this particular event? Here are some things to consider.

  • Be positive, polite and upbeat. Even if you’ve had pre-wedding scuffles or don’t have the best relationship with in-laws, this isn’t the time to feel angry or upset. Push your differences to one side and focus on what should be the happiest time of your life.
  • Personalise your speech with happy stories. Avoid anything that might cause offense to family or friends and don’t bring up exes or past marriages. This is about the two of you as a newly married couple.
  • Don’t talk about anything intimate or overly personal. Some guests might feel embarrassed by certain topics, so avoid crude subject matters.

Should I Add Humour to my Speech?

Humour is fine so long as it’s not rude or offensive. Some one-liners to consider include:

  • “It wouldn’t be the same without all you here… it would be much cheaper for a start.”
  • “You deserve the best in life. I’m sorry you’ve ended up with me but it’s a done deal now.”
  • “I know what you’re thinking, XXX deserves an amazingly funny and intelligent husband. Good job for me she never found one.”
  • “My dad has always given me words of wisdom. He said to me, ‘Son, remember today for the rest of your life. It’s the happiest you’ll ever be.’ Such wise words to hear on the morning of my stag do.”

Of course. how funny or cheeky you are during your speech will very much depend on your character, personality and relationship with family members. If you’re renowned for always laughing and joking, then this kind of humour won’t come as a surprise. In fact, it’s likely to be expected. If you’re more of a serious guy, then too many jokes might seem a little odd. So go with your gut and do what you feel most comfortable doing. Don’t force anything and if you have any doubts about what you’ve written, don’t include it. As a rule, never be derogatory to any of the guests and especially not your bride. Even if you think it’s in good humour it may come across wrong or be interpreted in a different way by others. Stay clear of anything that’s overly controversial.

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