Trying to write the perfect groom speech for your upcoming wedding? You're not alone. Lots of grooms-to-be have said they worry about their speech, what to include, what NOT to include, and in what order. Wedding speeches, as well as the order they go in, are a tradition with plenty of longevity. This can be a little daunting... That's why we thought we'd help out. We're going to go over the structure and some writing tips for your groom speech. So buckle up, and grab a pen!
An important thing to remember before we dive in is that what you decide to include is up to you. If there are elements of the more traditional wedding speech that you don't want to do - don't! We're giving you some inspiration in the form of an outline, but what you put in it is entirely up to you. Your guests will love and appreciate the fact you've put work in regardless. Also, whilst we have referred to mothers, fathers, and best men, we are sympathetic to everyone's family dynamics. To those that have strained relationships, have lost parents, or have elected a best woman. Everyone's situation is different and we fully embrace diversity. It's your day, your way. Always.
Got writer's block? Let's go over how to write a groom speech together.
What actually is a groom speech?
The answer to the above is fairly self-explanatory. But for those of you who are new to the wedding scene, a groom speech is a speech...given by the groom (who saw that coming?). Traditionally, a groom speech comes after the father of the bride. The speech usually consists of thanks, love, and jokes. A wonderful trifecta, if you ask me. In terms of duration, anywhere between 6-10 minutes is ideal. It's long enough to get the sentiment across without dragging on for too long. Guests tend to prefer speeches that take place after the wedding breakfast rather than before. This is because, after a meal, your guests won't be hungry, and they'll probably have had a couple of glasses/pints. They won't be starving, nor will they be willing you to rush through so they can finally eat. Whereas you, the speech giver, might prefer to share your speech before the meal, so once you've said a few words you can truly relax and enjoy the meal, and not worry about enjoying one to many glasses of Prosecco and stumbling your words.
Step 1: Welcome
As we said, the father of the bride will have likely just finished. So start your groom speech off by thanking him for his. You can then welcome your guests and thank them for coming. Feel free to make some jokes about your upcoming speech to ease both you and them into it. Don't go overboard, though.
Step 2: Thanks(giving)
Now is the time for some thanks. Thank the bridesmaids and the groomsmen for being there and helping out. Then go on to thank the mums, giving flowers if you have chosen to do so. Show appreciation for the people who have come to celebrate your love with you - it's a truly beautiful thing.
Step 3: Family Time
This is where it might start to get a bit emotional. Traditionally, this is where we thank our parents. Whatever your family dynamics, and whoever your support system is, I'm sure you'll have people you want to thank. Now that you've thanked everyone and your speech is well on its way, it's time to bring family into the mix. If it wasn't for them, you probably wouldn't be where you are now. So thank them for what they've done, and if they have helped out with the wedding or wedding planning, make sure to thank them for that too. This is a monumental moment not just for you, but for them, as well. Honouring your family and/or parents in your groom speech is a beautiful way to say thanks for everything.
Step 4: Best Man
If you do decide to go down the traditional route, bear in mind that the best man speech will follow yours. Normally, the best man tends to throw some comedy fireballs at you in the form of embarrassing stories from school. So you could always choose to pre-empt these and throw some jokes of your own. Thanking him is never a bad idea either, for being a good friend - a rock to lean on. Think about why he's your best man, and then make some jokes out of it. Simple!
Step 5: Spouse Time
This is the part of your speech that the sentimentalists amongst the crowd have been waiting for. The reason you are all together: your partner. This is your chance to publicly tell them how much they mean to you, how happy you are, and how glad this wedding occurred. Feel free to throw in some inside jokes, or jokes that the whole room can appreciate. Just ensure your love and happiness are being well construed. That's what we're all after, anyways.
Step 6: Round off your groom speech with some toasts
Traditionally, the groom speech is finished off with toasts. Toast to everyone in the room - paying special attention to your partner and the bridesmaids/squad. Order is fairly flexible here - the main idea is that you thank those around you for making your day so special.
Finally, you can relax. Your groom speech is done, and everyone is either laughing, crying, or both. A happy ending indeed. You now have the rest of the evening to do as you wish - so have a drink on us!
Some tips for when you're writing
As we've mentioned above, what goes into your speech is up to you. If you want to focus on comedy, go for it. If you prefer to shed light on the sentimental, please do. But here are a few general tips to take into account when writing.
- You don't need to be too formal.
Your guests want to hear you speak as you usually do. There is no need for formalities - relax, be friendly and open, and smile! This isn't a court hearing.
- Don't forget what your groom speech is actually about
It's easy to get swept up in your speech - but remember who this is for, at the end of the day. The main focus should really be on your partner - a few romantic sentiments dedicated to the person you've just had the pleasure of marrying.
- Timing, timing, timing!
Don't go under or overboard. As mentioned, the best groom speeches are typically 6-10 minutes long - so make sure you're sticking to that timeframe. Written down, that's roughly 1000-1400 words.
- If you're going funny - make it the best man and the thank yous
The thank yous can typically drag on a bit, and hearing the word "thank you" over and over can get a bit tiresome. So why not spruce up this section and try to inject some comedy into it? It'll make your thanks seem more thought out, rather than the bog-standard "thank you Dad for ...".
- Test-run it!
It's highly advised to test out your groom speech before you give it. Ensuring the jokes land the way you want them to and your sentimental moments don't come across the wrong way is vital. Choose someone you trust and ask them to give you constructive criticism.
- Opening line
Ever heard of the phrase "start as you mean to go on"? This applies here, too. If your opening line is golden, that gets everyone involved and listening keenly, chances are the rest of your speech will go pretty great, too. Focusing on the start gets guests smiling from the get go.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to get cracking on your groom speech!
Whether you're angling for the comedic approach or opting for sentimentalism, your groom's speech will be great. One of the biggest factors when it comes to speech-giving is confidence - go into it knowing you've done a good job, and your guests will think so, too. It's your day, your speech. Be true to yourself! Following this guide is definitely a great place to start. We've got an article all about brides' speeches, to ensure fantastic speeches on both ends. We've got a podcast episode on the same topic, as well - for when you're on the move. Finally, if you're sticking to the side of comedy, then we've got a great list of funny readings to ensure your guests are giggling away until the early hours of the morning.