Making a speech on your wedding day is daunting, especially for those who a) don’t like public speaking and b) have trouble stringing their thoughts together in a cohesive, creative, and intimate manner. You want to write a speech that’s personal to both you and your bride, but one that’s also inspiring, loving, and entertaining. It’s definitely not easy, not even for the most professional scribes. Luckily, we rounded up some simple and useful tips that will help perfect your groom speech to get everyone laughing and crying—and maybe even at the same time.
1. Be Prepared
Preparation is key. While you might think that you can jot down a few notes and say something off the cuff, the reality is that unless you’re a professional improviser, then your speech will probably fall flat. Preparation also means not writing down your speech the night before and memorizing it in a last-minute cram session. This is your wedding and not the SATs, so start preparing your speech at least a month before the big day. Jot down ideas, write out a few drafts, and start memorizing it a few weeks before the big day. You might even want to practice it in front of a few trusted friends for feedback.
2. Keep it Clean
This isn’t the time to spill any of the bride’s secrets or make any rude references about your father-in-law. Swearing and using any offensive language is also a big no-no. Keep it clean and respectful.
3. Don’t Forget to Mention VIPs
The groom’s speech is not just about the love story between him and his bride. It’s also a time to acknowledge the family and friends who have helped make your day, as well as your relationship, as special as it is. This means recognizing your best man, the maid of honor, in-laws, parents, siblings, and anyone else who has made a profound impact on you and the bride for all their hard work and heartfelt memories.
4. Keep it Short and Sweet
The best speeches are those that use minimal time to pack a powerful punch. You don’t have to speak for longer than 10 minutes. Anything longer will leave you winded, and might also cause others to check out.
5. Be Funny (But Not too Funny)
While your speech shouldn’t be treated as a standup comedy routine, you don’t want it to be super serious, either. Weddings should be fun, so it’s important to keep your speech lighthearted. And, when you hear people laugh, you’ll immediately feel a confidence boost which will encourage you to keep going even if you’re nervous. However, this isn’t the time for a ton of inside jokes or for roasting your bride or family. Don’t be lewd. Just be your kind of funny—when it’s PG-rated.
6. Be Sincere and Forget the Clichés
You don’t have to use sappy clichés to come across as loving and romantic. Instead, be sincere and personal about your feelings and reflections. Speaking from the heart in front of a crowd can be tough, since you’re allowing yourself to be publicly vulnerable, but the most genuine and intimate moments come from our vulnerability. This is one of the most memorable speeches that you will ever make, and so it’s important that it speaks to you and your heart.
7. Make the Speech About Your Wife, Too
The speech may be yours, but it’s also about your union with your new wife. This isn’t an excuse to recall shenanigans with your wedding party or talk up yourself and your past achievements. This is about both you and your beautiful bride. Use your speech to share special moments between you, such as the first time you met, the moment you knew you were going to propose, and everything in between.
Perfecting your groom speech doesn’t need to be overwhelming. By giving yourself plenty of time to prepare and blending the romance with humor and the personal (while not embarrassing anyone), you’re sure to deliver an unforgettable speech.