How to Write a Short Wedding Speech

Making a speech at a wedding reception is your opportunity to tell all the guests how happy you are for the newlyweds. It’s your time to thank the guests, share your thoughts about love, and celebrate this fabulous union.

But imagine you’re halfway through writing the wedding speech, and you’re told to “keep it short.” “Lots of people are making speeches,” they say. Or even, “We’d rather get to the puddings!” Now, suddenly, you need to condense your witty, tear-jerking 7-minute speech into a short 3 minutes! How do you cut down a wedding speech where everything feels important?

Crafting a short wedding speech that packs a punch can be challenging. However, with some handy examples, expert guidance, and a lot of love, you’ll quickly find yourself writing a speech for a wedding that’s both short and memorable. Read on to learn the benefits of a short wedding speech, some examples of short wedding speeches, and the key elements you absolutely need to include. 

Should a speech at a wedding be short?

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Wedding speeches are generally between 5-7 minutes long. However, they can be as long or as short as necessary. If there are a lot of speeches to make or the couple have specifically requested that the speeches be kept short, you should aim to wrap up your speech up in 2-4 minutes. 

Though this might sound challenging, remember that the impact of your speech isn’t related to its length— it’s better to speak from the heart for 3 minutes than it is to waffle on for 15! Keep the spotlight on the newlyweds, stay upbeat, and always finish with a celebratory toast to the couple on their big day.

For more information on wedding speech lengths, check out our post on how long a wedding speech should be.

What are the benefits of short wedding speeches?

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There are plenty of benefits to keeping a speech for a wedding short and sweet. These include:

  • Minimises stress. Lengthy speeches can be nerve-wracking, especially in front of a large audience. Keeping the speeches short minimises the time you have to stand up and say your piece. Plus, shorter speeches are easier to memorise and easier to present. 
  • Keeps guests engaged. Short speeches are more likely to capture guests’ attention and ensure a good flow to the order of speeches. Guests may get bored listening to three 10-minute speeches. However, six 5-minute speeches will feel more dynamic and keep guests engaged. 
  • Encourages thoughtful content. Asking the wedding party to keep their speeches short encourages them to think about what they’re including in their speech and be selective in their storytelling. 
  • Leaves more time for other speakers. The main benefit of short wedding speeches is that they leave plenty of time for other speakers. Generally, the father of the bride, groom, and best man make speeches during the reception. However, keeping these speeches short means that groomsmen, bridesmaids, the maid of honour, and the bride can also make speeches at the reception. 

Key elements of short wedding speeches 

Short Wedding Speech Structure
Use this template to keep your speech simple and concise

The easiest way to keep a wedding speech short is to focus on a few key elements. We recommend you stick to the following:

Introduce yourself

A warm and engaging introduction is a great way to open a wedding speech. Let the guests know your name, your relationship to the newlyweds, and how honoured you feel to be making a speech on their big day. 

Thank everyone for coming

In a typical wedding speech, you would take time to thank the people who contributed to organising the big day. For example, the couple’s family, the wedding party, the guests, and even the venue staff. However, in a time crunch, focus on saying one big thank you to everyone and acknowledging their collective efforts in making this day possible.

Address the happy couple

You should then speak directly to the happy couple. You could share how you first met the newlyweds, a funny story about wedding planning, or a touching moment that made you realise the depth of their love for each other. These stories are always a crowd-pleaser, and as a friend of the newlyweds, you’re in a unique position to share these special moments. Plus, this section will set the stage for the next portion of your speech. 

Share a hope or wish for the future

Sharing a hope or wish for the couple’s future is a touching way to share your love and support on their big day. You could wish them a lifetime of love and happiness, share a quote about love, a short poem or song lyric, or even say you hope they enjoy the honeymoon! Any positive and loving sentiment that resonates with the couple will be a perfect way to wrap up your speech.


And finally, a toast! Invite the other guests to raise their glass of bubbles to a lifetime of love and happiness. Greet the couple by their names, raise your glass high, and then take a sip to conclude a short but sweet wedding speech.  

Short wedding speech examples

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If you’re looking for a little inspiration to guide you on your way, check out the short wedding speech examples below, which you can adapt use as templates to guide your writing. Feel free to personalise them with your own unique stories and anecdotes, and adjust the pronouns for an LGBTQ+ wedding. 

Groom’s Speech

“Hello, everyone, I’m [your name], the luckiest groom on the planet. Thank you all for being here, sharing in our joy today. I remember when [partner’s name] and I met, it was like fate had a plan. From that day forward, my life became brighter. May our love continue to grow, and may our adventures never end. Here’s to [partner’s name], my forever love and other half. And here’s to a lifetime of laughter, love and endless happiness. Cheers!”

Bride’s Speech

“Hi, everyone, I’m [your name], and I’m the bride who can’t stop smiling. Thank you all for being here and making this day so fabulous. I’ll never forget the moment [partner’s name] walked into my life. He’s brought endless love and laughter. May our love story continue to be this beautiful adventure. Here’s to us and a lifetime of happiness. To [partner’s name], my love and my best friend, and to a future filled with fun, love and endless joy. Cheers!”

Father of the Bride Speech

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m [your name], and today I have the honour of being the father of the bride. Thank you all for coming and sharing in this special day. Seeing [bride’s name] and [groom’s name] together, I know their love is stronger than ever. May your journey together be filled with love, laughter and countless beautiful moments. To [bride’s name] and [groom’s name], may your love continue to grow, and your days be filled with happiness. Cheers!”

Best Man Speech

“Hey, everyone, I’m [your name], the best man and the guy who’s seen it all. Thank you all for being here to celebrate with [groom’s name] and [bride’s name]. I’ve seen [groom’s name] and [bride’s name] go from ‘I do’ to ‘We will.’ It’s been a wild ride! May your love be as enduring as [groom’s name]’s jokes and as beautiful as [bride’s name]’s smile. To [groom’s name] and [bride’s name], here’s to a lifetime of love, adventure and unforgettable memories. Cheers!”

Maid of Honour Speech

“Hello, everyone, I’m [your name], the maid of honour and [bride’s name]’s partner in crime. Thank you for joining us today to celebrate [bride’s name] and [groom’s name]’s love. I’ve watched [bride’s name] and [groom’s name] turn ordinary moments into extraordinary memories. May your love story be filled with as much joy as today and as many adventures as you can dream. To [bride’s name] and [groom’s name], may your love shine brighter with each passing day. Cheers!”

Mother of the Bride Speech

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m [your name], [bride’s name]’s proud mother. Thank you for being here to celebrate this special day with us. Seeing [bride’s name] and [groom’s name] together fills my heart with joy. Their love is a treasure. May the journey [bride’s name] and [groom’s name] embark upon be filled with love, laughter and countless cherished moments. To [bride’s name] and [groom’s name], may your love story be a source of inspiration for us all. Cheers!”

The bottom line on short speeches at a wedding

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Short wedding speeches balance sharing a sincere or witty message during the wedding reception and effective time management. Though it can be tricky to condense everything you want to say into a short 3-5 minutes, this challenge can produce speeches that are poignant, memorable, and filled with genuine emotion (and likely a dash of humour and wit as well!).

Instead of focusing on everything you’d like to say, we encourage you to stick to the basics — introduce yourself, broadly thank everyone for their contributions, tell the newlyweds how happy you are for them, and wrap up with well-wishes and a toast. 

A wedding speech doesn’t have to be long to be great, and it’s better to keep your speech brief and memorable than to risk losing the guests’ attention. This is true whether you’re going for a sweet and sentimental touch, or want something funny and entertaining.

But if you’re still struggling with where to start, we’ve got plenty of brilliant wedding speech examples to inspire you, from the traditional groom’s speech to the slightly less conventional mother of the bride speech.  You’ll be writing a short wedding speech that packs a punch in no time!

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Happy Planning!