It cements you as a key figure in a person’s life. After all, they’ll always remember the people who made the effort to speak at their wedding. As a result, you want to honour the couple by doing them justice, as well as delight and entertain everyone in the room.
Think of this as your chance to add an extra bit of sparkle to this extraordinary day. So, take a deep breath, stand up straight, and get ready to make this moment a cherished memory for the newlyweds.
In this post, we explore the best wedding speech ideas for each crucial person in the wedding party. That includes the traditional father of the bride, groom, and best man. We also take a peek at non-traditional wedding speeches like the bride’s speech, bridesmaid’s speech, maid of honour’s speech, and sister of the bride’s speech.
What is a wedding speech?
A wedding speech is a speech, toast, or dedication made during a wedding reception. They’re usually made after the wedding breakfast but before the dessert. This not only breaks up the meal nicely but also prevents the guests from getting too hungry!
Wedding speeches can be short, funny, touching, or tear-jerking and usually include anecdotes about the happy couple, some guidance on marriage, quotes about love, and a lot of thank-yous. They’re generally between 5 and 7 minutes long. However, they can be as long as necessary to get your point across.
No matter the length, every wedding speech should start with an introduction and end with a toast to the health and happiness of the newlyweds.
What should I include in speeches for weddings?
Here are some key elements to include in your wedding speech:
Introduce yourself. Though most people at the wedding will already know you, introducing yourself at the start of a speech is a great way to kick off the proceedings. It can help you feel more confident and set the tone of your speech.
How you met the happy couple. You can then move on to explaining how long you’ve known the newlyweds and how you met them. Are you a sister, brother, an old school friend, or partner in crime?
Loving advice. Even if you’re single, feel free to share your thoughts and advice about love. If you don’t feel confident doing this, consider using some quotes about love, shortening a wedding reading, or even using your favourite song lyrics!
Light teasing. Light teasing is to be expected during a wedding speech. It adds a touch of humour and warmth to the celebration, making everyone feel even closer to the bride and groom. However, it’s important to remember that the key word here is ‘light.’ The goal is to bring smiles, not embarrassment, to the faces of the newlyweds. If you’re not sure whether a joke will land properly, consider running it past the couple first. Alternatively, leave it out and pick another story!
A toast. Every good speech should end with a hearty toast. Raise your glass high, wish the lovebirds well, and drink to their shared future.
Wedding Speech Ideas
If you’re unsure what to include in your wedding speech, we’ve got your back. Check out our guide on wedding toast suggestions to see how your role in the celebrations will impact what you should include.
A light-hearted warning to their new partner. This type of gentle teasing should be reserved for fathers and children who share a similar sense of humour. If that’s you, you could consider warning your child’s new partner about how untidy they are, how messy their hair is in the morning, or any other unique quirks they possess. As long as the ribbing stays good-natured and light-hearted, you’re good to go.
Your pearls of wisdom. As the father of the bride, you’ll no doubt have some salient advice for your child and their new partner on their wedding day. Share what you’ve learned about love, life, and commitment on your journeys around the sun. If you’re at a loss, a poem about love never goes amiss.
Tell them how proud you are. Finally, tell the bride how proud you are of them. Tell them how you always knew they were someone special, how much you love them, and how genuinely lucky their new partner is. Trust us — there won’t be a dry eye in the room!
The groom’s speech traditionally goes second in the order of speeches. The groom’s speech should be an ode to your new partner and a big thank you to everyone who’s helped plan (and finance) your big day. Be sure to include:
A big thank you to everyone. Planning a wedding is no easy task. There’s so much to think about and so much to pay for! Every person sitting with you on your wedding day has played a part in your love story, so thank them for that. Thank your parents for all their support, thank your parent’s parents for welcoming you into their family, thank your friends, your parent’s friends, the guests, and finally, the staff of the venue. After all, without their hard work, this day wouldn’t be possible!
Tell your partner how much they mean to you. You should then turn your attention to your new partner. Tell them how beautiful they look, that you’re the luckiest person alive, and thank them for their support. Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick — everyone will love it!
Mention those who couldn’t make it. There are always people who can’t attend a wedding. Be that because they have other plans or because they’ve passed away, it’s a nice gesture to acknowledge the love and support of those who can’t be there on your big day.
Best man speeches are intended to be upbeat, funny, and memorable. Your role as the best man isn’t just to stand beside the groom on their big day, but also to share in the celebration by delivering a speech that reflects the joy of the occasion. As a result, your speech should include:
Stag-do shenanigans. This is the perfect time to share how drunk the groom was on his stag-do. Maybe share how you had them dress up as a smurf, the games you played, and the morning-after fry-up. Just remember — his family, friends, and work colleagues will all be there. So, if you’re not sure about a joke, give it a miss!
The time the groom told you about their new partner. You were likely one of the first people to hear about the groom’s new relationship. Meet-cutes or stories about when they told you their new partner was ‘the one’ always go down well. Share exactly what they told you when they decided they were going to propose, and watch the smiles light up around the room.
The adventures you’ve shared. Share some of your favourite memories from your adventures with the groom. You’ve no doubt shared a whole host of unforgettable experiences, so share those with your invited guests. Again —- keep it clean, keep it appropriate.
The bride’s speech is an untraditional but beautiful wedding speech. There’s no better feeling than taking a few minutes on your big day to share your love for your new partner and how grateful you are for everyone’s love and support throughout the process.
Because the bride’s speech is untraditional, there are no expectations! However, we recommend you include:
A toast to yourself! Wedding planning is hard. But, you’ve made it to the other side, and now you get to enjoy your big day! Raise a toast to yourself for all your hard work, planning efforts, and dedication. Your commitment to creating a beautiful and memorable wedding day is truly commendable, and it deserves to be celebrated. Cheers to you; you did it!
Thank the hidden supporters. There are a lot of hidden supporters who go into wedding prep. For example, your hairdresser, your make-up artist, your florist, your wedding planner, and many more. Thank their efforts in making you look and feel so beautiful and all the support and guidance they’ve given you along the way.
A personal story from wedding planning. There are lots of ‘behind the scenes’ moments of wedding planning that will never get the recognition they deserve. But, this is your chance! Time to share what your ‘plan B’ was in case of rain, the outfit you almost chose, or any unexpected mishaps that turned into cherished memories.
As the maid of honour, your speech should be heartfelt, personal, and reflective of your relationship with the bride. Consider including:
The couple’s love story. You’re in the fortunate position of having been able to witness the happy couple’s love story. You’ve probably been there since the very beginning, knew every detail about the proposal before it even happened, and went to every bridal fitting. Share this with the guests! They’ll want to know every detail about how the bride knew their partner was the one. Tell them about the first-date jitters, the third-date butterflies, or when they told you they’d met the one.
Meaningful lyrics. Share the bride’s favourite meaningful song lyrics as part of your speech. Not only will this act as a fun inside joke between the two of you, but it will beautifully capture the essence of the couple’s relationship.
The proposal. The proposal story is always a crowd-pleaser. You probably had the inside scoop on what was happening, so share the part you played when the question was popped. Now that the big day has arrived, you can spill the beans on the sneaky communications, how the ring size was discovered, and how they told you the news.
Bridesmaid speech ideas
Another non-traditional wedding speech, a bridesmaid’s speech could include the following:
Compliments for the bride. If you’re not sure what to include, complimenting the bride will always go down well. Compliment their choice of outfit, tell them how radiant they were walking down the aisle, or even talk about how fun the hen-do was. There are a ton of options for wedding day compliments, all of which will add warmth and love to your speech.
Support and well-wishes. If you’re at the wedding, you’ve probably already been a big support and source of guidance throughout the couple’s relationship. However, your candid advice, guidance, and dreams for their future on their big day will be well-received and can bulk out the body of your speech.
The getting-ready process. Getting ready for a wedding is one of the best parts of the day. Share all the funny stories of overflowing prosecco, eyelashes that wouldn’t stick, and the special moment you first saw the bride in their outfit.
Sister of the bride speech ideas
The sister of the bride’s speech could also be a maid of honour speech. However, it doesn’t have to be.
Instead, focus on the sister of the bride’s speech as being a loving and nostalgic toast from the bride’s oldest friend. You could include:
Stories from their childhood. You’re in the unique position of having been present during the bride’s childhood. As a result, you’ll have plenty of embarrassing stories and happy memories to share on your sister’s big day. For example, you could tell the guests about their My Little Pony obsession, how much they loved custard, or even a heartwarming memory from their first day at school. Whatever stories you decide to share, make sure they’re full of love and peppered with nostalgia.
Sibling rivalry or teasing. A hint of sibling rivalry is to be expected in a sister of the bride speech. Share how you’re the oldest, were always the tallest, and yet they beat you down this aisle!
Heartfelt admiration. Alternatively, if you’re the younger sister, flip the narrative and explain how you’ve always looked up to your big sister, and you hope to be as happy as she is one day.
The bottom line on wedding speeches
Wedding speeches are a beautiful and much-anticipated part of the big day. Being asked to make a speech or wedding toast is a big honour, and you should take it as your opportunity to sing the praises of the happy couple. After all, they’ve trusted you with part of the biggest day of their lives!
The bottom line on wedding speeches is that they should be fun, engaging, and heartfelt. Your words should reflect the love, joy, and uniqueness of the couple, as well as the special relationship you share. It’s your chance to contribute to their big day, make the audience laugh or shed a tear, and leave a lasting impression on this wonderful occasion.
So, whether you’re a traditional speech maker like the best man, or non-traditional like the sister of the bride, remember to stand up straight, smile, and always end with a toast. If you’re not sure where to start, we have a whole host of wedding speech examples to inspire you. Plus, you can find everything you need to know about wedding speech length, wedding speech order, and speech delivery tips through our handy blog posts.