Wedding Speeches – Wedding Speech Etiquette

Wedding Speeches – Wedding Speech Etiquette

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Author: Niamh Crowe

Keywords: Wedding speech,Wedding speeches,Wedding toasts,Wedding Toast,Wedding Day,Wedding speech etiquette

Summary: Wedding speech etiquette ? what to say or do when you are giving wedding speeches.

Weddings can be fraught occasions. An inappropriate remark can ruin the day for the couple. That is why it is so important that those giving a speech on the wedding day should be very careful about what they say.

That is not to say, of course, that they should not be light-hearted or witty. It is just to remind you that what may seem hilarious at the bachelor party might not sound equally funny to the bride’s mother or grandmother. A good speaker always tailors his or her wedding speech to the audience.

Weddings are usually family affairs and there may even be children present. That is why a speaker should not tell a smutty joke for example. There are some things that are taboo and should never be mentioned. One is that no mention should be made of the wedding couples’ past love life. A wedding day is obviously not the time either to make racist or political remarks. Nor is it a time to refer to previous husbands or wives, unless, of course, with the couple’s agreement. You need to be careful too about mentioning a family death. Again you should consult the wedding couple because the bride or groom might want his or her mother or father remembered on his or her big day.

A wedding speech should, ideally be warm and positive. You should speak about the virtues of the wedding couple and their suitability for each other. It’s ideal to mention their hobbies and their wonderful personalities. You could show you have done your homework by mentioning some childhood incident or something that shows either the bride or groom in a good light.

Obviously it depends on why you are speaking. If you are the father of the bride your wedding speech should be about how proud you are of your daughter and how much she means to you. You should mention her growing years and pay a gracious compliment to her mother. You ought to welcome the groom and his family into yours and end by toasting the happy couple. If, of course, there is divorce or family disagreement you have to be very careful not to mention it but concentrate on your daughter and her future happiness.

You may be the bride’s uncle or a family friend rather than the bride. If so, you should mention her father if that is appropriate and say that you are honored to be speaking at his daughter’s wedding. If her father has disappeared or should not be mentioned for some reason then simply say how honored you are to speak at the wedding of someone who is close to you. Your speech should mention how happy you are for the wedding couple and how you know that the groom is an ideal choice for her. You should mention how lovely the bride looks on her special day. You should say that the groom and his family will make a lovely addition to hers. The wedding speech should be touching and personal. It should end with a toast to the couple.

If the bride chooses to speak she will usually thank her parents for their love over the years. She will say how happy she is to be marrying her groom. She may thank those who helped her organise the wedding and she will usually say how wonderful her in-laws are too. Her speech is not traditional so she can make it very short and sweet.

The groom will, of course say, how beautiful his bride is. He will speak of his parents and how much they mean to him. He will mention his best man and the experiences they have shared over the years. He should speak too of his new in-laws and how welcoming they have been. He should say how happy he is that his bride has married him and that he looks forward to their future together. He will end his wedding speech with a toast to the bridesmaids.

A best man on the other hand, is usually the MC for the day so he is expected to keep the ball rolling. In his wedding speech he should refer to his friendship or kinship to the groom. He is expected to be light-hearted and to introduce the speakers in turn. So if there is a clergyman or woman present he invites them to speak first. Then he invites the father of the bride or friend of the family to speak. The father of the groom and perhaps the bride herself or her maid of honor follows this. Then the groom should speak and it is the best man’s duty to respond to the groom’s toast to the bridesmaids and, finally to read out any messages of congratulation. Before he does so, however, he will toast the wedding couple if the bride’s father has not done so already. If the bride’s father has toasted them the best man will simply offer them his best wishes for the future.

Weddings are traditional occasions and most couple follow the usual wedding etiquette. However there may be discord amongst families or there may be no family members present. In such a case a friend of the wedding couple may speak and wish them well and toast them in a light-hearted or jocular way. However it is their special day and the remarks, however, light-hearted, should be sincere. Above all a wedding speech should be gracious no matter who or what the personalities involved. So if the father of the bride is divorced and bitter he should still be able to say one good thing about the bride’s mother such as she is a great mother. The bride or the groom should never be upset by family discord on such a day.

Nobody is giving marks out of ten for the speech etiquette. Nonetheless just as you would not go to a black tie in your jeans your speech should suit the occasion. That is it should speak of the bride’s beauty, how much the groom suits her and of the wonderful future that lies ahead. If you incorporate these things in your wedding speech you can’t go far wrong.


Niamh Crowe is the CEO of the web’s leading speech site ( according to and Online since 1994, her site has thousands of speeches for every event and occasion including birthdays, weddings, graduations etc. She lives in Ireland where she is married to Fred. The have 5 children.

Niamh Crowe

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