Wedding Speeches – What to say on the big day

Although a wedding is indeed a divine union between two people, the once in a lifetime experience of a wedding ceremony involves a whole host of people; friends and family members much beloved by the bride and groom.

Everyone in attendance at a wedding ceremony has a special relationship with the couple who is about to say ‘I do.’  And each and every guest at a wedding ceremony has their own feelings to convey about these two wonderful people.  Everyone has their own words of tender affection for the bride and the groom, their own cute stories, their own kind words and meaningful wishes for the future of this special duo.

The problem, of course, is that no single wedding ceremony is long enough to include a warm and sentimental speech from every single guest.  In truth, only a few of these guests will be asked to speak at any given matrimonial ceremony; speaking in general terms, the bride, the groom, the best man, the maid of honor, and the parents of both the bride and the groom will be the ones asked to address the crowd at any given wedding reception.  They are the ones who will be asked to deliver those thoughtful oratories known as wedding speeches.

And while this is no doubt a great honor as well as a joyful undertaking (one the speaker is never likely to forget), the act of preparing and giving wedding speeches also ranks among the most challenging and intimidating tasks that any human being can face.

After all, these few select people are bearing the burden of expressing a room full of emotion; of conveying, not only a full and articulate round of best wishes for the couple who just said, ‘I do,’ but the thoughts and feelings of all of those guests who—due to both time constraints or ceremonial tradition–were not asked to address the crowd.

These select speakers may feel very intimidated or even afraid about their oratorical responsibilities.  Yet with a lot of heart, a little bit of confidence and a good amount of preparation, just about anyone—regardless of their prior level of speech experience or their specific relationship to the married couple—is capable of conjuring a winning wedding oratory; one that both the newlywed couple and their guests are sure to savor for a long time.

First and foremost, it is highly important that all speakers involved speak from the heart at all times.  Audience members can usually tell when a speech is canned or copied whole from another source.  And regardless of how articulate or flowery a wedding speech might be, it won’t mean much without genuine sentiments and personalized anecdotes to distinguish them from the numerous other wedding speeches that guests have heard through the years.

Yet even once one has decided what to say, they still may need some guidance as to how to say it.  The groom’s main attendant, for example, may want to check out prime samples and examples of Best Man Speeches.

Like other key players in the wedding, the best man will be expected to relate personal anecdotes about the bride and groom, rain endless praise on them—both as individuals and as a couple—and express your best and fondest wishes for their future.  Beyond the basics, though, listeners will expect to learn certain tidbits about the groom that only the best man can provide.

Speaking in general terms, the best man will be expected to introduce the groom to all in attendance; to show guests the best side of his best friend, while also humanizing him in the eyes of those who don’t know him as well as you do—and who at this point might simply regard him as ‘the guy who’s marrying the bride,’ or as the human and sharply dressed version of a wedding cake topper.

With this in mind, present a flattering verbal portrait of your friend that is also filled with humor and character.  The best man is often expected to be the card or comic at a wedding ceremony, so do not hold back on the funny stories; just make sure that they don’t get too personal or are in any way unflattering—save those particular quips for the bachelor party!

Also relate those heartwarming tales that display and illustrate the groom’s most positive traits.  Did he save a puppy from drowning at some point?  Start his own and insanely successful corporate venture, perhaps one that sells personalized beer caddies?  Best of all, did he buy a really big ring for the bride with the interest earned through the company?  Let your listeners hear about it; by the end of the speech, they should know and like the groom—and you as well!

Many of the same tenets hold true for Maid of Honor Speeches; and in a variety of ways.  As the bride’s best friend and closest confidante, you are the one who knows her best; and using this knowledge you can present her in a glowing and illustrious light worthy of a newly minted bride.  Sing the heavenly praises of her beauty, her wisdom, her elegance, her success; present her as the princess of the day for all to behold and admire.

And as the case with the best man, the maid of honor is also privy to certain details of the bride’s life; and by sharing tasteful but personal anecdotes about this special woman, the bride’s main attendant can serve to humanize this goddess in white before an audience of her peers.  You know her better than anyone else; so why not introduce her to all who have gathered to celebrate the biggest day of her life?

Another person close and dear to the bride, one sure to be in attendance on the grand and memorable day of her wedding, is her father.  And it is for precisely this reason that Father of the Bride Speeches are among the most beloved and highly anticipated at any given matrimonial ceremony.

Only the bride’s parents and siblings can relay tales of what this ivory clad queen of the day was like as a little girl; when she wore bibs and overalls instead of silk and pearls, and her hair was done up in ponytails as opposed to a veil-secured bouffant.  And as a proud papa, surely you have any number of precious and priceless anecdotes to share about this glorious creature that you have seen evolve from girl to woman.  Share those stories that show the bride’s good side, while at the same time displaying those qualities that make her endearingly modest and humanistic in the eyes and ears of listeners.

Did she head up a charitable effort that resulted in significant change and improvement in her community?  Did she graduate cum laude from college?  Did she coordinate a successful and oh so glamorous fashion show?  Does she campaign for her favorite political candidate or champion a heartfelt social cause on a regular basis?  Does she play a mean flute, fiddle or harp?  Does she cry at sappy old movies?  Does she play an ace game of cards or do a keen impression of Daffy Duck?  As silly and trivial as these fantastic factoids may sound, these are the things that will endear the bride to the crowd; making her seem more like a human being and less than an unreachable and unattainable vision in white.

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This is your little girl; the apple of your eye, the one you wish to glorify and hold above all others; so on this, the day of her wedding, cast her in the spotlight.  Show everyone in attendance just how much you love her; also show them what an articulate, eloquent, truly caring champion she has in you.

Indeed, regardless of the specific role that one happens to play in any given wedding ceremony, his/her ultimate duty always will be to honor and showcase the two central figures in that day’s ceremony: namely, the bride and the groom.  All of your words should be geared toward them and spoken in their honor; and to phrase it in simpler terms, the better you make them look, the better you will appear as a speaker, presenter and orator.

And there is one tenet that every orator who is planning a wedding speech should always follow, regardless of the theme of the particular ceremony or your role in the proceedings: Have fun.  If you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, then the crowd will pick up your positive vibe and will be more open and receptive to your words.  And you will get more out of that experience, and not just see it as a duty or responsibility.  A wedding, after all, is a celebration; so enjoy this day, and your speech, to their fullest.

If you still are in need of some sound and reasonable words of advice when it comes to preparing and delivering perfect wedding speeches, please visit


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