October 18 2020 – Mike Yarbrough
Getting married is a joyous occasion, but there is a lot of work that goes into it! In all fairness, it tends to be more work for the bride than the groom, but there's one big job that, as a groom, you don't want to procrastinate. We're talking about giving a great groom speech.
We know that giving speeches isn't for everybody. Some estimates suggest that as many as 75% of people have fear of public speaking to some degree. Writing a speech can be challenging too, which is why we hope these tips help you craft and deliver a speech that hits all the right notes.
Tips for Writing Your Groom Wedding Speech
1. Know Who to Thank
Part of the groom’s wedding speech should include thanking the folks who need to be thanked. Highest up on the list are the father and mother of the bride (especially if they're taking on the traditional role of paying for a large portion of the wedding). Beyond that, don’t forget to thank everybody for coming, especially friends or family members who traveled a long way. You don't have to make it an exhaustive list -- the photographer and the cake baker probably won't be offended if you don't thank them in your speech -- but be sure to give a quick shout-out to anyone who helped out in a big way.
2. Keep it Short
The Gettysburg Address is just 275 words long, and takes about three minutes to read. The Gettysburg Address! Take a page from the Lincoln playbook and keep your speech short and sweet. If your speech goes on too long your guests may become restless and start eyeing the wedding cake more than you and your bride.
3. Quote (or Don't)
Starting with a quote is a great way to warm up your audience and ease yourself into your speech. Even so, keep in mind that if you're going to use a quote in your speech, it should be one that actually means something to you. Don't quote a book you've never read or a philosopher you've never heard of, and don't—seriously, DO NOT—start your speech by telling the crowd what the dictionary definition of love is.
4. Include Some Humor
The wedding reception is meant to be a fun time, so lighten it up! It's always a good idea to inject some humor into your speech. Try to avoid the corny jokes. Think of some funny anecdotes involving how you and your bride met, the moment you knew she was "the one," or another funny-yet-heartwarming moment from your relationship.
5. Know Your Audience
Remember who you're giving this speech to: your new bride, your families, your wedding party and all of your other friends. Have fun and enjoy the speech, but be careful not to insult or embarrass anyone. Avoid telling jokes at other people's expense, and try to keep the profanity to a minimum.
Tips for Delivering Your Groom Wedding Speech
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
We can't emphasize this enough. Read your speech to yourself in the mirror. Read it while you're having breakfast. Read it while you're walking the dog. Read it over and over again until you barely need to look at the page to remember the words. Not only will this will this give you an opportunity to refine your speech and make it better, but it will allow you to deliver it calmly and confidently since you will practically know it by heart. It couldn’t hurt to try and find some good groom wedding speeches on YouTube, too. Watching other successful speeches might help you figure out how to improve your own.
7. Know When You Go On
You don't want to be caught off guard, and you don't want any confusion on your wedding day about who gives what speech at what time. Discuss it with the bride-to-be during the wedding planning stages. Traditionally, the groom’s speech takes place at the wedding reception, right after the father of the bride gives his.
8. Look Your Bride in the Eye
A lot of your speech will be addressed to the crowd as a whole, but parts of it will be aimed more at specific people—the bride in particular. Just before you get to the lovey-dovey part of your speech, take a moment to lock eyes with the bride and really make sure that part of the speech is directed at her alone. There won't be a dry eye in the house.
9. Take It Slow
The average person can read much faster than they can speak. The ideal speaking speed is about 150 to 160 words per minute, but most people read at about 230 words per minute. That can really trip you up if you're trying to read a speech while delivering it! Slow your eyes down and read at a leisurely pace to avoid getting tongue-tied. If you speak too quickly it may be hard for your guests (especially those hard of hearing) to understand you and enjoy your speech.
It's okay. Remember to breathe, and keep in mind that you're among friends and family. Everybody is on your side, and it's okay to relax. Have a drink if it helps calm your nerves... but don't get too sloshed before your speech. That's a recipe for disaster. Enjoy this opportunity to tell everyone how much your bride means to you.
There are many things the groom has to do before the big day: writing the groom's wedding speech, getting gifts for the groomsmen and, of course, picking out the wedding rings. Take our ring style quiz to see which style of custom wedding rings might be best for you and your bride-to-be.