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A Complete Guide to Writing Wedding Speeches in 2020

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Weddings are always such emotional and beautiful moments. From the proposal to the honeymoon farewell, everything is breathtakingly beautiful. I will be sharing a comprehensive guide on wedding speeches of different kinds. I will include how to make the speech, examples, do’s and don’ts, helpful tips, videos, and more.

However, there is no denying that wedding speeches always take one’s hat off the most during wedding ceremonies. They can make you cry, laugh, or wish you weren’t single. 

Because of their elite responsibility, presenting wedding speeches could be a rather daunting task and may leave you at a loss for words and struggling. What do you do when you feel in over your head with your wedding speech order or need more tips for your speech presentation?

If you are interested in learning all these, continue reading as we discover them. However, if all these intricacies bother you or you only need some final helpful tips for wedding speech presentation, you can skip to the subheading before the conclusion. 

The Traditional Wedding Speech Order: Who can Give a Toast or Speech

Like the actual occasion, wedding speech order has evolved to include some things and eliminate other customs. Traditional wedding speeches usually follow the bride’s order, then the groom, best man, and other speech presenters. 

These days, brides and bridesmaids also give speeches as per women’s empowerment; some even include a wedding officiant speech separate from the ceremony. So, now the wedding speech order will be:

  1. Father of the bride
  2. Groom
  3. Bride
  4. Maid of honor or bridesmaids
  5. Any other speech
  6. Best man speech (it is always the last speech)

Father of the Bride Speech

The father of the bride’s speech is what starts the wedding speech order. It is one of those traditionally important speeches that will usually:

  • Welcome and thank guests for coming to the occasion.
  • Compliment his daughter and share some heartwarming stories about her and include why you are proud of her.
  • Welcome the groom to your family and toast to absent family and friends 
  • Give the groom some praise and let him know that you are happy that he is a new family member.
  • Make a toast to the new couple.

Why the Father of the Bride Wedding Speeches are Traditionally Important 

The father of the bride’s wedding speeches draws their importance from the fact that the bride’s family traditionally hosts the wedding or pays for it. However, as wedding protocols keep evolving, the sponsors of the wedding changes.

Some couples pay for their weddings, and others split the wedding cost between their families. However, the father of the bride speech hasn’t changed position, and now, some couples include the father of the groom speech in the line up too.

The Father of the Bride Speech Template 

An essential feature of the father of the bride wedding speech order is gratitude, emotion, and moderate jokes. 

Despite being the father of a lovely bride, the possibility for fear of public speaking is not out of the question, so overcoming or finding ways to deal with your anxiety is an essential part of the presentation.

Fear aside, the bride’s father will usually talk first and will most likely give the wedding welcome speech, so you will need to get started. Before I get to the template proper, let us look at the steps to create a killer speech.

The First Step is Research

Quality research will give you most of the details you need to create an excellent wedding speech template. Some questions that need to be on your research list are:

  • Who the other speakers are and the order in which they will speak.
  • The position of your speech in the wedding schedule
  • Will they provide a sound system, or do you need to practice projection?
  • Will you introduce the other speakers, or is that someone else’s job?
Generate Ideas for Father of the Bride Wedding Speeches and Organize them in a Structure

The first process is brainstorming and writing out general ideas and thoughts that could go with your speech. Here you can note stories you may want to tell, stories you want to share, or things you are grateful for having your daughter.

Next, you determine what your speech is going to look like: define your tone. Afterward, you will want to organize your thoughts around the structure you created to prepare for your initial draft.

Drafting and Revision

After organizing your wedding speech order, you are now ready to start writing seriously. After putting down your draft, you will need to review it and make appropriate corrections, leading to my next point on the template.

The template proper is essential to give you a sense of structure and avoid straying too far from the subject matter. So what are the elements of the father of the bride wedding speeches templates?

  1. A proper introduction that lets them know who you are. You can throw in a joke at this point since it will still be appropriate.
  2. Welcome the wedding guests and give honorable mentions to the groom’s parents and the bride’s mother.
  3. Share a heartwarming memory or a short story. Let your daughter know that you are very proud of her on her big day.
  4. Welcome the groom to your family 
  5. You can share a word of advice or wisdom.
  6. Don’t forget to make a toast to the new couple.
Father of the bride wedding speeches checklist
Honesty about your feelings
Appropriate length and appropriate topics
Excessively embarrassing topics
All about the couple, especially your daughter
Excessive comedy

If your speech meets these criteria, you are good to go. All that is left is practice and let your natural charm work.

You can watch this father of the bride speech for more clarity: https://youtu.be/ZZdcmXFWcjo.

Groom’s Speech

The groom’s wedding speech comes after the bride’s father’s toast and before the best man’s speech. We can easily nickname the groom’s toast as the wedding thank you speech since it is the perfect opportunity to:

  • Appreciate your guests.
  • Appreciate and flatter your new wife.
  • Thank your parents and the bride’s parents for their role in your life and the wedding.
  • Respond to your father-in-law.
  • Thank everyone that participated in making your wedding day successful.

The Groom’s Wedding Speech Order

Like other wedding speeches, the groom’s speech requires proper preparation to pull it off. After preparing for your toast, you must first respond to the address before yours, which leads to our next point.

Start By Responding to the Bride’s Father

Since the groom’s wedding speech comes after the father of the bride’s toast, it is appropriate for the groom to respond to whatever he said. You shouldn’t forget to thank him, especially if he sponsored the wedding. Your starting tone will set the pace for the entire speech, so it needs to work well.

Appreciate your Guests

Most guests don’t pay for your wedding, but they go to great lengths to contribute to celebrating you. Some guests travel a long way to attend your wedding and spend money to purchase their outfits for the ceremony, so they deserve gratitude.

Express Gratitude to The Bride’s Family and Yours

Both families deserve gratitude for helping you and your bride become who you are today, and they also contributed their quota to helping your dream wedding become a reality. Although your gratitude doesn’t need to be extensive, you should give honor and credit to who it is due.

Thank your Best Man, Groomsmen, and the Bridesmaids

Since they all played an essential role in your wedding, thank them and remember to compliment them. Try to avoid inside jokes, especially when thanking your best man since all the wedding guests will not understand your joke. 

You can use this medium to introduce your best man or the next presenter coming after you. You can also use this medium to thank all the other people that helped make your wedding a reality.

Compliment your Wife and Make a Toast

This part allows you to get cheesy and say all the sweet things you did not add to your vows. You can thank your bride for the effort she put into her appearance and let her know how you feel getting married to her. 

You can end this section and your speech with a lovely quote or poem dedication to your bride and cue in your best man if there isn’t an MC to do so.

Check out this video as an example of an excellent groom’s speech: https://youtu.be/27WufdasQYs.

Best Man Wedding Speech

In a traditional wedding speech order, the best man speech is usually the final speech. Most of the time,  the best man’s speech would be the funniest one. 

Some elements to remember while preparing the best man wedding speech are:

  1. Try to avoid inside jokes at all costs.
  2. Avoid topics about exes.
  3. Avoid criminal history or sexual topics.
  4. Remember your opening one-liner as it sets the tone for your entire speech
  5. Direct most of your jokes at the groom avoid taking jabs at the bride.

Outlining the Best Man Wedding Speech Order: Creating a Template

When creating the best man’s wedding speech, here is a great template to use:

  • Introduce yourself and share how you know the couple with the audience
  • Appreciate the groom for choosing you as his best man. You could make jokes here also.
  • Appreciate the couple for a fantastic event so far
  • Share stories and anecdotes from your friendship with the groom thus far. Keep in mind that it is a family affair, so inappropriate topics aren’t welcome. Remember to avoid inside jokes.
  • Talk about how you think the couple are better together and compliment them.
  • Propose a toast to the couple. 

Learn more: https://youtu.be/BYEXCPFfoPM.

Bride’s Speech

The bride’s speech isn’t part of the traditional wedding speech order. However, some couples replace the groom’s toast for the bride’s speech, and others accommodate both.

Writing the Bride’s Wedding Speeches 

The bride’s wedding speech order is quite similar to the groom’s wedding speech. The template is as follows:

  • Welcoming and appreciating guests
  • Talk about your experience walking up the aisle or any other memorable event.
  • Compliment your husband and the groom’s men
  • Thank your bridesmaids and other friends for making your day special
  • Share a brief story about your spouse, how you met, how you got engaged, and more.
  • Commend your parents and your husband’s parents for raising both of you and for their role in making your wedding lovely.
  • Talk about anyone you would have loved to be present but isn’t (like a dead relative).
  • Talk to your new spouse and share your future hopes with them in minimal words.

Learn more: https://youtu.be/41aRJMUliGE.

Bridesmaids or Maid of Honor Speech

Being the maid of honor comes with numerous responsibilities. You help the bride with wedding planning and shopping and keep her from becoming a bridezilla. The maid of honor also has to plan the bridal shower or bachelorette party, sign as a witness on the marriage registry, and more.

Sometimes, the wedding program includes a maid of honor speech, which adds more responsibility to your plate. Since females are excellent at multitasking, all these responsibilities are daunting but achievable.

Maids of honor will have to start planning their wedding speeches months before the event. As the wedding approaches, preparation becomes more time-consuming, especially if they are the bride’s sister.

Writing the Maid of Honour Wedding Speech 

Like any speech, having general ideas of what you want to say during your speech is normal. For a better-organized address, you can use this template.

Start with An Introduction

Help your audience know you by sharing your name and relationship with the bride. If you are best friends, you can let them know how long you have known each other.

Thank the Guests That Showed Up and Assisted in Making the Bride’s Day

You understand the stress of planning the wedding almost as much as the bride. Therefore thank the guests that showed up to honor your friend or sister. Don’t undermine their efforts by comparing it to yours. Instead, appreciate the sacrifices they made.

Determine the Path of the Your Speech with a Story

The story you tell at this moment can change the direction of your toast. You could go for a heartwarming tale, an embarrassing one, or a memory from your time planning the wedding together.

Input a Relevant Quote

You can use a quote to add depth to your speech, but it is not necessary. You don’t need to spend hours brainstorming to find the perfect anecdote.

It is better to avoid the quote if it is irrelevant to your speech and the wedding.

Convey The Emotions You Feel

Let your speech come from your heart to your friend or sister. Women are usually sentimental so that you can cry during your toast without fear of judgment.

End Strong with a Toast

You can end even stronger than you began. Be creative with your end and propose a toast to the lovely couple.

Learn more: https://youtu.be/av-aIV8leKQ.

Father of the Groom Speech

The father of the groom’s speech is quite similar to the bride’s father’s toast. However, it is not part of the traditional order of wedding speeches.

The Role of the Father of the Groom

Most people cannot clearly define the role of the groom’s father in the wedding process. Of those that can figure out their functions, many assume that they don’t do much work. 

However, here are some of the groom’s duties during their son’s wedding from pre-wedding till post-ceremony.

  1. Advice your son and direct him on the right paths to take
  2. Escort the groom’s mother to her seat
  3. Host the engagement party
  4. Lead the toast during rehearsal dinners
  5. Reach out to relatives and inform them that your son is getting married.
  6. Contribute to the cost of the wedding
  7. Reassuring your son when he feels uneasy
  8. Welcoming guests during the reception
  9. Depending on the ceremony, you may lead your son down the aisle.
  10. Present the rehearsal dinner speech, where you let your son know how proud you are of him and welcome your new daughter to the family.
  11. Socializing with guests and mingling

Even after the wedding, your son may need you as a constant pillar of support during his marriage. 

The Father of the Groom Wedding Speech Template 

When you finish putting down thoughts and ideas you have for your father of the groom’s speech, it is time to organize your toast with an appropriate template.

The groom’s father’s wedding speech order is similar to that of the bride’s father. Here is a template you can use to organize your speech.

Introduce Yourself to the Guests

Not everyone knows you, so you can help them gain perspective by introducing yourself.

Welcome and Appreciate the Wedding Guests

Appreciate the effort they took to show up for your son and daughter-in-law. Also, thank the organizers and other people.

Talk about Your Son Briefly

You can share relevant stories about your son and some events that made you see how lucky you are to be his dad.

Share How You Feel about the Bride and the Couple

Pay some attention to the bride and commend her for a positive influence on your son. You can decide to talk about when you first officially met and more.

Talk about the couple as one and about how you feel about them, share memories, and more. If you want, you can share some advice.

End with a Toast

Finish with a toast to the couple’s future, gaining a new daughter, and more. You can end with a one-liner that summarizes most of your speech.

Learn more here: https://youtu.be/q6_CWioh5G0.

The Timing For Wedding Speeches

Traditionally, people give all the wedding speeches during the wedding reception. The exact timing for each toast depends on the ceremony order. 

Some people prefer to give the toasts during the rehearsal dinner, especially if they want it to be more intimate or have no plans to hold a proper reception.

Writing a Remarkable Wedding Speech: Preparing the Perfect Wedding Speech Template

Irrespective of the side you are representing during the wedding, most wedding speeches follow a similar template. If you have a hard time coming up with an order for your toast, I will share a template in the next subheading. 

However, if your problem is with public speaking, this video may help you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYGB_vPLKtA&t=29s.

Try always to remember the wedding speech order and that the wedding welcome speech or address is by the bride’s father, and then everyone comes after.

If you have numerous ideas or none, you can organize your thoughts around this template.

Begin With an Introduction 

Not everyone knows who you are, so a quick introduction before your wedding speech order will give your audience context. You can start with your name and talk about how you met the couple or your relationship with them. 

You can Tell a Story as Long as it is Relevant 

If you already took note of the stories you want to share during the wedding, now is the best time to pick one. Its better to choose a narrative that:

  • Has a point you can relate to at the end of the story
  • Reflects the qualities you love about the bride or groom
  • Is relevant, appropriate, and relatable
  • Doesn’t put the couple in a bad light
  • Doesn’t focus entirely on you

Share Their Love Story From Your Point of View

Every person that gives a speech will have different perspectives on the couple’s love story. Except you are joined to them by the hip, you won’t have the whole picture without a proper perspective. 

You can talk about the first day you met their spouse and when you realized they were going to marry each other.

Which Qualities Do You Love in Their Partner?

Depending on your wedding role, your speech may need to focus more on the bride or groom. However, the wedding day is about both of them, so you can share the qualities you love about them and say why you think they are perfect for each other.

Share Your Hopes For them and Well Wishes

If you have any helpful advice or quotes, this is the perfect time to share it. If you are already married, a piece of advice would be more welcome, but unmarried people should best stick with wishing them a happy, fruitful future. 

This section should end on an optimistic, positive note in preparation for the toast that is coming.

Finish Off with a Toast to the Couple

Ending your speech could be as daunting as how you started, so the best way to end the address is with a toast. Request the audience to raise their glasses to the lovely couple.

Wedding Speeches Do’s and Don’ts

What do you avoid? What can you include? Let’s find out here.

Do’s Don’ts
Center your speech around the couple Make the speech all about yourself.
Share relevant memories Embarrass the couple
Show your emotions Talk about past relationships (even if you were an ex)
Wish the couple well
Express gratitude for the opportunity to talk

Wedding Speech Tips For Everyone

Everyone needs tips for wedding speeches and all types of orations. So in my next point, I have organized speech tips for everyone that could give a wedding toast.

Tips For the Maid of Honor and Best Man 

  1. A few sips of alcohol for liquid courage is okay, but avoid being drunk so that you can vocalize adequately.
  2. Talk about the couple as a unit and as individuals. It isn’t your wedding day; we will talk more about you then.
  3. It’s okay to be funny, but try to avoid humiliating the couple.
  4. Other people are presenting, so keep your speech simple and sweet.
  5. Practice your speech. Avoid winging it.
  6. Write your speech down so that you won’t have regrets about things you should have said later.

Tips For the Groom’s Father and the Bride’s Father

  1. Try to be as concise as possible.
  2. Don’t forget to thank people, even if the couple will thank their guests. One cannot overexpress gratitude.
  3. Make the jokes minimal. You don’t need to turn your speech into a standup comedy.
  4. It’s not possible to be too sentimental as a parent so embrace your emotional side.
  5. Welcome the bride or groom to your family.

Tips For the Bride and Groom

  1. Express gratitude for all the sacrifices people made to make your day as they don’t owe you.
  2. Focus on your spouse. It’sIts their day too.
  3. You can share snippets from the best parts of your relationship. We all love a good love story.
  4. Raise a glass and toast to your dreams and hopes for your future together.

7 Final Tips for All Wedding Speech Presenters

As I promised earlier in the introduction, here are some comprehensive tips for all the people that will give wedding speeches.

Practice and Practice Some More 

Preparedness helps improve your confidence. Being nervous is completely normal, but being prepared can help with your fidgeting.

Record Yourself While Practicing or Use a Virtual Assistant like Orai 

Record yourself presenting and practice your speech. You can use orai to practice https://youtu.be/3PSQiMCnL5A.

Take note of your body language, mannerisms, and filler words and try to avoid them.

Avoid Booze as Much as Possible 

It is always best to stick with drinking only a glass before your speech, especially if you get drunk quickly. If you do not need to drink, avoid alcohol until after your toast so that you don’t end up saying inappropriate things or forget your lines.

Don’t Try too Hard: Just Be Yourself 

It is always best to be yourself during your speech. If you are sentimental, let it flow. If you are funny, feel free to be funny. 

The main thing is being as authentic as possible. The couple will feel your authenticity a lot more.

Make Your Speech as Brief as Possible 

No one has ever complained that anyone gave a speech that was too short. It’s always best to keep your toast within three to five minutes. Going on for too long will make you lose your audience.

Avoid Embarrassing Stories Like the Plague 

You aren’t there to slander or roast the couple, so it would be best to avoid inappropriate stories. There is the chance that their work colleagues would be part of the audience, so keep the jokes about wilding out minimal. 

You can share some childhood memories, but it is best to avoid stories that do not speak well of you and either of the newlyweds.

Hold Unto Your Notes

I am entirely against reading your speech like it is the news, but a couple of notes and pointers are helpful. You could get too excited, exhausted, or nervous and forget your speech.

Your audience may be too drunk to notice you looking at your notes, and they may not even see. If you practice your speech correctly, you will only need pointers to remind you of what to say next, and you can maintain eye contact with the audience.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Wedding speeches taking a non-traditional route is the new normal. Some people even opt for an open mic where anyone can give a toast. 

We advise that you keep the wedding speech order and number of presenters to a maximum of five to avoid making your guests squirmish. Also, it’s best to evade an open mic situation for wedding speeches.

Practice always helps you nail your speech, so you can use the Orai app or watch some of our videos to help you present all types of toasts properly.

Lastly, remember that it is a wedding toast and not a roast.


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