Wedding speeches can seem like a daunting task for the Maid of Honor and the Best Man, especially if you’re not comfortable with public speaking. For some, giving a wedding speech hangs over their head from the moment they accept their role, due to fear of messing it up. But really, let’s be serious — unless you say something totally off-the-wall or inappropriate, you’re not going to mess up the speech!
Unless your name is Michael Scott, in which case even he manages to get himself out of that awkward, hard-to-watch speech.
Giving wedding speeches is actually a lot easier than it looks, especially when you have some help on your side.
Today we’re sharing eight easy tips to keep you cool, calm, and collected for the big moment. These wedding speech tips will result in a toast the crowd will love and the happy couple will remember forever. You’ve got this! Here’s the guide to help!
Wedding Speeches: 8 Best Wedding Speech Tips
First, be sure to do this:
1. Introduce yourself.
If you’re first to speak during the wedding speeches segment, be sure to introduce yourself and your relation to the newlyweds. Speaking after someone else? Be sure to acknowledge the speaker (Maid of Honor or Best Man, Parents, etc.) who spoke before you.
WEDDING SPEECH TIP: The Best Man is traditionally first to speak during the wedding speeches.
2. Keep notes / cue cards.
Cue cards are always a plus for reminding you what comes next. You should know your speech by heart, so you’re speaking to the audience — not from a piece of paper. But having a few cue cards or a small booklet with key points nearby always keeps wedding speeches on track.
WEDDING SPEECH TIP: A small book with the toast written inside can be helpful, as paper can be distracting if your hands shake from nervousness.
3. Take your time.
One of the biggest mistakes is speeding up during wedding speeches. BREATHE! It can be easy to let your nerves get the best of you and talk too quickly, but take a deep breath. Pace yourself. Slow down when you speak.
WEDDING SPEECH TIP: The best wedding speeches are short and sweet, rather than long and rambling.
4. Practice makes perfect.
Practice makes perfect, they say — and it is so true for wedding speeches! Practice your wedding toast in front of a mirror, in front of a friend, in front of your camera, etc. to make sure it is perfect before the big day. Make edits where needed, keep it lighthearted, and practice until you know it by heart.
5. Use stories.
Everyone loves a good story or anecdote, especially in wedding speeches. Make sure your stories are appropriate in theme and tone, and keep them short so you don’t lose the audience in the details. Include how you met the bride or groom, a favorite memory from childhood together, how you knew he or she was “the one” for them, etc.
6. Include both newlyweds.
You may know one person better or have a closer relationship, but be sure to mention both in your speech to include them as a couple.
7. Be careful.
Stay away from overly inappropriate topics or references to ex-partners, family drama, offensive remarks, etc. Even if it seems funny to you, it may come across as offensive to others and stir up trouble. This is a happy occasion and the couple is your focus, so exes or past innuendos are not appropriate for wedding speeches. When it doubt, skip it!
8. Give a toast.
Wedding speeches are always finished with a toast to the happy couple. Wish them well and lead the audience in toasting them to a wonderful life ahead.
Need More Tips for Wedding Speeches?
If you need to know how to write a wedding speech or more tips on giving wedding speeches, these helpful resources will guide you.
o Don’t Burn Your Toast, by Pete Honsberger
o Toasts: Over 1,500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces, by Paul Dickson
Hope it helps!
P.S. Love wedding tips like this? You’ll also like: 50 Best Wedding Tips for Brides from Newlyweds.
Do you have tips for wedding speeches?
Share ’em in the comment box below!