Your wedding day will almost certainly be one of the biggest events of your life and the pressure is on to get every little detail right.
The groom’s speech is no exception, but it's also an amazing opportunity to thank and acknowledge important people in both your lives. Point is, if you know what to say and how to say it, there really is nothing to worry about.
Bottom line? Keep it short, punchy and funny and you have all the ingredients for complete success.
The groom speech requires a fine balance between comedy and sincerity. It's a terrifying prospect, standing up in front of all those people but with some planning and careful consideration, you can nail this. No problem.
So you're likely to be out joked by the best man which mean you've got to make some effort to keep up or your speech might sound a bit flat and boring. You don’t have to go overboard but remember the time when you first met? Your first date? The first time you met her parents? There’s a lot of fun to be had with these memories and a good laugh early on can really take the edge off things.
When you stand up, you're usually following the father of the bride who will have undoubtedly have welcomed everybody – usually because he’s paying for it – but don’t let that stop you. It’s your day, your speech and your crowd, so it’s your job to thank them for coming.
Start to think about who needs to be included: parents, bridesmaids, best man, ushers, anyone who’s made a great effort to be with you, and, of course, your bride.
Strip out all the detail - you’re looking for a light, funny and warm overview of people and relationships, we don’t want to hear all of the gruesome details about each of your friendships with the ushers, or the proposal itself, but with some clever planning you can easily touch on all of this stuff and more, and land yourself a solid round of applause.
You shouldn’t be standing for much longer than 10 minutes as unless you've got everyone in stitches, after this point nobody gives a hoot what you’re saying. That means you should have your speech condensed into about 1,500 words, which should take around 7 to 10 minutes to recite at a sensible pace and with pauses for laughter.
Everyone will be quite tipsy by now, and they're looking for some fun so make the most of it; make it short and sweet for maximum effect!
Thanks and Special Mentions
Your speech is the perfect time to cover all angles; talking about the journey, have a few laughs, and to thank all of those people that have made the effort to not only be there on your special day, but all the others that have helped out. Especially your financiers, if any!
The other very tricky subject to handle is when talking about late friends or relatives. You certainly shouldn't feel the need to avoid the subject, but we do think it's best to acknowledge in a light-hearted but respectful way. A mini eulogy can really dampen the atmosphere and this is, after all, meant to be a celebration.
At the same time, people get emotional at weddings, and the groom is no exception. It's one hell of a day, and you're quite entitled to shed a tear, if that's the way it goes!
Parents and in-laws
This is your one and only opportunity to give your parents the recognition they deserve for bringing you into this world and putting up with you as a teenager. Be honest, be sincere and don’t be tempted to gloss over it with a sentence.
Also, never forget to mention your new in-laws, if you mess up here it’s going to come back and bite you pretty much anytime soon. It’s a massive day for them; their baby daughter is setting up home with some hairy guy who drinks too much, so be respectful, be warm and say something reassuring.
Chances are, either or both sets of parents may have stumped up some cash to get you own the aisle, so this is your chance to show your appreciation!
These are entirely down to personal preference. If you’re writing them into your speech, the key is to check exactly who the other speakers are intending to toast as well so you know how far to go with the gratitude.
Again, planning is key to a good speech and toasting the right people at the right time is all part of the balance.
Do not, under any circumstance, forget to mention your wife, no matter the state of panic or nerves.
The best policy here is to be truthful and think in very basic terms what your partner means to you, your life and your future. Unlike the Best Man you can be a bit slushy here but probably best to stop short of making up a poem!