How to Write a Wedding Speech

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Giving a wedding speech is one of the most high-pressure situations a person can face. After all, it's not every day that 250 people are smiling expectantly at you as the bride and groom wait to hear what wonderful things you have to say about them. Don't sweat it. You'll have those guests grabbing their gut in hilarity and wiping their tears away with that pricey linen napkin.

  • Tell everyone who you are. Start a wedding speech with a short tidbit that qualifies you and your role in the wedding party.

  • Outline your speech. Silly as it sounds, creating an informal skeleton will help you come up with the words. Like an essay, your speech should have a beginning, middle and end. The best wedding speeches start out calmly, rise in the middle with humor or action and end on a sentimental note.

  • Include humor. This is quite possibly the most important part of a wedding speech. The humor can be anecdotal, such as a funny story or memory, or the humor can be a joke about the couple. Test out the "laugh factor" on someone, but don't worry to much. People tend to laugh politely at weddings, no matter how bad the jokes are.

  • Curb writer's block by building the speech around one thing. Most people who are in charge of writing the wedding speech can't get that first sentence down on paper. Focus on an inspirational quote, a song or even a vivid memory of the couple in order to jump start the writing process.

  • Put the bride and groom in the limelight, not yourself. Wedding speeches that talk more about the speaker than about the happy couple are common. Don't fall into this trap. Since everyone can't stand up and say something, you are the chosen representative. People will resent a speech that is more about you than it is about the couple of honor.

  • End with a sentence that reintroduces or reminds everyone to toast the couple. For example, you might finish with, "I give you Tom and Susan." Or, "Here's to Tom's and Susan's happiness." Or, "It gives me great pleasure to lead everyone in a toast honoring Tom and Susan."

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your own emotions in check. Write a stirring, humorous speech, but don't write words that you feel uncomfortable relaying to a room full of people.
  • If you are writing a best man or maid of honor speech, don't forget to include both the bride and groom. Chances are, you know one partner a lot better than the other. Make a point to find out something special about the lesser-known partner, and include it in your speech.
  • Always keep your speech appropriate for all ages. Your audience will range in age from 9 to 90. If you feel the urge to say something risque, cover it with different language.

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