Wedding speeches are an important part of your wedding day. The most usual wedding speeches are given by the best man, father of the bride, maid of honor and the groom.
Writing wedding speeches is not difficult process. It is up to the speech giver what he wants to say however here are some general guidelines consider:
1. Wedding speech order
The wedding speech order historically conforms to tradition. There is the customary order of the wedding speeches and modern changes to the wedding speeches order.
The formal order of the wedding speeches is typically:
1. Father of the bride.
3. Best man.
In modern times, the bride, maid of honor or even guests may choose to say a few words. Speeches traditionally took place after the wedding breakfast but the modern wedding tradition is that the wedding speeches take place before the wedding breakfast. This is particularly beneficial for nervous speakers who may wish to complete wedding speeches first so they can enjoy the wedding meal. Of course a toast just prior to the speeches may help give wedding speakers some dutch courage.
Formal Order of Wedding Speeches
Father of the bride
The first speech is by the Father of the Bride. To see a sample Father of the Bride speech click here.
It is usual to start by thanking the guests for coming and joining in the wedding day. Especially, you might want to thank guests who have travelled long distances to be there or who have found travel difficult. You may also want to acknowledge any financial contributions to the wedding however tread carefully as some people may be offended.
The core of the speech is a tribute to the blushing bride. Highlight her positive attributes and maybe introduce some humour about well-known flaws. It would be traditional to compliment the bride on how fabulous she looks not only today but how beautiful she is in every day life both physically and in character. Next you could proceed to welcome the groom into the family and state how happy you are for the two families of the bride and groom to be joined together. Finally end the speech with a toast to the bride and groom and many happy times to come in the future.
Usually the second speech. To see a sample groom speech click here. Acknowledge the father of the bride for his kind words and again thank guests for their participation in your wedding day and their kind gifts. Thank both sets of parents for their contribution to the wedding (should this be the case) and for being wonderful parents over the years. Compliment the beautiful bride and thank her for becoming your wife. Bridegrooms may also want to thank the best man for undertaking various tasks on the wedding day and for assistance in the led up to th wedding. Finally abridegroom will usually toast the bridesmaids before handing over to the best man.
Traditionally the wedding speech order has the best man taking the spot for the last speech. To see an example of a Best Man speech click here.
Firstly a best man will thank the groom for the toast to the bridesmaids. Next the best man may wish to comment on the happy couple. Normally, the best man’s speech is expected to be funny and humorous. A few jokes about the groom are common. The best man’s duty also includes to read any cards or messages from absent relatives or guests. To finish, the best man will make a toast to the bride and groom.
Modern Changes to the Wedding Speech Order
Modern wedding speech order will often feature speeches by the bride and maid of honor.
Firstly, the bride will thank the guests for coming and sharing in the celebration. Secondly, the bride will express gratitude to her parents and bridesmaids. The bride will pay compliments to her handsome groom. The bride will then make a toast. There is no formal protocol as to the recipient of the toast. Most brides choose to toast their husbands.
The Chief Bridesmaid or the Maid of Honor
The first duty is to thank the bride for choosing you as her maid of honor. You will then want to pay compliments to the groomsmen. Finally, you will prepare a toast which will usually be the bride.
2. Speech structure
Wedding speeches for the father of the bride follow a simple structure. Once you have the time-tested father of the bride speech outline in front of you it is relatively simple to structure your speech.
The first thing to remember is that structure demands that you have a beginning, middle and an end. You would be surprised at how many speeches lack either a proper introduction or proper conclusion. The correct structure ensures that you stay on topic and that the audience can follow you.
Look at a sample father of the bride speech in order to get a feel for what the speech is supposed to look like.
Secondly, the time of your introduction should be relatively equal to the time of your conclusion. The speech structure will be centered around the body of your speech.
The last thing that I will say about the father of the bride speech structure is to remember that your speech will have five major components. They are as follows:
1. Introduction: introduce yourself to the wedding guests who do not know you. 30% of the speeches I’ve heard do not include a formal introduction because the host assumes that everyone knows him.
2. Talk about the bride by highlighting one or two characteristics of her personality.
3. Talk about how your daughter has changed since establishing her relationship with the groom. This is also a good time to welcome the groom into the family.
4. The next part is to talk about your own feelings. It is usually a bittersweet occasion when your daughter is being given away.
5. The last part of your speech will be the toast or some type of quotation about love or marriage.
I have written an in depth article about the father of the bride speech outline that will explain the five different parts of your speech.
3. Humor and personal stories
Creating a humorous father of the bride speech is not as daunting a task as you might imagine. It depends on solid content and good delivery.
You should first remember that the father of the bride speech is perhaps the least humorous of all the wedding speeches . The reason for this is because most of your speech will be centered around welcoming the guests and complimenting your daughter. It is important to keep your funny stories and jokes short and sweet. You certainly don’t want to confuse your daughter’s wedding day with an evening at the improv theater.
It is recommended that you come up with humorous stories rather than jokes. It’s a lot easier to pull off a funny story than it is to deliver a joke in front of hundreds of people, many of whom are strangers.
How to come up with funny stories for your humorous father of the bride speech? The easiest place to come up with a funny story is to look back on your daughter’s childhood. Try to remember any embarrassing stories.
Did she have any outrageous Halloween costumes? Was she particularly obsessive about any of her toys like a Barbie doll?
Here is an example of a humorous father of the bride’s speech that talks about his daughters first day on the job.
“Then there was the time she worked for a florist. She had to put all the little messages on the flowers, but got them mixed up. The flowers going to a wedding had a funeral card on them saying, ‘With deepest sympathy.’ And on the flowers for a funeral, she put a card, saying, ‘Hope you’ll be happy in your new home …’ Well, today it’s my turn to wish you both the happiest of times together in your new home!”
Notice how the story is short, to the point and embarrasses his daughter without offending anyone.
You can download more examples of humorous father of the bride speeches that will speed up your writing process considerably.
4. Delivering the speech with confidence
To begin with, make some notes about stories and experiences that you’ve enjoyed with the bride, groom or couple.
You need take into consideration several aspects of the audience, cultural back-ground, age, familiarity.
If you need to talk to other family (parents and siblings are an excellent source) and friends to help you with background material or humorous moments of the person/persons your speech is for.
When your ready to put your speech together be thoughtful, considerate whilst entertaining and stimulating your audience with your experiences.
Your speech should be from the heart, people will appreciate your sincerity.
You should consider 3-5 minutes for your speech; this is ample time in front of an audience. If you lack confidence good rule of thumb ‘short but sweet’.
When your have written up your speech, practice it out loud several times and make adjustments where necessary. And if you can, run the speech by a trusted family member or friend. You could even stand in front of a mirror to do this paying attention to your posture.
Stay away from crude and smutty material, you would not want to offend or embarrass anyone.
5. Sample speeches
Father of the bride
Maid of honour