We suspect Harry will have a bit of professional help with his groom speech but if your wedding date is also looming, here’s a few groom speech hacks from the wedding speech experts at Speechy to help you nail it.
Cut the crap
Hmm, not very romantic but let’s face it, there’s a lot of waffle in your average groom speech. Old fashioned etiquette is partly to blame for making so many speeches generic and boring.
The only thing you need to remember is to thank
- everyone for coming
- both sets of parents
- the entourage (best men, ushers, bridesmaids etc)
- any special people like children or grandfolk
Don’t get sucked into thanking specific people who’ve travelled far or anyone you’ve paid (like the caterers or the venue). A long thank you list turns a good speech bad.
And don’t even think about giving out gifts during the speech. Deliver any gifts personally earlier in the day.
Start by making people smile
You don’t need to backref the father of the bride’s speech (unless you have something witty to add) and you don’t have to address your friends and family as ‘ladies and gentleman’. Prioritise humour at the top and get people smiling ASAP. You’ll relax as soon as they do.
Having said that, don’t resort to generic wedding gags. You’re looking for laughs, not groans.
Remember the adage ‘it’s funny because it’s true’. Have fun with the reality of the day and the people there… for example:
‘We’re so pleased you could join us on this rather special day. It took a lot of planning, negotiation and a few tears… but we finally found someone who was willing to sit beside (best man). The magnum of Champagne will be coming your way soon.’
‘Can you believe it? (Bride) has finally given up her dream of marrying Ryan Gosling and realised a short, follicly-challenged Project Manager from Aberdeen is the man for her!’
Your opening lines don’t need to illicit a belly-laugh, but they do need to get make people smile.
Prove, don’t tell
A heart-warming tribute to your bride should be the focus of your speech but remember every groom thinks his bride is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaaazing. The only way for this to sound genuine is – prove, don’t tell.
Stories say more than words. Instead, recount the anecdotes that show your bride’s qualities in action.
Is she a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get her’ and her friends & family will love you for it.
Finally, avoid words like ‘soulmate’, ‘beautiful’, or anything that’s overused.
Keep it short
Write your first draft, then cut it in half. As Earnest Hemingway said ‘The first draft of everything is shit’. Editing it down will make it better.
Your maximum wordcount is around 1300 words but there’s nothing wrong with a speech that’s 800 words.
Stories and jokes are better if they’re punchy. No one ever listened to a speech and said ‘if only it was longer’.
Make a promise
Yes, you’ve said your vows but what does getting hitched mean on a practical level? What promise can you make your bride which will show her she married the right bloke?
Can you promise to turn up the heating? Listen to Justin Bieber? Make her favourite key lime pie? Learn to put up a tent? Whatever it is, make it something that only she would really appreciate.
Get your Mrs involved
There’s a big trend this year for Mr & Mrs Speeches (where the bride and groom deliver a joint speech). It makes a lot of sense and it’s also a lot of fun, adding a real moment to the day.
Of course, a bride doesn’t have to do anything on her wedding day that she doesn’t fancy but suggest it to her. It means she gets to personally thank her friends & family and it also allows you to develop your double-act routine.
For advice on how to write your joint speech, check out the Speechy guide here. The good news is it involves wine!
Probably the best tip for those grooms with a looming deadline (or grooms who want to hang out in the sun a bit longer). Take inspiration from our American counterparts who increasingly view wedding speech services as a savvy investment.
Sure, all blokes want to deliver an original, honest and heart-warming speech but not all of us are natural writers. Speech writers are there to help bring out the eloquent genius lurking inside every groom.
And there’s plenty of ways they can help. Speechy have developed a groom speech template that’s a bit different to the norm. It relies on your input so takes a bit of thought, but it results in a unique speech that still sounds like ‘you’ (only a bit wittier).
Speechy is staffed by a team of ex-BBC scriptwriters so you can also hire them to review your speech or you can commission them to write your own bespoke speech from scratch. Which service you opt for really depends on your budget, ability and general enthusiasm.
Prepare to deliver
A confident delivery is half the battle. Check the acoustics of the venue & hire a mic if necessary (so many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them).
Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled). Talk slower than feel natural (makes you sound more confident) & leave pauses for laughter (sometimes people need a moment to ‘get it’).
Avoid alcohol before the speech. As much as we love the stuff (we so do), the idea of Dutch courage is a complete myth. Booze has been proven to actually increase the stress hormone.
Finally, try to enjoy delivering your speech on the day. Remember you survived the stag do. You’ve got this.
If you need a bit of help, visit Speechy here.