Top tips for delivering the Groom’s Speech

Top tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

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.’

Or

‘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.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

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!

Cheat

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.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's speech

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.

The Gentleman’s Guide To Wedding Attire

The Gentleman's Guide To Wedding Attire, two men wearing suits at a wedding, a man in a blue suit, a man in a grey suit, black tie, 2 men in front a green leaves

When we think about summer weekends, some of us picture the perfect cookout with friends, relaxing on a vacation we’ve needed, or heading out to watch our favourite team at a baseball game.  Others enter the summer season with weekends packed with weddings of friends and family to attend. Between finding the perfect gift, sending the right card, and making sure you have an appropriate date, you can forget the most important detail of attending a wedding: your outfit. From the season and weather, to the location of the venue, there are many factors to take in consideration when planning your wedding guest attire. If you’re attending a wedding this summer, or any season, here are a few tips to get ahead and make sure that you won’t only look great, but also feel great.

Season and Weather

The first place to start when planning out your wedding guest attire is considering what season would best suit your wedding.  Always take into consideration that you want to look sharp, but still be comfortable. In case you’re wondering, you can definitely still be stylish no matter how hot it is outside!  For weddings held within spring and summer, think of wearing fabrics that are lighter and more breathable. Cotton and light wool are just a few of the warm weather comfortable materials for button down shirts! During the warmer seasons, you should think about how your attire will look if you need to take your suit jacket off. Although shorts are typically never an acceptable wedding attire option, consider a nice pair of pants made from chambray, which is an extremely breathable cotton material.

If you’re attending a wedding in the fall or winter, wearing fabrics that are heavier and warmer will help you stay most comfortable. Don’t be afraid to layer your outfit with a wool peacoat or patterned scarf for a winter wedding, or throw a lighter jacket on for a wedding in the fall. You want to make sure you are prepared for the colder weather, but not look like you’re about to hit the mountains on a skiing trip!

Venue

Tying into the factor of weather, think about the venue. It might  be an outdoor wedding on the beach, in the countryside, or maybe the wedding is being held within a church or an old castle. No matter where the wedding is, this is the time to take in consideration comfortability. If the wedding is being held outside, think about lighter colors and a look that is more summertime chic. Khakis or linen pants are perfect for outdoor weddings because they still look professional and appropriate, but aren’t as heavy and warm as a pair of suit pants.

For weddings that are held inside, think about more than just the actual wedding ceremony.  For an outfit that is functional throughout the whole night, whether you’re tearing it up on the dancefloor or mingling with the bridal party, consider a button down shirt that is breathable and a pair of suspenders that will look timeless. If you are planning on dancing the night away, perhaps invest in a pair of pants that are prepared for any movement you might make well dancing.

Requested Attire

Finally and most importantly, let’s consider the theme of the wedding.  This is the most important and crucial detail of wedding attire planning. By looking at the invitation, it should be apparent if the wedding has a more casual or black-tie theme. For weddings that are casual, think about wearing something more simple, like dress pants with a tucked-in button-down. If you’re planning on attending a wedding that is black-tie or black-tie optional, this is the time to break out that perfect fitting suit or tuxedo.

For some guys, this could be your first time on the quest for the perfect tailored suit. There is no need to worry! Visit your local suit or tuxedo rental shop and find the look that is perfect for you. If you’re more cautious when it comes to finding the right tuxedo or suit, don’t stress. The folks at The Black Tux have cracked the secret to the perfectly tailored suit and changed the rental industry forever. Their simple (and easy!)  at-home try-on service allows you to try on the tuxedo or suit rental that fits the theme of the wedding you’re attending. If it does not fit right, simply send back your rental with any adjustments you might need, and they guarantee it will be sent back to you before your event.

When in doubt, use your best judgement. If you’re planning on bringing a date, think about asking them what they want to wear, or suggest coordinating outfits! Keep your accessories simple and make sure that you look the part. A leather banded watch, dress shoes and patterned tie are just a few suggestions to give your look a touch of signature detail. When all else fails, don’t be afraid to reach out to the soon-to-be married couple for their suggestions on wedding guest attire.

When you look good, you feel good. Enter this wedding season with the confidence that your outfit can own any occasion you’re attending. Don’t be afraid to try out a look that is new or perhaps a little bolder than you normally would.

The Gentleman's Guide To Wedding Attire, Weddings, Wedding Attire, Men's Wedding wear

How to write the best, best man speech

best man speech, wedding, being the best man

Even Bear Grylls reckons a best man speech is one of the hardest things a bloke can come up against. Yes, a fella who circumnavigated round the British Isles on a jet ski and drinks his own wee, thinks wedding speeches are difficult.

And despite the plethora of online templates and advice, delivering a best man speech is not getting any easier.

A decade ago you could wing it. You could Google some gags and expect granny hadn’t heard them before. You could roll out the Powerpoint and embarrass the groom with some childhood photos and guests would think you’d made an effort.

These days, not so much. The best man speech is still the most eagerly awaited but they’re often meet with good-natured groans rather than genuine laughter. They’ve become a caricature, with the traditional characteristics exaggerated to grotesque effect.

Seriously, that line about the honeymoon and the groom ‘going to Bagnor for two weeks’. Or the ‘humorous’ fake telegram from the football team saying they found the groom useless in most positions but wish the bride good luck. Cringe.

Cheesy gags and meaningless one-liners is not what a best man speech is meant to be. So here’s Speechy’s guide to writing a speech fit for a wedding in 2018. Take note comrade.

Humour

Best man, best man speech, wedding, wedding speech, high street gent

If you can take your jokes and use them in a speech about another groom, then you’re doing something wrong. Yes, we’ll allow you a few one-liners to break the ice but other than that, you’re on your own.

Certainly take inspiration from other best man speeches, but only the good ones. Check out how others have taken the personality of their mate and used that as the basis of their humour. As Homer Simpson so sagely says ‘It’s funny because it’s true’.

Start thinking about the things that make the groom unique. Everyone’s a nut-job, so what are the traits that his friends and family will recognise as truly ‘him’.

Ask yourself lots of questions – what’s his worst habit (wearing skinny jeans), what’s his guilty pleasure (Dire Straits), what might he love more than his bride (Abduls kebabs). You get the idea. Once you have good content to play with, the comedy should flow.

Don’t be scared to take the mick, it’s how British blokes show we care. Do, however, be scared of mentioning exes, stag do tales, in jokes and anything crude (innuendo’s fine, dirty isn’t). Also don’t tell any stories that might mean your mate needs to apologise to his wife.

Find a Theme

Best man, best man speech, wedding, wedding speech, high street gent

This is how your speech goes into the Premier League. Rather than just a trail of anecdotes, think of a way to theme your speech and tie everything together. This way you’ll capture the audience and no one will be checking their Whatsapp under the table.

So how do you think of your theme? Think about the groom’s personality traits. For example…

  • Is he a pseudo-intellectual? Use quotes from great thinkers throughout history to contrast with your mate.
  • Is he a bit of a geezer? Present the bride with an insider’s guide to understanding how his bloke-brain works.
  • Is he a football fan? Give a post-match analysis on his courtship with the bride and predict how well he’ll score as a husband

The theme doesn’t need to be overly clever to work.

Prove, don’t tell

Cut the clichés that most best men fall victim to. When it comes to ‘the nice bit’, rather than use adjectives, make sure you provide the evidence.

Don’t just say ‘he’s been there for you’, explain that he picked you up from the Hogs Head at 2am when every taxi refused to take you home. Tell everyone how he helped you get to grips with pensions and confess that you still owe him fifty quid. Highlight the real reasons he’s a top bloke and your speech will sound refreshing.

Big up the bride

In 2018 the bride needs to be more than an afterthought and you need to say more than she’s ‘made your mate happy’ and ‘looks beautiful today’. If you don’t know her well, then make an effort to do some digging. Find out about her and reflect that in your tribute to her.

Don’t feel you need to be overly gushing or pretend she’s a perfect princess. A good tribute can still be affectionately humorous.  It should reflect the sort of girl she is – even if it is a feisty Pinot-fiend with an adult-addiction to Monster Munch!

Props

Don’t bother. Most props just feel tired these days. Write a good speech and you won’t need them.

(Though one bit of kit you might need is a microphone. Check the groom has hired one if the acoustics of the venue require it. So many speeches are ruined simply because people can’t heard them).

Videos

It’s a total cop out from a delivery point of view but if you’ve got the skills and resources to invest in creating a cool video, then we’re all for it. Reconstruct moments from your past exploits together, visit the seminal locations from your teenage years, interview past teachers or ‘witnesses’ to bad behaviour.

There’s lots of good best man videos online but remember, like the traditional speech, less is often more. Even with a kickass soundtrack, you still want a duration well under ten minutes (though, in reality, that would take A LOT of filming!)

We hope this advice helps you nail it.

Speechy is the one-stop-shop for all your wedding speech needs. Whether it’s a template or a bespoke speech you’re after, Speechy can help you craft an awesome speech that will add a special moment to the wedding day. Visit speechy.co.uk.