How To Write Wedding Speeches.

Irish Wedding Photographer Photographing the Wild Atlantic Way

Wedding Speeches at a wedding 

Wedding Speeches are one of the most important parts of a wedding day.  They give a couple and their families a chance to publically thank those that helped them during their life and with the wedding day.  I have seen down through the years some magnificent speeches that were heart warming, emotional and entertaining.   I have also seen some car crash ones where everybody was cringing for the speaker.  I am writing this blog post to help people to avoid that nightmare scenario!

A few general tips first for all speakers.

Please note these are only guidelines and can be adapted by you to suit your own wedding day.  Sometimes the bride may want to say a few words as well or instead of the groom.  I have also often seen the mother of the bride and groom speak instead of the father.  Please remember on your wedding day you decide what happens regarding speeches and no one should be forced to do something they don’t want to do.

The first thing is you should write down what you are going to say.  If you have a opportunity type it out so it is crystal clear and easy to read.  I have seen a lot of  people struggle to read their own handwriting when the nerves kick in.  By writing it down in advance, it will help you stay focused when you are nervous.  It will also help you to stick to the point.

Practice what you are going to say with a trusted friend.  What might be funny in your head might actually not be that funny when you say it out loud.  Time how long it takes you read the speech.  Ask them does it cover all the important parts?  Is it too long?  Is there any way that it can be improved?  Don’t take the feedback personally and use it to perfect your speech and make it better.

You don’t have to be a comedian.  Nobody expects people speaking at a wedding to do stand up.  Don’t feel under pressure to perform.  I will expand on this point later.

Groom Speaking to his Bride at his wedding

The general speaking order in a Irish wedding is as follows:

The best man introduces himself and says he is the Comparé for the night.

He then asks the Father of The Bride to speak.  If he is deceased normally another family member may speak on behalf of the family.

The Best man then introduces the Father of Groom or family member.

The Best Man then introduces the Groom

After the Groom’s speech the groomsmen will read out some cards.  Normally the couple would pick out a few that are really important to them in advance and they use these.  You generally don’t read cards of people that are actually at the wedding.  It is normally for people that couldn’t travel.

Then the Bestman finishes the wedding speeches with his speech.  He is normally the last person to speak at the wedding.

Father of the Bride Speaking to his daughter at his wedding

Father of the Bride Speech:

The father of the bride’s main role is to welcome the groom in to the family.  He can start with by thanking everybody for coming.  He normally mentions a funny antidote when he first met the groom and then goes on to speak about his daughter and how proud he is of her today.  He normally mentions a funny story when she was a child.  The speech normally lasts about 5mins but I have seen shorter.  He doesn’t have to thank all the suppliers as the groom will do that later as part of his speech.  He would toast the newlyweds and wish them all the best for their future together.

The father of the Groom is Speaking at the wedding

Father of the Groom Speech:

The father of the grooms speech is very similar to the father of the brides speech.

The father of the grooms’s main role is to welcome the bride in to the family.  He normally mentions a funny antidote when he first met the bride and then go on to speak about his son and how proud he is of him today. The speech normally lasts about 5mins but I have seen shorter.  He would toast the newlyweds and wish them all the best for the future.

The Groom is Speaking to his lovely bride at the wedding

The Groom’s speech at a Wedding:

The Grooms speech is normally one of the most important speeches of the day.  It is basically a list of Thank You’s  for the different people that helped the couple with their day and in their lives to that point .

He normally speaks on behalf of his wife but sometimes the bride will say a few words afterwards but it is rare.

He starts by thanking everybody for being part of their wedding day.  He thanks them for travelling from far and near and for all the generous gifts.  If people have travelled from overseas for the wedding they normally get a mention at this stage!

He then thanks the hotel for the lovely food if the speeches are after the meal.  He mentions the hotel wedding manager and how they were so helpful in planning the day etc.

Next he would thank the priest(wedding ceremony facilitator) for a lovely ceremony.  A few kind personal words would be great at this stage.

He would normally then thank any friends or family that helped with the day.  For example if someone drove the cars, made a cake or helped with the invites etc.

He then would thank the flower girl and page boy and if they are going to get a gift he would give it to them at this stage.

He then would move on to the brides parents and family and mention how welcoming they were to him.  You could mention the kind words the father said earlier.

Then he would thank his own parents and mention how grateful for all their help and support etc down through the years.

He then would give flowers or a gift to both mothers.

He then thanks the groomsmen and may mention how they helped him plan his wedding or not!

He would then thank the bridesmaid for all the help they provided the bride with the organising of the wedding and he would toast them.

Finally, last but certainly not least he would thank his beautiful bride.  He may at this stage mention how they met or a funny antedote.  He would normally toast the bride to finish his speech.

The speech should last about 10-15mins.

Best Man Speech entertained at the wedding

Wedding Speeches: Best Man gave Dublin and Mayo flags at the wedding

The Best Man Speech for a Irish Wedding

The best man speech is normally where the speeches go wrong!  We have all seen weddings where the best man was trying to be funny but over stepped the mark.

My first bit of advice is don’t drink too much before you are giving your speech.  Drunkenness due to nerves is the main reason things go wrong.

Be well prepared.  Have it rehearsed, practiced and printed out clearly as mentioned above.

Never mention Ex Girlfriends no matter how funny you think the story is.

Try and stay away from the cliché lines from the internet.  Most people have heard them before.

Try and avoid too many stories that involve alcohol.

So what can you say!  I would start and mention how you met and how long you have been friends etc.

My suggestion is to pick to one or two funny clean stories from your past.

I would then mention how beautiful the bride is and how happy you are for the couple etc.

You then end the speeches by toasting the Bride and Groom

It should last about 10-15mins max but I have seen shorter.

Feel free to comment below on any tips you would give any couple that are getting married.  Please remember these are only guide lines and feel free to adapt for your own day.

If you like this article I have also written one to help couples called “Wedding Photography Advice For Couples For Their Wedding Day” Click Here!

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Wedding Speeches: The Best Man Made a poster as part of his Best Man Speech


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Angela Cain-Weadick

    Excellent tips and advice there 🙂

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