Wedding Planning

How to Write Your Wedding Speech: Etiquette Tips and Wording Examples

How to write your wedding speech etiquette tips and wording examples

Writing and delivering your wedding speech can feel almost as nerve-wracking as sharing your vows! While your wedding speech is an amazing opportunity to give a special thanks to your loved ones, it can also be seriously daunting.

The good news? There are some super simple guidelines to follow when it comes to writing an engaging and memorable wedding speech, and it’s probably easier than you think. Keep reading for our top wedding speech tips, templates and wording examples to inspire you for your own big day.

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples
Photo by Nicole Berrett Photography

Should You Give a Speech at Your Wedding?

You might be wondering if you really need to give a speech at your wedding in the first place. Isn’t that job reserved for your cheeky best man and proud parents?

With all of the craziness surrounding your wedding day, it can be tempting to leave all of the speeches up to your loved ones. But truthfully, we think a speech from the happy couple is a beautiful addition to any wedding reception.

Think about it like this. How many opportunities do you have to show your appreciation for all of your favourite people together in one place? Not to mention any guests who have made an effort to travel, help out with the wedding preparations, or simply support your relationship over the years. There’s bound to be some well-deserved words of thanks for the special people in your life, and a heartfelt toast is the perfect way to show your gratitude.

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples
Photo by Antonis Georgiadis

What Does a Bride or Groom’s Wedding Speech Need to Include?

There are a few essential elements to tick off throughout your wedding speech to ensure it’s a great one. Your wedding speech doesn’t have to be long (or boring!). It can be short and sweet, formal or informal, cheeky or playful. You can deliver your speech together with your partner, or say a few words individually – whatever feels right for you!

No matter which format you choose, it’s important to thank the right people, keep your guests engaged, and maybe even get them laughing. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you begin crafting your wedding speech:

  • A quick introduction. Whether it’s a formal welcome, or a funny joke to break the ice.
  • Words of appreciation. The main purpose of your wedding speech is to share your words of thanks and appreciation. This should include:
    • A special thank you to any guests who have travelled
    • A general thank you to everyone for attending
    • A special thank you to any loved ones who have helped you out with the wedding preparations (like your parents, bridal party or siblings)
  • Light-hearted anecdotes. This is where you might want to share an anecdote or two from your relationship history. Depending on the tone of your speech, this could be a funny story or a sweet memory. Some ideas could include:
    • How you met
    • The moment you realised they were “the one”
    • Your proposal story
    • Your funniest memory together
    • A memorable adventure shared
  • Words of affection. If you’re delivering your speeches individually, take this time to share a few heartfelt words of affection to your partner. You can talk about how much they mean to you, their best qualities, and your hopes and dreams for the future.
  • A toast. End your speech with a toast to your new partner – or if you’re delivering your speech together, a toast to all of your loved ones for being there.
how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples
Photo by Jose Villa

Wedding Speech Wording Examples

Now that you know what needs to be included in your wedding speech, how do you pull it all together? Personally, we think the best wedding speeches are warm and light-hearted with a good dose of humour, while still being meaningful and sincere.

If you’re feeling stuck with writer’s block, draw some inspiration from our wedding speech templates below. We’ve included options that range from formal to cheeky to best suit the tone of your day!

The introduction:

“Hi everyone, and welcome to our wedding reception – it means the world to have you all here”

or

“Hi everyone – I guess it’s time for me to do this speech I scribbled down this morning over a glass of champagne!”

or

“Hi everyone. Before I go any further, I just wanted to make a quick toast to some really important people who I’m sure you’ll meet throughout the evening. Without them, honestly, none of this would be possible. Here’s to our bartenders!”

Words of appreciation:

“I want to first say a huge thank you to each and every one of you for being here. We feel incredibly grateful to have such an amazing group of friends and family, and it means the world to have all of our favourite people together in one place.

There are a few people in particular that deserve a special shout out. First, to our loved ones who have travelled interstate or overseas – [make mention of guests who have travelled, or the different locations people have travelled from]. We really appreciate you making the effort to join us – it wouldn’t be the same without you here!

I also wanted to say thank you to the people who have helped us plan this day, especially [make mention of your bridal party members, parents, siblings or other helpers]. We couldn’t have done this without your generosity and support.

And of course, to [partner’s parents/family members] who have always welcomed me with open arms. I feel very lucky to be joining such an amazing family today!”

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples
Photo by Erika Greene Photography

Light-hearted anecdotes:

“It feels so surreal to be standing here at our wedding reception. It seems like only yesterday we [share a funny anecdote about your first date, or the beginning of your relationship]”

or

“I know that some of you might not remember how [partner] and I first met, and I feel like this is the perfect time to take a walk down memory lane – [share a sweet memory or funny story about how you met]”

or

When I first met [partner], I was instantly attracted to his rugged good looks and quiet confidence. Little did I know I was signing up to a lifetime of [share a funny quirk, hobby or passion of your partner – for example, “failed cooking attempts and bad dad jokes”]

or

Where do I start with [partner]? They’re smart, good looking, kind, charming – sorry, [partner], I’m having trouble reading your handwriting. You’ll have to tell me the rest later.”

Words of affection:

“In all seriousness, I did want to say a few words to [partner]. You make me so happy, from the way you [share something you love about your partner] to the way you [share some of your partner’s best qualities]. Thank you for everything.”

or

“All jokes aside, I honestly don’t know where I would be without [partner]. Over the years, we’ve [talk about your shared experiences, achievements and milestones]. I can’t think of a better person to share the rest of my life with.”

The toast:

“So with that being said, I’d like to raise a toast to the love of my life, my new [husband/wife]. Cheers!”

or

“So before we get back to the party, I want to raise a toast to my partner-in-crime, my best friend and my new [husband/wife]. Here’s to [partner]!”

or

“So now that the speeches are out of the way, let’s get back to the open bar! We love you all, and can’t wait to spend the rest of the night celebrating with you. We’d like to raise a toast to you guys, our favourite people on the planet. Thank you for being here!”

how-to-write-your-wedding-speech:-etiquette-tips-and-wording-examples
Photo by Rebecca Hollis Photography

Wedding Speech Etiquette Tips

While the above templates and wording examples can be a great starting point, you have complete freedom to personalise your wedding speech however you like! Whether you want to keep things sweet and silly or romantic and heartfelt, your speech should reflect your personality and the relationship you share with your partner.

With that being said, there are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind for a well-received wedding speech:

  • If you and your partner are writing your speeches separately, be sure to agree on length and tone before you get started. You don’t want to plan a hilarious speech packed with jokes and funny anecdotes, only to have your partner deliver something deep and meaningful in return.
  • Don’t embarrass your partner! While playful jokes and funny stories are always a good idea, be mindful of where to draw the line.
  • Keep it short and sweet, especially if you have loved ones delivering their own speeches, too. Between 3-5 minutes is ideal, with 10 minutes being the absolute maximum.
  • You don’t need to go into specific detail when it comes to thanking your parents for any financial contributions. Talking about money during your wedding speech might feel a little awkward! Instead, make mention of their generosity and support instead.
  • Practice makes perfect! If the thought of delivering your wedding speech feels seriously daunting, be sure to practice your speech out loud before the day to boost your confidence. Try to memorise the most important elements of your speech until you feel comfortable, so you don’t have to rely solely on your notes.

Remember, it’s usually the thought of delivering your wedding speech that feels the most terrifying. Once you get started, you’ll find the nerves will quickly fade away. Simply keep these wedding speech guidelines in mind, speak from the heart, and you can’t go wrong. You’ve got this!

Need some help writing your vows, too? Check out our ultimate guide to writing your wedding vows here for some wording examples to get you started.