Things to consider as the Groom…

Has someone travelled from far away? A light-hearted reference to this would double as a thank you and an ice-breaker.

Not everyone will know how you met your wife. Even if it seems fairly normal (met at work), you’d be surprised how that can be turned into a nice story.

Don’t worry about using humour: being heartfelt is not incompatible with being funny. And the Best Man does not have exclusive rights to all the fun!

Pitfalls to beware of…

Avoid making too many toasts and reciting a stream of “thank you”s. You don’t want your speech to be remembered as the Oscar acceptance speech that went on and on. I’d recommend doing the thank yous shortly after the opening section (welcome, introducing yourself and an ice-breaker). Some people like to space them out throughout the speech but, unless done well, this can lead to a feeling of repetition.

Handing out gifts is surprisingly time-consuming and can turn your speech into an adult version of Santa’s Grotto. Keep this to a minimum or, better still, don’t do it during the speech at all.

Don’t go overboard with expressions of love. The more you use them, the less impact each one will have. Think of it as your joker. When used, it will have maximum effect. But, equally important, don’t forget to say it!

There is a temptation to think a longer speech means everyone will appreciate you made the extra effort. Resist that temptation and aim to be concise.

The French philosopher Pascal once wrote he was sorry for the length of his letter as he didn’t have time to write a shorter one! He was bang on. Writing concisely takes time and effort. This will be appreciated by your audience. They will give you a good few minutes of their undivided attention but, after that, you will really have to earn it.

I recommend 6-7 minutes as the ideal length to aim for.

If you’d like to write your own groom’s speech, there are general writing tips here. It includes:

  • How to go about creating your material
  • To read or not to read

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