Groom’s Speech Tips A-Z

Congratulations on your impending marriage! Commiserations on worrying about your speech.

But don’t worry, there is groom’s speech help at hand. Here are 26 bite-size groom speech tips, written by a professional speech writer with a raft of BBC credits, which will point you in the right direction and reduce those stress levels.

So, if you’ve got 5 minutes to spare, let’s get started…

A is for Alcohol

Alcohol is not a performance-enhancing drug. For every extra ounce of confidence it gives you, it takes away in ability: your timing will be off, you might stumble over a word, you might stumble over a chair. But people will be offering you glasses of bubbly so what’s to be done? Stick to the drink-drive limit and you won’t end up in the speech equivalent of the ditch.

B is for Best Man

You’ll likely be speaking before the Best Man so why not grace your speech with a kind word or two followed by a killer line to show him who’s boss? Keep it brief though. Yes, you’re close and he’s dressed up for the occasion, but it’s your wife’s big day not your Best Man’s.

C is for cliché

You’ve typed “Wedding jokes” into Google and are now looking at the results. Well, so are loads of other speakers. Not only that but you are fishing in a much smaller pool than you realise. Some guests are likely to recognise any time-honoured lines. Avoid them. Original trumps old-hat every time.

D is for Doubt

You’ve re-read your speech and are not sure about a line. Is it as funny or relevant as you originally thought? Here’s a simple rule: if in doubt, leave it out. Great films are often great because of what’s left on the cutting room floor. It’s the same with speeches. The red pen is your friend.

E is for Express yourself

Don’t feel the need to use flowery or over-formal language. Make your written voice quite close to your natural speaking voice. You will be reading the speech after all, so make it sound like you.

F is for Friends and Family

If you’d like to mention lots of people close to you, try to avoid it sounding like a class register. If each mention of a person is accompanied with a light-hearted remark, you not only get to name-check lots of people, you get more humour into your speech. Win-win.

G is for Gifts that keep on giving…

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.

H is for How You Met

So, you didn’t meet while climbing Everest or swimming with sharks? It doesn’t matter. The guests will love to hear how you first set eyes on each other, and your wife will love to know what you first thought. Or can remember…

I is for Inclusive

Try to include stories, jokes and references that everyone will be able to relate to. Think of your speech as a buffet. There’s something for everyone.

J is for Journey

When thanking those who have travelled from near and far, it’s a nice chance to make a joke or two about their journeys. Did someone have to fly Ryan Air? Has their SatNav had a nervous breakdown? Or did they just have to fall out of bed to get there?

K is for Knowing me, Knowing You

You know your future wife’s idiosyncrasies and she knows yours. Yet despite all that, she still chose to marry you. If you include some gentle remarks at your own expense, it’s a simple way to prevent your speech becoming a schmaltz-fest.

L is for Length

Stop sniggering at the back, length is very important. Too long and the guests will be bored, too short and your wife will feel short-changed. 1,300 words spoken at an average pace will give you 8-10 minutes of material. Under 5 or over 10 mins and we’re entering the danger zone.

M is for Material

Brainstorm as many lines, ideas and stories as you can before writing the speech. Don’t dive into the speech straight away. You need a big block of marble before you can start sculpting.

N is for Notes

There is nothing wrong with reading a prepared speech or using cue cards. Do what feels right for you. And don’t do your speech without notes just for plaudits. It’s the words that count not the delivery system.

O is for Order

If you’re worried about this, just remember the classic three-act structure: beginning, middle and end. Start your groom speech with one or two ice-breakers before the welcomes and thanks, move on to main stories in the middle, save the most heartfelt moments for the end, do the toast and you’re done.

P is for the Proposal

Did the waiter keep coming over at the wrong moment? Was that quiet street in Rome suddenly full of teenagers skateboarding? Have some fun by turning any obstacles into something you valiantly overcame. And there’s a natural happy ending to the story: your wife said “yes”.

Q is for Questions

Rhetorical questions are a great way to introduce stories or start new sections. Compare: “It was seven years ago that I met my wife in a pub in such-and-such a town” to “So how on earth did such a wonderful woman allow herself to be ensnared by such a man as me? It was seven years ago…”

R is for Reading

Read your groom’s speech out loud. You will notice any lines that go clunk, jokes that disappoint and those over-elaborate sophisticated, meandering circumlocutions that become a mouthful to say and a chore to listen to. Like that one.

S is for Sentiment

Don’t go too big too early with your sentiment. The most heartfelt material you’ve written is your joker. Keep it till the last possible moment when you can deliver it with a flourish.

T is for Toasts

Don’t overdo them. The Groom traditionally toasts the bridesmaids at the very end, but you might also wish to toast your parents and your in-laws earlier in the speech. A toast to absent friends would usually be done by the Father of the Bride.

U is for Uncle Brian

If you’re not sure whether a line or topic is entirely suitable then imagine you’re addressing it to your Uncle Brian or your Auntie Beryl. Will they crack a smile or look away in embarrassment? If it passes the older relative test, you’re probably safe.

V is for variety

Keep the references and themes as varied as you can. 8 minutes of “I love my wife, she’s totally amazing” would test the patience of most of the guests, including your wife. You’ve got an entire marriage in which to say these wondrous things, so save some praise for other days.

W is for wedding venue

Every word is precious in your speech so don’t devote a whole paragraph to the wonders of your wedding venue. This is the speech of a lifetime not a Trip Advisor review.

X is for Xylophone

Never use a xylophone during your speech. They ALWAYS ruin it.

Y is for Yesterday

Which is when you wish you’d started writing your speech. However, even if the wedding is in a couple of days there’s still time to put a decent speech together. If you’re truly panicking, a professional speech writer can do it for you. Y is also for “Yes, this is blatant speech writer self-promotion.”

Z is for Zorro

If you’re telling an anecdote, pimp your prose. A simple way is to add the odd reference to pop culture, literature or history. Compare: “When it was David’s round, he would always disappear” to “Whenever it came to David’s round, he was like Zorro disappearing into the night.” It’s got a bit more to it. You only have a few minutes’ speaking time so make each sentence count.

I hope these groom speech tips have helped. Good luck!

If you feel you’d like some professional support with your speech from a five-star rated writer (Trustpilot), why not click below?