How to nail your groom speech

As soon as the table plans come out, most blokes panic and dive head first into Googling etiquette and wedding gags. This results in the usual fodder; a speech that’s clichéd, boring and just a bit blahhhh. The standard compliments to the bride, the usual thank yous to the parents and a few cursory anecdotes thrown in for good measure.

Actually a good wedding speech is about good storytelling. As ex-BBC scriptwriters we’ve got a head-start on most grooms. Follow our advice and you’ll create a speech that’s so good, your wife will want it framed.*

*Of course, if you want a bit of hand-holding check out our groom speech template or our bespoke speech writing service. They’re designed to make writing your speech downright enjoyable.

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Groom speech etiquette

The first rule of groom speech etiquette is – don’t get tied down with it. A lot of it’s outdated and well, blooming dull.

There’s no need to address your friends and family as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ (chances are they’re not) and you don’t need to toast the bridesmaids (though it is essential you say how gorgeous they look even if they’re already on their second bottle of Pinot).

The thank yous are, of course, important. Your marriage is frankly doomed if you forget to thank your mum in law.

The groom traditionally thanks

  • everyone for coming
  • his parents
  • his in-laws
  • his best man & ushers
  • the maid of honour & bridesmaids

Of course there may be others you want to mention (children from previous relationships?) but resist the urge to read out half the guest list. Nothing kills off a groom speech quicker than a tedious thank you list. Keep each individual thanks to less than 50 words and to include a sense of fun throughout (e.g. thank your mum in law for passing own so many traits to her daughter – a sense of fun, a wicked laugh and an appalling taste in music).

If either set of parents have split up, simply thank parents separately. Even if there’s simmering tension there, try not to make this awkward. Depending on the politics, it’s also worth acknowledging their new partner if they’re attending the wedding.

If you’re planning on giving thank you gifts we recommend saying you’ll be ‘personally handing them out later’ so you don’t disrupt the flow of your speech and the guests aren’t tempted to start checking their whatsapp messages.

If you want to swot up on what everyone else is covering – check out Debretts, Hitched, or Confetti’s etiquette guides. Only necessary if you’re the swotty sort. 

The 5 rules to writing a great groom speech

Groom Speech - Do's and Don'ts

DO

Check with the bride – If she isn’t giving her own speech then you’re speaking on behalf of her too. If nothing else make sure she’s happy with your thank you list.

Make the thanks yous meaningful – Don’t just talk about what people have contributed to the wedding, thank them for what they’ve contributed to your life (even if it is just an appreciation on malt whiskeys). Keep each thank you less than 50 words.

Make your toast unique – drink to  ‘a lifetime of dancing on tables’ or consider a #Tequilatoast

Practise your speech and film it on your phone – Watch it back, promise yourself you’ll do something about your paunch and spot where your speech can be improved.

Talk slower than feels natural – It’s what those authoritative people do to make themselves seem more intelligent.

Feel free to use clever quotes – But make sure you credit the author or someone else will! Check out our QuotInspiration guide. 

DON'T

Thank the caterers, the venue, people who have travelled far etc – It’s unnecessary.

Resort to clichés – Yes you can thank your in-laws for ‘raising such a wonderful daughter’ but try to make it personal too. Thank your mother in law for the extra inch added to your waistline since you first sampled her Yorkshire Puddings.

Ignore the feedback of friends – It’s always worth testing your speech on a mate but this means you have to listen to them. If someone doesn’t get a joke, don’t waste your time explaining it as you won’t be able to do that on the day.

Talk over laughter – You’ve worked hard for those laughs – don’t rush them. Always wait until your guests have settled down before continuing with your speech.

Get overly soppy – Get the balance right between sweet and just showing off. Leave the pet names at home and keep anything overly gushing for the bedroom.

A Bit About Speechy

The Speechy team includes James, Heidi, Roger and Claire. Between us, we’ve been included in the Edinburgh TV Festival’s ‘Ones to Watch’ and featured in the BBC Hotlist. During our telly careers, we’ve  worked with people such as Richard Hammond, Sharon Osbourne, Dan Snow, David Mitchell and Mel Geidroyc. Get us!

These days we’re the go-to experts for wedding speech advice – featuring in wedding bibles such as Rock n Roll Bride or Wedding Ideas Mag, or more mainstream media such as Radio 1 and Radio 2. Even Eamonn Holmes wanted our advice on how to deliver a speech at his son’s wedding when we were on his show.

Of course, we love helping people write amazing speeches and we still get excited when they tell us we’ve added a special moment to their day.

Groom Speech Help

Click on ‘Read More’ to find out about each product or service, or simply ‘Add To Basket’ if you want to buy now. Contact us if you want a no-obligation natter about which service would suit you best.

  • Groom Template

    £39.99

    Speechy’s Groom Speech Template is the ultimate DIY Speech Kit on the market.

    It comes with a Content-Creator (guaranteed to extract brilliant material from even the most uninspired) and a choice of three speeches that our team have crafted for you to simply pick your favourite and then personalise.

    Fun, clever and possibly the best wedding investment you could make.

    Further details below. Enjoy!

  • Bespoke Speech

    £395.00

    Commission the Speechy wordsmiths to craft a bespoke (and rather brilliant) wedding speech for you. 

    Buy today and we’ll get the ball rolling.

    Please ensure you’ve booked your speech into our calendar before purchasing. Call us on 07971 225 245 if you haven’t already.

    More details below.

  • Speech Review Service

    £150.00

    Purchase a Wedding Speech Review and the Speechy wordsmiths will ensure it’s a speech to remember for all the right reasons. 

    Once purchased, simply upload your speech when prompted and our experts will ensure it passes all the etiquette and story-telling tests. We’ll also rewrite any sections that we feel are lacking and ensure your speech is one you can’t wait to deliver.

    Your ‘Reviewed Speech’ will be emailed to you within 48 hours of purchase.

    Further detail can be found below.

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