How to nail your joint speech
Whether it’s a bride and groom speech or a same-sex speech – joint speeches are a wedding trend that’s set to stay. It’s a great way of saying, BOOM, we’re a team. And who doesn’t love a double act?
It also makes a lot of sense – you both get to thank your friends and family, and you can practise without feeling the need to hide away in a cupboard.
Lots of our clients have said their joint speech became the epicentre of their wedding day. Of course, a joint speech is a tricky thing to pull off. That’s why we’ve written the ultimate guide to rocking it.
Joint speech etiquette
A joint speech follows the same etiquette principles as a groom speech. Make sure you thank…
- everyone for coming
- both sets of parents
- the 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 speech quicker than a tedious thank you list, esp if you’re one of the few guests who doesn’t get a mention.
With each of the thanks, one of you should lead it and the other throw in a comedy line at the end. Of course with the parents, it’s worth you both paying tribute to each (always good to keep on the right side of the in-laws)
If you’re planning on giving thank you gifts to any of the wedding party we recommend giving them personally earlier in the day so the process doesn’t disrupt the flow of your speech and the guests aren’t tempted to start checking their WhatsApp messages. Joint speeches are complicated enough without factoring in presents too.
How to write your joint speech
STEP 1 – Gather Your Material
Right, this needs to be fun. Get a bottle of wine, a big sheet of paper and have, what they referred to in the ’90s as, a ‘brainstorm’. Think about…
- Your stories – conduct a courtship autopsy and see what you have to play with. Think about the big events; meeting each other, your first date, when you knew they were ‘the one’. We’re not looking for the soppy stories; we’re looking for the stories that show you’re both as bonkers as each other.
- Themes – how would people describe you as a couple? Are there any common bonds or are there clear differences? Play up to your relationship dynamic. This will help create a narrative.
- The thank yous – Get them agreed (remembering the ruthless rule) and decide who does who (sorta speak).
Step 2 – Structure Your Speech
Let’s say you both happen to be teachers; your theme might be ‘the lessons you’ve learnt from each other’. Your structure might look something like this…
- Hello and Welcome
- Thank everyone for coming – and set up the theme, e.g. ‘two teachers getting married today…bet you’re wondering who gets detention first…’
- Lesson 1 – What not to say on the first date (anecdote about weeing himself / big fan of Kardashians etc.)
- Lesson 2 – How love makes you do stupid things (example of losing car etc)
- Lesson 3 – How to share a house with someone very different (ping pong table does not count as furniture)
- Lesson 4 – We rather like each other (secret sections where we say why)
- The Thank Yous
Step 3 – Get Writing
Yep, this is the hard bit, and may or may not prove to be your toughest relationship challenge to date. You thought table planning was tricky?! Nothing compared to writing a joint speech.
So our advice? Avoid it!
Yes, we suggest one of you write the first draft, and the other one improves it. Even this will require some negotiation, but at least you won’t be debating words as you write.
Divide the speech, so you each have small sections to deliver (2 – 6 sentences) and alternate throughout. You want to establish a clear flow and support each other’s narrative… e.g.
- GROOM – Yes it was a surprise finding out we were going to have a baby. Neither of us had changed a nappy in our lives. Neither of us had a clue about the variety of goo that can lurk in those things or the challenges that lay ahead. We’d never watched a minute of Nickelodeon, let along three hours of it back to back.
- BRIDE – We had absolutely no idea. We couldn’t have imagined a time when being up at two am didn’t involve drinking beer and passing out under someone’s table.
- GROOM– And we could never have imagined the tantrums that can result in daring to feed a toddler with the wrong coloured spoon.
- BRIDE – But of course the one thing that we had absolutely no idea about was how amazing having a child would be.
Like all good comedy duos, you need to work together and try to deliver comedy ‘ad libs’. Of course, if your relationship dynamic lends itself, one of you can play the straight man and the other the fall guy. It’s up to you to play with what you got.
Joint Speech - Do's and Don'ts
Keep the joint speech a surprise – Guests will love it
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).
Make the toast unique – even if it’s just ‘a lifetime of dancing on tables’.
Talk slower than feels natural – It’s what those authoritative people do to make themselves seem more intelligent
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.
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.
Interact – Smile, roll your eyes, look at each other; remember you’re a double act
Your Joint Speech - Let Us Help You!
Speechy is here to help couples in need. As professional TV scriptwriters, we’re programmed to entertain and get the best out of people.
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