Struggling to think of the perfect things to say in your second marriage speech? Don’t worry! Here are Speechy’s top tips for creating the perfect, tactful speech.
Thousands of people get married every day. Sometimes it’s their first marriage; sometimes it isn’t. But no matter how many times you’ve been married, each speech should be treated as unique.
There are, of course, various reasons for remarriage. Divorce. Death. A mutual break-up. A difficult break-up. Some of these you may feel should be acknowledged in your speech, others it’s probably best not to.
In general, no matter how many times you’ve delivered a wedding speech before, a marriage speech should be the same as all other first-time groom/bride speeches and be used to pay tribute to your new, wonderful partner.
But there are certainly things to avoid and things to be cautious of. Here is our advice on how to approach your second marriage speech.
DO NOT APOLOGISE OR EXCUSE
The most important thing to remember is, no matter the circumstances leading to you getting married for a second time, the wedding speech you’re delivering now shouldn’t be affected by the one you gave before.
This speech is all about your current situation, and you shouldn’t feel guilty or apologise for not acknowledging a previous loved one, or for your first marriage not going as you intended.
IF YOU’RE DIVORCED
If you’ve been divorced for over three years, rest assured, this is now distant history. Even if your first wedding was a large scale declaration of undying love, people today accept that a lot of marriages just don’t work. You don’t need to use your wedding speech to explain this ‘failure’ or outline why exactly this marriage is made to last.
Of course, some people embrace the fact that they’re divorced, starting with lines such as ‘I should be good at this I’ve done it enough times’. If you’re recently divorced and it’s the elephant in the room, then you can, of course, do this to generate a laugh. But in general, this ‘edgy’ approach isn’t for most. Certainly, don’t go into any specifics. This will only alienate the audience and sit awkwardly with those present.
It’s all about reading the audience (some of whom could still be friends with your ex-spouse). If your children are present and your references relate to their mother or father, the divorce will hold no humorous leverage with them, so just don’t! Embarrassing for all concerned.
IF YOU’RE WIDOWED
If you are a widow or a widower, this involves some tact. We would suggest taking a moment to pay a personal tribute to your previous spouse (perhaps with your children) in advance of the wedding.
When it comes to the speech on the day, you may want to pay a small, heartfelt tribute to them, along the lines of ‘your love for them remains but you’re confident they approve of your new relationship’.
You don’t need to feel apologetic for not dwelling on this any longer. The shorter and more honest it is, the more everyone present and the more your new partner will feel comfortable. Everyone will be understanding.
Ultimately, your gut instinct should tell you how to approach it.
SECOND WEDDING SPEECH ETIQUETTE
A second marriage speech should work no differently to any other bride/groom speech, except perhaps the odd sentence acknowledging previous events. Read our etiquette guide blog post.
Start by welcoming people to the wedding. Spend the rest paying tribute to your new partner and finish off with a few thanks to those special people in your life.
In many ways, a second marriage speech can be more straightforward – especially if it’s only relatively recently that you thanked your folks for a lifetime of love and your friends for being great mates. Here, you get the benefit of concentrating on your new partner!
Of course, the exception to this is if you have children from a previous relationship. Consider them. If they are young, talk about them lovingly in your speech. Second weddings can be hard for children, so make sure they feel included. Maybe even get them to recite a poem or give a short speech as part of the day.
SECOND MARRIAGE QUOTES
One thing we do encourage is to be open about how you’ve perhaps found an unusual route to love, or how you’ve found it later in life. You can be funny here, and it’ll endear the audience to you even more.
If you’re not quite sure what to say, fortunately, there are plenty of great quotes which do this for you.
‘Being someone’s first love may be great, but to be their last is beyond perfect’ – Anonymous.
It’s a shame no-one knows who wrote that, because it’s beautiful!
If you’d like a more humorous quote, here’s one from Lord Byron.
‘Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life’.
… Hopefully everyone in the room has had their vaccinations against measles but still – the point stands.
Here’s another unknown quote…
‘One day someone will walk into your life and make you see why it never worked out with anyone else’.
And finally, for those situations where you may have, tragically, lost a previous spouse, here’s a respectful but hopeful quote which should reflect the mood of the day.
‘If life can remove someone you never dreamed of losing, it can replace them with someone you never dreamt of having’ – Rachel Wolchin.
ETIQUETTE WHEN YOU’RE INVITED TO SPEAK AT A SECOND WEDDING
Perhaps you’re a best man or maid of honour speaking at a friend or family member’s second marriage. Again, there are pitfalls attached to this, but our advice remains largely the same.
Read the room and, more importantly, the bride and groom’s emotions as they’re most affected by it. If it’s something they’d be happy to laugh at, perhaps you can too (although we’d suggest it’s best to find humour elsewhere). You’ll know in your heart what’s right or wrong.
In the situation where the bride/groom’s previous spouse has died, and you want to pay tribute to them, again, if short and heartfelt this can often be very poignant. However, it’s the bride/groom’s responsibility to do so. Anything additional may not be what they want. They may want to be the only person to mention it, or they may not want it mentioned at all. If you’re unsure, ask them, they’ll appreciate it.
GO WITH YOUR HEART
Of course, every situation is different, so only you will know exactly what to do in yours. But if you have any doubts, always err on the side of caution and remember – nothing else need matter – this day is about you and your new spouse and having the most brilliant day possible.