Speeches And The Dearly Departed

Talking about the dearly departed is difficult whether it’s a warm-hearted toast within a wedding speech or a eulogy. The Speechy experts are here to make both the writing and delivering of either type of tribute easier for you.

Here are our tips for including (and coping with) a wedding speech toast to those who are gone but not forgotten. Or, jump to our eulogy advice to find out how to write a suitably thoughtful speech for a memorial service.

Sad wedding speech
Amy Bennett Photography


It’s difficult to know how to write a wedding speech that pays tribute to a loved one who’s passed away without inadvertently turning it into a eulogy. Remember, however, an emotional outpouring is not the purpose of your speech.

Of course, you want to publicly acknowledge their absence but please don’t put yourself in the position of giving a speech where you get overly emotional and have to stop.

Everyone understands there is someone important missing and there are ways to paying tribute to a loved one whilst still ensuring your speech is joyful. The key is to think of ways to remember them with a smile.

Here are some ideas to consider…


If the person in question is a close relative or has recently died, pay a more substantial tribute to them in the week leading up to the wedding. This could be over a dinner with friends and family or it could just be a more casual visit to a place that meant something to you both.

This is a time to wallow in your favourite memories of them as well as imagine what they would have loved about your wedding day had they been there. Here, tears and emotions are able to flow, meaning on the day, your loved one’s absence won’t feel quite so alien.


On the actual day, friends & family will want to remember your loved one with a smile on their face, so think of nice touches people will associate with them. For example…

  • Could your favours be pots of homemade jam made using your beloved gran’s secret recipe?
  • Could the beers be in honour of your dad’s favourite craft ale?
  • Could the tables be decorated with pots of Forget-me-Nots in honour of your friend?

You could acknowledge your loved one in the Order of Service. For example…

‘James and Victoria are so pleased you could join them in this special place on this special day. Of course, there are some very special people who can’t be with us today but Vicky’s father is certainly in our hearts and we’re sure he will be looking down on us today and joining in the fun.’

Rather than sombre or sad, our advice is to be creative and thoughtful.


There’s a range of wedding favours you can buy that will donate to a charity on behalf of you and your guests.

It’s a great way to remember a loved one in a truly meaningful way… 15 Charitable Wedding Favours 


When it comes to mentioning your loved ones within the speech, keep your tributes towards the end so you don’t get choked up too soon. If you feel that you are about to cry, try looking upwards. It is said to be physically impossible to cry if you are looking up.

Of course, everyone will understand if you do.


We loved this article from Vanity Fair outlining how Prince William and Kate paid tribute to Princess Diana on their wedding day. Some really inspiring and thoughtful ideas. And here’s another article about how Harry and Meghan paid tribute to Diana on their day.


Ask your friends and family for their advice. They’ll hopefully be able to help you through the emotional side of writing the speech.

If you’re still struggling to find the right words to say, let us help you.

We’d love to find out about the special people you want to talk about in your speech. We understand that you’ll want to express all that love you feel for them but still leave your guests smiling.

Call us for a chat or find out more about the Speechy team HERE. Whether you’ve already written the first draft of your speech or you just don’t know where to start, we’ll have ideas.

Here’s the sort of bespoke services we offer…

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