In my role as a Wedding DJ & Master Of Ceremonies, I am often asked for Wedding Day Toast Speech Advice, so I’ve written a blog post for everybody.
The mere thought of having to give a speech is enough to send most of us scurrying for cover and wishing that someone else could do it. Yet, with careful thought, preparation and practice, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
- Prepare early. Resist the natural urge to leave it to the last minute.
- Think clearly about what you want to say. Write down your ideas so that you can refer to them when you make the written drafts.
- If you are not naturally humorous think carefully before using jokes, especially the more risqué type!
- Know your audience and what they will expect. Use of bad language may cause offence to some in attendance. Decide if you want to read, use notes or memorise your speech word for word. Each style has its merits and pitfalls.
- Like most things Practice makes perfect, so rehearse what you want to say. Practice aloud and in front of a mirror. You will get used to hearing your voice, improve timing and delivery and gain confidence.
- On the day avoid too much alcohol before rising to speak!
- Take a deep breath before starting.
- Do not rush but speak naturally, slowly and clearly.
- Look around and get eye contact with your guests and engage them.
- Speak with a confident voice and sufficient power to be heard – without needing to shout.
- If a loudspeaker system and microphone are available then consider using them. A microphone should be held a few inches under your mouth. Resist the temptation to shake your head or wave the microphone from side to side!
- Try to avoid speaking for too long.
- When there is laughter or applause—wait for it to subside before carrying on! or otherwise, the guests may not hear what you have to say.
Enjoy it and speak with feeling and confidence. Your guests will appreciate that and will enjoy what you are saying much more
Who Normally Gives Wedding Speeches
The Father Of The Bride
This is one of Dad’s proudest moments and his speech normally, though not exclusively, includes the following points:
- Welcomes relatives and friends.
- Stories about the Bride, her childhood and her teenage years.
- Praises her choice of Husband
- Welcomes his new Son-in-Law into the family.
- At the end of his speech he asks the guests to stand and toast: “The Bride & Bridegroom”
A highlight of the day! The Bridegroom does not need to be humorous, although wit and charm are always appreciated. With everyone on his side, the Bridegroom will have the floor to himself.
In his speech he will be expected to thank:
- The Bride’s father for his toast and welcoming him into the family.
- Guests for coming, especially those who have travelled long distances.
- The Bride’s parents for the reception (if appropriate) and their generosity.
- His own parents for love and support over the years.
- The Best Man for friendship and support.
- His new wife for making him so happy.
- The Ushers and Bridesmaids.
- At the end of his speech he asks the guests to stand and toast: “The Bridesmaids”
The Best Man
Often expected to produce an entertaining, funny and revealing expose of the Bridegroom! It is best to avoid being rude or offensive so as not to cause offence.
- Thank the Bridegroom on behalf of the Bridesmaids for his Toast and kind words.
- Select and read out a small number of messages from distant or absent friends.
- The Best Man may want to refer to the Bridegrooms strengths and, possibly, “weaknesses”.
- Funny stories that are not too embarrassing about the Bridegroom.
- Perhaps talk about the Bride in glowing terms and her positive effect on the Bridegroom. At the end of his speech to toast: “ The Bride & Bridegroom”
It is becoming more common for the bride to give a short speech, normally she will be the last speaker.
As it’s her day, my normal advice is, speak about whatever you want, and possibly she could present the gifts.
It is usual for the Bridegroom (and the Bride) to present gifts to the Bridesmaids, Pageboys, Ushers and the Best Man during his Speech. When thanking parents for their help, support, encouragement and love, a bouquet of flowers may be presented to your Mothers.
Toasts & The Taking Of Wine
During the course of the Bridegroom’s speech—or at a previously agreed time—a toast to ‘Absent Friends’ may be appropriate.