Bridal Party Advice: Writing a Wedding Speech

{Scobey Photography}

Yay for 4-day work weeks! Can we just start out with that today, please? I am so happy that it is Tuesday; there’s no chance of having a case of the Mondays for this girl!

This past weekend I was so honored to be able to give a speech for my cousin Caitlin’s wedding. I had never done a wedding speech before, so was slightly nervous {read between the lines on that one - I was totally freaking out}, and did all kinds of research leading up to the big day. In my research, I learned about 7,000,000 things not to do, but it was a bit harder to narrow down what should really be happening, so now that the speech has come and gone, I figured I’d share my learnings with you, in case you’re ever in the same boat!

{Scobey Photography}

Helpful Pointers:
Think about this speech as an outline, like back in grade school when you were setting up a paper. You should have a good intro, middle point, and conclusion. Here’s how I broke mine down to keep it cohesive:

1. Thank yous: Before you get in to the bulk of your speech, make a quick mention to the bride’s parents {or whoever is hosting the event}, thanking them for bringing everyone together.

2. Greet the happy couple: Tell the bride how amazing she looks {you might get choked up like I did - you can make it, you’ve only just begun!} and tell the groom he’s lookin’ good too.

3. Introduction: Introduce yourself; explain your connection to bride or groom {brief explanation, possibly including funny background}.

4. Personal Touch: Include a funny experience/sentimental memory that you share with bride or groom. Make it brief, but include any explanation as needed so you don’t lose the crowd. This time can also be used to help explain why you think these two are meant to be. Mine included a quick background on how the bride and I grew up together as cousins, and a funny story about how I knew the groom was “the one”.

5. Words of wisdom: At this point, you can either give a quick piece of advice from your own experience, or you can find a quote from the couple’s favorite singer or movie to talk about marriage/love. In my case, I followed this with a welcome to the family to the groom, as the bride was my cousin.
May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, And nothing but happiness come through your door. ~Irish Blessing
Never go to bed angry.
If you ever want three words that will get you out of any situation, try ‘You’re right, dear’

6. Cheers: Ask everyone to raise a glass to the couple and join you in a cheers. In my case, I added a quick lyric from a Harry Belafonte song {he was one of my grandmother’s favorite singers so it was special to our family}, as part of my “toast” Drink this Wedding Toast, to the two we love the most!

Now this might seem like a lot to cram in to a 2-3 minute speech, but trust me, it is doable! Mine only ended up being about 3:09 (hey, I timed myself!) and it went by very quickly. BUT - if you don’t feel comfortable including all of this information, short and sweet is always the best way to go.  Even if you include just 1-2 of the pointers above, you will still be good to go! The most important thing is that you speak from the heart and make it you. If you have any questions though, feel free to reach out!

Stock Photo

Words to the Wise:

  • Don’t ramble on for more than 5 minutes. You should aim for 2-3 minutes, at the most, unless you are doing something ridiculously creative like this, and if that’s the case, you can probably stop reading now :)
  • Avoid the following: profanity, mention of previous relationships, inside jokes that no one else in the room will understand (unless it is a quick reference), nudity, or anything you wouldn’t say in front of your grandmother.
  • Don’t read straight from your notecards/printout. Practice makes perfect in every situation, and this is one of them. You should be able to look up from your speech for most of it, and only use your printout as a reference.
  • On that same note, try not to hold off for too long before you start pulling the speech together - procrastination might not be in your favor on this one.
  • Don’t get blitzed before the speech. Have a drink or two, if you need it, but otherwise, skip the boozing until after you’ve spoken.

Have any pointers to add? Would love to hear what you lovelies have done in the past!

  • Jill@TeenageBride says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    great advice, there is nothing worse than a bad speech haha

  • Jenna says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    GREAT Advice! I’m printing this and putting it in my wedding folder! Great post!

  • HiLLjO says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    Everyone going to a wedding should read this!

    Jacin, do you know how many times over your “numbering the RSVP” technique has saved our butts? About eleventy. Thanks for your sound advice and tips!

    • Kirby {Colors of Honey} says on June 7, 2011 Reply

      say what?! thats brilliant! just put a little number in a bottom corner so you know whos you recieved and who’s is missing?! ha!

  • Stephanie/ TheVintageModernBride says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    great tips! i’m definitely going to forward this link to my maid of honor! thanks jacin ;)

  • erin * sparkle & hay says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    SUCH good advice!!! (p.s. i didn’t know you were giving a speech this weekend?!)

  • Nicole says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    good advice. The first and only one I’ve given i wrote the day of the wedding. I got my inspiration by watching Friends, one of the weddings… LOL I know not the best idea either :)

  • Jessica says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    Excellent advice, especially the part about not saying anything you wouldn’t say in front of your grandma!

  • Leah says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    I’ve never had to give a speech yet, but I have heard some good ones and some bad ones and I think your advice is great! Thanks for sharing, I will definitely be keeping it for the future! :)

  • Diana says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    I saw some of the photos on FB of your weekend with your cousin…everyone looks so happy! Congrats to her and her husband, and to you on your speech! This is wonderful advice, so many people are going to love it and appreciate it.

    PS Love your interview on Weddzilla!

  • Such great advice! I love when speeches include personal notes and don’t drag on too much.

    Happy Tuesday! yay for a short week!

  • Lena says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    What amazing advice! I’ve never thought of it, but you’re right-the advice is always what to avoid, not what to include!

  • Shana says on May 31, 2011 Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting this! I have to make a maid of honour speech in the summer and I am terrifed! I think if I follow your steps it will make me feel much better organized and calm : ) Love these posts! Keep em coming!

  • Kristin @ Bona Fide Bride says on June 1, 2011 Reply

    Sage advice!

  • Miss Puppy Love says on June 2, 2011 Reply

    Great tips!

  • Jaime @ 27 and 1 Dresses says on June 2, 2011 Reply

    these are great tips! i have a blog for bridesmaids- i am going to post this on it and of course, will credit/link back to you. 27and1dresses.wordpress.com :)

  • Caits says on June 13, 2011 Reply

    Your speech was amazing Jace!!! I can’t thank you enough coouuzzz!! :D

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