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Write A Funny Wedding Speech

Write A Funny Wedding Speech

All wedding speeches should be funny. They can be sentimental and heartfelt but they've got to be funny too. Of course, writing a witty, humorous speech isn't about googling gags (bet you've already seen some stinkers). It's actually about looking at the characters sitting at the Top Table and having a laugh with their unique 'qualities'.

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out all the different ways the Speechy team can help you write & deliver a great speech. Or check out our new AI-powered team member, SpeechyAI.)

The definition of a joke is ‘a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter.

This means your jokes shouldn’t make your guests groan. Guests don’t want to hear internet gags and the newly hitched deserve more than wedding clichés.

Avoid anything like …‘Wales is an unusual honeymoon destination but (groom) insisted he was going to Bangor for a fortnight.

Cringe. 1994 wants its jokes back.

Check out Hitched’s ‘Tried & Test Jokes for Best Men’ for more lines to AVOID.  Generic wedding fodder shows you’re desperate.

A rule we stick to is, if you can cut and paste a joke into a speech about someone else, then you’ve got it wrong.

Humour should be unique, honest and insightful, not just some wedding-related pun. At no point hold up a slice of toast.

The Golden Rule of Comedy

It’s funny because it’s true‘, so said Homer Simpson and probably some clever people we’re less familiar with.

Creating a memorable speech means thinking about the ready-made characters at the Top Table. People will laugh if you identify something that they’ve noticed (even subliminally) but never thought to articulate …The groom’s oddly disproportionate T-rex arms, the bride’s continuing devotion to UGGS, the newlywed’s mutual mannerisms (they both say OMG without any shame).

Pinpointing what makes the newlyweds unique (i.e. slightly odd) is key to making your wedding speech a proper tribute to them.  It shows you actually care if you focus your humour on their true personalities (and not just caricatures of a bride or groom).

Do NOT make the mistake of talking about how much the bride loves shopping (unless she genuinely out-spends the Kardashians) or how terrible the groom is at opening his wallet  (unless he actually comes out without one). This is clichéd-comedy at its worst. It’s not funny and it’s not fit for a modern wedding speech.

These rules apply whatever your role – best man to bride.

Step By Step Guide

Step 1. Find A Focus

Whatever role you have – groom, father of the bride, best mate – you have to find a comedy focus.

The groom’s target could be himself, his bride or he could set up the notion of a traditional double act (straight bride vs daft husband).

A father of the bride might choose his ‘drama queen daughter’, the ‘hard-done father’ or the ‘dubious groom’ as the focus of his humour. You get the idea.

Some people reckon the bride should never be the comedic focus. They seem to think that as soon as a woman puts on a white dress she can only be told she’s beautiful & wonderful; a Beyonce / Mother Teresa hybrid.

We don’t agree. Just because a woman’s wearing her best knickers and has a ring on her finger doesn’t mean she’s lost her sense of humour.

The key is to keep the humour affectionate and loving. Of course, you should have a proper heartfelt tribute towards the end of your speech but feel free to have a laugh along the way.

Step 2. Ask Lots of Questions

The first thing we do when working with clients is ask them lots of questions. We ask the obvious ones (who’s marrying who and why) but we also ask some random ones too.

With grooms, we might ask ‘What annoys you most about your bride-to-be’. It doesn’t sound like appropriate material to put in a wedding speech but actually, it’s those sorts of questions that often lead to great nuggets of content for us.

So, grab a bottle of (insert alcoholic beverage of choice) and have a brainstorm. Write down everything that comes to mind when you think about the person you’re going to be talking about. The food they love. The tunes they like. Their claims to fame. Their questionable dress sense…  Think about their standout qualities & the characteristics that define them. Is it their obsession with the gym, their bossiness, or their lack of hair?

Step 3. Get help if you need

Ask mates round. Ask relatives. Ask the bride if you’re the best man and she’s not giving a speech herself.

You need to load up your arsenal of humour before you can hope to fire out any cracking gags. There are loads of ways of finding a laugh, here’s some techniques to test out…

  • Turn your target into a comedy character – Think about the classic sitcom characters – Basil Fawlty (the hotel owner who didn’t like tourists), Doc Martin (the doctor who was scared of blood), Del Boy (the hapless businessman). Exaggerate your target’s qualities and push their weaknesses to the extreme.
  • Play with contrasts – is the bride obsessively tidy while the groom can’t change the hoover bag? Does the bride balk at Primark prices and the groom spends like a Kardashian? Couple contrasts always generates good material.
  • Tell us something we don’t know – Do you know a secret about the bride or the groom? Nothing downright embarrassing but if the bride used to fancy Ed Milliband or the groom won a Butlins Talent Contest as a teenager (his twerking was genuinely amazing) then now might be the time to mention it.
  • Exaggerate – if the bride or groom have a reputation for something, then have a laugh with it. Is the groom pretty rubbish at golf? Fair to say then that ‘the only hole in one he’ll get is in his Primark boxers’. If the bride loves her spinning class you could say ‘her legs have done more rotations than the best man’s head when the bridesmaids walked in’. You get the idea.
  • Be the butt of the joke – Yes even if you have another comedy target, make sure you laugh at yourself too. People like you more if you do.
Step 4. Grab Your Quote Love, You’ve Pulled

Plagiarism isn’t allowed but quoting witty people is. Not only are you legitimately allowed to steal their laughs, but you also end up looking rather well read.

We’ve curated the best wedding quotes to use (i.e. the ones that aren’t too obviously ‘wedding-y’) so tuck in for inspiration…

Don’t say we’re not blooming good to you.

Step 5. Pace Your Laughs

People relax once you’ve made them laugh so try to script a funny line within the first 20 seconds.

A good opener is something like ‘Can you believe it? (The Bride) has finally given up holding out for Ryan Gosling and decided a kebab-munching, golf-obsessed Project Manager from Basingstoke is a better option instead.’ Simple, but bespoke.

Of course, the opening is just the first hurdle. Your speech needs to be peppered with humour throughout. Even the ‘thank yous’ should raise a smile so make sure you script more than just the usual platitudes about your in-laws ‘passing down such wonderful traits to their daughter’. Yawn.

Keep your content pacey and your jokes short. If it’s impossible to sub down a lengthy anecdote then leave it for the bar later.

Funny Wedding Speech Do’s & Don’ts

  • Ask friends and family for storiesIt’s not cheating, it’s research  
  • Start writing early – ideas will keep popping in your head once you get going
  • Cut your first draft in half – having three average jokes does not add up to one big laugh
  • Read it out loud – you’ll work out your pacing and hear what works and what doesn’t
  • Get advice – Read it to a trusted mate. If you have to explain a joke it ain’t working
  • Use a Speechy Template – Unlike other speech templates on the market, this ones helps you create original humour based on the people you know! Specific templates for dads, brides, grooms, besties – whoever wants to grab that mic!
  • Feel you need to include every random funny anecdote in the speech – some just won’t add to the overall story you’re telling
  • Resort to Googling jokes  – if you found that quip then others will have seen it too
  • Be rude, overly embarrassing or go further than innuendo – never appropriate even if you know the ‘rugby boys’ would love it
  • Include ‘in jokes’ – your humour needs to be inclusive
  • Forget to leave room for the laughs on the day – don’t spend months worrying about the speech and then swallow up the laughter by delivering your speech too quickly
  • Drink too much before you deliver your speech– sadly ‘Dutch courage’ is a myth. Alcohol increases nerves so don’t go overboard too early.

The Speechwriting Experts

The Speechy team are TV-trained scriptwriters/comedians by trade & we’ve helped 1,000s of speakers around the world deliver their dream speech.

Our advice has been quoted everywhere from The New York Times to Grazia and from Forbes to The Observer. Our founder has also featured on the BBC Sounds’ Best Men podcast with Jason Manford and written ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches’, published by Little, Brown.

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''I had an unbelievable experience working with Speechy. From the moment I got in touch with them I felt supported and come the day of my best mans speech, it went down a storm with a standing ovation.''
''Speechy deserves more than 5 stars. (They) produced a factual, funny Mother of the Bride speech with just the right amount of emotion..... it was ingenious. Thank you so much for the wonderful & priceless memory of having delivered my speech at my daughter’s wedding and nailed it ... and got a standing ovation too. My children were very proud of me, including my new son-in-law! ''
''These Guys are tremendous! One main point is that its not their speech - its yours! This is because it is based totally around what you would like to say, but its the spin that Speechy puts on it, that is the magical bit... Ordinary words become a hilariously entertaining event. There were giggles, applauds, laughs, tears, cheers and standing ovation – all in that order!''
''Feeling anxious or stressed about an upcoming speech? Look no further than Speechy... I just delivered my Best Man speech this past weekend and absolutely crushed it. I was nervous leading up to the moment, but while delivering my speech, I didn't want the experience to end, the room was hooked, and laughing at every joke. Worth every penny... Thank you!''
''Navigating through the wedding industry often feels like you’re stuck on a conveyer belt....Speechy is the complete opposite. They treat you and your wedding like you’re the one and only. I couldn’t recommend them more.''
''Heidi and the whole team at Speechy are an absolute gem! In addition to their talent and extensive experience in speech writing, Heidi had an impressive way of listening to me talk about mine and my partners personal anecdotes, before putting it in such a funny and beautiful way that it felt as though she’d known us for years.''

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