The Speechy team have helped hundreds of happy couples around the world craft their dream wedding speech. 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. Sometimes, with children present or even exes in attendance, it’s impossible to ignore you’re a wedding speech pro.
But no matter how many times you’ve delivered a wedding speech before, your speech should be treated as a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell your partner how much they mean to you.
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 often enough‘. If you’re recently divorced or you’ve been married several times, it may feel like it’s the elephant in the room and so humour can diffuse this. 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!
In fact, if your children are present be careful about how any part of your speech will be interpreted. Phrases like ‘I never knew love until I met you’ can feel a bit brutal to young ears.
IF YOU’RE WIDOWED
Firstly, we’d suggest taking a moment to pay a personal tribute to your previous spouse (perhaps with your children) in advance of the wedding. Read our Dearly Departed Guide to understand how this could work.
In the lead up to the wedding, be conscious of the fact the day itself may bring back memories from your previous wedding. Warn a close friend and use them if needs be.
When it comes to the speech, you may want to pay a small, heartfelt tribute to your previous partner. We suggest it should be along the lines of you still love them but you’re confident they’d want you to be happy and approve of your new relationship. You could even add a bit of humour with something like ‘Especially as they’re both daft enough to support West Brom’.
Then, don’t feel apologetic for not dwelling on your past relationship any longer. Today is about a new love story. Relish it!
SECOND WEDDING SPEECH ETIQUETTE
A second marriage speech is really no different to any other bride/groom speech except perhaps the odd sentence acknowledging previous events. Read our etiquette guide blog post.
- Start by welcoming everyone to the wedding
- Pay a heartfelt, witty and fun tribute to your partner
- Thank the special people in your life (Yes, the thank yous should go towards the end of the speech, when you’ve already told your best stories and people are already smiling.)
- Propose a heartfelt toast (ditch the tradition and toast something meaningful to you as a couple. ‘Here’s to a lifetime of dancing on tables!’)
In many ways, a second marriage speech can be more straightforward – especially if it’s only 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 your previous relationship. If they’re 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 we love it!
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’s had their MMR jab 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
If you’re a best man or maid of honour speaking at a friend or family member’s second marriage, then we advise avoiding any reference to a previous marriage.
Even if you think your friend would approve of some edgy humour, his partner, or their family, may NOT!