A father-son relationship is pretty exceptional and, whatever the age of the son, it’s important he gives the marriage his blessing.
Whether it’s the grownup son recounting amusing tales from his childhood, the teenager reading a comically relatable poem, or a six-year-old giving his ‘unique’ relationship tips, a son’s contribution can add both love and laughter to the wedding day.
The Adult Son
As a certified grown-up, you can no longer rely on the cute factor to get you through the speech.
Instead, this is your opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to your dad as he cements his new-found happiness and crucially, your chance for ‘payback’ for all that unsolicited ‘life advice’ he’s given you over the years.
You’re taking on the role of best man but with added sentimentality.
There’s no strict son of the groom speech etiquette but you can’t go far round with this…
Father of the Son Speech Structure
- Introduce yourself and add some humour early doors
- Comedy anecdotes relating to your dad
- Your happiness in him meeting his partner-to-be
- A tribute to his partner (including both humour and touching sentiment if you can)
- A loving tribute to your father
- A comedy punchline towards the end of your speech and a toast to the newlyweds
Remember, it’s not your role to thank anyone. That’s your dad’s job.
If you’re first on the speaker line-up, you’ll be expected to welcome the guests, but keep it brief to avoid stealing your dad’s thunder.
Your job is simply to tell some funny, revealing anecdotes about your dad and get everyone smiling. You also need to make sure your father knows how much you rate him with a suitably poignant and thoughtful tribute.
As well as your dad, it’s also important to pay a thorough tribute to his partner too. Make sure it’s more than the usual platitudes and cliches and take the time to recognise their unique personality and how they’ve made your dad a happy man.
You know your dad better than most people, so you’re well placed to give his new spouse advice on how to successfully co-habit with him (e.g. ‘don’t try and change TV channels when you think he’s fallen asleep – he may be snoring with his eyes closed, but he’s still ‘watching it’).
If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of putting a lifetime of sweet-sharing and Star Wars cinema trips into a speech, look at how others describe fatherhood. Whilst plagiarism is never acceptable, quoting other clever people is.
Son of the Groom Quotes
- ‘When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.’ Mark Twain
- ‘You can always tell what was the best year of your father’s life because they seem to freeze that clothing style and just ride it out to the end, don’t they? And it’s not like they don’t continue shopping, it’s just they somehow manage to find new old clothes.’ Jerry Seinfeld
- ‘My father had a profound influence on me. He was a lunatic.’ Spike Milligan
- ‘When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, “If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.’ Jerry Lewis
Son of the Groom Humour
Check out our blog on how to make your wedding speech funny for advice on how to add humour to your speech without resorting to generic jokes or googled gags. Same with the sentiment; it all just comes down to your observation skills. What makes your dad truly the unique individual he is?
- Does he have any unusual quirks?
- Guilty pleasures?
- Surprising strengths?
- Weird claims to fame?
- What are the stories that illustrate his characteristics in action?
Once you get started, you’ll realise how much content you have to work with, but the trick is not to get carried away.
Son of the Groom Speech Length
As an adult, you’re granted a decent wordcount; somewhere between 800-1,300 words.
This will ensure your speech still comes in at less than ten minutes. Remember, no one ever listened to a speech and said ‘If only it were longer.’
The Young Child
No one expects a long, bespoke speech from a little one. Something short and thoughtful will win some big smiles and more than a few ‘awws’.
It’s perfectly fine to borrow the work of others – in fact, we encourage it in moderation. We like these playful readings from children’s books. Or Harry Potter fans can recite these magical love quotes from the wizarding world.
If you want to aim for something more original, ask your son to write a few lines about what he thinks makes a good marriage. It’s always amusing and often unexpectedly poignant when kids put their perspective on grown-up topics.
A small contribution from your son will add something special to the speeches and remind him he’s an important part of your big day.
The Teenage Son
Few teenagers will agree to read anything too soppy, so aim for humour over sentiment. If they look at you like you’ve just dropped their X-Box on the floor when you ask them to write a speech, have them pick a funny wedding reading instead.
Some more outspoken children might be up for giving their hot take on matters of the heart. Our writing team once helped a 15-year-old craft a love story using Star Wars quotes for his mum’s wedding!
Always aim to keep the speech length short – it’ll be funnier and more memorable for the right reasons. You might want to get an adult to look over the speech before the day – we recommend your son rehearses it on a willing family member before delivering it to a bigger crowd.
Memorising your speech helps the delivery to sound more natural, but we fully endorse the use of cue card and prompts.
Bear in mind that public speaking isn’t for everyone. Many people freeze at the moment of delivery. If this happens to you or your son, go with the flow and keep calm – there may be an opportunity to try again later once everyone’s more relaxed.
Nothing involving kids ever goes exactly go to plan. Learning to laugh whatever happens is a pretty decent way to begin your marriage! Here at Speechy, we know a sense of humour is key for all speeches.