Rule 1- Cut the cliches
Yes, every bride is beautiful, yes every bride is intelligent, hard-working and kind – but what makes her unique?
She may be wearing a princess dress for the day but that doesn’t mean that she is one. You love her for who she is and so does everyone in the room. Celebrate that.
Call her out for nacho-munching, overly-competitive, library-loving nerd she is!
Rule 2- Be funny
People expect the best man to be funny but no one ever left a wedding thinking “I wish the other speeches had been less amusing”.
We all know you and her mother were very proud of how well she did in her exams but unless there is a funny story attached, save that observation for another time.
We suggest a mix of about 70% humour, with about 30% heartfelt and sincere.
Think of the stories that still make you laugh. Chances are they’ll make everyone else laugh too.
Rule 3- Tell a story
The best speeches take us on a journey. They aren’t just a collection of ‘to dos’ and a list of random anecdotes.
Your speech needs a thread that connects everything you’re saying. It could be what you’ve learnt from the bride over the years (from a secret appreciation of Justin Bieber’s back-catalogue to how to cheat at Scrabble). It could be your guide to the groom re how your step-daughter works.
A theme can be perfect, whether that’s one connected to something she loves, her job or even the wedding venue, if you can weave some of your anecdotes together you’ll find the speech will land better, it’ll be easier to write, and everyone will think you’re a professional storyteller! (Although be warned- people might start taking bookings)
Rule 4- Cut The Waffle
Edit, edit, edit. If you’ve known the bride for a long time, there may be so many things you want to say, it might get overwhelming. We suggest you aim for about 7-8 minutes tops (remember you’ll need to add time in there for laughter too- you’ll need it, we promise) About 1100-1200 words should be your absolute upper limit. You can tell everyone all the stories you had to cut at the bar later.
Rule 5- Deliver the goods
Will there be a mic? How many people will be in the room? Do you want a full script or just some notes?
Remember, the wonderful, heartfelt, funny words you have written will need to be spoken out loud at some point, so practice! What looks good on paper can sometimes come out as a tongue twister.
Speak slowly, and don’t forget to smile. Everyone there wants you to do well, so enjoy the moment. The more you enjoy it, the more everyone else will too!
Check out our Father of the Bride Speech Advice for more ideas on how to write a great speech