What NOT To Say in Your Next Wedding Speech
Wedding speech givers, we understand. You feel pressure to deliver a winning speech. Something that is going to entertain the bride and groom’s family and friends, pull on their heartstrings, and make the newlyweds proud. Something that will be remembered for all the right reasons. But sometimes what you leave out of your speech is just as important as what you actually include.
My advice? Spend some time figuring out what should stay off limits. I’ve heard some of the worst possible wedding speeches and trust me, people talk about them for years to come. You just have to look on YouTube or TikTok to see how easily bad (or boring) speeches can go viral.
Do yourself a favor and carefully consider these tips when writing your next wedding speech:
Avoid the B-O-R-I-N-G introduction
If you’re thinking of opening with, “For those of you who don’t know me, I’m…” please think again. It is the most boring and predictable way to start a speech. It’s fine to introduce yourself or mention how you know the bride or groom, but you don’t have to start with it. Remember that most people make up their minds whether or not they’re going to pay attention in the first 30 seconds of the speech, so consider starting off with something that really draws the listener in.
Inside jokes aren’t meant to be shared
Nobody wants to hear about the time you and the bride got matching sweatshirts on Spring Break or the time you and the groom had that wild night in college. Inside jokes and experiences are not appropriate (or even interesting) material for your speech. Yes, you’re there to cast the bride and groom in a flattering light, but your other role is to make sure everyone there feels included. When you talk about things that resonate with only a chosen few, the rest of the crowd will be counting down until you’re done.
Keep it clean
Under no circumstances should you curse in your wedding speech. There is no better way to come across as low class than by dropping F bombs. If you think cursing will make you come across as more real, or even funny, let me be clear: it won’t.
Think anecdotes, not adjectives
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard speech givers say something like, “[Insert guest of honor’s name] is the most caring, wonderful, fantastic, sensational, loyal person I know.” The main problem with using a laundry list of positive adjectives is that you could be talking about anyone. When you use generic words, you’re going to sound that way. Instead, think about the anecdotes or stories you can use to show how the bride or groom is caring, wonderful, fantastic, sensational, or loyal. Using specific examples that everyone can relate to is going to be a lot more meaningful than cookie cutter descriptions.
Past relationships should stay in the past
Steer clear from mentioning past love interests and exes of any kind. Period.
Don’t make it about you
Make no mistake, your wedding speech is not about YOU. If you catch yourself starting more sentences than not with the word “I,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board (or, in this case, the writing one). This isn’t the time or the place to share your life story because it’s not your day. I repeat, it’s not your day. And before you even think about announcing your own engagement, pregnancy, or other personal revelation, censor yourself. People came to hear about the bride and groom, so please give them what they came for!
If you want to deliver a speech to remember, put in the time and thought upfront to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Consider what you want the bride and groom and their friends and family to walk away feeling after they’ve heard your words. Once you’ve writing those “just right” words, practice until it feels like a polished conversation. And please, please, please, don’t have more than one drink (tops!) before you take the mic.
If your speech does go viral, this is how you can make sure it’s for being a winner, not a loser.