Wedding speech structure and etiquette

How to structure a wedding speech

In this article we describe how to structure a wedding speech and the required ettiquette . We explore the order that you need to follow as well as a few hints for planning and delivery.

We also have included links to some of our other pages with jokes and one liners to make your wedding speech more memorable.

The normal structure of your wedding speech depends upon the speech you are giving – whether it is as the best man,
bride, groom or father of the bride.

Father of the Bride Speech

Traditionally you are the person who was paying for the wedding so it usually falls to you to start off the speeches.

  • You welcome everyone to the wedding and the groom’s parents into the family
  • Say how beautiful the bride looks (you then have the chance to recount a story about when she was younger)
  • Welcome the groom into the family
  • Offer some advice or words of wisdom about married life (often a good place to tell a joke or two)
  • Thank anyone who has made the wedding special (caterers, vicar etc)
  • Propose a toast to the bride and groom

If you do not have a master of ceremonies you will then need to introduce the groom to speak.

Bride Groom’s Speech

You start by welcoming everyone into the family and often to make a point of praising people who have come out of their way to be present.

  • You thank the bride’s parents for raising such a nice daughter (historically this was to thank them for giving you her hand in marriage)
  • You give some thanks to people who have made the wedding or reception special
  • You say some nice words about the bride
  • You propose a toast to the bridesmaids
  • You also thank the best man for coming and you have the option to say a few brief words about him

If you do not have a master of ceremonies you then introduce the Best Man to speak.

Best man speech

You start by thanking the groom for asking you to be his best man.

  • You tell a few funny stories about the Groom
  • If you know the bride, you may be able to tell a few anecdotes about the bride (be extra careful about this)
  • You have the option to read out a couple of cards from people who were not able to attend (be brief on this as it can be a bit boring for the audience)
  • If you like you could propose a final toast to the bride and groom – wishing them happiness in their life together.

If there is no master of ceremonies you will need to introduce the next item – cutting of the cake – or thank the audience and invite them to carry on with enjoying themselves.

Bride’s speech

There is no traditional formal structure to a bride’s speech – mainly as in the Victorian past it was only men who were expected to speak. However as a guide I would recommend the following structure.

  • Thank everyone for coming
  • Highlight any people who would like to have come, but were unable to come due to poor health
  • Possibly tell the story of how you met the groom (if appropriate)
  • Tell an amusing story
  • Any special words that you would like to say

Since there is no formal structure, you should make sure that you have told the master of ceremonies where you would like to be featured.

You may also wish to look at some one liners for a wedding speech, best man’s speech, bride speech, bridegroom speech or father of the bride.

Wedding Clip Art

If you are looking for some clip art – why not check out our free wedding clip art.


Published On: 4th Apr 2009

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Speaking Articles,Wedding Speeches

  1. im about to be in a wedding what should my speech say if im presenting the groom

    jamie 29 Apr at 7:32 pm
  2. I wish to thank you for your very helpful suggestions. This is my only daughter, so its a first for me. Hence the emotional difficulties in writing an appropriate speech as her father. So now I’ll do my best with some of your suggestions. Thank you again, and best regards.

    Mortie 24 Aug at 7:22 am
  3. Help me with speech for the mother of the bride

    mpakie mateza 9 Feb at 11:32 am