The bridegroom’s speech is a reply on behalf of his wife and himself to the father of the bride’s speech and toast. It traditionally starts with “My wife and I…” which usually generates a reaction from the guests!
For many grooms, the speech can give rise to a dilemma. On one hand, a wedding is the occasion to express love for your new wife and gratitude to both sets of parents, but on the other hand, you don’t want to come across as too sentimental in front of friends! Therefore, it would be helpful then to plan your speech as a happy medium between the two.
Here are some suggested points to include, which are in the order of their delivery. You may wish to pepper your speech with a few jokes or anecdotes should you feel comfortable with this.
- Thank the father of the bride for his toast and good wishes. He may have complimented you on your suitability for the bride, so a reply may be that you hope you can live up to his expectations.
- Thank your guests for sharing your special day. Mention those who have travelled a long way, if the father of the bride didn’t do this, or perhaps welcome friends of you and your new wife rather than family members. This is a good time to thank everyone for their gifts.
- Thank your parents for their love and support over the years and thank your new in-laws for bringing up their daughter so well and providing you with a wonderful bride, to whom you intend to devote your life in pursuit of her happiness! You may at this juncture, present your mother and mother-in-law with a gift such as a memento of the day or a bouquet of flowers.
- Compliment and praise your new wife. This is often the most touching moment of the groom’s speech. Thank her for agreeing to marry you, and comment on the way she looks. To ease embarrassment, look at your bride here, and speak to her, but at a volume that your audience can hear. This will provide a happy medium between appearing excessively sentimental in front of friends and missing the opportunity to publicly express your feelings for your new wife.
- Thank your best man for his friendship, help and support. This also serves as a good way of introducing your guests to your best man. Use his name and briefly explain how you know each other.
- Thank the bridesmaids, which is a traditional task for the groom to perform. However, you may decide, if the bride is to speak, that she may prefer to do this for herself. If not, and the task falls to you, thank the bridesmaids for their help in preparing the wedding, and for the support they’ve given the bride. If one bridesmaid was more instrumental than the others, give her a special mention. You would then present the bridesmaids with a gift, if they haven’t already received them.
- A toast to the bridesmaids concludes your speech. Remember to have a clear phrase that your guests can repeat after you, for example, “Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for a toast (pause until everyone is standing with their glasses raised) to… the bridesmaids.”
The Groom can afford to be a little wobbly when making his speech. It will be expected that you, as well as your bride, will be feeling emotional, and a tear of pride and happiness will add a new dimension to your speech!