Grand Rapids, MI

Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Speeches


We’ve all been there, you go to a wedding and the person who’s giving the speech says something distasteful and you have secondhand embarrassment. Now, you are in charge of writing the speech and you don’t want to be that person. Keep reading for the do’s and don’ts of wedding speeches to help you with your Grand Rapids wedding speech!

If you’re like me, you love a good wedding, especially if you are in the wedding! Seeing your close friend or family member getting married and you get to help make their day special. One of the duties of a bridesmaid/groomsman is that you may be expected to say a few nice words about the newlyweds. Your brain might go straight to that embarrassing story that happened to the bride/groom in college that no one likes to talk about or about that one time in Vegas. Those stories are not ideal to add to your speech. With that said let’s go over the do’s and don’ts of wedding speeches.

DONT’s for a Wedding Speech

  1. Wing it 

    Even if you are a good public speaker, don’t be that person who say’s “I’m just going to get up there and wing it”. The couple has chosen you to be a part of their day for a reason. The least you can do is put some thought and time into what you would like to say to/about the couple. When you wing a speech, you can start to ramble, drag on, and perhaps end up saying that embarrassing story that everyone wants to avoid. The last thing you want is to find yourself unprepared for when it’s your turn to speak so, be prepared!

  2. Using Gimmicks/Googling it

    When given a task like this it’s normal if you are unsure of what to say or how to say it. Use the internet as INSPIRATION, you want to sound more polished not scripted. Avoid too many jokes and the “You had to be there” reference. If you find a quote that enhances the couple with what you’re trying to say then that’s okay to use it, but don’t sprinkle every “nice” wedding quote and call it yours.

  3. Memorize it

    Some would argue that it’s great to memorize your speech, which is fine! If you practice enough and you memorize it, great. Still, always have it written out and ready to go. You never know that when you get up there in front of everyone, you could forget what you want to say or get nervous, and end up skipping half your speech. So please, write it down, and no, I don’t mean on your phone!

  4. Cursing 

    Just…don’t do it. Even if you are the one known for having a mouth like a sailor, keep it PG during your wedding speech.

  5. Drinking

    Sure, you are going to want a drink right before speaking, and in all honesty, you probably need it but don’t overdo it. No one wants to be remembered as the one who gave the wedding speech drunk and guests only understanding half of what you said. It’s nice to have a reward waiting after, so make sure your toast drink is the perfect reward after giving your speech!

DO’s for a Wedding Speech

  1. Be Yourself

    The easy part! The newlyweds have asked you to make this speech, which means they value your friendship, and they trust you!

  2. Talk about the couple

    Even if you are only close with one of the newlyweds, that’s okay. Talk about the change you saw when their significant other came into their lives – good changes. Avoid talking about a past ex that no one liked and you’re glad he/she is gone – it’s not sweet, it’s awkward for us all.

  3. Tell a story 

    The best speech is a story with a beginning, middle, and ending that focuses on the couple. Talk about them as individuals and their love story. Talk about what your relationship with the bride/groom has been like, what that relationship means to you, and why you think they will be a great future partner as he/she has always been a great friend to you.

  4. Thanking Participants

    Thank the newlyweds for having you be a part of their day! Thank the families and the ones who couldn’t make it. Give those special shout-outs when needed.

  5. Short & Sweet

    Your speech should not go over five minutes, that is ideal.

  6. Practice

    I don’t mean the one time when you first started writing. Practice in the mirror and in front of someone. When you practice you will feel more confident during your speech and will know what to add or take out of your speech.

  7. Write it down

    Every time I go to a wedding and someone is reading their speech from their phone I, as the kids say these days, cringe. Not only does it look better when you have it written down, but it makes great practice to write or type your speech.

  8. Toast

    That means the hard part is over. Always toast to the couple at the end of your speech and enjoy the rest of the night!

The Key to a Perfect Wedding Speech

These are just a few of the do’s and don’ts of delivering a wedding speech. The key is to be prepared, original and focused on the couple’s special day. With some planning and practice, you can deliver a speech that they’ll remember forever.

Complete Weddings + Events Grand Rapids, MI | Photographers | Videographers | DJs | Photo Booth Rental | Coordination

And there you have it! The Do’s and Don’ts of wedding speeches. If you need more information and details about ideas and inspiration for your big day, visit our blog page. Or contact us today to kickstart your wedding planning with our photography, videography, DJ, photo booth rental, and coordination services in Grand Rapids, MI.

Author: Alexis Alvarez

Complete Weddings + Events is Grand Rapids’ leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, coordinationDJ services & photo booth rental.

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