The Stress-Free Guide to Writing a Short and Simple Groom Speech
The Groom Speech is one of the most important pieces of the wedding ‘jigsaw’.
Get it right and you’ll be a hero in the eyes of your new bride and leave your guests with big smiles on their faces.
Get it wrong and there could be a big, embarrassing hole in the middle of an otherwise perfect day.
So the pressure’s on and while the groom speech is not a hard one to pull off, it’s also an easy one to screw up.
But there’s no need to panic! Take a deep breath, think calming thoughts and read my Minimalist Guide to a Zen-Like Groom Speech That Simply Works.
An Effective Groom Speech is as Simple as ABC
Some groom speeches are masterpieces of speechwriting - full of touching stories, memorable details and clever jokes.
But the truth is that as long as you include just three essential elements you can deliver a rock-solid groom speech that ticks all the right boxes.
So here’s my ABC for an effective groom speech, which tells you exactly what to say, and when to say it…
A is for… Acknowledgements
This is non-negotiable - acknowledging the important people in your life, particularly those who’ve helped with the arrangements for the big day.
Forget to say “thank you” and you’ll not only look ungrateful but your speech could leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who felt they deserved a quick mention.
And remember, even if you’ve thanked someone in person - or plan to - nothing can quite replace giving them public recognition in front of the other guests.
“Thank You” Checklist
Here’s a checklist of people you might want to thank:
- The father-of-the-bride for his toast to you and the bride
- Your parents for their support over the years
- The bride’s parents for:a) bringing up your wonderful wife, andb) for welcoming you into their family
- Your groomsmen for their help on and before the big day
- The bridesmaids for the help they’ve given the bride
“Thank You” Gifts
If you intend to hand out any gifts you can do this as part of the acknowledgements.
Absent Family and Friends
It’s also customary to acknowledge absent family and friends.
This can be a poignant moment so make sure there’s a brief pause to remember important people, before diving into…
B is for… Bride
Once you’ve shown your gratitude by acknowledging all the key wedding players, it’s time to get to the main topic of your speech, which is of course - the bride!
Yes, the thank you’s are absolutely essential, but they’re really just a polite preamble. It’s the bit where you start to talk fondly about your new wife that your guests are really looking forward to hearing.
Even if you’re the strong, silent type, your wedding day is the one occasion where you get to show your softer side and let a few honest feelings show through.
But don’t worry, it’s dead easy to write a crowd-pleasing groom speech. Because although the best man’s speech, for example, is expected to be funny, all that the groom’s speech really needs to be is sincere - and a little romantic.
In the spirit of minimalism, here’s a simple template to use if you’re lost for words when it comes to talking about your beautiful bride:
- Tell the story of how you first met
- Say what you love about her - illustrated with a quick anecdote
- Tell us something about your hopes and plans for your future together
Do this right and you’ll score some serious points with your new wife and have all the guests (well the women at least!) thinking you’re the ultimate romantic hero!
C is for… Cheers!
So you’ve thanked everyone who needs thanking and you’ve made your new bride swoon with some well-chosen words straight from the heart.
Job done, right? Time to sit down.
Well, not quite.
Wrap it up and end on a high
All good speeches have a clear beginning, middle and an end, and the groom speech is no exception. You’ve just nailed the beginning and the middle, so let’s wrap things up neatly and end on a high.
Nothing gets a more enthusiastic response than an invitation to drink, and it’s traditional for the groom’s speech to end with a toast to the bridesmaids.
In an ultra-minimal groom speech you could simply thank everyone for listening and immediately propose the toast.
However, it’s nice to acknowledge the next speaker - usually the best man - before you sit back down (and hopefully receive a big kiss from your wife).
A simple template for the perfect ending
So, with that in mind, here’s a quick guide to the perfect ending:
- Thank everyone for listening and say it’ll soon be time for the best man to speak
- Say a few short words about the best man and how much you’re looking forward to his speech
- Raise a toast to the bridesmaids and hand straight over to the best man (or the MC)
So that’s it! You’ve reached the end of my Minimalist Guide.
Hopefully the prospect of writing your groom speech is now about as stressful as gently raking the sand in your Zen garden whilst listening to an iPod full of whale song.
Now take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly exhale any remaining worries and fears about your speech.
Just pick up a notepad and your favourite pen, and get writing.