Wedding Speeches: How to Write and Deliver a Memorable Toast

June 1, 2023
9 min

Wedding speeches are an important tradition that adds a personal touch to the wedding celebration. They allow loved ones to share their feelings and memories, express gratitude, and wish the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness. However, with the rising trend of online marriages due to the ongoing pandemic, wedding speeches have taken on a new form. Online marriages refer to weddings that take place virtually, with the couple and their guests participating from different locations through video conferencing platforms. 

In this post, we will discuss how to write and deliver a memorable toast, both for in-person and virtual weddings.

Who gives speeches at a wedding?

At a traditional wedding, certain people are expected to give speeches. These people include the father of the bride, the best man, and the maid of honor. 

Here is a breakdown of the traditional roles of speech givers at a wedding:

  • Father of the Bride: This speech is typically the first one given, and it sets the tone for the rest of the speeches. The father of the bride welcomes the guests, thanks them for coming, and talks about his daughter and his relationship with her. He will usually end the speech by toasting the newlyweds.
  • Groom: The groom will usually give a speech after the father of the bride. He thanks everyone for coming, talks about his bride and their relationship, and thanks her parents for their support. He will usually end the speech by toasting his bride.
  • Best Man: The best man is responsible for giving the final speech of the night. He will typically start by thanking the groom for choosing him as his best man. He will then share stories about the groom, including some embarrassing ones, and end by toasting the newlyweds.
  • Maid of Honor: The maid of honor will typically give a speech after the groom. She will thank the bride for choosing her as her maid of honor, share stories about the bride, and offer advice for a happy marriage. She will also usually end by toasting the newlyweds.

However, more modern variations have emerged over the years, and other people may give speeches at a wedding as well. These could include the mother of the bride, the bride herself, the groom's parents, or close friends of the couple. It's important to keep in mind the wishes of the couple and to ensure that all speeches are appropriate and in good taste.

Tips for Writing a great wedding speech

Here are some tips to help you write a great wedding speech:

  • Prepare and Practice: Don't wait until the last minute to start writing your speech. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and practice. Write down your thoughts and ideas, and then organize them into a logical structure. Practice delivering your speech several times, either by yourself or in front of a trusted friend or family member.
  • Structure Your Speech: A great wedding speech typically follows a basic structure. Start with an attention-grabbing opening that will capture the audience's attention. Then, move on to the body of your speech, where you will share your thoughts, stories, and advice. Finally, end with a memorable conclusion and a toast to the newlyweds.
  • Keep it Positive: A wedding is a joyous occasion, so keep your speech positive and uplifting. Share stories that celebrate the love and happiness of the couple, and offer words of encouragement and support.
  • Use Humor Wisely: Humor can be a great way to connect with the audience and lighten the mood, but be careful not to go overboard. Avoid jokes that are inappropriate or offensive, and keep in mind that what may be funny to you may not be funny to everyone.
  • Share Personal Anecdotes: Personal anecdotes are a great way to personalize your speech and connect with the couple and the audience. Share stories that highlight the couple's strengths and unique qualities, and that demonstrate the love and support they have for each other.
  • Avoid Sensitive Topics: Avoid topics that may be sensitive or controversial, such as politics, religion, or past relationships. Stick to positive and uplifting messages that celebrate the love and happiness of the couple.

Tips for delivering a great wedding speech

Here are some tips to help you deliver a memorable speech with confidence:

  • Manage Your Nerves: It's normal to feel nervous before giving a speech, but there are techniques you can use to manage your nerves. Take some deep breaths, visualize a positive outcome, and remind yourself that the audience is there to support you.
  • Project Your Voice: Make sure you speak clearly and project your voice so that everyone in the audience can hear you. Take your time, speak at a moderate pace, and avoid rushing through your speech.
  • Maintain Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with the audience to help build a connection with them. Look around the room and make eye contact with different people, but avoid staring at one person for too long.
  • Use Pauses: Using pauses can help you emphasize key points and give the audience time to digest what you're saying. Don't be afraid to take a moment to gather your thoughts and take a breath before continuing.
  • Vary Your Tone: Varying your tone can help you keep the audience engaged and prevent your speech from sounding monotonous. Use inflection to emphasize key points, and adjust your tone to match the mood of the moment.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: The more you practice your speech, the more confident you'll feel on the day of the wedding. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself or give your speech to a trusted friend or family member for feedback.

Examples of great wedding speeches

Here are some examples of great wedding speeches to inspire you:

  • Father of the Bride Speech: This father of the bride speech is both touching and humorous. He speaks from the heart and uses personal anecdotes to illustrate his love for his daughter and his joy at seeing her marry the man she loves.
  • Best Man Speech: This best man speech is funny, charming, and heartfelt. He tells stories about the groom that show both his good qualities and his quirks, and he ends with a touching message of support for the newlyweds.
  • Maid of Honor Speech: This maid of honor speech is both heartfelt and inspiring. She talks about the bride's strengths and qualities and offers a message of love and support to the happy couple.
  • Bride's Speech: This bride's speech is touching and emotional. She speaks about her love for her new husband and her gratitude for the support of her family and friends.

What makes these speeches effective is that they all have a clear structure, with an opening that captures the audience's attention, a body that tells personal stories or expresses heartfelt sentiments, and a conclusion that offers words of wisdom or congratulations to the happy couple.

For more inspiration, there are many online resources that offer examples of great wedding speeches, including Hitched, Wedding Forward, and LoveToKnow Weddings

Additionally, In the spirit of embracing new experiences, you may want to craft a heartfelt and personalized wedding speech by using Provenance, which has a number of modern online tools, including a Ceremony Builder, Vow Builder, and Toast Builder, as well as more in-depth services like professional speechwriting and public speaking services.


Wedding speeches are an important part of any wedding ceremony, as they provide an opportunity for loved ones to express their feelings and support for the happy couple. Whether you are the father of the bride, the maid of honor, or any other speech giver, there are certain tips and techniques you can use to write and deliver a great wedding speech that will be remembered for years to come.

Remember, a great wedding speech can have a profound impact on the newlyweds and their guests, and can create cherished memories that last a lifetime. So, if you have a wedding coming up, start preparing your speech early, and use the tips and resources we've discussed to create a memorable and meaningful tribute to the happy couple.

Common questions

What is the best time during the wedding for speeches?

Traditionally, speeches are given after the meal and before the cutting of the cake. This allows everyone to enjoy their food and drinks before the speeches begin and also ensures that the speeches do not run too late into the night. However, some couples may choose to have speeches earlier in the evening or during the reception, depending on their personal preference.

How long should a wedding speech be?

The length of a wedding speech can vary, but generally, it should be no longer than 5-7 minutes. This allows enough time to deliver a heartfelt message or share a few humorous anecdotes without losing the attention of the audience.

Is it okay to use humor in a wedding speech?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to use humor in a wedding speech, as long as it is appropriate and not at the expense of anyone present. However, it's important to balance humor with sincere sentiments, so that the speech doesn't become too light-hearted or frivolous.

What should I do if I forget my speech during delivery?

If you forget your speech during delivery, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. You can take a moment to gather your thoughts, look down at your notes (if you have them), or ask someone to prompt you with a question. If all else fails, you can simply speak from the heart and express your feelings in your own words.

How can I involve the audience in my speech?

One way to involve the audience in your speech is to ask them a question or invite them to participate in a brief activity. For example, you could ask them to raise their glasses for a toast or have them shout out a particular phrase or response at certain points in your speech.

How do I end a wedding speech?

A good way to end a wedding speech is to offer a message of congratulations or well wishes to the happy couple. You can also thank them for the opportunity to speak and express your gratitude to those who helped make the wedding day special. Finally, you can invite everyone to join you in raising a glass for a final toast to the newlyweds.

Online Marriage with Courtly

In recent years, online marriage has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional in-person weddings. Online marriage allows couples to legally tie the knot without the need for physical presence in a courthouse or a place of worship. One platform that has garnered a lot of attention for its online marriage services is Courtly. We offer customizable ceremonies, licensed officiants, and a virtual marriage license, making the entire process streamlined and efficient. 

Couples can choose from a range of ceremony options, including secular, religious, and interfaith ceremonies. Furthermore, we offer additional services such as wedding planning, premarital counseling, and online resources to help couples prepare for their big day.

One of the key benefits of online marriage with Courtly is convenience. Couples can get married from the comfort of their own home, without the need for travel or extensive planning. This can be particularly appealing for those who have busy schedules, are unable to travel, or simply prefer a more intimate ceremony. Additionally, the online marriage option may be more affordable than a traditional wedding, as it eliminates many of the expenses associated with a physical ceremony.

However, it is important to note that online marriage is not without its drawbacks. Some may argue that an online ceremony lacks the personal touch and emotional impact of a physical wedding. Some countries may not recognize online marriage as a legally valid option, which can be a barrier for couples looking to obtain legal recognition of their union. It is important to do thorough research and ensure that online marriage is a legally valid option in your location before making any decisions.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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