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The Groom’s Speech

The Groom’s speech has to be sincere as well as be entertaining and also cover a bit of ‘housekeeping’. It doesn’t have the scope for humour as the Father-of-the-Bride or the Best Man, and initially it looks like it is the easiest of the three speeches to write. Sometimes it can be the hardest because you have to tug at the heartstrings with words of love for the Bride (without making anyone want to throw up), it should show your new in-laws that someone of substance has joined the family and it is the warm-up act for the Best Man. As with the other speeches, write around 750 to 1000 words (5 to 7 minutes, depending on delivery and response).

In a nutshell, here’s what the Groom’s speech has to do (normally on behalf of the Bride, unless she also wants to speak):

  • Respond to the toast made by the Father-of-the-Bride and thank him for giving you his daughter’s hand in marriage.
  • Thank both parents for their welcome into their family (and for providing the wedding if that is the situation) and for giving their daughter so many characteristics you admire, respect and love in her. Assure them that you will not let them down in your charge to love and care for their daughter.
  • At this point your own parents need a mention as well (perhaps for giving you the sense to see the characteristics mentioned above). Your mother probably needs more TLC than your father.
  • Talk about how happy you are thanks to your wonderful partner. If the term “Bridezilla” has been mentioned by anyone at any time in the past 24 hours, you should probably make this section of the speech really sucky.
  • Thank the guests for coming, and for their wishes and the George Forman Grills.
  • Thank the Best Man, Usher(s), Minister or Celebrant and anyone who played a part in setting up the wedding.
  • Thanks the Matron of Honour and/or Bridesmaids and propose your own toast to them.

Another order can be – thanks the guests, then the in-laws, then your parents, then the bridal party and finally your new wife for making you so happy.

It is difficult to give examples of the type of humour you can inject into this speech because it is so personal, both in your own relationship and the possible circumstances existing in your extended families.

While the above might seem like pretty ‘dry’ content, look at it as a wall of defence that has openings/gaps offering opportunities for humour – e.g. an anecdote about the first meeting with your in-laws or a night out with your Father-in-Law. When praising your parents, relate an incident where you mucked up and how they handled it. When referring to your partner, again, make yourself the joke by relating a story about a clumsy proposal, first kiss or embarrassing moment (for you). When thanking the Best Man, take a preemptive strike by guessing at what he’s going to say and why it will be totally fabricated etc.

Your speech, paradoxically, is the most predictable but the one with the most scope because you have just been handed control of the reception. I was Best Man at a good mate’s wedding in 2006. It was the second marriage for both and he wasn’t just taking on a life partner but also her eight-year-old-daughter. His ‘speech’ was picking up his guitar and singing a song to his step-daughter called ‘The Package Deal’ – about how doubly lucky he was to find and fall in love with two girls. Talk about stepdad to ‘Dad’ in the blink of a chorus!

Good luck!