Congratulations! If you're reading this, it means that a couple getting married wants you to speak at their wedding (or they trust you'll do great at an open mic). It's no secret that writing (and giving) a toast on this important day can be stressful - even when you're doing it with another person. Whether you're two maids of honor, two best men, a mix of bridesmaids and groomsmen, or just some friends giving a speech at the wedding, we've prepared a guide to help you craft the perfect joint wedding toast.
Should I Give a Joint Speech at a Wedding or Do it Solo?
Deciding whether to give a joint speech or go solo at a wedding is a common dilemma. Here are some considerations to help you make the right choice:
Respect the Couple's Wishes:
- It's important to prioritize what the couple wants. Some may envision individual toasts, while others may appreciate the camaraderie (and the time benefits) of a joint speech. That said, if you have a strong preference, you can voice that to the couple - especially if you're uncomfortable in a certain scenario.
Consider Your Comfort Level:
- Reflect on your comfort level with public speaking. If the idea of sharing the stage with others eases your nerves, a joint speech might be the ideal choice.
Reflect on Your Relationship:
- Consider your relationship with the couple. If your relationship to them overlaps with others who want to give a speech and you think you may repeat the same stories, it can be worth talking to those other people and the couple to see if it's best to give the speech together.
- Assess the overall schedule and time constraints of the wedding. If there's limited time for speeches, a joint toast can be a time-efficient and engaging option.
Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Ultimately, the decision should align with the couple's vision and your own preferences.
How to Write a Joint Wedding Speech
Crafting a joint wedding speech requires a unique approach. Here are some tips to help you and your co-speaker(s) deliver a seamless and memorable speech:
1. Find out how long your wedding toast should be
- Just because there are more of you doesn't mean you get a longer time slot! Make sure to ask the couple how long your toast should be, then keep the toast within those guidelines.
2. Align on the tone
- Make sure you all are aligned on what tone you're going for. If one of you wanted it to be a healthy balance of sincere and humor, and someone else was hoping for a full-blown roast, it's something you'll want to figure out earlier rather than later.
4. Find out if there are any topics that are off-limits
- While you may know the couple well, dynamics can change when families and friend groups combine. Make sure to check with the couple to see if there's anything they'd prefer you didn't mention. Ask them these 3 questions before writing the speech, and if you're not sure about a specific topic, ask.
3. Take time to separately think about what you want to include
- Before you come together to discuss what to say in the wedding speech, it's worth thinking about what you'd say as if you were giving your own toast and jotting those down in a no-structured, stream of consciousness. Doing this exercise will help remind you of a bunch of stories and memories, and that way you'll have a lot of great material to choose from. That said, manage your own expectations that not every story will make the final cut, and that's okay. A good speech has restraint, more isn't always better.
Provenance Pro Tip: Make sure to include stories about both partners, not just your close friend. You'll want to talk about their relationship as a whole and how they make each other better.
4. Join forces and begin putting together your ideas
- After taking time to think of stories on your own (we recommend doing the solo-thinking for at least a week), set a time to begin collaborating with your co-speaker(s). If you live nearby, you can do this in-person, or if you're far away, this can be done over a phone call. For inspiration on what stories you want to include, the Provenance Toast Builder has a bunch of prompts and a toast generator to help you make sure you don't forget a thing.
5. Take a step back and organize the ideas into a coherent speech
- Once all of the memories, insights, and ideas you want to include are down on paper, discuss what would be the best way to structure the toast. Would the stories flow best if they were told chronologically? Are there 3 takeaways that pop out that best describe your friend or the couple's relationship? If you're struggling to figure out how to best connect your stories into a cohesive speech, AI speechwriting tools can be especially helpful here. Additionally, when a winning theme comes to mind early in the writing process, some people will start with the theme, and then think about the stories that make sense.
6. Decide who will say what in the wedding toast
- Sometimes the order of who says what will be obvious (e.g. "you'll tell the stories from college because you were roommates then, then I'll do the ones from post-college because that's when we lived together"). Other times, it works to just randomly divide the speech up and alternate it between speakers.
7. Practice Together (in front of someone you trust)
- Rehearse your joint speech together to iron out any awkward transitions or timing issues. Practice will help you sync your delivery and enhance overall coherence. Since you have been working on the speech for some time, it's advised to practice in front of someone else who knows the couple.
Provenance Pro Tip: Since pacing is important in a good speech, be ready to update who says what depending on what feels most natural and doesn't make the passing of the mic or a page turn get in the way of a good joke.
Tips for Co-Best Men, Co-Maids of Honor, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, and Other Joint Toasts
When you're tasked with giving a joint toast as co-best men, maids of honor, bridesmaids/groomsmen, or simply as friends, there are a few additional Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind:
- Do give context to how you know the couple - make it personal "e.g. I've known Sam since before she knew spray tans"
- Don't say "for those of you who don't know me" - instead, just flat out express your connection to the couple
- Don't include cliches - the less cliches, the more personal, so do a final pass over your script to make sure it's not just fluff
- Do start working on the script at least a month in advance - with more people comes more complexity and scheduling - be mindful of this and give yourselves at least a month to start putting ideas together. You don't want the couple to not be able to count on their friends the week of the wedding because their friends are in the corner working on their wedding speech
- Don't wing it - please, for everyone at the wedding and especially the couple, prepare ahead of time and practice out loud.
Crafting a joint wedding speech for two maids of honor, two best men, or a combination of bridesmaids and groomsmen is a unique opportunity to celebrate the couple's love. With Provenance's Toast Builder, the process becomes a breeze, ensuring your joint speech is everything you (and the couple) hoped for.
Q: How far in advance should we start working on our wedding toasts?
It's advisable to start working on your toasts at least a month before the wedding. This allows ample time for collaboration, revisions, and practice, and takes into account multiple busy schedules.
Q: How long should a joint wedding toast be?
It's important to ask the couple how long they would like your speech to be. A general rule of thumb is to keep it between 3-5 minutes, and it's understandable that you'll be closer to that 5 minute mark with more people giving the speech.
Q: How do I give a Maid of Honor toast?
If you're writing a solo Maid of Honor toast (or want to just use it as inspiration), check out the guide on how to write a stellar Maid of Honor toast.
Q: How do I give a Best Man toast?
If you're writing a solo Best Man toast (or want to just use it as inspiration), check out the guide on how to write an epic Best Man speech.
Q: Is the Toast Builder free to use?
Yes, Provenance offers a free version of the Toast Builder if you log in as a guest.
Crafting a joint wedding speech for two maids of honor, two best men, or a combination of bridesmaids and groomsmen is a unique opportunity to celebrate the couple's love. With Provenance's Toast Builder, the process becomes a breeze, ensuring your joint speech is as special as the love it commemorates.