Your Ultimate Guide to Writing a Meaningful Wedding Speech

The original article can be found on The Knot here

Written by: Lauren Dana Ellman

Getting asked to speak at a wedding is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking, especially since you're not a professional speaker or speechwriter! So, if you're unsure how to write a wedding speech, know you're not alone. Whether you're a member of a wedding party or a parent or sibling of the soon-to-be-married couple, you may be wondering what to say in a wedding speech. However, that's where we come into the picture: Keep reading for a full rundown of wedding speech tips, insight and, last but not least, a fully written example that you can use as a guide. Happy speechwriting!

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How to Write a Wedding Speech

Writing your wedding speech is no easy feat. To help ensure things go as smoothly as possible, we tapped into Renée Dalo, owner of Moxie Bright Events in Los Angeles, California. Below, she shares a step-by-step guide.

Brainstorm a great opening.

To captivate other guests' attention, Daloe recommends taking some time to brainstorm a great opening. For example, she says, "Try to resist saying, 'For those of you who don't know me, I'm Erica's sister, Michelle.'" Instead, skip this entirely in favor of something more fun and creative.

Start with a story.

…but be sure to make it a short one, says Dalo. "Make sure it's relevant to your friendship and/or the couple." When selecting what story to share, the wedding pro recommends sterling clear of any that involve ex-partners—and for that matter, anything negative about the newly married couple. "Even if you think it's funny, she says, "it's not." Instead, think of a special moment or fun memory you shared with the couple. What did it involve? What was so great about it? All of these things are worth considering as you jot down your wedding speech.

Share your well wishes.

After all, what would a wedding speech be if it didn't include some well wishes for the newlyweds? "Make sure to include both people in the couple in your remarks," advises Dalo.

End with a toast.

Cap off your speech on a fun and sentimental note by ending with an actual toast. Dalo recommends this foolproof example: "Please join me in raising a glass to the happy couple. Cheers to X and Y, and best wishes for a lifetime of laughter!" Afterward, go in for a hug with the couple, making for the perfect photo op!

Rehearse away.

After you write your speech down, spend a significant amount of time rehearsing it so that you feel confident and comfortable while giving the actual speech. "Don't try to wing it," says Dalo. "You're going to want to rehearse this [so that] you can be as calm and present as possible."

Still trying to figure out where to start? Don't fret: If you could use some additional assistance writing your wedding speech, consider Provenance, which helps users create personalized, meaningful wedding speeches using AI-powered tools along with real responses to personal questions.

Take the Provenance Toast Builder, for example. Couples can invite those who will be giving wedding speeches—including the father of the bride, mother of the bride, father of the groom, mother of the groom, maid of honor and best man—to use the Toast Builder. Upon being invited to use the platform, these individuals will "get alerted to how long their speech can be," as well as any other important information to mention—or steer clear of. "From there," says Provenance CEO Steven Greitzer, "you can see the status of the speech and the estimated length."

Wedding Speech Example

To help get those creative juices flowing, check out the below wedding speech example.

Hi! As Lisa's younger sister—and now maid of honor—I've had the unique privilege of growing up alongside her. Since we're just two years apart, we've been each other's built-in best friends from the start. Like most sisters, we bickered constantly throughout our childhood, hurling insults over clothing, makeup and missing pieces of jewelry: I'll finally admit it, Lisa, I was the one who lost your charm bracelet at summer camp! All kidding aside, I hope I've made it up to you with this epic speech.

When Lisa first met Jay on the train coming home from work (romantic, I know!), we lived together in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the city, an experience that only brought us closer together. After their first date to their now-favorite pizza place, she came home all giddy—bubbly, smiling, and laughing. She told me that the two of them already planned their next date. I had never seen her so happy. The look in her eyes since that night has not faded, and if I know Jay—which I do!—he will make sure it never will.

Like Lisa, Jay is kind, patient, and compassionate, and this was evident from the first time we met, which was right before his and Lisa's second date. I ran to the door to catch a glimpse of the guy who was slowly but surely stealing my sister's heart. Upon meeting, Jay and I instantly hit it off. He greeted me by name, hugged me, and took the time to sit down and truly get to know me. Less than 10 minutes later, we were already cracking jokes. It was clear to me then that Jay was, without a doubt, my sister's perfect match.

Lisa and Jay, you've set the bar (very) high for all of your friends and family when it comes to relationship goals. The love and commitment you share with each other is inspiring and everlasting. I know Jay will spend the rest of his life making Lisa happy and supporting her through every endeavor—and I know she'll do the same, too.

So, Lisa and Jay, I wish you nothing but a lifetime of love and happiness together. And I'm so excited to have a front-row seat to all that's in store. Everyone, please join me in raising a glass to the newlyweds!

Wedding Speech Tips

Keep it short and sweet.

According to Dalo, your wedding speech should be "no more than three minutes." She continues, telling The Knot, "Three minutes is a long time, and when you figure in getting up to the mic and then hugging afterward, it's about five minutes total which is ideal." If you go any longer, you run the risk of losing guests' attention and potentially boring them (a no-no in our book!).

Acknowledge both partners.

"A big speech taboo that we see way too often is when the person giving the speech only talks about the partner they're closest with, unintentionally making the other partner feel left out and unimportant," says Greitzer. If you need a helping hand, Greitzer recommends using the Provenance Toast Builder, which offers "thoughtful prompts to encourage you to share why they're both 1) good people and 2) a great match for each other."

Getting asked to speak at a wedding is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking, especially since you're not a professional speaker or speechwriter! So, if you're unsure how to write a wedding speech, know you're not alone. Whether you're a member of a wedding party or a parent or sibling of the soon-to-be-married couple, you may be wondering what to say in a wedding speech. However, that's where we come into the picture: Keep reading for a full rundown of wedding speech tips, insight and, last but not least, a fully written example that you can use as a guide. Happy speechwriting!
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