The New Wedding Speech Rules for 2021

This is a sponsored post by Speechy

2020 will go down in wedding planning history as the year we plugged into daily news briefings, boggled over ever-changing rules and restrictions, despaired quite a bit more than usual over the guest list, and finally… well, adapted.


Some couples put their nuptials on ice for one bonkers year, while others chose to have small, intimate ceremonies on their original date. Both of these decisions illustrated one wholesome truth – that love (and meticulous planning) really does conquer all.

With Boris suggesting celebrations may go back to ‘normal’ as soon as Easter, we’re hopeful that the only tiers we talk about next year are on a wedding cake. We, the wedding wordsmiths at Speechy, share our forecast of what we can expect from 2021 toasts.

Spaced Out Speeches

We’ve been in a bit of a fuzzy haze all year, but that’s not quite what we’re alluding to here! With this summer’s miniature gatherings and stripped back entertainment, wedding speeches took on a more relaxed, informal quality, with many couples choosing to space them out throughout the meal.

We envisage more weddings embracing this casual speech style in the year ahead, where making hard and fast plans is still a tad ambitious. Scheduling the speeches differently allows newlyweds to enjoy a ‘go with the flow’ vibe – it also puts less pressure on any nervous speakers.

Impromptu Speeches

With many cautious couples still opting for smaller guestlists, we love the idea of trying out Scandinavian style ‘spontaneous’ speeches, where everyone is invited to say a few words before offering a toast to the happy couple. That said, we’re not talking completely spur of the moment – mention it to guests in advance and encourage them not to go over a few minutes.

We recommend anyone expecting to contribute anecdotes about the newlyweds prepares in advance and rehearses a little. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art’.

The Joint Speech

Teaming up for a speech is nothing new – multiple best men have shared groom roasting duties for years. But also growing in popularity is the newlyweds joint speech. Mr and Mrs, Mr and Mr, Mrs and Mrs – whatever. Watching you two bounce energy off each other is a treat for guests, with one caveat – keep it humorous, not saccharine.

You’ve got through two lockdowns together and you still want to get married so guests already know you’re truly madly deeply in love, now they want to hear the funny stuff. Did you spend weeks trying not to giggle at his quarantine hairdo?  Perhaps The Queen’s Gambit turned you into aggressive chess adversaries? Make fun of one another, and yourselves. Laughter is lovely.

Going Bespoke

More couples than ever are grabbing the opportunity to decorate their weddings with words (as well as, er, pampas grass). Everyone wants the details in their wedding to be unique, and bespoke speeches are a sure-fire route to achieving that.

Speechy help hundreds of people around the world write and deliver amazing wedding speeches that capture the true character of the newlyweds’ inimitable relationship….

Embracing Tradition

There’s absolutely no requirement to be quirky when it comes to the speeches. There’s been a lot of big change to adapt to this year, and a sense that things will not be quite the same for some time. Wedding experts predict a return to couples pursuing the heart of weddings, such as keeping things local and making treasured memories.

Some couples will channel this nostalgia into their speeches, aiming for classical etiquette and a conventional line up. If you’re a bride keener on sipping champers and looking totally awesome while three blokes take on the work of entertaining the guests, that is absolutely your call. But don’t feel you must follow custom to the letter to achieve this traditional vibe if giving your own speech feels important too.

A Time For In-Jokes

Something speechwriters warn against time and time again might be turned on its head for 2021. For couples keeping their ceremonies small, those who make the special guestlist cut are probably more familiar with the personal anecdotes of the happy couple. Chances are, half of the guests feature in some of them.

With a small guest list, the newlyweds can address everyone there and ensure no one gets left out – we foresee couples inviting guests to contribute to the storytelling, filling in gaps in memories, and ‘heckling’ with their version of events. Done sensitively, this creates an intimate and funny atmosphere that will be remembered for years to come.

Go A Little Deeper

Perhaps an unsurprising side effect of living through these uncertain times is that we all seem a little less bound by the stiff upper lip thing and a bit more free and easy with our emotions. Not being able to hug nan for nine months does that to a person!

A key piece of advice we offer clients is to aim to get the humour-sentiment ratio right – always weighted heavily on the humour side. But after the year we’ve all had, no one’s going to think you’re cheesy for ‘going deep’. Still aim to win some belly laughs though, everyone needs it!

The Sequel Speech

Multiple wedding celebrations aren’t just the lifestyles of the rich and famous these days y’know. Keeping ceremonies small this year means many couples are planning larger wedding parties at a later date. A speech will absolutely be required here!

It’s fine to use excerpts of your original speech but this occasion demands a change in tone. The second speech definitely needs more laughs – it’s the ‘party speech’ after all. Cut back on the original friends and family thank yous and dedicate more time to having fun with your speech. Feel free to make light of using some of the original content.

Say something like: ‘to those of you at wedding number 1, welcome to wedding number 2. There’s more dancing and boozing at this one, but I’m afraid you will have to sit through my speech a second time. The booze should help with that.’

If you’d like to an awesome moment to your day, check out the Speechy team. They’re all professional TV scriptwriters by trade (working on programmes like Have I Got News For You and Dead Ringers) and help couples around the world deliver amazing speeches.

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