Your bride speech is about more than just thanking loved ones for sharing your day with you, it’s your opportunity to tell everyone just how amazing your partner is. There’s something seriously bonding about laughter – trust us, it’s all science and happy hormones – so the funnier a speech is, the better it is. Here’s Speechy‘s tips for writing a wedding speech that will have guests rolling in the aisles.
There’s nothing special about recycled jokes and tedious platitudes – guests want the juicy/daft/surprising details about what makes your partner tick, and why that makes you fancy them like mad – or at least feel overwhelming affection for them.
This speech should be exactly like you both – unique, with an instantly recognisable personality, and made to measure. The good news is achieving this is actually loads easier than it sounds…
Get your mates involved
There will always be stuff you’ve forgotten that they’ll be only too pleased to remind you of, especially if they’ve been bystanders from the early romantic days to the year of Netflix boxset and Zoom-infused lockdown.
Without ripping off any of the best man’s material, get your partner’s oldest and best friends to dish the dirt on how his behaviour changed when he first met you.
Perhaps his collection of Domino’s boxes suddenly vanished from his bedroom floor and his much lived-in and loved holey pants finally made their way to the bin. Do some secret digging – don’t give the game away – comparing his version of events to theirs.
Truth is on your side here – no matter how many generic wedding jokes you read, you’ll never find one as funny as that cinema date where you mistook your partner’s stomach for the armrest (and left it there for the duration of the film because they were too polite/nervous/amused to tell you).
Jot down all the memories that make you giggle and enjoy a big old reminiscing love-in. We guarantee it’ll throw up a wealth of bespoke material that is the stuff of dream wedding speeches. These things are funny because they actually happened!
Create a comedy character
Your partner doesn’t have to be the clown of the group to have some humorous traits. Imagine them as the protagonist in a romcom, focusing on all their personality quirks.
What makes them happy? What are their weirdest habits? What’s their signature dish and how many pots and pans do they apparently need to make it?
Detail the things you like about your partner – this somehow feels more authentic and thoughtful than listing what you love. Show everyone why you’ll still be best friends with this person long after the little love butterflies have stopped fluttering so hard.
Humour to dodge
Googled Gags – Ok, some of the stuff you can find on the internet may inspire a snort of laughter, but borrowed humour is basically cheating, and we think you’re better than that. Aim for proper laughs, not groans – or worse, polite amusement.
Blue Comedy – We’re not being old fashioned or making any gendered distinctions here – we always warn our best men about sullying their speech with murky humour too. Remember you’ll want to be able to look your partner’s family in the eye at the bar later.
Anything About Exes – Yours, his… however friendly you all are and however happily it worked out, just hedge your bets and don’t go there, there are very few occasions where this is genuinely safe terrain.
Beware of ‘in-jokes’
We urge our clients to avoid jokes which alienate half the room. They might be hilarious to you and your partner, and maybe the maid of honour at a push, but if your guests’ smiles start to look a little tight, you’ve probably been a bit self-indulgent.
A speech is always more about the comfort and pleasure of its audience than the person giving it, but it’s a two-way thing – give them the stuff that makes them feel good and they’ll bounce that dopamine hit right back at you via their laughter.
That said, in-jokes can slip through the net more successfully the smaller the audience is – when, chances are, most of them will be privy to the backstory, or possibly have supporting roles in it. Just exercise tact and be inclusive with your humour.
Edit like you mean business
Finished writing your masterpiece? Cool. Now get rid of half of it – we promise it’ll be funnier for it. Three wet-you-knickers-laughing anecdotes will be much more memorable if they’re not diluted by several weaker ones.
Go through your speech and decide which stories you can bear to part with. Keep only the content that still makes you LOL after a second or third reading and your audience will love it too. The punchier your speech is, the better.
Get rid of anything which takes a long time to explain or threatens to ramble on while guests look longingly towards the bar. To really slay your speech, it should bounce from story to story, joke to joke, keeping the audience delighted throughout.
Don’t forget delivery
Writing your speech is the big challenge over. But many a stand-out speech flops with a weak or overly nervous delivery. There are no big secrets to pulling off an awesome speech. It’s all the usual stuff: practice, breathe, hydrate, slow down, smile!
In the run-up to the wedding, test out the speech on a friend or family member and ask them for feedback. Use cue cards or a nice piece of paper to prompt you throughout – some people read off their phones, but we think it looks a bit naff.
No one expects you to go ‘off-book’, but aim to know your anecdotes well enough to only rely on flashcards. Then enjoy interacting with your audience through hand gestures, eye contact, and big smiles.
If you get nervous – we all do – take a deep breath and slow your speech right down. You spent precious time writing those jokes and crafting punchlines so milk them, and don’t forget to pause for those well-earned belly laughs! Your speech will wow everyone, especially your partner.
Speechy is a team of BBC-trained comedy writers who write amazing wedding speeches for couples worldwide. They are offering Confetti readers an exclusive 10% off all their products and services throughout July. Just visit speechy.com and enter Confetti10 at checkout.