The groom’s biggest duty on his wedding day – after getting married! – is giving the groom’s speech. We’ve put together a guide to giving an excellent groom’s speech, complete with a speech checklist, tips on staying calm and examples of amazing groom’s speeches. What are you waiting for?! We answer all your speech questions here.
- The tradition behind the groom’s speech
- How long should the groom’s speech be?
- When does the groom’s speech happen
- Who does the groom toast and thank?
- How do you write a groom’s speech?
- Your speech checklist
- How to make a speech
- Free short groom’s speech template
- Best one-liners and ice-breakers for the groom’s speech
The Tradition of the Groom’s Speech
The groom’s speech traditionally comes at the end of the wedding breakfast. It’s part of the transition from the formalities of the day into the party.
In a very traditional wedding set up, a toastmaster would introduce each speaker ahead of their speech, but you could ask a member of your wedding party to do this, or just introduce yourself for a less formal feel.
How long should the groom’s speech last?
Ideally, you want your speech to be no more than ten minutes. Practise it a few times ahead of the big day and time yourself. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly!
You don’t want your groom’s speech to last more than ten minutes so your guests don’t start to feel fidgety and bored. Save the extended gushing about your partner for a private moment!
If you’re very nervous about giving a speech, you can keep it as brief as you like. Just lead a toast to your partner and perhaps one to thank those who have helped you get married. We would recommend discussing this with your partner beforehand so they know what to expect from your shorter groom’s speech.
When does the groom’s speech happen?
The groom’s speech follows the father of the bride’s speech typically. The father of the bride would traditionally go first as the host of the day, however this might not be the case for your wedding set up.
More and more couples are opting to have the speeches before the wedding breakfast so you can relax and enjoy your meal. You can find out more about the order of the wedding speeches here.
Who does the groom toast and thank?
There is etiquette around who traditionally says what at a wedding. The groom traditionally thanks and leads toasts to the following in his speeches:
- The father of the bride (or the equivalent person in that role). The groom should thank them for their speech on behalf of himself and his new wife or husband.
- The guests. The groom should thank the guests for coming to celebrate their day.
- His partner’s parents. It’s polite for the groom to thank his partner’s parents for raising the person he fell in love with, as well as for hosting the day (if that applies!).
- His own parents. The groom should thank his parents for raising him and for any help given ahead of the wedding and on the day.
- The best man. The groom should thank the best man for his help in the run up to the wedding, the stag do and for the best man duties that have been carried out on the day.
- Any other helpers. He should thank the ushers, any witnesses and those who gave wedding readings etc.
- The mothers of the bride and groom. It’s a nice touch to present the mothers of the bride and groom with gifts, such as a beautiful bouquet of flowers each to thank them for their help.
- The bridesmaids. The groom should thank the bridesmaids for helping the bride and planning her hen do, and he should pay them a meaningful compliment as well as leading a toast to them. This could be included in the bride’s speech though, if there is one.
- His partner. The groom should thank his bride or groom, lavishly compliment them and lead a toast to them to round off his speech.
How to Write a Groom’s Speech
Writing a groom’s speech isn’t as daunting as you might think it is. As long as you’ve complimented your new spouse and thanked your key guests, you’ve basically done your job! We’ve included a groom’s speech checklist for you to make sure you have included everything you need, but here are some further pointers…
- Think about the moment you knew your partner was the one – what made you fall in love with them?
- How did you feel before you proposed? And how did you feel after they said yes?
- What are the qualities you admire in them the most? And can you attribute some of those good qualities to their parents?
- How have they made your life better?
- You could share one of your happiest or funniest moments with them – just make sure it’s not too much of an in-joke so your guests aren’t confused
- If you feel comfortable going off-the-cuff, talk about how you felt seeing them for the first time on your wedding day
- Talk about your plans, hopes and dreams for your shared future
Be sure to practise your speech so you feel confident reading it aloud. Perhaps read it to a trusted friend or relative to get their feedback ahead of your wedding. Make sure you time it as well so you know that it doesn’t go on for too long.
The Groom’s Speech Checklist
Compare your speech to this handy groom’s speech checklist to make sure you’ve included everything you need to and haven’t missed anything off:
- Thank the previous speech giver
- Thank the guests
- Thank the staff/any other helpers (in the lead up and on the day!)
- Thank your partner’s parents and family
- Thank your own family
- Allow for gift-giving, if you’re doing that
- Thank the best man
- Thank the bridesmaids and toast to them
- Talk about your lovely new spouse and toast to them
Read more: Sample toasts for the groom’s speech
How to Make a Groom’s Speech
You might feel totally fine about writing a groom’s speech, but be more nervous about actually giving the speech. That’s totally understandable!
It helps to remember you’re giving your speech to a room full of your friends and family – they all love you and are there to celebrate with you, not judge you. No one will care if you stumble on a word and no one will think badly of your speech.
The old confidence trick is to image everyone naked or in their underwear but, having just got married, you shouldn’t really be imagining anyone naked! The best thing to do is take a deep breath before speaking and pick something at the back of the room – a picture, a plant, a column – and address your speech to that item.
By doing that, you’re looking out across the room and directing your voice to the furthest reaches of the space – ideal if you haven’t got a microphone!
If you have got a mic, don’t hold it too close to your face and remember to keep your speech slow – it can be tempting to rush to get it over with, but no one will be able to understand you! Pause briefly between your sentences and keep focusing on that plant at the back of the room if you need to. Remember to look at your new wife or husband from time to time though, so they don’t think you’re totally besotted with a floral arrangement!
Short Groom’s Speech Template
We’ve put together a free short groom’s speech template to help you if you’re really stuck with writing your speech:
“Hello everyone. You should all know me, I’m [NAME], the groom, and if you don’t…how on earth did you get on the guest list?
I’d like to say thank you [NAME OF FATHER OF BRIDE/EQUIVALENT] for those kind words. And thank you [PARTNER’S PARENTS] for welcoming me into the family – not just today, but from that (terrifying/lovely/memorable) moment we first met, [NUMBER] of years ago.
I don’t know who was more nervous that day, me or [PARTNER], but luckily we all hit it off and I’ve felt like part of the family ever since. Thank you [NAMES] for that, and for all your help pulling off the wedding of the year.
Whilst I’m thanking parents, I’d also like to thank my own. Thank you for all the support and love you have given me over the years, and thank you for your help making today what it is. [GIVE GIFTS HERE IF DOING SO]
On behalf of my wife [OR EQUIVALENT], I’d like to thank you all for coming here to celebrate with us today. I know some have you have travelled very far – it just goes to show what some people will do for a free meal!
Whilst I’m thanking people, especially those who’d do anything for a free meal, I suppose I better thank the best man. [NAME], thank you for your help today, thank you for not upstaging me too – I didn’t ask him to look like that ladies and gents, but that’s how good of a friend he is. Thanks also to all the stags – but the less said about the stag do the better, we’ve all agreed.
And [BRIDE’S NAME] and I would also like to thank the bridesmaids. Thank you for organising a fab hen do and for keeping [NAME] calm today. I’m not sure how you pulled it off, but I might be asking you for tips. I’m sure everyone will agree you all look beautiful today, second only to my beautiful bride. Would everyone join me in raising a glass to the bridesmaids? To [NAMES].
Now, it wouldn’t be much of a speech if I didn’t thank my beautiful bride [OR EQUIVALENT]. [NAME], what can I say? I didn’t think you could look any more incredible, but yet again you’ve proven me wrong. You simply took my breath away today and I feel like the luckiest man in the world.
I knew I had to marry you when [INSERT ANECDOTE], and here we are. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together and feel as lucky as I do today every single day. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in raising a glass to my beautiful, funny, caring, smart wife – to [NAME].
Now I’ll hand you over to the best man – but be warned. He had an accident as a child and as a result has a terrible tendency to lie and exaggerate. Don’t believe everything he says…”
Read more: How to thank people in the groom’s speech
One-Liners for the Groom’s Speech
Here are 15 of our favourite one-liners and ice-breakers to add to your groom’s speech to give your guests the giggles:
- It wouldn’t be the same without all of you here…it would be much cheaper, for a start!
- I had written a speech, but whilst we were all eating dinner my new wife/husband slipped me the speech they want me to read, so here goes…
- Should I be worried that [PARTNER’S NAME] keeps introducing me as her ‘first husband’?
- People have been asking me if I was nervous about today, but let me tell you I slept like a baby last night. Which means I woke up crying every couple of hours.
- Please, order as much as you like! It’s on us. And by us, I mean my lovely new father-in-law, isn’t that right, [NAME]? Ah, it’s great to be part of the family now.
- I wasn’t sure where to begin with this speech, so I looked on the internet. I found some really good stuff, then I remembered I was meant to be researching how to write a speech.
- This is the only time that [PARTNER’S NAME] is ever going to permit me to speak for us both, so it’s actually a momentous occasion in history.
- I’m actually so lucky to have such lovely in-laws – you hear some awful stories, but honestly, [NAMES] are just the best! Did I read that right, [NAMES]? Please don’t hurt me if I got it wrong!
- [PARTNER’S NAME], you deserve the best in life. I’m sorry that you’ve ended up with me but it’s a done deal now!
- My dad has always given me words of wisdom. He said to me, ‘Son, remember today for the rest of your life. It’s the happiest you’ll ever be’. Such wise words to hear on the morning of my stag do.
- [PARTNER’S NAME] was worried about me giving this speech. They said I never listen to them, or something like that…
- I thought my new in-laws really liked me, but one of the ushers told me today he asked [NAME OF BRIDE’S MOTHER] if she was a friend of the groom on the way into the church. “Certainly not,” she replied, “I am the bride’s mother!”
- I know what you’re all thinking. [BRIDE’S NAME] deserves an amazing husband. Luckily for me she never found one!
- My other half is beautiful, she’s funny, she’s…I’m sorry, darling, I can’t read what you’ve written here.
- This is actually the only time in my life I’m going to be able to speak without being interrupted by [NAME], so settle in folks. I’ve got a lot to say…
Now you’ve got your groom’s speech sorted, why not browse for the perfect gift to give to your bride on your wedding day?