Wedding speech No-Nos

Some subjects to avoid if you don’t want your wedding speech remembered for all the wrong reasons

When the pressure’s on to get a laugh, you may be tempted to get carried away and cross a line or two. Of course weddings should be happy, light‐hearted occasions, but push things too far and you could end up regretting it.


Here are some taboos you should definitely avoid:

‘Doesn’t she look great with the weight off!’

The golden rule is that the wedding is the bride’s big day, so remember to include her loads ‐ but not to tell everyone how terrible she looked before she went on that pre‐wedding diet! She is, after all, the main reason you will be getting to your feet in the first place. You’re in heartfelt and sincere territory here, so you don’t have to be clever or score points at her expense. Tell her how beautiful she looks, let the audience coo their agreement and save the plastic surgery gag for another time!

‘She’s not like his last bird ‐ she was a right slapper!’

No matter how tempted you might be to drag up that fantastic French‐girlfriend‐that‐turned‐out‐to‐be‐a‐bunny‐boiling‐crack‐addict anecdote, is it really what everybody wants to hear? Exes are history ‐ today is the day to concentrate on the couple’s own story and future.

‘What’s the difference between a bridegroom and a cucumber?’

Just because the video is on, doesn’t mean they’ll be sending the tape to The Comedy Store. Think PC ‐ racist, sexist and locker room jokes are all out.

You have a very mixed audience and even if great aunt Maude doesn’t understand about alternative uses for ping‐pong balls, those who do will still be embarrassed on her behalf.

There’s the engagement ring, the wedding ring, the suffeRING…’

Even if you personally would rather have your tongue cut out with a penknife that hear it form the words ‘I do’, your speech is not a vehicle for flip comments about divorce, infidelity and how marriage is the death of hope. Leave your sarcasm aside and join in the fairy tale!

‘Thanks to the vicar ‐ even if he was a bit of a windbag!’

It’s a nice idea to introduce ‘action replays’ from the day itself, but don’t try and extract humour from anything that wasn’t actually funny. It’s a very fine line and you could easily come across as mocking other people’s efforts, even if you don’t mean to.

‘And this from your ex in Wormwood Scrubs…’

There’s a good chance that this marriage isn’t the first one, that someone ‘can’t be here’ or that ‘Dad’ might actually be ‘Stepdad’. Mentioning or NOT mentioning people could cause offence, so agree the official line in advance with the couple and the other speakers.

‘And once we got out of the police cell…’

Stag night antics are, of course, a rich source of material, but don’t suddenly launch into a ‘groom & stripper’ story ‐ today is not the day for unpleasant surprises! If nothing untoward happened, you could always talk it up ‐ hint at the debauchery and threaten to circulate the photographs!

‘It was like the mackerel‐in‐the‐swimming‐trunks incident all over again!’

Another golden rule ‐ don’t assume inside knowledge on the part of the guests. In‐jokes are out ‐ if you’re only entertaining five people out of 100, you could start to lose the room. Don’t assume that everyone knows the groom is allergic to budgies ‐ if it’s worth telling, it’s worth telling from the beginning. Make sure you choose stories that everyone can enjoy.

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