Prepare and practice what you want to say to the couple and their guests
You don’t have to be a pro to write or give a wedding speech, just have a plan, and execute it. There’s nothing like standing up in front of 150 of your friend’s or sibling’s favorite people to make you nervous; add in a few drinks, and lots of emotions to the mix, and that’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not prepared. Use note cards to guide you, and prepare a beginning (introduction), middle, and end ( a final quote or heartfelt message you want them to remember).
Keep it under 5 minutes
Keep things short and sweet. A one to five minute wedding speech is the perfect amount of time to toast the couple, long enough to share laughter and tears, but short enough to keep guests from getting bored.
Give a strong introduction that DOESN’T include “I’m really nervous because I’ve never given a speech before”
Welcome all of the guests; tell them when and where you met the bride, groom or couple, and how honored you are to be chosen to give the speech. It’s always nice to find out if any guests flew in from out of state or out of the country, and acknowledge those places and how much it means to the couple that they are there to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Add in some humor
Everyone wants their wedding to be fun; so generating some laughter will make people happy and enjoy your wedding toast so much more. Incorporate some appropriate, PG-rated humor about the bride or groom or couple to get the crowd involved and listening. After all, those of you in the wedding party have the most memories of fun times together. Why not share your fun memories?
Touch on everyone’s need for love and connection
Remember it’s truly a miracle that these two people found each other out of the 7 billion people in this world. What makes this couple so great together, what does it mean to each of them that they found their soul mate, and that all of their closest friends and family are there to celebrate this union? Has the couple or family overcome something challenging to get to this moment, did they meet in a really special way, or do they share the same values, faith or interests that brought them together and make them so special?
End with a strong close and don’t forget to ask everyone to raise his or her glasses
Use a quote from a song or poem that might be helpful to drive your message home.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Love is…that person who enters your life out of nowhere, and suddenly means the world to you. -Unknown
- You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy. -Garth Brooks
- A great marriage doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end. – Unknown
- A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
- A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on Each Other. – Unknown
- The couples that are “meant to be” are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart and come out even stronger than they were before. -Unknown
- A good marriage is not just about marrying the right person; it is also about being the right person. – Unknown
- “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” – When Harry Met Sally
- When love reigns, the impossible may be attained. – Indian proverb
- Without love, the world itself would not survive. – Lope de Vega
- There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. – George Sand