The Best Groom Speech Tips, Ideas and Examples
Published date: 19th December 2019 | Author: Hollie Bond
No idea where to start when it comes to making a speech on your big day? We’ve compiled all the best tips and inspiration to help you write and deliver the best groom’s speech ever
The groom’s speech is always a highlight at a wedding. It’s a chance for guests to hear all the romantic and heartfelt sentiments that you, as a newlywed, will be experiencing. It’s also a feel-good part of the day where you get to acknowledge all your guests and thank individuals who have helped you bring this special day together. Everyone in the ‘audience’ will be friends and family, so put any public speaking nerves aside, as everyone will be willing you on to do your best and if you stumble over your words or well up when you’re talking about your new wife or husband – well, they’ll just love you even more!
If you’re just staring at a blank piece of paper with no idea where to start when it comes to writing a groom’s speech though, don’t panic. We’ve rounded up 40 of the best groom’s speech ideas, with inspiration for funny, emotional, and unusual speeches, plus examples from famous grooms, to help you write your own Oscar-worthy speech.
Groom’s Speech Tips
1. Don’t be too formal
Unless you’re known for your love of a bit of pomp and circumstance then you don’t suddenly have to become the master of all things etiquette and stuffy speech-making just because it’s your wedding day. Your guests will want to hear you speak in your usual way, and as long as you cover the expected formalities like thanking everyone for coming, both sets of parents, the bridal party and anyone who went above and beyond to help you with something like making a cake, then you don’t have to worry about anything else.
2. Focus on the start
If you can get guests smiling from the very beginning of the speech, then both you and your guests will feel relaxed and enjoy the rest of it. Have a think about something humorous that specifically relates to your guests or wedding situation rather than an obvious/ heard-100-times-before gag. Perhaps you’re known for your non-stop chatter, so you could open with “I know you’re all thinking you should take a loo break before I start talking, but I promise I’ll keep this as short (as I can!)…”
3. Don’t forget the main purpose of the speech – your new partner
A romantic and heartfelt ode to the person you’ve just married should be the main focus of this speech. Try to avoid just saying empty words that anyone could say like “she/he is wonderful, beautiful, kind” etc. Think of specific things that your other half has done that makes you proud/ really love them/ that makes them unique. Anecdotes and stories that highlight a personal trait are the best way to do this.
4. Be romantic, not cheesy
Try not to fall into the trap of sounding like a compilation of all the lines you might find inside a cheesy Valentine’s Day card. Instead of “I’m so lucky to have found you” think about “My parents always told me nothing good would come of always being late, but I’m so glad to say I proved them wrong. I missed my train (as usual) that fateful day and the best thing ever came out of it… you.” Or a simple list of all the things that you particularly love about your partner, from the way they constantly fiddle with their hair to the way they talk to your dog like it’s a human.
5. Don’t give out gifts
This isn’t prize-giving at school and giving out gifts to bridesmaids and ushers etc. will just take up valuable partying time. Give your bridal party their gifts in the morning when you’re all getting ready as it’ll be more personal in private.
6. Think about timing
A speech around the 7 – 10 minutes mark is considered the perfect amount of time for a groom’s speech (written down that’s about 1200 – 1400 words). Any less and you’ll sound a bit flippant. Any more and guests will start getting bored.
7. Don’t go into massive amounts of detail
We all know someone that tells a story as intricate and descriptive as a Tolstoy novel and how we automatically glaze over as soon as they start speaking. Don’t be that person. Your guests don’t want War and Peace – they want a nice easy to listen to speech that doesn’t mentally challenge them, especially once they’re a few drinks down.
8. Find the perfect quote
If you’re not a wordsmith, let someone else more qualified sum up your feelings for you. There are plenty of amazing quotes from authors and famous orators out there and one or two of them may be exactly what you need to succinctly put all your feelings about the day and your partner into one neat sentence. Just make sure to acknowledge the original author!
9. Give your partner a promise
A lovely way to be funny and also heartfelt at the same time is to make a promise or two to your partner in front of your guests. Don’t just repeat your vows here, promise something that is unique to her/him. Perhaps she’s an avid rock climber and you’re more of couch potato? Promise you’ll learn to love her crazy hobby. Maybe you’re not exactly Heston Blumenthal in the kitchen? Promise you’ll learn to cook your partner more than beans on burnt toast. Perhaps she/he is the world’s greatest Swiftie. Promise you’ll learn the lyrics to all their favourite Taylor Swift songs… you get the idea.
10. Prepare the delivery
The biggest mistake you can make is to write a great speech on paper and then not read it out loud before the big day. You need to practice talking slowly and confidently and leaving little pauses after funny bits (for any of the slower guests to get it!). Also, some written sentences don’t sound great when spoken, so reading out loud will help you to iron out any clunky syntax. Plus, you’ll want to know the speech almost by heart so that you don’t have your head in a piece of paper reading word-for-word on the day. Eye contact with your guests is one of the most important parts of delivering a successful speech.
Funny Groom’s Speech Ideas
You don’t have to be the next Michael McIntyre, but giving your guests a giggle and making them smile is the quickest way to make both them and you feel at ease with the speech. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to pepper your speech with gags and silly one-liners to make it funny. Instead, just focus on things that are unique to you as a couple or for the audience (perhaps the region you’re from for example) and have a bit of fun at your/ their expense. Be careful not to reference something that only a few members of the audience will understand as that will very quickly alienate your other guests. Here are ten funny speech ideas to take inspiration from:
Focus on your differences
Comparing your differences can be an easy way to make the guests smile. Are you obsessively tidy and your new partner a bit of a slob perhaps? Can you cook like a pro while they can’t even heat soup without burning the place down? Whatever your differences, exaggerate them and make a joke out of them to get guests giggling.
Tell the crowd something they don’t know
Do you know some funny things about your bride/groom’s past that others in the audience might not? Now’s a good time to reveal that she/he did some hilarious hobbies or geeky things as a child. Perhaps they have a funny secret crush or can do a really odd trick.
Exaggerate your weaknesses
Putting yourself down and acknowledging something everyone knows about you can be a good way to make guests smile. E.g. “Would you believe it? The bride/ groom has finally given up holding out for Ryan Gosling and decided a bald, beer-swilling Insurance Broker from Newcastle is a better option instead.”
Here’s a good example of a funny, self-deprecating groom’s speech:
Make a joke about the wedding itself
“Before I begin, please can we ensure that all the aisles and fire exits are kept clear throughout the reception. There’s a medical team waiting outside the building and I’d like them to have a clear run when my in-laws are presented with the final bill.”
“I’d like to thank Mastercard and Visa, without whom this would never have been possible. My wife and I will be forever in their debt.”
These always go down well if you actually get on with her! Reference something unique to your mother in law like her shopping obsession or how long she takes to get ready perhaps. Or keep it classic with: “I’ve been told that this is usually one of the only times in a man’s life when he can be around his wife/husband and mother-in-law and not be interrupted – so hang in there, I’m going to take full advantage.”
“In [in-law’s names], I have found the perfect in-laws. I always cringe when I hear jokes about difficult mothers-in-law because my own experience has been far from that stereotype. [Turn to in-laws and whisper audibly] Did I read that right? Please don’t hurt me…”
Tell a story
If your first date, engagement or the time you asked the in-laws if you could marry their daughter/ son has a funny element to it, go ahead and tell the story. Just remember not to kill the humour with too many details.
Talk about your partner’s quirks
Does your wife/ husband have any weird habits? Divulge a few to the guests but make it romantic by saying how much you love her/him even though they… still get drunk after one glass of wine/ still go to bed with a teddy bear at the age of 33/ always get the words to songs wrong/ always have to be the last person on the dance floor even when the lights come up…
Make the thank yous funny
Instead of a boring list of thank yous, try and inject a bit of fun. For example: “I’d like to thank my mother in law for passing on such wonderful traits to her daughter; her kindness, her humour, though unfortunately an unwavering support for Arsenal has also slipped down the genetic line.”
Trip the guests up
Everyone expects the first line of the groom’s speech to mention his new wife/ husband. Momentarily confuse them with a sentence like this: “My ex-girlfriend/ boyfriend and I would like to thank you all for coming today” – and then pause while they work it out and laugh.
Use props or videos
If there’s a funny prop or a video that you can show during the speech go for it, plus holding something or giving yourself a break in video form can help stop the nerves.
Leave guests guessing
It’s fine to reference the stag, but don’t tell a long and boring story about something that happened while you were on it. That’ll only be funny to the stags. It’s best to mention something and leave the end of the story untold as a cliff-hanger so that guests can fill in the blanks with all manner of funny thoughts.
Emotional Groom’s Speech Ideas
As a groom, you have free reign to get emotional and if you’re not normally an emotional person it will really surprise and delight guests as they will realise just how much the day and marrying your loved one means to you. You don’t want to get too over the top though and make your guests feel uncomfortable. Keep the really mushy stuff for your bride or groom on your honeymoon and instead focus on the sort of emotional sentiments that will make guests smile. Here are some ideas for how to make your groom’s speech just the right amount of emotional:
Look guests in the eye
The quickest way to get guests to buy into what you’re saying and to feel the raw emotion of your words is by looking them in the eyes as you deliver each sentence. If you’ve had a difficult time in the run up to the wedding and are really grateful for the support they’ve all shown, say so while looking sincerely at the guests you really want to show your gratitude to.
Put your heart into the thank yous
If you don’t want to make the thank yous funny or witty, how about making them emotional by not just thanking the person for what they did, but by explaining how much it meant to you.
Mention absent friends
If a member of your family or a friend isn’t at your wedding and is greatly missed then make sure to raise a toast to their memory. You don’t want to be morbid, but a few words about how much the person/ people meant to you both and how much you miss them, followed by inviting all guests to raise a toast to them is a lovely emotional gesture.
Let yourself feel the emotion
If you feel yourself welling up don’t stop the emotion – guests won’t mind if your voice breaks a bit or if you have to take a deep breath. In fact, it just shows how much the words actually mean to you.
Be creative when it comes to describing your partner
If you want to inject emotion into your speech, don’t just say sentences that could describe any bride/ groom. Think specifically about your partner and be poetic when you talk about them and it will be much more sincere than just saying: “My new wide is beautiful” or “My husband is kind”. Here’s a lovely example from a groom’s speech about how to reference your new spouse:
Unusual Groom’s Speech Ideas
Want to make sure your speech is unforgettable? Make it unusual and unique with some of these stand-out suggestions…
Rap the speech
Got a hidden talent for rapping (or if you don’t it can still be hilarious), then why not attempt to rap the speech instead. You could do part of it normally, before breaking out into a fun rap perhaps.
Sing the speech
Got a good set of pipes on you? How about singing your speech instead? Choose a famous song and then write personalised lyrics to fit. You can make it funny or heartfelt – whatever suits your personality best. Having the words on PowerPoint beside you can help in case some guests miss the words.
Write your speech on blackboards around the room
If the idea of public speaking really is too much for you and threatens to ruin your whole wedding day, why not write it up on blackboards that can be displayed around the venue for guests to read instead. You could even pre-record a video of you reading the speech too. Guests who know and love you will appreciate the effort and know how stressful making a speech in person would be for you.
Speak in a different language
Are you marrying someone who is originally from another country and has another language that you don’t speak? Impress both your new wife or husband and especially their family members who make not speak your language by learning some lines in secret in their language. Starting the speech in English for example before changing seamlessly into French will wow your audience and be very emotional for your new partner.
Get other people to do it for you
Track down important guests who can’t make it to the wedding or some famous people if you can and ask them to say something special that you can record and play as part of the speech.
Borrow the words
If you don’t want to make a traditional groom’s speech, how about performing a poem or reading out the lyrics to a song that means a lot to you as a couple (just don’t make it as awkward as Pam and Mick’s rendition in Gavin & Stacey!)
Write a story
Why not make your groom’s speech sound like the start of a novel or children’s story in a ‘once upon a time’ format, but insert yourself and your new spouse as the main characters. After all, your wedding is part of your love story and you can end your speech with a toast to your happily ever after.
Get your guests involved
Don’t like the idea of all eyes being on you? Surprise your wife/ husband by prepping guests beforehand to each say a sentence. Or you can encourage audience participation by turning your speech into a quiz about you as a couple/ the wedding day.
Perform a musical mash-up
Don’t just restrict yourself to one style of music! How about turning your speech into a mash-up like this hilarious maid of honour did:
Make it themed
If your bride or groom has a love for something specific, theme your entire speech around it. Take these maids of honour who did a Disney medley as an example:
Famous Groom’s Speech Ideas
Tom Fletcher from band McFly did one of the most famous and unusual groom’s speeches of all time. If you can hold a tune why not replicate his speech with your own song…
Nick Jonas went down the heartfelt route for his groom’s speech at his wedding to Priyanka Chopra in 2018 and nailed the thank you to his new mother in law.
Mark Wright from TOWIE gave way to the tears when talking about new wife Michelle Keegan at their wedding: “Not only are you beautiful, but you are one of the most incredible people I have ever met. You truly are sensational in every single way.” Take inspiration from his touching way to be emotional without making everyone feel awkward.
Not a groom’s speech, but you could definitely steal the idea from best man Danny McKenzie at footballer Jamie Milligan’s wedding – he pretended he had forgotten the speech and then played a video that “showed” him racing through fields and various places James Bond style to retrieve it…