6 Questions Grooms Ask About Their Wedding Speech.
Wedding speech expert Lawrence Bernstein has answered every speech-related question under the sun from anxious grooms. Here are the answers to six frequently asked questions that could help your man out of a tricky situation!
Do I have to mention my bride’s parents as much as my own?
“Most grooms have far more to say about their own families – good and bad! – than their in-laws. Some men can’t stand the family they’re marrying into. But this is not the time to make things worse. In fact, it’s a great way of healing old rifts and putting in the foundations for the years ahead. If you don’t know them well, stick to safe thank you’s. Thank them for hosting the wedding, praise them for being supportive parents to your bride and for welcoming you to the family. Then finish by saying you look forward to getting to know them better over the years (even if it isn’t true!). It’s then fine to talk about your own parents and how they’ve helped you over the years. Just don’t make it too obvious.”
I loathe public speaking. Can’t my bride do the main speech instead?
“It’s becoming more and more common for brides to give speeches – but not necessarily instead of the groom. Having said that, it’s your wedding and you’re free to do as you like. But before you opt out, I’d really encourage you to think it through. Nobody else can talk about your bride in the way that you can – and you might really regret not having a go.”
My bride’s father recently passed away. Should I mention it?
“Definitely. But keep it short and sincere, and then move on with the rest of your speech. After all, this is a celebration and a happy time, not a wake. You could always link your comments to a general toast to absent friends before starting again in a lighter tone.”
I’m sure my bride’s dad will make a joke about me. What shall I say?
“If you know what he’s likely to say, then by all means prepare a witty response. But if not, I’d just acknowledge it by thanking him for his ‘kind’ introduction and then move on to your pre-prepared speech. An ad-lib comeback could be tremendous if it works, but if it doesn’t you’re in trouble! If you’re not sure, don’t try!”
I can’t stand the bridesmaids. Is a toast really necessary?
“You’re going to have to grin and bear it. You’ll probably cause a scene if you try to get out of it. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to say much about them. Just make a general remark about how beautiful they look, and move on to the toast.”
My best man has been a really good friend. Can I talk about him?
“Although it’s nice to reference the best man, remember that your wedding day is about your relationship with your bride, not your best mate. I receive countless drafts by email where the bride appears to be no more than an excuse to have had a damn good stag do. If you have to talk about him, keep it brief, steer clear of in-jokes and move on quickly.”