How to Build the Perfect Groom Speech
Words for the Bride
The groom's speech is traditionally the second speech of the wedding reception - following the bride's parent's speech. Most grooms dread the moment they must step in the front of a microphone and give a speech to their wedding guests, but it is the perfect opportunity to personally thank family and friends for attending his wedding and sharing the day with him and his bride. The groom's speech is also the time to publicly introduce, acknowledge, and thank the wedding party for their help and support throughout the planning of and during the wedding. Although most brides are opting to share the couple's air time, traditionally, the bride isn't required to give a speech during the reception. If the groom is giving the speech on behalf of the bride as well, he must remember to say "we" and not "I" when thanking family and friends.
The most common issue grooms have with giving a speech is not knowing what to say. It is always good idea for the groom to take his cue from the bride's parents. Start by thanking the bride's parents for their kind words and toast. If the bride's parents complimented the groom in their speech, the groom should reply in kind by expressing his fondness and appreciation for them. It is appropriate for the groom to thank the bride's parents for welcoming him into their family and approving of their daughter's choice in him as her husband. If they contributed to the wedding financially or otherwise, this is the time to publicly thank them for their support.
Next, thank the guests for attending the wedding and sharing in the festivities. Give a special thanks to guests that have traveled a long distance to attend the wedding. It is not necessary to draw attention to each person individually, but it can be refreshing to thank a close relative or friend by name if they are comfortable with the attention.
Next in line for thanks are the groom's parents - not just for their role or contributions to the wedding, but for their ongoing support, past, present, and future. The groom should speak from the heart and if the words err on the emotional side, so be it. Even while every parent knows their child loves them, hearing the words spoken aloud and the acknowledgment and public appreciation of their good work as parents is a moment they'll never forget.
Thanking the wedding party comes next. The groom should introduce each member of his wedding party, including the best man, groomsmen and ring bearer, and give an example highlighting how they demonstrated their support throughout the wedding planning. The groom should give a special thanks to the best man: describe why this particular friend was chosen to be the best man, explain why the friendship is so important, share a humorous, but appropriate, story with the guests or offer a sentimental anecdote about the friendship. If the bride is sharing the air time and giving her own speech, she will acknowledge and thank her maid of honor, bridesmaids and flower girl herself.
And finally, the groom should turn to his beautiful wife, tell her how much he loves her, how much he looks forward to spending his life with her, and thank her for saying "yes." Once again, if the words end up sounding a little emotional, so be it. This is the time for the groom to say everything he could never say to his bride before this day, with no embarrassment and no regret. The groom can share the story of how they met and when he knew she was the woman he would marry. He can even describe how he proposed and exactly how she accepted.
To end off his speech, tradition dictates that the groom offers a toast to the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. Although, ending with a final toast to the bride and a quick kiss is a terribly romantic alternative to ending the groom's speech.