Five things you need to know to write the perfect wedding speech.

We’ve all been a guest at one of those weddings. You know the ones.

The one where the groom’s father mumbles through a few disingenuous thank yous. Or the maid of honour gets too giggly/teary during her speech and barely makes any sense.

Making a speech at someone’s wedding can fill even the most confident public speaker’s belly with butterflies. There’s no bigger wedding reception disaster than hearing a wedding guest say, “That was a beautiful wedding…shame about the speeches” as they leave the party.

Wedding speeches mic
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So, whether you're the mother or father of the bride, the maid of honour or best man, we've got five tips to guarantee your wedding speech will be one to remember.


(For all the right reasons, of course...)

1. Take it seriously and take the time to prepare.

Of all the people the bride and groom could have chosen to say a few words during their special day, they picked you. Honour their choice by making time in the weeks before the wedding to prepare your speech.

That means, no making random scribbles on your napkin during the first course that you're guaranteed not to be able to read when you stand up to make your speech.

LISTEN: Sarah Harris was papped in her wedding dress... before her hubby got to see it. (Post continues...)

Even if you jot down a few thoughts about the bride and the groom a couple of days before, or if you're a more confident speaker, write down a rough outline of what you plan to say, at least you won't feel panicked when your moment arrives.

This also goes for knowing at what point in the night you are supposed to take the mic, so you can plan your drinks (and toilet breaks) accordingly. Since the bride and groom will be a little preoccupied on the night, it's best to check with the MC.

2. Know who you have to thank.

Wedding speeches father
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If the married couple are the traditional type, they'll expect you to stick with wedding traditions during your speech.

That means - depending on your role in the bridal party or the wedding - researching who you are tasked to thank and toast during your speech.

Traditionally, the father of the bride thanks the guests for coming and will toast the bride and groom. The best man will toast the bridesmaids, and the maid of honour, the groomsmen and the bride.

Be sure to check with the bride and groom if there's anyone in particular they would like you to mention in your speech.

3. Remember, this is not a 21st speech.

Wedding speeches best man
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That means you should keep things inclusive and family-friendly. Your wedding speech is probably not the best time to talk about that wild weekend away you had with the bride/groom.

Or tell the story about the time the happy couple almost broke up and didn't speak for three days.

Weddings are about celebrating the couple and their love, so keep things PG and don't say anything you wouldn't want their parents (or grandparents!) to hear.

It's worth noting that your wedding speech is also not the time to voice your concerns about their relationship, or bring up any feuds you may have with family members/fellow wedding party members.

Remember: your speech is not about you, it's about the bride and groom.

4. Have fun.

Wedding speeches laughing
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Public speaking is up there on the list of things most people hate doing. So it's totally normal to be nervous before standing up in front of a room.

Just remember: weddings are meant to be fun. As a guest of the wedding, you're entitled to have fun too.

So don't be afraid to tell a few jokes, and have a laugh during your speech (as long as everything you say is appropriate).

The most memorable speeches are often those that made everyone laugh, so throw a few jokes in there if you can.

5. If in doubt, go for short and sweet.

Wedding speeches glasses
Keep things simple. Image via iStock.

If you're stuck for words or stories or maybe you just have TOO MANY EMOTIONS to possibly express in the one speech, keep things short.

(There's also nothing worse than a wedding speech that seems to drag on forever.)

Share one simple story about the couple's time together, or read out a poem or share a piece of advice you've learned about love and marriage.

Couple that with a toast to the happy couple, and you're all set.

Happy wedding speech-ing, friends!