If you’ve agreed to give a speech at your best friend’s wedding, it can be intimidating to know how to approach it. You want to ensure your friend loves it while entertaining the wedding guests. So, how can you make the perfect wedding speech for your friend?
You can make the perfect wedding speech for your friend by focusing on what makes them and their partner great, keeping the speech short so that you don’t lose anyone’s attention, and using a style, such as humorous or serious, that you can pull off with confidence.
In this article, I’ll explore these and other tips to help you write a wonderful wedding speech for your best friend’s big day so that the wedding guests and, most importantly, your best friend will remember it for all the right reasons.
1. Start With a Short Introduction
Even if many people at the wedding know that you’re the BFF of the bride or groom, you should always introduce yourself, or some people might feel lost during your speech, which will cause your speech to lose some effect.
Tailor your introduction to the type of speech that you’re giving. For example, if your speech is humorous, you could introduce yourself in a humorous way by saying, “I’m the bride’s bestie and the married couple’s new third wheel!”
Once you’ve introduced yourself, so everyone knows who you are, you can launch into your speech. It can be useful to think about the person who delivered a speech before you, as this can give you a good opening into your speech. You could also just thank them for their speech.
Remember, you don’t want to take up too much time talking about yourself and how you know the couple. The bulk of the wedding speech needs to be about them.
2. Use Personal Memories
What makes a great best friend speech at a wedding is to fill it with emotion. You want people listening to feel what you’re feeling, whether that’s amusement, love, or nostalgia. To make your wedding speech memorable and emotional, you should include memories shared with your friend.
For example, “Beth and I have known each other since middle school. As her best friend, I’ve always been her shoulder to cry on when she’s experienced heartbreak. Seeing her and Matthew start a relationship, get engaged, and get married, I know the only tears she’ll splatter on my shoulder are happy tears.”
If you haven’t been friends for many years, you could talk about the experience of helping your friend during their wedding preparations and the funny or sentimental memories that were made along the way.
3. Avoid Oversharing
While it’s good to include shared memories in your best friend’s speech, it’s never a good idea to overshare by including memories that are embarrassing for your friend. For example, you shouldn’t include anything your friend told you in private, as you don’t want to expose them on their wedding day!
If you’re not sure if you should include a story that you and your best friend share, it’s a must to first run it past someone else to get their objective opinion. You can read your speech to a mutual friend to gauge their reaction. If they look horrified or like they’re cringing at any point, you should take note and make adjustments to your speech, so you don’t offend anyone.
4. Choose the Style
There are many tones you can adopt when writing a wedding speech, such as:
You can also choose to have a blend of the above. It’s important to think about what style you would like to use and ensure it feels comfortable. Don’t try to write a funny wedding speech if you’re not usually a humorous person or don’t feel confident when telling jokes.
It’s better to choose a style that matches your personality so that you can pull off the wedding speech with confidence.
5. Think About How You Want Your Friend To Feel
When writing a wedding speech for your friend, you shouldn’t just focus on the style that matches your personality but also think about how you want your friend to feel. Do you want them to feel entertained and happy or sentimental? Here are some ideas to consider:
- Use words to express your friend’s kindness or humor.
- Share memories that you and your friend have shared.
- Share how important your friend and friendship are to you.
- Tell stories that celebrate your friend as a wonderful person.
- Celebrate your friend’s marriage by sharing stories about the couple. These can be inspiring, for example, if they’ve overcome challenges together.
6. Include Your Friend’s Partner
Even though you’ll focus on your friend during your speech, you should also include your friend’s partner. If you don’t know them well, you can include some short stories or observations that you’ve seen about their relationship. For example, you could mention:
- A story revealing how compatible they are: Maybe they both love running so much that they do it every morning at sunrise, or they finish each other’s sentences because they think in similar ways.
- What you’ve seen about the partner’s character: Maybe you’ve noticed how your friend’s partner is always positive, and you find it uplifting. Or, you could share a funny story of what happened when you met.
- How happy you are to know them: Simply telling your friend’s partner that you’re welcoming them into the family is a heartfelt sentiment that will make them feel as celebrated as your best friend.
7. Keep Your Wedding Speech Focused
If you’ve got tons of stories to share about the happy couple, you might end up with a messy speech that waffles on. Try to maintain focus, as this will ensure the speech is memorable and the audience doesn’t lose interest.
To do this, a good tip is to choose between one and three stories that reveal the aspects of the couple you love. Keep the stories succinct so that they don’t become too long. Focus on the main points of the story based on what you’re hoping to achieve from the audience, for example, if you want them to feel nostalgic or have a good laugh.
To ensure your speech remains focused, it’s useful to write an outline for your wedding speech. Here’s an example of a typical outline.
- Introduction. Introduce yourself and then talk about how you know your friend and/or the couple.
- Between 1-3 stories. These can be funny or sentimental memories or stories that reflect the couple’s personalities.
- Advice or encouragement. This can include quick, practical advice to the couple on their marriage. You can use a thoughtful or inspiring quote here. Alternatively, you can make a joke.
- Make a toast. The perfect ending to your wedding speech involves making a toast to the happy couple.
8. Celebrate the Happy Couple
When sharing stories about the couple, it’s always a good idea to feature how the bride and groom came out as the heroes. After all, this is their special day, and you’re there to celebrate them!
Here are examples of stories that achieve this:
- “When I first saw Jess and Mark together, I knew that they were onto something good. Anyone who knows Jess knows that she’s got the brightest glow in the room that is instantly uplifting. But when she’s around Mark, she becomes even brighter. This is why we all love being around you both. Alone, you’re both intriguing, but together, you’re powerful! “
- “Jess and I are sisters, and we’ve always been close, but since I’m her big sister, I was always super-protective of her, especially when she started dating in her teens. We’ll never forget the time a guy came to pick her up, and I refused to let her go because he was 10 minutes late. Now I can sigh in relief, knowing my sister has found a man who treats her well and is always punctual.”
9. Keep It Short
No one has ever gone to a wedding and wished the speeches were longer, even if they were highly entertaining. Guests want to spend time socializing, talking, and dancing, so you don’t want to make them feel bogged down by a long speech. Ideally, make your wedding speech no longer than five minutes, or else you risk losing your audience.
If you’ve got a lot to say within that short amount of time, have some notes written on cue cards. This will ensure you don’t forget anything or waste time trying to remember what stories to share with the guests.
However, avoid having the entire speech written down on a sheet of paper, as this will be untidy.
10. Give Them Some Encouragement
While you don’t want to give too much advice to the happy couple, a sentimental touch could be to give them words of encouragement.
Earlier, we featured the tip of adding encouragement to your speech. You can do this in various ways. Here are some examples:
- “Make sure you cherish each other, and especially your differences.”
- “Tell each other you love each other every morning.”
- “Never go to bed angry.”
- “Think about your vows and remind each other of them.”
Encouragement and advice that’s relatable to the wedding guests will also strike a chord with them and make your speech memorable for everyone present.
11. Consult With Other Speakers
Although your speech will be unique from the speeches delivered by other speakers at the wedding, you don’t want your speech to stick out like a sore thumb or not fit in with the overall sentiment. So, it’s a good idea to get in touch with other people who will be speaking at the wedding so you can see what they’re going to be talking about.
You could even brainstorm with each other, so you don’t share the same stories. And chatting with other people who will be giving wedding speeches will help you ensure your speech isn’t too long or short.
12. Choose Appropriate Humor
Whether or not your wedding speech is humorous, you can still inject some jokes into your speech to entertain the audience. But, you need to be careful when using humor because if you go too far or say something inappropriate, it could offend people. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t use too many jokes. You don’t want the speech to become all about how funny you are, as you should be focusing on celebrating the happy couple. A good tip is to use a joke when you start your speech, as this can help to relax and intrigue your audience, and then keep your jokes to a minimum.
- Keep your jokes clean. Since you’re giving a speech at a wedding, your audience will likely be filled with people of all ages, so you have to be careful not to make any inappropriate jokes.
- Avoid inside jokes. While it might be funny to share inside jokes you and your friend share, bear in mind that other people might not find them funny. So, it’s a good idea to run any inside jokes past an objective person to gauge if they’re funny and relatable or should be left out of your wedding speech.
- Don’t use jokes from the internet. While it can help to search for jokes on the internet to brainstorm humorous elements for your wedding speech, you don’t want to copy jokes online because these will have been heard and shared many times, making your speech less original.
Standing up at your best friend’s wedding and giving a speech is the perfect opportunity to celebrate their special day. Some tips to make it a memorable and sentimental speech include:
- Share personal memories with your friend.
- Choose a style that works with your personality, such as humor.
- Keep your speech no longer than five minutes.
- Plan your speech so that it’s focused on what you want to achieve.
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