Wedding speeches are undoubtedly an art, but with our handy checklist, they’re also a science!

Whether you’re the best man, the maid of honour, or a parent of the happy couple, here’s a helpful list of what you need to say in the big wedding speech (plus how you should prepare).

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What To Say:

1. Introduce yourself to the crowd. Say your name, your role in the wedding, and how you know the couple.

2. Explain how you met the couple. If you’re a BFF, did you meet the bride on the first day of kindergarten? Did she introduce you to her spouse-to-be back when you visited her one weekend? If you’re a parent or sibling, what was the groom like as a kid? When did he introduce you to his other half? Dress up the tale with plenty of details. Even if it’s not a fantastic story, people love to hear about first impressions.

3. Give a glimpse into the couple’s life. When did you know they were perfect together? What’s their cutest habit? Guests love to learn more about couples, and it’s their closest friends and family who can share that insight. Humour is encouraged — but be appropriate!

4. Talk ’em up. Praise the happy pair by telling guests what you love about each of them! And steer clear of backhanded compliments. Little sisters love to say things like, “I never thought she’d find the perfect guy…” and best men love things like “I can’t believe he got Lindsay to agree to marry him.” If there’s any chance it’ll be awkward, just don’t say it.

5. Wish them a lifetime of love. It may feel a little cheesy, but remember that the whole point of the night is to celebrate the couple’s new life. Tell the duo what happy moments you’re looking forward to sharing with them!

6. Thank friends and family. If you’re an attendant, make sure to thank the hosts. If you’re the hosts, thank your guests for joining you to celebrate.

7. End with a toast. Avoid ending your speech with “So…yeah,” and instead end by inviting everyone to raise a glass!

How To Prepare

1. Practice! Whether it’s in front of a mirror, your dog, or a good friend, make sure to practice (at least a couple of times).

2. Time it. There’s nothing worse than a speech that drags on (and cuts into dancing time). Keep it under 5 minutes.

3. Write it down. You might think you’ve got it memorized, but after a few drinks and with a whole lot of people staring at you, your sweet sentiments might slip your mind. A few note cards will save the day!

4. Run it by the couple. Some people are cool with embarrassing stories, and some aren’t (especially with an uptight aunt in the room). Don’t give away your whole speech, but ask the couple if you’re unsure about any of your anecdotes. Better safe than sorry…

5. Grab a drink. Don’t get sloshed before your speech, but make sure you’ve got a glass in hand so you can truly raise a toast!

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