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GROOM SPEECH 101

The purpose of a Groom Speech is to thank all the appropriate people, in the order they need to be thanked, and you don't want to be out front talking for what may seem like forever. You also don't want to forget anyone, or repeat yourself. More so if you are being shot on video. At Star Australia, we understand that writing (let alone saying) a speech in front of everyone present at your Wedding Reception can be quite a daunting (if not frightening) task, and not the kind of stress you want or need on your big day. It doesn't have to be. We realise that there are "a million and one" examples on the web. Some people have milked your concerns to the point of writing books about it. Forget them. You don't need them. It's simple. There has been an established format in existence since the Middle Ages (almost), and it's based on an order of respect and common sense. Sometimes nowadays, if the Bride is also speaking, you may wish to share the speech, or spilt it between you.

Star Australia helpful hints

Prepare

Don't try and "wing it". We've known guys with 20 years of radio or public speaking muck it up on the night. It's so easy to do.

1. Write it down, but not on sheets of A4 paper. You have to fold them up to put them in your pocket and it makes you look like a school kid unfolding them. There also may not be a lectern (stand) on hand to lay them out, anyway. 

2. Put your speech on cards (about 1/4 size of an A4) and number each card (in case you drop it at some stage).

3. You don't have to write it out word-for-word. Just the main points. (Unless you are too nervous, in which case, word-for-word).

4. Give a copy to your Best Man. Keep the copy in a sealed envelope. He doesn't need to read it. He has it purely as a back-up. Between the Wedding Service and the Reception, you may be getting in and out of cars, dealing with the photographer and the like, with your jacket on and off. This is the time when a lot of grooms lose their speech, with it falling out of their pocket. That's the last thing you need and that's why having a copy is essential.

5. Take a drink up with you when you are about to say the speech. Your mouth may get dry, or you need that extra "Dutch courage", or you may need it for a toast (or 2).

The Speech

Please understand this is just a guide to assist you. Whether you choose to use any or all of these hints is up to you.

Part 1 - General Welcome

Irrespective of whether your MC has welcomed everyone, you are 1/2 of the reason everyone is at the reception, and it's respectful to your guests to officially welcome them and thank them. If you want to lighten the mood (and get a cheer from your guests), you could start by simply saying something like "On behalf of my wife and I, (pause), I'd like to thank you all for being part of our special day". On average, 90% of guests will cheer as it will be the 1st time that they would have heard you refer to your wife as exactly that and it be true. They get a kick out of hearing you say it.

Part 2 - Thanking Travellers

No matter where the Wedding Reception is held, there are always travellers to thank. Even more so if the Reception is held overseas, interstate, or away from major population centres. When thanking travellers, start with those that have travelled the furthest. For example, if the Reception is held in Adelaide, South Australia and most of the guests are also from there, you would thank all those from overseas, followed by interstate, followed by the country areas. By contrast, if you have your Reception at an area where almost or all of your guests have to travel some distance to attend, you would thank everyone for travelling, and then make special mention of those from overseas, followed by interstate and remote country areas.

Part 3 - Thanking the Elderly or Infirmed

Logistically, it's quite a big thing for the elderly or infirmed to get to your Reception. Here's your opportunity to thank "Great Auntie Betty" or "Grandpa" (for example). 

Part 4 - Remembering those who have passed

If you have had a friend or relative who have passed away, that you feel you would like to pay tribute to, this is where you do it. As it's a sombre moment and an extremely personal thing, what you say here is up to you. Might we suggest you also have a tissue (or 2) on hand, for you, and or, your Bride.

Part 5 - Thanking those that have helped you in a physical way

This is where you thank those that have given of their time and/or effort in assisting you on your special day. They may have supplied the cars, made the cake, the flower arrangements, the invitations, handed out programs or hymn sheets, and the like. Basically, those that have given of themselves where no money was involved. This includes the groomsmen (and the bridesmaids, if the Best Man hasn't already mentioned them). Start from least to most.

Part 6 - Thanking those that have helped you in a financial way

Pretty self explanatory, really. Again, least to most (although you obviously don't say that). The last people you should thank would generally be your parents. The reason for that (other than respect) are that (generally) they are the ones that have contributed the most. In the past it may have been "Thanks to Mum and Dad for paying for tonight, buying our house and...oh my God, 1st class return tickets to Paris for a month". Either way, here's where you mention and pay tribute to both sets of parents, including your in-laws for welcoming you into their family (if that is the case). You may also wish to propose a toast to the parents here. Only do this here if you didn't mention them and do so in the previous section.

Part 7 - The most important person of the day

Generally speaking, it's not you. It's the woman you have just married. When speaking of your wife (or Bride), never, never, never say "NEW wife (or Bride)". It sounds like the latest model in a line of them. The easiest way to speak of you and her is past, present, future. That is, when and how you 1st met, where you are at now and where you hope to be (plans, etc).

Part 8 - Final Toast

It's always a nice touch of romance, class, respect and love if the last thing you do when making your speech is to ask all of your guests to stand and toast your wife (or Bride). (Just don't say NEW). And that's it. Done. Hope this has been of help.

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