Getting Married? How To Nail Your Groom’s Speech!

The following is a guest post by UK speechwriter Lawrence Bernstein. Go here if you’re interested in submitting a Guest Post.

Before you prepare you Groom’s Speech, send your best friend over to our Best Man Duties List so you get treated right!

Which of these eight minute challenges would you least like to attempt?

Run up the 1576 steps of the Empire State Building…

Eat 97 burgers…

Do an eight minute abs work out…

Repeat Felix Baumgartner’s freefall from 127,000 feet (in fact, you’d have time to do it twice!)

…Or give a groom’s speech to over 100 people including your closest friends and family, in which you must thank large numbers of people, bare your soul to your parents and partner, try to be funny without being too funny and risk ruining your entire marriage with a badly chosen word or anecdote?

Given the choice, most prospective grooms would probably take the burger option.

OK. Eight minutes is a slightly arbitrary number. But in truth, a groom’s speech can’t be much longer. You see, nobody really wants to hear from the groom. The father-of-the-bride has already spoken. And everyone else is waiting for the main event: The ruthless character assassination of the groom undertaken by the best man.

And then the groom nervously stands up. “Oh it’s the groom,” the mutter goes round. The disappointment is palpable.

So newly married man…keep it short, sharp and sweet. Eight minutes tops.

how to groom's speech

Your speech is all about structure. And within that structure you have certain specific and important duties to fulfil:

Thank the In-Laws

This is critical. You are now James Bond disarming a nuclear weapon. If this goes badly anything not destroyed by the immediate explosion will be affected by fifty years of fall out. Chances are that they have either paid for the reception and the drinks or arranged the flowers and decorations. God help the groom who does not acknowledge their efforts.

Remember that they will want this day to be perfect for their daughter, so don’t say anything that could jeopardize this. Don’t try to be funny at their expense. Be gracious, humble and above all thankful that they have raised such a beautiful and unique daughter.

Your job is to make her happy for life. Get through this part of the speech well and you’ll have made a good start. The presentation of a massive bunch of flowers to your new mother-in-law won’t do you any harm either!

Thank long distance travelers

Every wedding will have attendees who have traversed the Earth to be there. So it’s your job to acknowledge Uncle Ron from New Zealand, Sarah and Ben from Los Angeles and cousin Frank from Krakatoa. You should be grateful they have made the effort for you. Say so generously, but keep it brief!

Time is now pressing.

Thank your own parents

This is easily forgotten in all the excitement. Your own parents will be very emotional too. If they have contributed specifically to the wedding financially or otherwise then you must thank them publicly for it. Otherwise just express your gratitude for all the support and love they have given you in making you the man you have become. A gift for your mum at this point (particularly if you’ve given one to your new mother-in-law) can be a heart-warming gesture.

Resist the temptation (in a rush of love) to thank everyone individually…

But do mention those who have made a particular effort to attend (perhaps an elderly or infirm relative) or someone who has designed the invitations or flower displays.

Say something wonderful about your new wife.

This should be easy. She is the woman you love and the person you have chosen to spend your life with. So tell her why and tell her she looks beautiful.

Toast the bridesmaids

This is a rather quaint old tradition. You acknowledge the bridesmaids for the brilliant support they have given your wife, for looking amazing (don’t over-do it though – your wife must be the centre of attention) and for playing such a vital role in making the day a success.

The best man will start his speech by responding on behalf of the bridesmaids for your kind, generous toast. So don’t forget to do it or you’ll both look daft!

And there you go – How to nail your groom’s speech!

You’ve got away with it. Job done in 7 minutes and 59 seconds.

Now sit back, have a well earned drink…

And prepare to be publicly ridiculed by your best friend!

The groom’s speech is a real challenge to get right. It requires economy of language, sensitivity and genuine emotional depth. For help with editing, redrafting or writing a Groom’s speech from scratch, contact Lawrence Bernstein or Anna Quayle at


  1. An 8 minute abs workout would be my pick! Great tips here. I’ve never even thought about this since I haven’t been a groom but when the day comes I’ll know where to go for a refresher.

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