Giving a wedding thank you speech at your wedding at your wedding venue is important to show your appreciation towards your family and friends. It is also a common tradition for the bride and groom to take turns nearing the end of the evening to raise their champagne glasses to give their individual speeches. In Singapore where most are educated under the bilingualism education policy, couples may also choose to each undertake a language to cater to different wedding guests. There’s no order to whether the bride or groom should give their speech first.
Since they are such a staple at weddings, it is also important to make your speech personalised and distinct instead of having a generalised one. While it’s common to be thanking your parents for their upbringing and your guests for attending your wedding, having an unoriginal speech can come across as dull and insincere. A bad example would be something like this.
“Thank you to my parents for bringing me up to the person I am today. I want to thank everyone for making time to attend our wedding.”
Although you have good intentions behind your speech, your heartfelt appreciation may not come through when it sounds like every other thank you speech. Your wedding speech should be deeply personal and distinct to your wedding and the people in your life.
Wedding speeches can be daunting especially for those terrified or unfamiliar with public speaking. However, with this guide, you can hopefully prepare yourself better for your big day!
What to include in your wedding speech
Share memorable anecdotes / stories
Stories and personal anecdotes are great ways to get your guests to listen. A memorable story can also be a funny or heartwarming one depending on the vibe you’re going for. It can be about how you met, how you realised they were the right one for you or even wacky incidents throughout your relationship. Every couple has been through different life situations and this is a great way to give all your guests a sneak peak into your distinct love story!
Thank your loved ones
To put together a wedding, many people also play a part to make sure your big day goes through smoothly. From your parents, parents-in-law, bridesmaids and groomsmen, they have stood by your sides throughout the whole hectic journey. They are also the people who have been through with you across different periods of your life. It would be a good chance to thank each and everyone of them. However, you should not just start rambling all of their names. Thank the special ones that you feel strongly for and talk about the impact they had on you.
For example, “Thanks to my brother Brian who never forgets my share when he’s ordering food delivery.” “Thanks to my best friend Lucy who has cried together with me after every heartbreak” If you are thanking your grandparents who only understand certain dialects, taking the effort to craft a few lines out specially for them will be heartwarming. By adding a personal touch, it can add a degree of sentiment and nostalgia to your speech. As a whole, also remember to show your appreciation to all your guests for taking time off their schedule to attend your wedding celebration.
Other than your close families and friends, wedding vendors and planners have also been instrumental in making your wedding day happen. As there would be a lower emotional connection with them compared to your other guests, your thank you speech to them can be brief.
While thanking your guests, you should also not forget your partner standing right beside you during your speech. Your thank you speech to your spouse can come together with the personal anecdotes or stories you’re sharing.
Tell a joke
A thank you speech can feel boring if it’s just full of emotional stories. Including jokes can help lighten the mood up. When your guests are reacting to your speech, it can also loosen up your tension and carry on with your speech more calmly.
You can share snippets of dumb and funny situations that happened throughout your relationship. But you should also be careful to avoid raunchy inside jokes. Your wedding guests would probably comprise people of all ages from babies to elders. It can be inappropriate and uncomfortable for your guests to listen to such jokes. Inside jokes can also make your guests feel alienated so it’s crucial to explain and give the full context.
Use informal language
Avoid using stiff and formal language in your speech. You’re not giving a presentation in a meeting to your employers or clients. Instead, you should keep your speech audience-friendly by using informal language. Also, remember to pause at certain intervals to allow breathing space and for your guests to digest what you’ve said and react accordingly.
It also doesn’t have to have bombastic and impressive vocabulary. What needs to be conveyed is your sincere feelings. When you put your heart into your speech, your words should come out smoothly.
Finish with a toast
Having a strong and punchy end can add memorability to your speech. You can choose to use a quote that resonates or represents your love story. Otherwise, you can also mention your hopes and aspirations for your married life journey with your spouse ahead.
To signify the end of your speech, end it off with a toast! You can do so with a simple request for your guests to raise their glasses and join you in a toast to your spouse or marriage ahead.
For the Couple:
- Thank your guests and your wedding staff
- Mention every group of guests you have invited, such as your colleagues, your secondary/JC/Poly/University friends. Share a small story of every group and how much they mean to you.
- Thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen for helping you with the wedding planning, and mention how much you cherish this friendship with them.
- Thank your parents for bringing you up and for all the efforts they have poured into your life.
- Mention your partner’s parents and thank them for welcoming you into the family.
- Most importantly, tell your partner how you feel about him/her. Share about how happy you are to be able to marry him/her, how he/she makes you feel, the fond memories you had together, the things you love about him/her etc.
- To end off, you can once again thank your guests and ask them to enjoy the rest of the celebration.
“Thank you all of you for making the time and effort to come for (name of partner) and I’s wedding, and it really means a lot to us to have you all down to celebrate this special day with us. We would also like to shout out to all the staff that made this celebration possible, to the banquet staff, wedding coordinator, the live band, you all have been super awesome tonight.
To my colleagues, thank you for always being so accommodative and patient with me. Life at work doesn’t feel like work with you all, and I’m extremely thankful for you guys especially leading up to my wedding day, constantly offering your help and advice.
To my secondary school friends at the back, just want to say that I’m super grateful to have this friendship in my life. Growing up, you guys have constantly been so supportive and I can always count on you all to have my back covered.
To my daddy and mummy, thank you for all your efforts to raise me up. I know I wasn’t the easiest child to raise and always making trouble for you guys, but thank you for your unfailing love for me.
And to my new dad and mum, thank you for being so nice and welcoming to me, always making me feel at home with you guys. Thank you for raising (name of partner) so well, to be such a dependable and sweet guy.
Lastly, to my dearest husband/wife, I never knew that the dorky guy I met at the club 6 years ago would be the very same man that I am saying I-Do to. The very first time I met you, I was like ‘oh gosh, this guy is weird’. But as we started talking and subsequently meeting up with our group of friends and then meeting up together one-on-one, I started noticing the inner humour in you and we clicked with each other. We are pretty different in our personality, but we complement each other. You always have a way to brighten up my mood whenever I am down, and I know that you will always be there for me. I am excited for our new journey together as husband and wife.”
Preparation for the Wedding
After you have your full draft of your speech ready, it’s time to practise delivering it by reading it out aloud. By doing so, you can double check on your speech and ensure there are no awkward sentence structures. For those who are not familiar with public speaking, it’s also a good way to loosen your nerves when you get used to hearing your own voice.
During the soundcheck, you should also try speaking into the microphone to get used to the PA system. This helps you to gage how loud and how near you need to be to the microphone.
Remember that ‘Practice makes perfect.’ The more you practise your speech, the more confident and prepared you will be to ensure you don’t stumble on your actual day!
You can also choose to practise your speech in front of a small audience like your bridesmaids or partner. They can also help to point out areas you can improve on that you might not notice.
Try to have eye contact with the ones you’re addressing certain portions of your speech to. It is said that ‘eyes are windows to the soul’. While maintaining eye contact, it helps to deliver your sincerity and heartfelt emotions to your guests. For those who still prefer to keep the contents of your speech private until the big day, practising in front of a mirror and doing so while standing can be an alternative.
You can highlight the main points on your speech and remember them instead of memorising the whole speech like a script. During your speech, occasionally glancing at your notes would be fine.
Length of speech
Although having the details help enhance the magic in your speech, it is important that you don’t tell a grandmother story. Your speech should be kept short and sweet. While practising, it’s advisable to record it down. It allows you to check how much time you’re spending on it and also to look out for weird portions you might have missed. Five minutes would be a good enough time.
Make multiple copies
With so much going on during your wedding, it would add on to your stress if you were to lose your copy of your speech. To prevent that from happening, you can make multiple copies and entrust one copy each to your maid of honour, spouse or bridesmaids for safekeeping. The chance of all of the copies being lost would be relatively low.
For the Father of the Bride Speech:
- You can start off by thanking the guests for coming to the celebration and appreciate the staff for their hard work to put together the wedding.
- Let your daughter know how proud you are of her
- Share a fond memory of the bride when she was growing up
- Welcome your son-in-law into the family and tell him how
“First of all, I just want to thank all the guests who have made time to come to my daughter’s wedding. I really appreciate each of you to be able to witness and celebrate such a joyous occasion together. I also want to thank all the banquet staff, the live band, the wedding coordinator and those who made all these possible, you guys are so amazing and we all really enjoyed ourselves.
This day is such a special day for me. I can still remember the very day I first hold ____ in my arms, and today I am walking her down the aisle. _____, I am so proud of you and you will always be my daddy’s girl. Thank you for growing up to be such a kindhearted and sweet girl yet independent and strong woman. You have always brought so much joy and laughter to the family with your quirky and lively personality.
To (name of groom), I am so glad to have you as my son-in-law and we warmly welcome you into our family. The very first time I met you, I knew that my daughter is in good hands. I saw the way you look at _____, the way you take care of her and the way you smile at what she says. Rather than losing a daughter today, I feel like I have gained another son instead.
Lastly, a piece of advice from an old wise man, marriage isn’t always smooth sailing. Communication and spending quality time with one another is the key to a long lasting marriage.”
For the Best Man / Bride of Honour:
- Introduce your name and how your relationship is with the couple. You can also share how both of you got to know each other.
- Share some qualities of the couple
- Share some memories/stories you have with the couple. It can be a funny story or an unforgettable memory, but it must link to a point, such as elaborating a characteristic.
- Praise how compatible the couple is, and how you have seen them change for the better.
- You can end the speech with some wishes and blessings for the couple
“ Hi everybody, hope all of you are enjoying the dinner celebration so far. My name is ____, and I am the Best Man for (name of groom) today. (name of groom) and I have known each other for 12 years since secondary school, in the same CCA, same JC and even enlisting in the army together. We have been through thick and thin, and I am just so grateful to always have (name of groom) supporting me. I am so happy that you’ve met the love of your life, and really celebrate this joyous day with you.
(name of groom) is always known to be the jokester of our gang, constantly pranking people and doing all those silly things. I remember there was once in secondary school, (share a funny story about the groom). Yet, (name of groom) also has his serious side and we can always depend on him whenever we need help. (share a touching story of the groom).
To (name of bride), when (name of groom) first mentioned you and told me things about you, I knew that he was head over heels for you. You have brought so much joy into his life, and I am very happy that he has met you.
To end off, I would like to present a toast to (name of bride) and (name of groom), wishing them everlasting happiness and laughter in their marriage.”
Not good with words? Not everyone is good at expressing their thoughts and emotions into words, but there are still some other ways that you can convey your message to the couple and the guests.
Poems don’t need flamboyant words but yet it is romantic and can convey much more emotions through it. There are many poems online for wedding occasions, and you can take some inspiration from these samples and add some personal touch to it.
Singing a song
For the bride or groom who isn’t good at expressing their love in words and has a flair in singing, presenting a love song to your partner is a romantic way to replace the same old wedding speech. Some classic love songs to sing to your partner includes Beautiful in White, Love Me Tender, Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars.
For the couple’s friends or siblings who want to do something different instead of a wedding speech, changing the lyrics from a song and adding the names of the couple can be really fun and personal.
These are some tips to help you in preparing your thank you speech for your wedding. In essence, your speech should encapsulate your own unique feelings and experiences!