How to Give a Killer Reception Speech

Authored by: Rinette Emerson
February 4, 2016

The groom’s speech is an opportunity to share how much he loves, adores and is excited to be married to his wife. It’s also his opportunity to thank certain people for their input and contribution in his life and into the planning of the wedding day. But it can also be an awkward time if some simple guidelines are not followed. In order to make sure the important aspects are covered, consider the following:

  • Focus on your wife: Yes, your wife – say it early in your speech. It may sound strange at first but it will help settle your nerves. This is also a good time to look her in the eye and tell your wife how stunningly beautiful she looks.
  • Say thanks: You have many people to thank on your wedding day, but remember whose day it is. It is about you and your wife, not about your grade 4 teacher and high school badminton coach so don’t list everyone you have ever known.
  • Compliment your in-laws: Mention that you are thankful to your wife’s parents for raising such a beautiful daughter and for supporting you in your marriage to their daughter. Don’t forget to also thank the bride’s extended family for welcoming you into their homes and their hearts
  • Remember your parents: Thank them for the love, guidance and support they have extended to you and to your wife and for contributing to the man you are today.
  • Don’t forget to thank the wedding party – especially the bridesmaids – for all their help in preparing for the day and for being such great friends over the years. Oh, and remember to tell them how beautiful they look.
  • Speak to your wife: Look directly at your wife and tell her how happy she makes you feel, how you can’t believe you’re her husband, how your life changed for the better after you met and how you are looking forward to sharing the future together. 
  • Use humor, but…: Incorporate some humour in your speech, but don’t overdo it. It should be a balance of humour and heartfelt sincerity, not a stand-up comedy routine.
  • Prepare your speech: Spend time writing and re-writing it. Practice and read it out loud. Don’t say anything that might cause offense and please don’t “wing it”. When you are satisfied with your speech, ask someone you trust to just look it over and most important of all, avoid a long, drawn out speech! 
  • The toast: End your speech by asking your guests to stand and join you in a toast to your beautiful wife. Now hand the mic back to your MC, go kiss your wife and let the celebration begin!

As always, follow along at our blog.  We post lots of content that will help you create your perfect, hopefully stress-free, wedding day.

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About the Author: Rinette Emerson

Prior to Enduring Promises, Rinette worked with clients on strategic communications, online development programs, corporate branding and helping clients “get found” online. After officiating her first wedding, many years ago, Rinette was hooked – and now she is a sought after wedding Officiant. A little-known fact about Rinette…she is an amazing artist! You can follow her on LinkedIn.


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