According to oft quoted survey results, most Americans number one fear is public speakingnot terrorism, not death, not losing a loved one. Which means being asked to give a speech at a wedding is more daunting than a death sentence. Its true, in a way, but you dont have to be slave to the fearthe clammy palms, the cold sweat, the shaky hands and stuttering voice. Overcoming nerves is all a matter of confidence when giving a wedding speech. Confidence is all a matter of preparation. And this guide is all about preparation.


Be Sincere:

The keys to a successful wedding speech are sincerity and personality. Be yourself and write what you know and what you feel. No one expects you to be a poet laureate or a stand-up comedian. Think of your relationship to the bride and groom. Come up with some anecdotes, embarrassing (but clean) memories that reference other wedding guests. Maybe even throw in a relationship joke or two. (For some suggestions, check out the relationship jokes at


To begin, sit down and write down any warm and fuzzy thoughts you have about the couple. Think about admirable qualities of their relationship or compliments youve heard other people give them. Try to think of reasons why their marriage will be a meaningful and enduring relationship. Dont worry about structure for now, get everything good out on paper and eliminate the not-so-great later.

Compile Notes into a Speech:

After you have the content worked out, start fitting it into a speech. If you are stumped about how to structure your speech, just follow a classic outlinetell them what you are going to go over, go over it tell them what you went over.

1. Lead Off. If you want to start with a joke, then kick off the speech with a nice ice-breaker. Some good speech ice-breakers can be found at here

2. Introduce Yourself: Or, start out by introducing yourself and explaining your relationship to the bride and groom. This is especially important if less than half of the wedding guests know you, otherwise people may be distracted by whispers of Who is that guy? during your speech.

3. Praise everyone. Throw in a comment about how lovely or touching the ceremony was and then give props to anyone that contributed a lot of effort to the whole production. Next, turn the focus back to the bride and groom. Congratulate them on their perfect union and marvel over their admirable qualities.

4. Walk down memory lane. Recall a couple touching episodes in their relationship, if you are close to the bride, talk about her dreams of Mr. Right and how her husband fits the bill, or talk about a cute or embarrassing story from early in their relationship.

5. Move back to the present and the future. Articulate on how promising their marriage will be. Talk about how confident you are that theyll work through any problems theyll have because they are so deeply in love and right for each other.

6. Wrap it up. Throw in some quotes or jokes, reiterate the warm and fuzzies and then raise your glass and ask the guests to join you in a toast. Use a stock phrase for the toast, a simple Cheers! will do or an ethnic toast according to the familys nationality: Na zdrowie! or Salut! Lchaim! or Mazel Tov!

As you add elements into your speech, have an idea of the culminating key note and make sure each anecdote, joke or quote has something to do with your final thought. It shouldnt be hard, since the sentiment of your speech should be something along the lines of Great couple, great ceremony, great guests. Cheers!