Your big day wouldn't be anywhere near as special without your friends and family celebrating alongside you. A thank you speech is one more way to thank everyone who made the event memorable. Check out these tips for how to write the perfect thank you speech.
Give the Speech Together
Traditionally the groom gives the thank you speech on behalf of himself and the bride. However, it is increasingly popular for this speech to be a joint effort, with both partners speaking. A joint speech is particularly effective if one of you is not a confident public speaker.
Don't Just Wing It
It may be tempting to make a speech up on the spot. However, it is also easy to get caught up in the moment and forget something important. With so many other things to organise for your big day, taking the time to plan your speech in advance will make sure you say everything you want to. Having a planned speech is also the best way to beat public speaking nerves.
Who To Thank
When it comes to who to thank there are two main options - keeping it vague or getting specific. While some people, like the bride and groom's parents, need to be thanked specifically, not every person you hired needs to be individually thanked. Thanking them as a group is more time effective and equally thoughtful. Write a list of the people who you are thanking to keep you on track and make sure you don't forget anyone. It is also a sweet gesture to thank each other, after all neither of you would be at the wedding without the other.
Keep It Short
This is one of many speeches that will occur during your wedding. Keep it short and sweet to keep your guests attention. We recommend sticking to a 3 minute time limit, regardless of whether it is a joint speech or only one of you in speaking.
Make It PG
A little bit of humour can go a long way in your speech. Make sure any humour is family friendly, especially if their are children in attendance. Similarly, avoid inside jokes as you want your speech to appeal to all of your guests. While we all might be tempted by a little "dutch courage" every once in a while, staying sober enough to present you speech as planned will help avoid any inappropriate slip ups.
When To Give Your Speech
There is a traditional order of speeches. Usually, the toast to the bride or groom comes first, followed by the grooms reply, in other words, the thank you speech, and then the best man's speech. Ultimately, it is your wedding and the choice of when to give your speech is up to you. If you are having a sit down meal, it is best to give your thank you speech, along with all other speeches, while guests are sitting down.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you've written your speech, make sure to practice it a few times before you have to present. While you don't have to memorise it word for word, a few practice runs will make you and your partner far more comfortable. It also allows you to make eye contact with your guests, making the speech that little bit more meaningful.
Public speaking can be daunting. Writing and practicing your speech in advance can help curb some of those pesky nerves. If you're still scared to give your speech, try some deep breathing exercise a few minutes before your speech to try and remain calm. Take your time with the speech and remember that you are speaking from the heart and all the guests are there because they love and support you. If it is still too much, a brief thank you is appropriate and your guests will understand the lack of formal speech.