Secrets to avoiding a wedding speech disaster

Being asked to give a speech at a wedding is a great honour, although it is one that can incite nerves and a little sweat. There are plenty of guides out there that show you how to write a wedding speech, but we want to highlight the things you should never say.


Because no matter how close you are to the newlyweds and their family, or how casual the affair is, there are silent etiquette rules at play that you need to be aware of.

The golden rule, and one you should keep firmly in mind when writing your speech is also dubbed the Grandma Rule. If you wouldn’t say it in front of yours (or someone else’s) grandma, leave it out!

Steer clear of swears

You might drop the f-bomb in every other sentence when hanging out with your friends, but there could be children in your audience and those who are easily offended by profanity. If it needs a censor bleep, scrap it from the speech. If one happens to slip out (which is a real possibility if you are a serial swearer with wedding speech nerves and a couple of alcoholic beverages under your belt) quickly apologise and try to move on with a more G-rated version.

wedding speech

“My f***ing apologies, everyone.”

Leave hanky-panky behind closed doors

Sexual anecdotes make for great stories at hens and bucks parties, where you can be more liberal with what you say. But do not whip out the story of how the newlyweds got caught doing it in the bushes while on a camping holiday at the wedding – it’s just not appropriate.

wedding speech

“Did I say that out loud?”

Avoid derogatory nicknames

While parents of the couple have free reign to share their terms of endearment with wedding guests during their speech, you will need to refrain from referring to either of the newlyweds by nicknames they acquired at school or as a result of doing something questionable.

wedding speech

“So… Shall I tell the world why we call you ‘Down-It-Darren?'”

Remember that time when…

Sharing things that went down at a blokes weekend away or a girls night on the town is not okay. In fact, sharing memories of boozy nights out are a no-no in general, unless it was on a night like that when the newlyweds first met! If this is the case, play down the alcohol intake and focus on how you had an inkling they were perfect for each other.

wedding speech

“Remember that time when… Oh wait, that was illegal.”

Never speak ill of family

There may be bad relations with yourself and one of the families, or the parents of one of your friends may disapprove of the other. Relationships between families can be complex and at times heated, but your wedding speech is not the time to address it, make snide comments or otherwise put down one or more of the guests in the room.

wedding speech

“I just wanted to say, you’re all a bunch of jerks.”

Racism is off limits

This really shouldn’t require an explanation, but let’s just say, even the most talented and renowned comedians in the world can stuff up jokes about race and come off looking like complete jerks. Don’t be that jerk at your friend’s wedding.

wedding speech

“Ha…. Tough crowd.”

Forget the fights

There can be arguments in any relationship and even newlyweds aren’t immune to them on the path to wedded bliss. But no matter how trivial or entirely epic their arguments have been, do not bring them up in your speech.

wedding speech

“Here’s a venn diagram of all the time the couple spend fighting.”

What exes?

You are there to celebrate the love and commitment of the newlyweds, so don’t put a dampener on their special day by bringing up any of the exes that they have gone through to get to this point. It would just be awkward for everyone, and it’s simply in poor taste.

wedding speech

“… And a graph of the groom’s sexual encounters.”

Inside jokes

You may have known the newlyweds for decades, and this inevitably means you will have many unique memories and even inside jokes that you both find hilarious. While it may reduce you to tears from fits of laughter when you bring it up with one another, remember 99% of the people in the room will have no idea what you are talking about.

wedding speech

“Remember? Ha. Sorry, inside joke.”

It’s not “This is Your Life”

Sharing a few anecdotes of your friendship is a nice token, but you do not have to run through everything from the moment you became friends to you now standing there are their best man or maid of honour. Picking out a few worthy moments is nice, but keep your speech short and sweet.

wedding speech

Unless you want your guests looking like this, keep it short and to the point!


Image via Silvertongue Speeches

If you still find yourself needing help with writing your speech, then Silvertongue Speeches can help you out! They offer a professional speech writing service and can help you to write a heartfelt, charming speech for the wedding reception.

Find more wedding speech tips here!

Find suppliers

80% of Australian couples use Easy Weddings to connect with their dream wedding suppliers.
Browse the directory and start planning today!