In addition to saying “yes, I do,” every married couple has an important job to do at their reception: giving a wedding thank you speech to show your friends and family your appreciation. But don’t be scared! Even if you are terrified of speaking in public, we are here to help you decide what to say and how to survive up there.
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Join us as we answer some of your most pressing questions about the wedding appreciation speech.
Why should we give a wedding appreciation speech?
That’s simple: showing up to her wedding and witnessing her marriage is a very generous gift, and we believe that each and every one of your guests deserves a sincere thank you. We are pretty sure you agree.
What should we say?
You will definitely want to thank both parents and anyone else who was instrumental in the making of your wedding day (wedding party, close friends, etc.) by name, and then thank your guests (as a group) for being there with you to celebrate. It can also be nice to reminisce about your relationship and share an anecdote or two that will make your guests laugh or cry. Finally, you need to say something to each other – it can be something sweet and silly or deeply moving, but either way it’s a good idea to thank your partner for agreeing to marry you. A wedding appreciation speech from a bride and groom (or bride and groom, or groom and groom) should be gratifying and appreciative.
How do we write a wedding thank you speech?
Sit down with your future wife and start by listing the people you need to thank (parents, in-laws, etc.) and then continue brainstorming the anecdotes. Maybe the story of how you met is especially sweet or heartwarming, or there was a time in your relationship when you both knew the other person was the one. Or maybe something hilarious happened last week that totally encapsulates the nature of your love! Whatever the story, it should evoke some kind of emotion in your guests and make them feel included in your love story. Last but not least, you can brainstorm your toasts together or write them down separately, but be sure to agree on a tone and duration before working separately; The last thing you need is for one partner to go for a short, sweet laugh, while the other says something sincere and long-lasting.
How long should a wedding appreciation speech be?
Not much time! Aim for two to three minutes total for your wedding appreciation speech.
Is there a topic we should avoid?
Forget about jokes and avoid inside jokes (guests hate that!). This is a time to show your guests that you are a part of your community, not to make them squirm or feel alienated. If you want to thank someone for doing something specific to help plan the wedding, tell the whole story so everyone understands the context, don’t just mention one detail that is meaningful to that person and no one else. Imagine that you give this speech only to your grandmother, grandfather or another older relative and you will understand exactly what we mean!
When should we toast our wedding appreciation speech?
This is really up to you and what is best for your wedding timeline, but some couples choose to do their wedding appreciation speech once the best man, bridesmaid, and others have made their speeches, while that other couples choose to toast just before cutting the cake. The advantage of the latter is that you will have the full attention of your guests, who will not get tired of the speeches or eager to eat / start the party, plus you will get the additional bonus of a magnificent photo shoot with your cake!
Any other tips?
Yes-practice! Try to memorize the key points of your speech so you don’t have to rely on the index cards. Your guests will be more engaged and we promise you will feel much more comfortable speaking from the heart than looking at their hands. It’s just a couple of minutes of giving thanks and praising your wife, you have it!
If you are really terrified of talking to your guests, consider doing some deep breathing exercises for a few minutes before the wedding, and using your nervous energy to help keep your speech moving at a steady pace. And if all else fails and you find yourself freaking out, just grab the mic for a heartfelt, two-second “Thank you, we love each and every one of you,” and your guests will understand. After all, they know you better than anyone!