Couples think about what guests will see, what they’ll eat and what they’ll dance to on their wedding day – but the reality is, in a couple of years, most people won’t remember the exact shade of lily you had on the tables or that the lamb came with a redcurrant jus.
To quote Maya Angelou, ‘people will never forget how you made them feel’, and your vows and toasts have the power to transform your day into a genuinely joyous, feel-good occasion for everyone there. Your vows are the opportunity to tell the man you love—and everyone there to witness the moment you become husbands—exactly why you picked him. While your toasts are the opportunity to express to your family and friends your gratitude for their support in your lives.
It’s also your opportunity to make your guests laugh.
Laughter is something that’s often overlooked in the wedding planning process but it unites a crowd and is guaranteed to kickstart the party.
We asked Speechy for their advice on how to write all of your wedding remarks in a manner that’s truly meaningful, completely original, and – most importantly – brings a smile to everyone’s face.
Tell A Story
When you start writing your vows, resist the urge to google advice or download an old fashioned template as a ‘starting point’. So many toasts sound the same because grooms resort to the internet for inspiration.
Instead, think of your vows as if they were a story.
There’s a reason storytelling never goes out of fashion – when you get it right, it’s magical. Be creative and match the narrative to play up your personalities:
Marvel fanatics – deliver a Boom! Pow! Wham! comic strip speech, complete with superheroes (that’s you fellas) and superpowers (positive thinking/marathon running/making the world’s greatest lasagne).
Bookworms – cast yourselves as literary characters. Is he a brooding Heathcliff or a filterless Falstaff? Write your own 8-minute long love story. Make sure you include flashbacks, plenty of hyperbole, and an unexpected twist.
Boardgame enthusiasts – you met with a roll of the dice but what was your strategy for winning him over? Track your challenges, your relationship ‘rules’, and how you made it to the finish line together to say, ‘I do’.
This stuff’s supposed to be funny, not cheesy, so don’t overplay it and resist too many puns.
Don’t be afraid to send yourselves up – guests will love it.
You Do You
No one enjoys sitting through tired clichés. Let’s be honest – every groom is generous, kind, and funny. What’s unique or quirky about yours? Perhaps he has a Buzzfeed quiz obsession, or a thing about organising unusual outings for his cat…
What made you fall for him? Was it his risotto or the sweet way he checks in on his grandma once a week? Perhaps it is something a tad bit racier that, depending on who is witnessing your “I do’s,” you might want to share with the world. Don’t be shy in peeling back the curtain on both the love and fire you have for each other!
No matter, you can’t give a decent tribute to your husband using googled gags. Make sure your humour is bespoke – there’s nothing funnier than real life.
Decide who’s going to be giving a toast. You? Him? If you’re both giving one (we like this option best), consider dividing up speech duties to avoid doubling up
Sure, you’ll each want to thank both sets of parents but only one of you gets to tell the story about that time you took your cat out on its birthday to watch ducks on the lake.
Or you could consider…
The Mr & Mr Speech
A growing wedding trend in same sex circles is the joint toast. Bouncing ‘big day’ energy off one another is the perfect way to say look – we’re a team!
Guests are always delighted with a joint toast – it’s a fun dynamic and shows there’s a perfect half out there for all of us. It’ll pack even more of a punch if you keep it a surprise.
Don’t worry if one of you is naturally quieter; all great comedy duos have a showman and a stooge. Divvy up the narrative so that one of you sets up the story and the other delivers the punch line. Don’t forget to interact as you go along – smile, giggle, roll your eyes.
A joint toast is an opportunity to show the two of you in action, get even funnier and raunchier, and present yourselves to your family and friends as one.
The Thank Yous
This bit’s gorgeous – your opportunity to acknowledge those who matter most to you both. The groom traditionally thanks everyone for coming, plus parents, in-laws and the grooms party. We especially like when we hear of those individuals who played a close role in the couple coming together.
There may be others you want to mention (it’s always cute when kids/step-kids get a look-in) but resist the urge to roll call half the guest list – nothing kills off a speech faster than a tedious thank you list. And there’s definitely no need to thank anyone you’ve paid to be there, such as the caterers
Keep It Short and Sweet
No one ever wishes the toasts were longer, even the awesome ones. Write your toast then cut it down by half – we promise it’ll be twice as good
Hire an Expert
A good vows writer or toast master will get to know you and create something that sounds like you –only supercharged. Speechy are an elite team of TV writers, celebrity schmoozers, and wedding vows and toast revolutionaries who work with hundreds of grooms worldwide.
A few more things you should bear in mind…
Do start writing now – this process takes longer than most grooms imagine. The sooner you begin, the longer you’ll have to edit and rehearse it
Do communicate with your man – whether you’re giving a joint speech or going solo, make sure you’re both on the same page.
Do keep the thank yous short (no guest deserves more attention that your new husband) but meaningful – thank them for what they’ve contributed to your life, not just the day.
Do make the toast unique – raise a glass to something guests will recognise about you. Toasting ‘a lifetime of dancing on tables and tequila shots’ will have everyone smiling if you’re bona fide ravers.
Do add humor – yep, your wedding day is super emotional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh.
Do use quotes – writers have a knack for putting exactly how you feel into words. Here’s a few we like:
“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” Arrigo Boito
“Love has no gender – compassion has no religion – character has no race.” – Abhijit Naskar
“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” A. A. Milne
Don’t talk over laughter – you’ve earned it. Pause, smile and enjoy!
Don’t be too sentimental – get the balance right between being cute and downright showing off.
Don’t talk too fast – nothing says nervous like a Chipmunk in a tuxedo.
If You’re Still Stuck For Inspo…
Check out these gay groom speech videos for ideas of what to do (and what not to do).
For an exclusive 25% off any of Speechy’s products and services, visit www.speechy.co.uk and enter MensVows at check out.