The first thing to note is that the Groom’s speech is much easier than the Best Man’s and follows a straightforward 3 point format. So take a deep breath, stand up, wait for the clapping to stop.
1. Thank everyone (on behalf of your wife and yourself) for everything. Start with your bride’s father who has just made his speech. Then her Mum and your new family. Then your own family. Be as loving, grateful and thoughtful as you can be which will encourage a few tears from the other mothers in the audience. This is what you want. Thank the bridesmaids, the best man and groomsmen, anyone else who has helped. Hand out a few presents at this point if you like but don’t drag it on or you will lose everyone’s attention. Save some time for point 2…
2. The important part. Your new wife. Tell everyone how beautiful she looks, how much you love her. A couple of nice stories, how you met, how she has changed your life, why she is ‘the one’. Never forget that this is actually her day and you’re just sharing it (this is a fact). If you are sincere and loving there will be smiles and tears from the crowd. Everyone will love you more than ever. This is what you need.
3. The handover. Your best man is next. A quick (clean) joke about him will have everyone laughing and warmed up for him. Finish off with a toast to the bridesmaids.
Keep the whole thing to 10-15 minutes. Don’t drink too much beforehand. Don’t cry yourself but encourage emotion in the audience – smiles, laughter, tears – and they will be eating out your hand.
Then sit down, slip the speech back into the inside pocket of your Norton & Townsend jacket, lean over and kiss the bride and relax.