The Best Wedding Speeches for When You Need Tears, Hugs, or LOLs

Can we talk about the cute kid in #5?

wedding party standing together

A few weeks ago when I wrote fourteen tips for slaying at your wedding speech, I started to get curious about what wedding speeches actually exist on the Internet. As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen more than my fair share of best man speeches, maid of honor speeches, adorable parent speeches, even a handful of wedding speeches from kids (which will make me cry a hundred percent of the time). But I’ve never actually gone down the rabbit hole of Internet viral wedding toasts.

Here’s what I have learned: any wedding speech video that says “You have GOT to see this!!!!!” is lying. Also, a lot of wedding speeches are a “you had to be there” kind of thing—not that they aren’t funny, but the humor doesn’t always translate to strangers on the Internet.

Having said that, it’s important to note that most wedding speeches are really similar—and that is completely fine. Sure, some of the ones linked below are a-maz-ing, but guys: I don’t think most people expect you to sing. If you watch these and are inspired to mix up your speech a little, remember to play to your strengths (and maybe don’t get hammered). For example, in one of the videos below, family members gathered to slow jam the toast a la Jimmy Fallon… but it turns out one of those family members used to have her own popular YouTube channel.

TL;DR: when it comes to wedding speeches, keep it fun, light, and packed with all the feelings that you feel. The rest will (most likely) fall into place. Let’s get inspired.

1. The Pop culture mash-up 

This sister/maid of honor decided to use a pop culture mash-up to review the bride’s entire life. The story goes like this: their mom decided the best way to get her eight-days-late baby Earthside was to have a days-long dance party… and it worked. The best part of this? The reactions of the bride and groom. Yaaaassss.

2. There’s a Beyoncé song in this one

The groom’s brothers decided that singing their speech was really the best way to go, and chose a handful of songs (including “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias and “Single Ladies” by Bey) to express all their feels. It’s not a hundred percent funny and I could do without the wigs, but their hearts are in the right place (and it’s just over five minutes).

3. Slow Jam the toast

Are you guys familiar with Jimmy Fallon’s slow jamming of the news? (If not, one of my recent faves is this one with Barack Obama.) Well, the maid of honor, the bride’s cousin, and the bride’s brother all decided they wanted to slow jam the wedding toast… and I kind of love it.

4. The drunk friends who can’t remember why it’s great their friends got married

The guy who kicks off this one says he’s “not really good for emotions” but come on, y’all look at that bottle. He’s great, and the group “Awwwwws” are even better. The group then also redoes the wedding, and other drunk people continue to give toasts throughout the ten (!) minutes this plays. Fair warning: there’s a lot of language, drunkenness, and references to drugs.

5. the kid with the cute accent

Okay, this one was included because (a) the bride’s eleven-year-old is giving the speech, (b) he references her over-parenting and it made me laugh, and (c) OMG GUYS HIS ACCENT IS SO PRECIOUS DIE.

Do you know of a great (or terrible) wedding speech that isn’t here? Share it!

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  • Jess

    So, I have an Opinion on toasts like some of these (except #5, because kid). People who sing, perform, or use stunts as part of the toast always come off to me as more interested in the attention of the crowd than saying nice things about the couple.

    I haven’t seen this, but if, say, one of the couple were part of a singing group, and that group performed as a toast, it would make sense and could be lovely. Slow Jam the Wedding seems more like they’re saying, “HEY! LOOK AT US!”

    When it’s happened to my friends at their weddings, I just felt bad for them, because they already felt kind of like the outsider in their family.

    I guess if the couple is totally into it, awesome.

    • Rebekah Jane

      I have to disagree on this. The fact that these people meticulously planned their toast says volumes about how much they care about the couple. I’ve sat through many a wedding that involved 20 minutes of terrible last-minute speeches and it always felt like a lack of care for the couple and their reception. I would see it as a symbol of true friendship and the mark of a great relationship if my introverted maid and matron of honor sang a duet in front of 100 people or my partner’s best man (and best friend since sixth grade) were to rap about us!

      • stephanie

        Coming here to say this! I have seen many, many, many wedding toasts, and a lot of them are written 5 minutes before the person has to give the speech and they all include the same sentences, over and over again. I picked these because they were fun—not because everyone should go them, but because the effort made was really cool.

        • Violet

          These videos were actually interesting because they highlighted how much “production value” really matters very little compared to heart. Because while these were very well done objectively, I didn’t get much out of them, because I don’t know these people. Which is a good thing! It means that if the heart’s there (and I agree, with some preparation!), it will be a successful toast, even if the toaster is not comfortable doing any wacky or zany things.

      • Violet

        I put a ton of meticulous planning and memorization into the toast I gave. But it was still a brief speech about the couple, keeping the focus on them, and not my killer rhyming skills. It shows effort when toasters do these things, sure, but I think it ends up looking more like effort to get people to be impressed/entertained by them, more than effort to make the couple feel honored.

        • Shirleyjwashington

          <<o. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::::!!br219p:….,..

      • Jess

        That’s pretty cool you would be super into it! I guess maybe it comes down to “know the couple”?

        I fully agree that last minute speeches = generally pretty bad.

        • Kayjayoh

          Unless you are someone who is really good at extemporaneous speaking.

    • Violet

      I think for me it comes down to what is the purpose of the toast. Is it to entertain the guests? Then fine, any and all performative pieces are fair game. Is it to honor the couple? Then I agree with you, song-and-dance productions end up taking the focus off of the couple and onto the toaster.

      As usual, I think it comes down to know-your-audience. Is the couple in question one who would LOVE something like this? Then lip-sync/rap/interpretive dance away. You gave a great example of a situation where a couple might be more upset than pleased by it, and I’m sure there are others as well.

      • Rebekah Jane

        I do agree that this is about knowing your audience. As a theater nerd and a major extrovert with a partner who values “experiences” over presents and hates that the wedding will have to slow down for a toast, we would be that audience. We would be over the moon if instead of a 5 minute speech talking about how great we are, we got a Fresh-Prince style rap speech about how our lives revolve around our dog or someone changed the lyrics to an Ace of Base song to reflect how we met.

        But, for my sister’s wedding to her fiance? I will be giving a sweet, big sisterly, traditional speech praising their 10 year relationship that I have watched grow from a high school romance to an adult partnership. It’s about who you’re speaking to and about that defines your genre. I think what @stephanieapw:disqus was trying to do was highlight some creative moments that gave her joy so that we could have some Monday happiness – which worked for me!

    • Kayjayoh

      I think it is a case of “know your audience” and fits in with things like grand romantic gestures (especially public ones) and surprise parties. Some people really love them and some would rather that the Earth opened up and swallow everyone involved. So your mileage may vary.

  • OnTheBridesSide

    Gonna say the 10+ minute-long speech from the father of the groom enumerating the many dude-ly accomplishments of his son, which oh yeah includes getting this hot wife over here, is now on my list of DON’TS, having sat through it. Oh. my. god.

    • JLily

      Ughhh this would be awful and if I were the one getting married I might TAKE THE MICROPHONE AWAY. In fact, I think I’m going to ask my MOH to be ready to do that if need be.

    • Amy March

      Or the 10 minute long speech from the father of the bride bragging on how his daughter was captain of her sports team and ran the debate club and class president and went to a great college and graduated cum laude from grad school. Gross. It’s not a resume dad!

    • uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • JLily

    This is slightly off-topic, but ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Did you guys ask who is doing a toast in advance? Like obviously the good ones take some planning, so even if you want it to seem spontaneous it rarely is. And secondly, if there was anyone who’s speech you were concerned about, how did you handle it? The best man at our wedding is nice and fun overall, but not exactly a feminist. I am terrified that he is going to say something sexist.

    • Amy March

      Oh definitely ask people in advance! No one wants to be put on the spot last minute.

      For the best man situation, eh? He might say something sexist, more likely he might say something he genuinely does not believe is sexist even if you disagree, and talking to him in advance isn’t going to solve that. I think if you or your fiance(e) have decided that he gets to be in your lives even with this issue, you kinda have to let it go. Accept that he is who he is. Or just don’t ask him to make a toast but that’s probably going to be upsetting to him.

    • Ashlah

      Definitely ask in advance! I just attended a very disorganized wedding, and that disorganization included not telling key people they were expected to give a toast. It sucked for the people put on the spot, it was a bummer for the bride and groom who didn’t get thoughtful toasts, and it was awkward for the guests who had to watch unplanned, nervous, not-great speeches.

    • I think conservative etiquette wise, you’re not supposed to ask people to do a speech, since it puts them on the spot. If you care about that, I believe the next best option might be to shoot an email to the wedding party saying, “If anyone would like to give a speech at the wedding, we need to tell the DJ by ___ date.” Same with parents. Making it opt-in instead of opt-out is probably the best way to go.

      Conversely, as a guest or bridal party member who wishes to give a toast, you should volunteer this information to the couple with plenty of time in advance.

  • researchwarrior

    I wish APW would stop running these “look what we found on the Internet!” type stories. While I appreciate the speech tips in general (and there have been killer comments on that lately!), suggesting cringe-worthy videos rather than posting the more typical thought-provoking pieces just feels like fluff, especially when the article itself mentions, “the humor doesn’t always translate to strangers on the Internet.” Agreed.

    I don’t know if articles like this are just now a necessary part of the click bait machine, but I think most readers here are adept at googling their own you tube videos.

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