A guide by professional speech writers Speechy.
Why give a joint speech
Delivering a joint speech is not only modern, it simply makes sense.
It means no one speaks on behalf of the other, you both get to thank your friends and family, and you can rehearse together. It also takes the pressure off just one of you and allows you to discuss your speech and have fun with it along the way.
Many of our Speechy clients have said their joint speech became the epicentre of their day and it’s become one of the day’s highlights.
How to write + deliver a joint speech
The same principles apply as writing a strong groom speech. The first stage is gathering great content and then deciding on a theme that ties the material together. The benefit of developing this as a couple, is you get two heads for the price of one and creativity has been proven to be infectious.
The key to ensuring the writing process is a pleasure, is being supportive of each other’s ideas. If your partner comes up with a lame joke, resist the urge to roll your eyes, bang your head on the table and wail ‘what’s the point?’. Instead, play with the idea; humour it, view it as a springboard to new ideas.
1 – gather your content
There’s no point trying to write your speech before you know what’s going in it, so schedule a date night with a purpose. Discuss and agree:
1 – gather your content
- Who you want to thank – you’ll each probably want to thank both sets of parents, but only one of you needs to thank the ushers or bridesmaids
- If any toasts to the dearly departed are necessary
- What stories to include – a good speech relies on good stories so think about your best ‘couple’ anecdotes; the ones that will give guests an insight into your relationship and, ideally, provide some laughter too
- Your speech theme – that narrative hook that holds everything together so your speech sounds more than just a tedious list of thank yous and a couple of stories tagged on at the end
2 – split up
Once you have your material, it’s time to structure and write the speech – but writing as a couple can be tricky. You thought table planning was hard? Crafting a speech is even more complex!
Our advice is to split up; one of you writes the first draft and the other one improves it. Even this will require some negotiation but at least you won’t be debating words as you write.
Divide the speech so you each have small sections to deliver (2 – 6 sentences) and alternate throughout.
Like all good comedy duos, think about how you can play off each other. Script comedy ‘ad libs’. If your relationship dynamic lends itself, one of you can play the straight man and the other the fall guy. Play with what you got.
3 – keep secrets
While a marriage is all about being open and honest, a joint wedding speech means keeping a few things to yourself. Specifically, a romantic paragraph towards the end of the speech that you each write privately.
You can then each deliver your secret sentiment tribute to your partner on the day, just before you jointly propose the toast.
4 – length
Just because there’s two of you, doesn’t mean the speech can be double the length. In fact, still aim for less than 1,300 words so your delivery comes in under ten minutes on the day.
5 – rehearse
The good news is the sole pressure of delivering your speech is off. The bad news? Delivering your speech has become a bit more complicated. The ease of a double act takes some rehearsal. Especially if you want the ‘ad libs’ to look natural.
You also need to think about what you’re doing when the other person is talking. Make sure you look at the person talking and react. Don’t just lose yourself in your notes!
Smile, roll your eyes, look at one another and play off each other throughout. Your facial expressions can elicit as much laughter as a funny line.
6 – on the day
Simply enjoy it! We guarantee, a joint speech will be loved by everyone in the room.