Things You Can’t Forget to Include in Your Reception Thank-You Speech

Yes, you (or your partner) should definitely think about giving a thank-you speech at your wedding. Here’s how to do it right.
by Sophie Ross

It's been a long journey down the aisle—and unless you and your partner have single-handedly planned and designed every detail yourself, you probably have tons of people that helped get you there.

Of course, your friends, family members and vendors deserve a shout-out, and a thank-you speech at your reception is the perfect way to do it. But with all speeches, there's a way to encompass everything you need to say while still keeping your audience engaged (and not wishing the Oscars "wrap it up" music would magically start playing). That's why we tapped the founders of Speech Tank—writer Kristine Keller and book editor Marisa Polansky—to see how to have the quintessential mic-drop moment that leaves everyone satisfied.

Don't forget to acknowledge your spouse.

You likely have a laundry list of people to thank—that's why you're giving a speech, after all—but don't forget to thank your new spouse, the most important person of all.

"So often people thank every person who had a hand in creating the wedding—the parents, the vendors—but what's the real reason they're all there?" Polansky says.

Even if your partner is giving one too, don't forget to acknowledge the person who's been by your side through it all. And if you'd rather have fewer toasts, try creating one together (you can write it like a script so you alternate speakers).

Remember every person who's helped you down the aisle.

You've likely planned your wedding day for a year or so, and you've probably dreamed about it for years before that.

So really take the moment to acknowledge each and every friend and family member who's helped make your day so perfect. Don't write your thank-you speech in a day—sit and reflect on it, rehearse out loud and practice in front of your partner or a trusted friend so you can get their feedback.

Also, remember to do it at the reception (rather than the rehearsal dinner) so every guest has a chance to hear your words.

It's still possible to keep it short and sweet.

So many people have helped, of course! That said, keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to go into excessive detail about each and every person who's helped with your wedding planning journey (you risk boring your guests to tears if you go over five minutes anyway).

Think about people who can get grouped together (your seven bridesmaids, for instance). And if you want to say more personal or individualized thank-yous, consider writing it in cards accompanying the gifts you get your special family members and wedding party members.

Speech Tank specializes in one-of-a-kind speeches for any occasion. In the wedding space, they write it all—maid of honor/best man speeches, vows, parent's toasts, officiant speeches and so on. While there may be many stresses in wedding planning, a great toast doesn't need to be one of them.

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