How to Deliver an Unforgettable Wedding Thank-You Speech

Follow this guide to make sure your toast checks all the right boxes.
christin perry the knot
Christin Perry
christin perry the knot
Christin Perry
E-Commerce Contributor
  • Christin specializes in writing gift guides and shoppable articles for The Knot.
  • Christin is a freelance writer, also covering lifestyle, health, and parenting.
  • She has written for such publications as The Bump, Parents, VeryWell, Parade and LittleThings.
Updated Sep 13, 2021

After months of planning, the big day has finally arrived. Assuming you didn't put all of this together on your own, you probably have some special people you'd like to thank before the festivities wind down. It's common—and gracious, of course—for the newlyweds to give a wedding thank-you speech to show their appreciation for all of the people who helped them along the way. Here, we'll fill you in on everything you need to know about this special message of gratitude.

How Long Should a Wedding Thank-You Speech Be?

While your wedding day likely has a detailed schedule (and it's always best to be concise when you give a toast) know that your thank-you speech does allow for more time than speeches delivered by the best man, father of the bride or maid of honor. You want to make sure you mention anyone who went above and beyond to help you with your wedding planning. Taking your time ensures you don't forget anyone, which could result in hurt feelings and possibly even a strained relationship.

If you can, aim to keep your wedding toast to about 5 or 6 minutes, especially if your partner will also be speaking. You can choose to speak at the wedding reception either before or after dinner (both common choices), at the rehearsal dinner, or even as your reception begins to wind down. It's really up to you. If you've hired a wedding planner to help your big day run as smoothly as possible, they'll likely have input on when your speech should take place.

How to Write a Wedding Thank-You Speech

You can make your speech as funny or touching as you'd like, but there are some guidelines you may want to follow as you deliver it. Below, we'll walk you through exactly who to thank so you don't leave anyone out. And if you need a bit more support (public speaking isn't for everyone), we've got you covered there as well.

A Wedding Thank-You Speech Template

[Partner's name] and I want to thank everyone for being here with us today. Many of you have traveled a long way to participate, and we thank you for your time and effort.

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We've spent the last [number] months planning our wedding, and we could not have done it without the help of some very special people. First, [one partner's parents' names] and [other partner's parents' names], thank you for everything you've provided and done for us. You've been there every step of the way, ensuring our wedding day was the best it could possibly be. And it has been.

To our wedding party [list names or address as a whole]—you've laughed with us, celebrated our engagement with us, cried with us over ugly tablecloth colors and bad hair days, and just been all-around amazing friends to us both. And for that, we thank you so much. Our day wouldn't be the same without each and every one of you involved.

To our guests: Each of you is here because you belong here. Our day wouldn't be complete without you. Thank you so much for coming.

Who Should You Thank in Your Wedding Thank-You Speech?

It's totally up to you who you choose to thank. You can keep it short and sweet by offering a sweeping thanks to everyone who's present, or you can give a shout-out to whoever made your big day possible. Here are some common people you might want to thank. Take a look at our list and pick and choose as you put together your speech.

Your partner. Here's a sweet opportunity to begin by thanking the person who you'll be spending the rest of your life with.

Your parents. There's a good chance they've helped you financially with your wedding, or at least have contributed in some way. No matter how big or small, it's kind to acknowledge and appreciate any assistance they gave.

Your partner's parents. Similarly, acknowledge any contribution your new in-laws made, and express how happy you are to be marrying their child.

Your maid of honor and best man. These key players are likely siblings, best friends, or other close companions for you and your partner. As such, you might choose to call them out separately from the rest of the wedding party.

Your bridesmaids and groomsmen (or variations of these, such as groomswomen or bridesmen). Don't forget that being in a wedding takes a lot of time and money. If your attendants made you feel special and celebrated, tell them. You could also choose to distribute a small gift as a token of your appreciation to them.

Your wedding planner. They worked hard for you, so don't be afraid to recognize their efforts.

Your photographer/DJ/cake artist/florist/other vendor. If you've worked very closely with one of your vendors, they went above and beyond for you or they were a personal recommendation, now's a good time to let them feel special by telling them so.

How to Give a Wedding Thank-You Speech

Need some guidance for what to include in your speech and how to give it? You're not alone—speech writing isn't the easiest thing to do. Our advice? Relax and speak from the heart. Your guests are there to support you, and that means during your speech as well. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Wedding Thank-You Speech Examples

There's nothing that says your wedding toast must be completely original. Here are some speech examples, should you need them:

  • To our closest family and friends, we would like to welcome you to our special day and extend our thanks to you for being here. Each one of you has played a crucial role in our love story, which is why your presence makes this day complete. As we embark on this next chapter of our lives, we couldn't be more grateful to know we have your love and support. To our parents, thank you for your undying support and encouragement. You've shown us that marriage isn't easy, but it is worth it. You've each done everything in your power to ensure our wedding day turned out just like we imagined. So please raise a glass as we toast to each and every one of you here today.
  • I grew up with the love my parents shared as my example for what marriage looked like. I always hoped to marry someone who would share with me the same kind of love they had. When I met my future in-laws for the first time, I recognized that same kind of unconditional love. So I stand here today, promising each and every one of you, that [partner's name] and I will pledge to love each other in that same way.

What NOT to Say in a Wedding Thank-You Speech

This moment is truly your own, just like this day. But it's always best to avoid saying anything negative, hurtful or embarrassing in your wedding toast. Keeping things positive allows your guests to enjoy your special day in a drama-free environment, and preserves important relationships that are meant to last a lifetime.

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