How to Craft a Heartfelt Mother of the Groom Speech

Everything you need to know about writing the perfect mother of the groom speech, below.
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
by
Lauren Dana
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a contributor for The Knot covering topics such as music, cakes, venues and speeches.
  • She has been published in a wide array of lifetsyle-oriented publications including SELF and Allure.
  • Lauren is a proud graduate of Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Public Communication.
Updated Aug 12, 2021

Your son's wedding is sure to be a happy (albeit emotional!) day. After all, watching your son exchange vows with his new spouse is sure to bring a tear to your eye. In fact, it's fair to say your son's big day is just as significant for you as his mother as it is for him. On top of all this, you'll also be tasked with presenting a mother of the groom speech. In honor of your son's special day, you'll have the honor of toasting to your son and new son-in-law or daughter-in-law as they embark on this new chapter together as newlyweds. While this speech has traditionally been given at rehearsal dinners, it's not unusual for the mother of the groom to speak at the wedding reception, either.

If you're struggling to put words on paper to express the joy, happiness, and love you have for your son, you're not alone. To help combat writer's block—and get your creative juices flowing—we reached out to wedding planners and professionals for expert insight. Below, you'll find everything you need to know about crafting the best mother of the groom speech.

How Long Should a Mother of the Groom Speech Be?

When it comes to length, "short and sweet it the way to go," says wedding planner Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She says that 3 to 5 minutes is the perfect amount to time to get your point across.

But when should a mother of the groom speech be delivered? While the father of the bride speech is most often given during the wedding reception, can the groom's mom give hers then, too? "I believe the mother of the groom can give a speech at both the wedding rehearsal and at the wedding celebration," says celebrity wedding and event planner David Tutera.

However, if you prefer to speak in a more intimate environment, you may opt to present your speech at the rehearsal dinner. According to Sheils, the rehearsal dinner is "the perfect opportunity for a more personal mother of the groom toast."

How to Write a Mother of the Groom Speech

"The wedding is about the couple, so keep that in mind when you're writing your speech, so it's not just one-sided," explains Lynne Kennedy of The Gilded Aisle Weddings in Chicago. She continues, "Guests always love to hear how the couple met or when you knew this love interest was 'the one' for your son."

With all this being said, "Don't talk solely about your son," says Sheils. Instead, she recommends talking about his new spouse, what you love about them, and how they fit into your family.

Mother of the Groom Speech Template

Feeling overwhelmed with emotion? Not sure where to begin? Don't fret. This template from Hester Parks of Park Avenue Events in Atlanta can easily be personalized—all you need to do is fill in the blanks.

Introduce yourself. Of course, everyone will know who you are, but you'll need to greet your guests by introducing yourself.

Thank the wedding guests for coming. Open up your speech by thanking your guests for attending this special occasion. Express your gratitude and share how grateful you are that they were able to celebrate your son's wedding with you.

Talk about your son. Katelyn Peterson of Wedding Words, a wedding vow and speech writing service, advises sharing two to three "short and concise" stories about your son that spotlights their personality.

Talk about your son's partner. Be sure to highlight your son's new spouse, and express what you appreciate about them, Peterson says.

Share your heartfelt wishes for your son's marriage. Conclude your mother of the groom speech with a cheerful toast to the happy couple.

Who does the mother of the groom thank in her speech?

According to Kennedy, the mother of the groom should thank the bride's parents for raising a kind and beautiful person. Sheils agrees with this sentiment. She adds that this could be done at either the beginning or end of your wedding toast (depending on your preference).

The mother of the groom should also thank friends and family members for coming out to celebrate the joyous occasion.

How to Give a Mother of the Groom Speech

You'll want to avoid calling attention to your nerves or public speaking fears, says Peterson. This will only make people aware of the one thing you want to minimize."

Mother of the Groom Speech Jokes

Depending on who you speak to, you'll receive mixed opinions regarding jokes during wedding speeches. However, Sheils loves when wedding speeches are infused with humor. She tells The Knot: "Some of the most memorable toasts I've heard did the perfect job of mixing humor with sentimentality."

Lauren Smith of EventSmith Planning and Productions in Santa Fe, Texas, is another fan of jokes in wedding speeches. "Bringing in a joke or two keeps the crowd engaged and keeps some of the tears from falling during the entire speech," she says. What's more, she continues, "A good opener and a zinger here and there is just the right touch for a wedding."

All this being said, if you do choose to crack some jokes during your speech, make sure that they're respectful and appropriate—and don't overdo it. After all, Smith says it best: "This isn't Amateur Hour at the Improv."

Mother of the Groom Speech Example

Seek inspiration in this fully written mother of the groom wedding speech from The Knot:

Good evening, friends and family members! As Jordan's mother, I wanted to take this time to thank everyone for being here tonight. Your presence means so much to us. I also wanted to thank Blake's parents, [mother of the bride/groom name] and [father of the bride/groom name], for raising such a kind, wonderful, and compassionate daughter. I couldn't be more grateful.

When Jordan was a little boy, my husband and I were big worriers: Did Jordan have enough to eat at kindergarten today? What if he fell and injured himself on the playground? The worries continued as he grew older: What if he got homesick at overnight camp? Did he drink enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day? These anxieties, which I know are now trivial, once consumed me.

See, people always told me that my job as a mother—and a parent in general—was to worry. It's true, up to a certain degree, but I've since learned that kids, at any age, are strong and resilient on their own. Like when Jordan spent his 10th birthday sleeping out at his best friend's house. In the morning, Jordan returned with a large cut on his arm. Jordan came home laughing about the accident, which happened when he was trying to cut a bagel open at 1:30 a.m. because he was hungry. I guess some things just don't change. Instead of freaking out, he remained calm, grabbed his best buddy—who, by the way, is now his best man—and applied pressure to stop the bleeding.

This is just one of many funny stories that have (and continue to!) define Jordan's, shall I say, daring, adventures. In college, he slipped over a beer can in his fraternity house. With two thumbs up and a broken ankle, he was rolled out on a stretcher to the local hospital. He ended up being fine, but he became the butt of the joke for the remainder of the school year.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to spend so much time worrying. I know now that my son is in great hands with his beautiful spouse, Blake. From the first time they met, I knew he was smitten. He came back from dinner already planning a second and third date. When I asked when I could meet this special person, he promised me that he would invite them over for dinner if they were still seeing each other in three months. Fast-forward three months later, and guess who came over for dinner?
Today, two years later, we are all here in celebration of their wedding! Jordan and Blake, watching you exchange vows at your wedding ceremony was nothing short of spectacular. Blake, you are truly everything I could have wished and hoped for and more for my son. And to have a new child is a dream come true. I am honored to be your mother-in-law.

Now, if you would, please join me in raising your glasses for a special wedding toast to the newlyweds. May you enjoy a lifetime of love, health, and happiness together!

How to End the Mother of the Groom Speech

To end the mother of the groom speech, Tutera recommends "making a warm reference to the bride and welcoming her into the family." He continues, "Share your excitement, joy, and love for her." He also recommends acknowledging your new in-laws by name.

Another option is to raise a glass and invite all of your wedding guests to join you in a toast at the wedding reception. Sheils says "My go-to is 'Here is to love, to laughter, and happily ever after. Cheers!'"

What NOT to Say in a Mother of the Groom Speech

While there are certain points you'll want to make in your mother of the groom speech, there are also several topics to avoid:

Don't embarrass your son. "Unless the groom can take it in good fun, I wouldn't put him up for any embarrassment," says Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates in Roswell, Georgia.

...or his partner. "Stay away from embarrassing stories, especially of the bride." Maddox advises. "No one wants to be raked over the coals on their wedding day."

Skip the inside jokes. Otherwise, according to Sheils, you'll run the risk of leaving others feeling excluded.

Don't mention the exes. "Do not, for any reason, bring up a past relationship, good or bad," says Sheils, adding: "It never sits well."

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