The lights go dim. Strains of music and the sounds of laughter and amicable chatter fade to quiet. The space is filled with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances from every stage of life. Suddenly, in the silence, the air feels charged with expectancy. Every gaze is fixed on you; every ear is listening. You take a breath and… What will you say? Before that instant, let’s take time to look into writing a wedding welcome.
Wedding speeches and toasts may initially bring to mind addresses made by the Best Man and Maid of Honor, but most of the time, wedding speeches, toasts, or addresses are made by the parents of the couple, Best Man, Maid of Honor, and the two of you. Wedding days go quickly, and many times the reception begins with an afterthought welcome or spontaneous address, but there’s no reason you can’t do better.
WELCOME & THANK YOUR WEDDING GUESTS
First, take a moment to slow down and breathe before you begin speaking. When there’s a microphone in your hand, the milliseconds can feel like minutes, but it’s far better to pause and give your lips a moment to catch up with your mind. Think about who you’re going to welcome, in what order, then begin. It’s best to address the entire room first, then turn your focus to smaller groups of people within the whole. A great outline for your welcome and thank you address is:
- All Guests
- Guests who’ve traveled furthest (general thank you)
- Wedding Vendors
- Wedding Party
- Your new spouse
WELCOME YOUR GUESTS
First, warmly welcome all your guests. As you’re speaking, be sure to smile. Look around the room and make eye contact with a few guests as you do so. Speaking to your guests as a group but engaging in eye contact with individuals will help you stay rooted in the moment, curb any anxiety, and help your guests enjoy a genuine moment with you.
Tell your guests how much it means to you that they are with you, and let them know how much you appreciate them and their impact on your lives. This may feel a little over the top if you are unaccustomed to speaking in this manner, but there is no better time to express those sentiments. Swallow any discomfort you feel, and press on!
Thank your guests for taking the time to witness and help you celebrate such an important moment in your lives, and express your gratitude for their love, support, and influence on the two of you. If there are guests who have traveled an exceptional distance, acknowledge them, and thank them for coming such a long way to be with you. You don’t need to individually acknowledge guests by name but do share that you appreciatethose who traveled from Miami, Colorado, fill-in-the-blank.
THANK YOUR WEDDING VENDORS
The next thing to consider while writing a wedding welcome, is to publicly thank your wedding vendors. You don’t need to spend a long time here, or even call them by name, but do take the time to acknowledge the people who have worked so hard to provide you with an unforgettable wedding day experience. Make sure to include:
- Your Venue, Florist, Wedding Planner/Coordinator
- Your Caterer, Cake or Dessert Vendor, and Bar Service
- Your Band or DJ
- Your Photographer/Videographer
- Anyone else behind the scenes who went above and beyond and deserves recognition
THANK YOUR WEDDING PARTY
Your wedding crew has been with you through the ups, downs, and middles leading up to the big day, and at this point it’s safe to say they’ve seen it all. This is your moment to thank your wedding party for standing with you and supporting you as you embark on this new chapter in your lives. Be sure to tell them how much you appreciate all the ways they’ve supported and helped you and be sure to call out a couple of specific things they did or sacrifices they made to make your day so special. Don’t forget to thank:
- Maid of Honor and Best Man
- Bride’s Attendant/Groom’s Attendant
- Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (Jr. Bridesmaids/Jr. Groomsmen)
- Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
- Guest Book Attendant
THANK YOUR FAMILIES
Your families have invested so much into your lives. They’ve been with you since the beginning, and they deserve your public gratitude at this moment. Keep in mind that members of your extended family will be present, so be sure to include:
- Your extended family on each side, as a whole
- Your grandparents
- Your siblings
- Your parents
THANK YOUR SPOUSE
At this point, you’ve only been married for an hour or two at most, but take this moment to thank your spouse for all their love and support, and express your hopes and excitement for your shared future together. Share a sweet memory, and be sure to tell them how you appreciate all their hard work to plan and prepare for this day. Pro tip: for a sure-fire finish, kiss your new spouse for a round of cheers and applause before concluding your welcome speech!
Finish your welcome speech with one final expression of gratitude to everyone present, and encourage them to eat, drink, and celebrate with you.
Cheers! Enjoy the applause as you hand the microphone off and join the celebration. You’ve just delivered a “wow” worthy wedding speech worth an ovation.
Enjoy Writing a Wedding Welcome? Ready to start finding vendors for your wedding? Check out our collection of Kansas City Wedding Vendors.