This title might sound confusing, but actually at the moment it's the most common groom speech I'm writing for clients. You see, many couples took the chance last year, when the pandemic struck, to get hitched whatever the scenario. That frequently meant no guests, no party, and obviously no speeches. Most of those couples did so on the proviso that in the near future they could have a wedding party to celebrate their marriage with all the people and atmosphere that it deserves, and of course many want speeches to feature at those parties. So, how do you make them work, and what's the difference to a more formal setting?
Speeches at a party are different, they should sound more intimate and crucially the timing has to be spot on - only efficient speeches will ever work at a party. Frequently party settings will mean all the guests are standing, so your speech needs to be around the 4-5 minute mark; any longer than this and it will feel like it's dragging. When you have guests all sat around a wedding breakfast relaxing with table wine, it's a completely different scenario, and speeches can be longer and more involved, but not at parties. You have to be really efficient in your content, so forget ushers and bridesmaids, as unless you're having some kind of weird re-enactment, they won't be playing a part in today's proceedings. If you feel that it's such a shame that they missed out on their big day and mention, remember that every family in the world pretty much missed something significant, so collectively we'll all just have to swallow it.
I would also recommend keeping the welcome at the top really punchy, and get straight into talking about the important people as soon as you can. You should definitely thank everyone for their patience in sticking with your change of plans etc but don't labour the point about COVID, we've all had more than enough of it, and if possible avoid using the word at all. The majority of the speech should be about your lovely wife, and maybe a short line or two about married life so far, and that's it. The speech should be more of a jumping off point to get the party started, so short, punchy and funny, and let the glitter ball spin!