A sample wedding reception speech starts with an introduction or anecdote concerning how the speaker knows the couple. It has a beginning, middle and end that builds from the introduction to a humorous or action-filled climax; and, it ends with a sentimental toast or well wishes.
A wedding reception speech includes humor to keep the guests' attention. Some types of humor are anecdotes from funny memories or childhood stories, and tasteful jokes about how the couple met or their dynamic. It is recommended that the reader test the jokes or funny sections on an objective party.
Some speeches draw inspiration from quotes, song lyrics, poems or a story concerning how the couple overcame some obstacle. These are useful if the writer encounters writer's block or has trouble ending the speech. The focus of the speech is on the couple, not the speaker or past relationships. The ending is typically a sentence that invites the guests to toast the couple, such as, "Here's to you, John and Nancy, and may you have a long and happy future."
While it is recommended that the speaker memorize the speech, note cards help the speaker keep his place. The speaker needs to practice the speech aloud beforehand to ensure that it flows properly. Pacing is important to ensure the speech is not rushed or robotic.