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Welcome to the family speeches

Image: portrait of a family at dinner. Text: how to give a speech to welcome someone new to your family.

- a wedding or engagement welcome speech template 

By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 06-11-2019 | First published: 01-11-2010

Here's a handy template to use if you've been asked to make a speech welcoming a newcomer into your family at a wedding reception or an engagement party.

It ticks off the main requirements of this type of speech very effectively.

These are to make the person(s) you're giving the speech to:

  • feel at home,
  • at ease and, 
  • valued.

Short, simple and sincere

The speech also sticks to the SSS rule: keep it short, simple and sincere.

Because nobody really appreciates a lengthy, shapeless ramble - a meandering tour through family stories or thoughts delivered randomly, as they occur, without real consideration. 

If you've ever sat through ''a few words'' that rapidly multiplied to become an extended monologue, an audience endurance test, you'll know what I mean.

That's what you don't want to do.

Your words extend a hand of friend and kinship on behalf of your immediate and extended family. Keep them brief, pertinent and, deliver them with a smile. 

Sample welcome speech template 

- adapt it for a wedding or an engagement party   

There's room to personalize the speech with a couple of succinct stories to fit the occasion or you could just leave it as it is.

If you don't add anything, the speech is about one and a half minutes long.

To hear the speech play the video

The voice you're hearing belongs to me, Susan.

Mary {Replace the name Mary with the name of the person you are welcoming} - welcome to the family!

Family, tribe, clan, kin, group - call it what you will: it's us - all of us!

We're mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, 3rd cousins, even 53rd cousins, old and young, generations of us, linked together through shared DNA and history.

Look around. The faces smiling back at you are now your people too.

And you thought you were just marrying Dean {Replace the name Dean with the right one} didn't you?

We are the bonus prize!

But seriously, we're delighted that Dean {Change the name to the right one.} had the good sense to choose you to marry.

Over the time leading up to today we've seen you are so right for each other.

{This is the place to insert a couple of examples or stories illustrating how good these two are together.}

Now we look forward to supporting you both, and sharing your lives through the many years ahead.

On behalf of us all; we're honored that you're now one of us.


Rehearse your speech

To be truly effective when you deliver your speech you need to rehearse it.

It needs to be said aloud, many times so that you get the flow of it, and can deliver it confidently.

Please don't be tempted to give the speech without practicing it, particularly if you're unused to public speaking. You create so much extra stress for yourself, and that pressure can cause embarrassing slip ups, which will make it worse.


Image: person standing on a stage. Text: About rehearsing a speech.

I've got all the information you need to deliver your speech really well. You'll find it here: how to rehearse your speech.

How to deal with public speaking nerves 

If you're nervous about public speaking I've many suggestions I know will help.

The best place to start is here: 16 ways to manage public speaking fear

You'll find out how to breathe properly to minimize stress and maximize your voice, how to use your imagination effectively, and more.

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