Monthly Archives: September 2016

Should Know Wedding Speech Dos and Don’ts

Whilst being asked to deliver the all-important wedding speech is, of course, an enormous honour, it can also be unbelieveably stressful. What if you’re not interesting enough? Optimistic enough? Funny enough? Poignant enough?

The good news is that severe public-speech-related jitters are incredibly common- studies have shown that public speaking is the top reported fear among adults, even beating out death itself. Bizarre. But a great wedding speech doesn’t have to be the cause of anxiety. Just follow these simple sets of ‘dos and don’ts’ for a fail-safe speech that will absolutely delight the bride and groom.

Do:
Plan your speech. A certain amount of spontaneity is definitely allowed, and you certainly don’t have to write your speech out word-for-word, but you do want to have all of the main points and examples planned out in your head. Before the big day, practice your speech for a friend to make sure you’re comfortable. Wedding photographers everywhere will tell you that some of these spontaneous moments provide some of the most lasting and memorable pictures in your wedding album.

Don’t:
Drink too much before your speech! At most wedding receptions there’s usually no shortage of alcohol – which can seem like a quick and easy way to calm your nerves; however, this method doesn’t usually end well. Have a social drink if it’s appropriate, but save any “heavier” drinking for after you’ve put down the microphone.

Do:
Introduce yourself to the audience. Remember that there’s likely a large group of attendees who have no idea who you are. Avoid the temptation to jump right into the body of your speech, and take a second to mention your name, and relationship to the bride and/or groom.

Don’t:
Tell embarrassing stories. Especially if you’ve known the bride or groom for a very long time, you might be tempted to wax nostalgic about the time the groom ended up locked out of his apartment, completely naked – but these stories aren’t usually received as well as they’re meant. Save the embarrassing anecdotes for private conversations, not for the stage.

Do:
Keep it brief. Considering how much you’ve likely sweated over your speech, it can be difficult to remember that it’s actually not the main event at the wedding reception. Also remember that time feels different when you’re under pressure; so your experience at the microphone might not accurately reflect the experience of a listener. When in doubt, shorter is always better.

Don’t:
Tell inside jokes or ‘you had to be there’ stories. The fact that you’re speaking at the wedding means you likely have a particularly close relationship to the bride, groom, or both. It’s wonderful to make your speech personal, and direct it to the wedded couple; just make sure it’s not so peppered with inside references that it’s not understandable to the rest of the wedding guests.

Do:
Make eye contact, and broadcast your voice. This is particularly important if you’re at a formal wedding, where the wedding party is seated separately. Look around the room, and make eye contact with other guests – not just the bride and groom. Although in your speech you might be speaking directly to the bride or groom, e.g. “I remember when we would sit around fantisizing about our dream weddings…” it’s important to acknowledge the other guests.

Don’t:
Mention past loves or old flames. Although this should go without saying, it’s a surprisingly frequent occurrence. The wedding speech isn’t the time to bring up the bride’s old boyfriend – keep your speech narrowly focused on the couple.

Do:
Include both the bride and the groom in your speech. If you have a particularly close relationship with either the bride or the groom, it’s easy to give a speech that’s unfairly one-sided. As much as possible, give equal attention to both the bride and groom.

Don’t:
Let your emotions run wild. Weddings are incredibly moving events, and during the very best speeches it’s perfectly acceptable to shed a quiet tear of joy or two; but remember that there’s a fine line between a tastefully authentic speech and a blubbering mess.

Do:
End the speech with the customary toast. Keep the toast itself short and classy. Wish the bride and groom love, luck, and happiness in their new life together, raise your glass, and bring the speech to an end.

In short, when being asked to prepare a wedding speech, make sure to keep some if not all these points in mind; they could just make a difference between an awkward and a great and lasting wedding speech that will be talked about not only that day, but for years to come. Oh and just one more piece of advice: Do remember to have fun with it, after all, it is a wedding!

*In case this isnt clear, this is meant to be read in as sarcastic a tone as one can possibly manage, depending on your particular vocal range.

More Information About The Bride’s Speech

Although traditionally, the bride was not required (or even encouraged) to make her own wedding speech, modern brides have increasingly been taking to the mike and turning this antiquated custom on it’s ear (hurrah girl power!). Many brides nowadays feel obliged to formally thank their families and guests for helping to celebrate this momentous occassion, as well as simply express how they’re feeling at this incredibly important juncture. So we’ve devised a plan for how you should structure your speech to make sure that all of your bases are covered.

Where the Bride’s Speech Fits In
In the context of the broader running sheet for the wedding, the bride should be making her speech after the groom, just before the cutting of the cake. See our article on speech running order article for more details.

Lead With Your Gratitude
Even though ‘thank- yous’ have been made by the speech givers before, it’s still a nice gesture to reiterate the same sentiments to express your personal thanks to all your guests. People you should address include:

– All the guests present for making this day and celebration possible, as well as for their kind gifts. If you want to lay on the charm, you could also thank them for putting in the effort to look so gorgeous.

– Guests who’ve travelled from far away. If you’ve got many guests who’ve travelled to be at your wedding, you can simply mention them in generalities. If, however, you’ve only got a few, you could mention them by name and where they’re from.

– Guests who couldn’t be with you on this occassion. This could be due to an inability to travel, or a death. It’s absolutely appropriate to mention the ‘silver lining’ of each of these speeches- for example someone who couldnt be there because they’ve recently had a baby, or if you feel a deceased loved one looking over your celebrations.

– Thank individual guests, who’ve particularly helped you through this period, helped with a particular service, or contributed a significant gift. This could include, for example, your close friends and family who’ve put up with your complaints, the person who provided your cake, or even your wedding planner.

– Thank your parents for their role in the wedding, and the love and encouragement they’ve provided throughout your life.

– Thank your partner’s parents for welcoming you into their family, and assure them you’ll love and take exceptional care of their son forevermore.

Reminisce a Little
Now’s the time to give your version of how you and your partner met, perhaps when you realised he was the one, and your version of how he proposed. Feel free to slip in any funny related anecdotes- like the first impression he made on your parents, or anything silly that happened in the lead up to the wedding. Steer clear of embarrassing him (or anyone if you can help it), however- that’s more of the best man’s domain.

You could then discuss what you think it means to be married, and to be a wife, and how you are going to show your love to him for the rest of your lives together.

Turn Your Attention to Your Husband
Express your love for your new husband. Include how happy he’s made you, and the impact he’s made not only on your life, but on you as a person. Discuss how lucky you feel to have met him, and to be able to share your life with him. And if you’re not great with words, don’t stress- there are an infinite number of poems, sonnets, songs, or verses on love and marriage that should help you express how you feel.

Wrap it Up With a Toast
Depending on how you feel, as well as who has already been toasted, this toast could be directed at your husband, the marriage ahead of you, your guests, or to love and happiness. Whatever you toast to, just make sure that you convey that at this moment, your heart is brimming with joy.