Writing speeches for wedding can put the fear of God into many of us who are not used to giving public speeches let alone on what is considered by many to be the most important day of their lives.
For the more nervous amongst you with this responsibility this opening line may well have already given you the cold sweats.
There are however a few simple things to bear in mind that can help you out to do the job not only the bride and groom would hope, for but also something which has consideration for the wide variety of age, senses of humor and personalities of the wedding guests.
Give yourself enough time to prepare your speech. This includes giving yourself enough time to run your speech by a friend (try picking a friend that will be honest about what they think!). Even if you think you have an amazing memory the pressure of the day means it’s a good idea to have some basic note cards written out which you can refer to if you need to. Bearing this in mind don’t waste too much time trying to remember it word for word – using note cards is entirely acceptable. If you have a fantastic memory and don’t need to refer to them great, if not don’t worry about this.
Trying to inject humor is important and will get everyone in the spirit of the day but always remember your guests. What you talk about in a pub or a bar may not be suitable for more elderly guests or those who might not be quite as liberal with their sense of fun as you. Also if you’re not a natural comedian then don’t over do it. Whilst the tone of the speech wants to be playful (and caring) it doesn’t need to be attempting to gain an Edinburgh Comedy Festival Award.
3. Remember the Bride and Groom
Oddly there are quite a few speeches given that don’t actually refer to the couple. Given it’s their day please remember to include them and this is where you can bring emotional content to your speech. Poems and song lyrics are good starting points providing they aren’t too over the top or too long. If you are telling a story remember to make it relevant to the wedding couple and remember it should have a beginning, a middle and an end.
4. Don’t rely on the internet too much
Googling ‘top ten best man jokes’ or ‘top ten bridesmaid jokes’ is likely to result in you telling the same jokes other people have already told. Whilst it’s harder to dig around and find something original it’s worth the time. Maybe even ask relatives or friends for something you feel is relevant.
5. It’s Not War and Peace
Speeches frequently go on far too long and whilst it can be tempting to detail every experience you’ve shared with the bride and groom since you were childhood friends this is not going to be very interesting for the guests. Time your speech and make it about 5 minutes or so. Leave people wanting more not less!!!
We don’t need to say much on this one. You know your own alcohol tolerance but for most people a pint or a glass of wine should suffice. Nobody really wants to here anyone giving a speech slurring or swaying as they do it. It’s disrespectful to the couple and the guests so wait until afterwards before getting stuck into the champagne or whatever is on offer.
7. Try and Enjoy it
Lastly try and enjoy it – this will come across to everyone watching. Also afterwards you’ll certainly have the confidence to speak with all the guests on a one on one basis and when you do have the extra glass of wine, champagne or beer you will enjoy it all the more.