August 08, 2018
A wedding is the best day of your life if you are the bride and groom but there are many guests in attendance who are secretly getting more nervous as the day progresses. You see, there are a lot of people in the world who hate public speaking and unfortunately, a wedding is full of them. Whether you’re the groom (who can generally get by on sheer joy alone), best man (argh!), maid of honour (eek!) or father of the bride (“I wish you much happiness…”), we’ve compiled a host of tips to help make your wedding speech the best one on the day.
Sure, you may be funny in the pub with your mates but this is a big day and requires preparation. There can be a number of things you’ll want to say and there’s nothing worse than somebody given a microphone to speak, who ends up dithering their way through it. Think of it a little like an interview – you should go in with a prepared speech and if something comes to mind halfway through, by all means say it but don’t go too far off script. By practicing in the mirror or reciting it before bed, you should find a place where you feel happiest constantly rehearsing your speech. Don’t start planning it too late either; the more time you have to plan it, the better it should be. If in doubt, have a trusted friend read it over to you and offer advice. Relax, you got this.
Humour is a Must
This is primarily aimed at the Best Man as it’s their speech which is the one most people look forward to after the dinner. A few jokes are great as it makes the audience like you and once the laughter flows, you’ll grow in confidence as your speech continues. Although yes, you might well be talking to a crowd of over a hundred people, everybody is wanting you to do well and the drink is flowing, meaning it’s as nice an audience as you’ll ever have. Again, if you’re unsure about some jokes, have a friend read them over. Most people know somebody who’s naturally funny as well; tap them up for possible areas where you can add in moments of humour.
Make it Emotional
There’s no doubting it, weddings are emotional places. The parents on the top table are often well into their second packet of travel Kleenex by the time you get to the speeches and if you tug at the heart strings during your speech, you can rest assured that they’ll be onto their third by the time you sit back down. Move from humorous anecdotes to more heartfelt contemplations on love and what the newlyweds have found. This blend of deep thoughtfulness and lighter moments combines to create a truly captivating speech.
Don’t Overdo It
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from weddings over the years, it’s that there definitely is ‘too much of a good thing’. Nobody wants to be sat watching a speech and urging it to end. Keep it clear and concise and ideally around about five minutes maximum. If there’s a lull in the speech then the audience will feel it and so will you. By all means pepper your speech with memories and hopes for the future, but by keeping it short and sweet, your speech will be remembered fondly for having no ‘fluff’ around the edges.
If In Doubt, Leave it Out
It’s a classic adage, but if it rings true anywhere then it’s at a wedding. So whether you’re pondering putting in that one anecdote that might disgruntle the bride or groom, or perhaps if you’re not entirely sure whether a joke is appropriate for the friends and family in attendance, then go with your gut and leave it on the cutting room floor. Sure, it might be a classic tale from your youth or have a genuinely funny punchline, but it’s just not worth the trouble if it doesn’t come across well. Besides, you can always share it with individuals once the entertainment has begun.
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