Here are some simple tips to get you started on the perfect wedding speech.
Quit the cliches
We’ve all been there: the collective polite laugh when we hear the same old wedding speech line for the fifth time. Yet cliches need not prevail—you don’t need them, nor do your guests.
Yes, yes, a bride’s attendants are often more than their elaborate dresses. Giving some thought to what you’re saying can make your speech both intelligent and charming.
It should be authentic, whether it’s a website post, a video tutorial, or an email newsletter. Speak from the heart, and don’t plagiarise your content! You should do your best to include your creative spin on everything you write. Copying and pasting sentences won’t result in success- it’s as easy as that!
For the majority of wedding guests, some likely people do not know who you are or how you fit in. Fortunately, there are easy ways to engage them with your speech from the beginning. One tactic is to offer up some information about yourself at the start of your speech – comment on your amusing qualities or perhaps mention something charming about the couple that captured your heart to be a good starting point.
Weddings run on structured timelines. Ask anybody who has managed or organised an event – time is precious, and you don’t want to be causing a couple to have to cut another essential item from their schedule just because you couldn’t stick to the script. If you’re asked to make a speech, ensure you have the framework in which it needs to be delivered.
It’s never too early to plan a wedding. Ask anyone who has ever planned an event of any kind – time counts, and you don’t want to make a couple rush another important event just because you couldn’t stick to the schedule. If you’re asked to speak at the ceremony, ensure you know how it should run beforehand.
Take it seriously
We think wedding ceremonies are an excellent opportunity for some fun and humour. However, remember that the two people about to get married have planned for this day for a very long time and probably spent a lot of money on it. That’s why we recommend respecting them and spending time writing your speech.
Know your audience
Keep it appropriate. This is a wedding, not a birthday or bachelorette party. Lewd references have no place in a wedding speech and could cause offence and upset the bride and groom and their family and friends. If you’re unsure if something is too risqué, it’s best to leave it out.
Saved by structure
The structure of your speech is as important as the words you use. Use humour when appropriate, sprinkle in some sweetness, and ensure your address’s topic is relevant. This is a recipe for success!
Consider this as your framework to get started:
Introduce yourself and let people know your relevance to the couple (childhood friend, sister, football buddy)
The ‘thank you
Is there anyone you need to thank (guests in attendance, those who have travelled, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.)? Keep in mind that you may need to be adaptable to this. If someone gets in before you and thanks the guests, you don’t want to double up.
A sweet or humorous story
This is your time to shine. Think of one to two memories of the couple you can share with your guests. remember to keep it clean; if humour isn’t your forte, don’t force it and go for something sweet.
Kind words about the couple
Round it out with some words specifically for the couple that has been married. This could be marriage advice, what you hope for, or even why you admire them so much as a couple.
A toast of kind wishes
To wrap it up with a toast to the couple. Something like “let’s all raise our glasses to many years of happiness to come.
Content is king
Getting the right stuff in your speech; sometimes takes time. Rarely will any of us nail speech writing the first time! Begin penning your words a couple of months from the wedding and review them every couple of weeks. This will allow you time to make changes, tweak and finesse without the pressure of a deadline.
Share the stress
Practice, practice, practice. That’s the key to perfecting your wedding speech. As you’re writing, take time to rehearse it aloud. Get feedback from trusted friends or advisors who will help make sure you don’t miss your cues or read out loud too quickly. Reread what you’ve written and consider on-the-fly changes if needed.
Include, don’t exclude
Of course, you’ll have more memories with the bride than the groom. But try to think of something special for both of them in your speech. Aim for a balanced approach and ensure that both people are included in your words.
When it comes to public speaking, you should choose what you need to be comfortable with when you’re presenting; it’s essential to consider your style and strengths.
For some people, a more natural delivery often works best when they have to work with wit and emotion in the mix. But if it doesn’t come naturally to you, you may want to try something different. Maybe you’ll want your speech notes in front of you for reference, or you’ll want to practice your speech repeatedly until you’ve memorised it. Either way, make sure that you’re prepared. You might even be part of the bridal party, so don’t forget that your speech is one less thing to drag around. If possible, have a friend hold onto your notes or bring a duplicate copy that can be given if needed. It’s better than forgetting them on the big day!
This rule goes for ‘winging it’, too. Some people can balance perfectly, quickly capturing a crowd, but this approach can fall flat for others. Consider your style and play to your strengths when choosing your delivery method.
Don’t let fear keep you from doing what feels natural and speaking your mind at the wedding. Remember that it’s a safe space, full of people who are there to share in the joy of a special occasion and not to challenge you. If you take a moment beforehand to get your bearings, you’ll feel relaxed enough to make waves with your speech.