Making the Perfect Wedding Speech
As far as nerve wrecking moments on your big day go, making a wedding speech is almost as bad as fluffing your vows. Most people are very nervous about speaking in public and they panic about forgetting their lines, saying something stupid or becoming very emotional. However, with a little planning, the wedding speeches can be one of the most memorable parts of the day.
I have pulled together a few points to keep in mind when writing your wedding speech
Make some notes
There is no shame in writing down the wedding speech exactly as you would say it and then practising delivering it ‘naturally’, looking at the cards now and again. A toast should have a welcoming intro and a happy end.
Know your audience
Think about who is in the room and how much detail people need to know. Save the incriminating stories for people who’ll love them at the bar afterwards. Instead, give people light detail of how you met. A speech should appeal to everyone, be inclusive and unite a room, even if it makes it a bit bland.
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Always check people can hear you
No matter how good your speech is, the guests won’t be able to hear if you are mumbling at 200 words per minute!
Practice saying your wedding speech with a slightly larger than life voice. Don’t be scared to ask people before you start if they can hear you at all parts of the room.
How to get a laugh
A fail-safe option is some light teasing of the person who you are talking about. Think of silly things that will make the room smile. Bring up amusing events where they were idiotic but lovable.
Any funny story about someone should always be told with a big dose of love. This isn’t a place to settle scores or tell anyone off.
State the obvious
Yes, everyone may have said that the bride and the bridesmaids look beautiful and her mother must be proud and the groom is a lucky man. People love to be mentioned and paid tribute to. Don’t cut all the niceties from the wedding speech because you find them boring and want more time to tell your jokes! Make it nice. Make others feel good. People are often a little tipsy and emotional by this point and they love to hear the praise.
Check that glasses are full
Before you make a toast, make sure everyone has something in their glass. Go with something like… “Ladies and gentleman, thank you for listening to me, can I ask you to charge your glasses, as I’d love to raise a toast to my wonderful friend…”
- Brief is beautiful – keep it under 1000 words or less than 7 minutes.
- Funny once – one joke is enough about the bride and groom so make sure it is a good one!
- Watch your words – Be tasteful and sincere you don’t want any pin drop moments…
- Speak clearly – take your time and speak slowly – check that you can be heard.
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Paul is married to Patricia (who helped him write these Wedding Hints & Tips posts!!) and the proud Dad to 2 fantastic sons.
He has been a full-time professional photographer since 1990 and been privileged to have been asked to photograph well over 1300 weddings since then.
He worked in his own High Street Photography Studios up until December 2010 when he decided to downsize and work from home. He now splits his time between running Photography Courses and Workshops and Wedding Photography, limiting himself to 30 weddings a year to maintain the quality and high level of customer service to each of his couples.
Based in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland