Speeches can be the bit you most look forward to at a wedding, or the bit you dread, depending on who’s speaking and how it goes. Here are the top rules for making those wedding speeches enjoyable.
Definitely, keep it reasonable! Nobody wants to sit through a life history of the bride and groom, not even the happy couple does. If it’s reaching the 30-minute mark, it’s far too long. Be harsh with the edits but keep the sentiment and the humour for a good speech.
- Food first
Always let the guests eat first! There’s nothing that makes guests wanting the speeches to be finished than sitting there with empty, growling bellies. A crowd full of food, booze, and good cheer, ready to sit back and listen is what you want.
- Keep it safe
If in doubt, don’t go on the offensive with the jokes, especially about anyone in the wedding party. Light jokes are fine, but once you get into offensive territory, or worse, sexual jokes, things may get awkward. Nobody wants to hear jabs at the mother-in-law or how the evening bedtime ritual goes.
- Be honest
There’s no need for elaborate metaphors and fairytale beginnings, just say what’s in your heart, and people will know you mean it. You don’t need to be too honest about every single detail, especially the sordid ones from university, but say what you really feel. The best speeches are often the simplest and most honest ones.
Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but keep your calm, speak slowly, and project. Think of yourself as a fan; slowly tilt your body and move your head for your voice to be projected, so that everyone can hear. Don’t rush or mumble things, and pause in between thoughts.
Share stories which reflect who the bride and groom are, that people can relate to. They can be stories people are unfamiliar with, but as long as they showcase a feature of their personality people will recognise, it’s bound to have the effect it’s meant to.
Don’t forget to include a toast! This is the best part of the speech and the bit everyone looks forward to. Be generous and lay on the compliments, people generally like it.