Giving a speech can be a daunting task for most people. In this article top professional speaker John Bell gives twenty useful tips to the groom, bride, best man, and maid of honor on how to give a successful and polished speech at a wedding.
Our Best Wedding Speeches Tips & Tricks
Wedding Tip #1
The main purpose of a wedding reception is to celebrate the happy event that brings two families together on the wedding day. It gives guests from both families the opportunities to meet and get to know one other. You can create the desired atmosphere through well-crafted wedding speeches.
Wedding Tip #2
Wedding speeches are primarily a way to congratulate the happy couple on their marriage, and to give thanks to those who have taken an active part in the wedding proceedings. They are also an ideal opportunity to add humor and fun to what is otherwise a serious event.
Wedding Tip #3
A great wedding speech should be sincere but also provide an element of entertainment for wedding guests. If delivered with humor it will be an important element of successful wedding speech. Try to bring some comedy and wit to make your speech interesting and unique.
Wedding Tip #4
Remember a wedding day is a happy occasion, so don’t get too bogged down in lengthy or boring procedures. After the official wedding ceremony has passed, short amusing speeches from the best man, or maid of honor are more than sufficient for most audiences. If you wish to have more formality you can ask the wedding couple’s parents to have additional speeches but keep them short no longer than 5-7 minutes.
Wedding Tip # 5
Here are some of the most popular time tables for wedding speeches. The master of ceremonies or best man calls on the father of the bride. He can pose a toast to the bride and groom. The bride’s father then welcomes the guests before saying a few words about his daughter. Next the groom replies by thanking his parents and normally concludes the toast of the bridesmaids and a presentation of small gifts to them to show his appreciation. The best man then replies on behalf of the bridesmaid and sets the tone for the remainder of the day with a short humorous speech.
Wedding Tip #6
The ideal length for the total of all the speeches is around 20 minutes for all speakers. Therefore the duration of each should be around 5 minutes. Experience has shown that guests will have an attention span of around 5-7 minutes. One or two main points in a wedding speech are ample material for each of the speakers.
Wedding Tip #7
If your speech is to be short you don’t need piles of notes trying to remember it. Bringing piles of sheets of paper will cause you unnecessary stress and can cause a disaster if you were to drop them. Try to practice your speech before the wedding day. You can make some notes about the main points of your speech. You can also use your cell phone to write down your speech.
Wedding Tip #8
A single index card is more than sufficient for most of wedding speeches. You don’t have to write down your speech verbatim. Reading a speech is viewed as amateurish and most of the time very uncomfortable. Also remember that handwriting easily becomes illegible when standing in the spotlight, in front of an audience. Some wedding venues can be very dim so be prepared to have a small flash light or use your cell phone to illuminate your wedding speech notes.
Wedding Tip #9
If absolutely necessary try to write only the main points of your wedding speech. You notes should be only meant to jog your memory and ensure you don’t leave some important points out. Use a large font with different colored inks if possible to separate different sections of your talk.
Wedding Tip #10
Wedding speeches normally come after the meal and before the cutting of the wedding cake. Know the place and approximate time in the wedding proceedings. Remember half of the wedding audience are likely to have no idea who you are so begin by identifying yourself. Speak clearly and slowly to assist the audience to digest your masterpiece. Remember they’ve already digested a substantial meal and the attention span is very limited at this point 🙂
Wedding Tip #11
If possible try not to have more than one alcoholic drink before giving your speech. One drink may assist you in helping you relax whereas two can seriously impair your judgment and overall performance. There is a saying everyone likes a drink no one likes a drunk.
Wedding Tip #12
When writing your speech make sure you avoid any topics associated with religion or politics, as there is a very good chance someone somewhere in the wedding audience will end up being offended.
Wedding Tip #13
References that have strong sexual connotations are also a big NO NO at wedding reception. Stories and jokes that are too rude will make the parents and any children at the reception feel somewhat uncomfortable. Try to avoid them.
Wedding Tip #14
The biggest mistake made by those giving a speech is that they try too hard and end up out of their comfort zone. Be yourself. Try to be natural. Speak as you do with your friends in polite company. If possible do it from the heart showing you are a caring emotional person.
Wedding Tip #15
Providing you don’t cause any embarrassment, attempt to include stories that involve guests at the reception. People like amusing stories in which they are included. It is all about building rapport with your wedding audience.
Wedding Tip #16
Try to comment on something that happened at the church or wedding reception, and the guests will marvel at your ability to ad-lib. They will laugh all the more during your speech if it doesn’t need to be side-splitting funny or if they feel part of your humorous observation. Their laughter will be loud and often becoming contagious.
Wedding Tip #17
If possible throw off the constraint of a prepared speech by interacting with light-hearted banter. It all comes with experience so practice your speech before the big day. Remember that a slightly tipsy wedding audience is a very forgiving as long as they get the tone of you speech. Once they get the pace of your talk, you will have the audience eating out of your hand.
Wedding Tip #18
It’s great idea to end your speech with a toast. It’s is also a great way to let the guests know that you’re finished. It gives the audience an excuse to have another quick swig of champagne.
Wedding Tip #19
Prepare your material well in advance. Practice and practice again get to a point where you feel like you know your material without having to refer to notes. It’s not essential to get it perfect but to make it fell relaxed and natural. Don’t try too hard and there is every possibility your speech will be a fantastic and admired and enjoyed by all.
Wedding Tip #20
In conclusion a few words of caution. Don’t get too carried away when your speech goes down well with the audience, and you start believing they want you to go on for a lot longer. Try to finish at the 7 minutes mark and leave them wanting more. This is the hall mark of a great wedding speech.
by John Bell