The thought of making a wedding speech makes most people nervous, and even the more experienced speakers can feel the nerves at the thought of a wedding speech. We put together some tips and advice which details the order of the speeches, who should speak, what should be included and how to deliver to a wedding speech.
Content and Order of the Speeches
This is a traditional guide for you to follow, but it's quite common to change the order of the speeches and have additional speakers. In most weddings the speeches follow the wedding breakfast, probably because at this stage your guests are fed, watered and relaxed, making them ready to listen!
Here are the three main speeches that your guests will expect to hear, and in the traditional order:
Father of the Bride
- Welcome everyone to the wedding and thank them for coming to his daughter's special day.
- Welcome the groom and his parents into the family
- Comment on how beautiful the bride looks
- Offer some words of wisdom about married life
- Thank all the people who have made the day special
- Include some light-hearted humour
- Tell a short story about your daughter when she was growing up
- Introduce the groom
- Welcome everyone
- Praise your guests for joining you on your special day
- Welcome your in-laws
- Thank the in-laws for raising such a lovely daughter
- Thank the people that have helped you to make your day special
- Say something special to your bride or maybe even read a poem that you've written
- Propose a toast to the bridesmaids
- Introduce your best man and thank him for doing a good job
- Thank the groom for asking you to be his best man
- Ice-breaker about who you are and how you met the best man
- Tell a funny story about the groom
- Mention how beautiful the bride looks
- Read out cards from people who could not attend
- Final toast to the bride and groom, wishing them a happy life together
- Introduce the next event - e.g. gifts or cutting of the cake.
Writing the Speech
Writing a wedding speech can be a fairly difficult task and requires a lot of thought and time, however despite this most people tend to write their own speeches. If you're not an experienced public speaker and decide to write your own speech it may be worthwhile running it by someone who's done it before - just for a second opinion if nothing else.
If you're really struggling and aren't confident about your own writing then there are speech writing services available that will produce a professionally written speech for you. Knowing that you have a good speech ready will give you the most confidence when it comes to delivering in front of your audience.
Top 10 Tips For Delivering Your Wedding Speech
When it comes to delivering your speech there are a few tips that can make or break your speech, so read carefully...
It's best to completely memorise your speech word for word and then have bullet points for the key sections of your speech on paper so you can refer to them as you're going. Relying entirely on memory on the day could be disastrous if the nerves set in and your mind goes blank - you wouldn't want to be standing there with a silent audience while they wait for you to remember your lines! On the other hand relying entirely on a written version and reading it out word for word is likely to bore your audience.
2) Practice, practice, practice
Practicing your speech over and over will not only help you to memorise it, but it will help you to polish your speech - adding pauses, speaking loud enough, etc.
3) Don't Drink Too Much
It may seem like a good plan, but in reality if you're well prepared your speech will go far better without being drunk - the last thing you want to do is forget your lines or slur your words!
4) Look and Feel Confident and Enthusiastic
Standing up straight will make you feel more confident and it will look to your audience as though you're enthusiastic and well-prepared. Despite how you may feel at the time, put a smile on your face (and keep smiling as you go) - it will naturally make your audience respond and they will eagerly await your speech.
5) Not So Fast
Speak clearly and naturally ensuring that you don't rush your speech. This is an important tip, as no matter how well prepared you are you could ruin it by speaking to fast. It can be a vicious circle, because the temptation to rush is always there and once you start your audience becomes less likely to respond to your jokes, which in turn makes you go even faster. Stay slow and if you feel you're going too fast try pausing for a sip of your drink.
6) Don't Offend
It's easier than you may think to offend people, and no matter how good your speech is, if you offend someone or there's something controversial, that's all your audience will remember and the bride and groom wont be best pleased with you either. Avoid swearing at all costs and leave out the latest joke that your mate just told you.
7) Enjoy the Laughter
If you get people laughing then enjoy it and don't start speaking again until the laughter has quietened down.
8) Look at your Audience
Make sure you spend most of the time during your speech looking at your audience and not at your paper. You'll find it easier to look at the back of the room and don't focus too long on anyone in particular as this could put you off.
9) Use Props or Handouts
This is a good way to get your audience interested and possibly divert some attention from you. If you're using props then be organised and don't forget them on the day.
10) The Audience is on Your Side
Your audience will be there to enjoy the day, and as the speeches are a big part of it they'll want to enjoy them too. They'll be on your side and ready to laugh if you give them the opportunity.