Is it time to write that ever so feared speech you’re supposed to give for your friends wedding? Are you feeling nervous because you aren’t great at public speaking? Maybe you’re scared because you are going to be in front of a large crowd where you don’t know the large majority of the people and there is a wide age range? Does that mean your jokes won’t land with everyone? Do you think you’re going to be the one that messes the entire thing up? Before you start panicking, just breath! I have seen many, many wedding speeches at this point in my career and I am here to assist you in writing yours and to give you a few tips that will make the entire thing completely flawless.
Follow the steps below for a speech that will wow the crowd!
Wedding Speech Template
In order to get into rhythm for your speech, factor in the following guidelines:
- Start off with a bang
- Try not to begin with an “I’m so nervous” or a joke. Instead begin with a ear puncher or question. That will keep the crowd engaged and won’t bore them to death.
- Address the audience
- Instead of focusing on yourself and getting even more nervous, focus on the audience. Focus on how you want your story to make them feel and help you speak from the heart to create a show stopping speech.
- Focus on one key point
- Instead of trying to steer your speech in multiple directions all while making sense and keeping the audience engaged, maybe try to focus on one major key point instead. Pick some aspects that you love about the newlyweds and one story to tell. That way everyone stays listening and your speech won’t be to long.
- Be sure to actually cheers the couple at the end
- More times than not, the person delivering the speech forgets to have the crowd raise their glasses at the end and toast to the newlyweds. This is an important step to remember so that the DJ doesn’t do it right after you and make you look silly.
Wedding Speech Tips
Now that the template is there, use these notes to nail the speech delivery:
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Have you ever heard the term “practice makes perfect”? Well as much as it pains us all to say it, it’s true. Practicing your speech will make you hear the things you may want to change and will help you become more confident. Practicing enough to at least remember the points you want to make is a good rule of thumb.
- Record yourself practicing
- It may seem awkward at first to record yourself practicing your speech but it will make for a better speech come wedding day. Recording yourself allows you to find small mannerisms you might not want in your speech or you might catch yourself doing a lot of “ums”. When you record yourself, you are able to play back the video and adjust your speech accordingly.
- Don’t drink too much before hand
- Alcohol is not your friend before a large speech. We all know that alcohol makes people say and do things that they may not otherwise do. Liquid courage is a real thing but trust me, it won’t do you any favors in this instance. You don’t want to be the person who ruins the wedding because you said something that you weren’t supposed to and now everybody is upset. Stick to soft drinks or light alcoholic beverages until after you deliver your speech.
- Be your true self
- Remember that this is not supposed to be a show and it isn’t even really about you. A wedding speech is supposed to highlight the newlyweds and you should only be sharing your personal perspective on them. Remember to talk about them and give a funny story about that one time all while keeping true to yourself. It is okay to exert emotion during a speech, in fact, it is welcome at a wedding.
- Keep it short and sweet
- We have all been to that wedding where the Maid of Honor went on and on and on during her speech. Here is my greatest tip…DO NOT BE THAT PERSON! It doesn’t matter how heartfelt or awesome your speech may be, if it lasts for 20 minutes, you are going to lose interest and might even annoy some people. Keep your speech between 3 and 5 minutes and it should be a smashing success!
- Don’t embarrass the newlyweds
- Remember that this is the newlyweds wedding day and not a roasting circle where you tell all of their most embarrassing stories. Do not mention bachelor(ette) party stories and please remember that the couples entire family is attending this wedding. Keep it to the good stories and make it sentimental. Don’t step over the line or you are definitely going to upset some people.
- It is okay to use notecards
- While you don’t want to read your speech word for word from a piece of paper, having a few notes written down so that you don’t forget anything is perfectly acceptable! You are likely to get up there and get nervous so if you are afraid to forget anything, write your major points down and then speak from the heart about each. A wedding speech does not have to be perfect but you do have to put some effort and love into it.
Here some things to thing about when brainstorming ideas for your speech!
- When in the order of speeches will you be giving yours? Will that affect the content you include in your speech such as thanking them or introducing the next speaker? These are all questions you should ask the couple to make sure you transition flawlessly.
- Should you be thanking anybody for hosting this wedding or inviting you?
- What type of things would you want to hear as an audience member?
- Is there a must share story that you have in mind and is it appropriate for a wedding?
- Do you feel obligated to mention anything in particular?
Just remember these key factors and be sure to practice so that your speech is exceptional! Speak from the heart and it will be much more meaningful than telling story after story. Most importantly, keep the speech about the newlyweds and don’t make the speech too long.
Happy speech writing!
Friday: Writing your Wedding Vows
Tuesday: Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dresses