Wedding Speech Writing Tips For The Uninitiated
Looking for some wedding speech writing tips? Having to write a wedding speech let alone actually have to stand up and deliver it can be a pretty daunting prospect. I know my dad was relieved to hear that for my second wedding we weren’t planning on having speeches! But there are things you can do to make the process easier.
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #1 Stop Procrastinating
It’s easy to procrastinate to delay the start of something. Anything! I sometimes find that when I know that I have a blog post to write. Sure, you do have to be in the mood for writing but sometimes just getting on with it can help.
Start by writing a few random thoughts down that you might want to include. You might find that it opens the floodgates to a brilliant speech! If you have access to a computer I recommend doing this in a word processing program. You can save it and then edit it easily without bits of paper getting lost.
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #2 Beginning, Middle, End
Rather than having a series of unconnected bits and pieces jumbled together make sure that you’re telling a story. Pick a theme, perhaps how the couple met if it’s interesting, and how they got to the altar. It needs to have a beginning, a middle and an ending. You can put in some anecdotes as you go along. Use your anecdotes to support points you’ve made. For example if one or other of the couple is particularly brave, use and anecdote to show how.
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #3 Hold Your Audience
You don’t want to lose your audience part way through your speech even if it’s a corker! Keep it relatively short. The speeches are possibly the most dreaded part of the wedding breakfast for the speakers and the guests alike! I went to a wedding once where the bride was clearly embarrassed by the length of her father’s speech. It did go on rather and she ended up asking him to wrap it up! Had it been an interesting and funny speech it might have been different. However, 40 minutes of listening to a dull speech will kill the wedding atmosphere.
According to The Wedding Toastmaster a typical speech would last between 3 and 7 minutes.
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #4 Be Nice!
You may well have some racy stories of the bride or groom but now is not the time to be telling them. Leave out anything that might show one or other party in a less than positive light. If it was you being spoken about how would you feel about what was being said? Definitely leave out any less than savoury tales from the stag do!
The same applies to any mention of exes. It’s a day about the two people getting married, not about past relationships.
Keep it clean. There’s likely to be a wide range of ages attending the wedding. From toddlers to elderly grandparents, they don’t need to hear swearing!
By all means put in some funny anecdotes, a little humour is great. If you’re getting some laughs it helps you to relax. Providing they are laughing with genuine humour and not embarrassment! It also turns a so so speech into a great speech that people will remember. Remember: toast not roast!
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #5 They’re A Couple
If you’re the best man you probably know the groom more than the bride, but don’t forget to include her. Same goes for the bride’s father, don’t forget to mention the groom.
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #6 Practice, Practice, Practice!
Once you’ve written your speech do a timed read through. You will need to read it aloud and set a stopwatch. If it’s too long look to see where you can condense it. Too short, you could add in some extra anecdotes.
It’s normal to feel nervous about having to stand up in front of people and deliver a speech. Once you’re happy with your speech make sure you practice it again and again. If you’re reading it for only the second or third time on the actual day you’re more likely to stumble over the words and your nerves could be much worse.
Print the speech out. Notes on your mobile phone may seem like a good idea. However what happens if it runs out of juice? Or turns itself off mid speech? Do NOT wing it! The groom at a wedding I went to once decided to do just that. Excruciating doesn’t begin to cover it!
Wedding Speech Writing Tips – #7 Timing
Not exactly wedding speech writing tips but they are still relevant.
When are the speeches being given?
I mentioned in an earlier post about the possibility of having the speeches at the beginning of the wedding breakfast. Whilst not traditional it can make things easier for the people giving the speeches. You get it over and done with and are then able to enjoy your meal and the celebration without thinking about what’s to come. Perhaps have a conversation with the couple and see if this is an option.
Having seen a best man virtually paralytic and unable to deliver his speech I would advise against drinking much during the meal if you’re giving speeches afterwards. He was so nervous that he kept on drinking and drinking and could barely stand, let alone speak. This is another very good reason for having the speeches before the meal!