9 Tips On How To Write The Perfect Wedding Speech
Love them or hate them, wedding speeches are often one of the most memorable parts of any wedding party. We’ve teamed up for some expert guidance from Lavinia Stewart Brown for some top tips to help you pen a funny, personal and heartwarming speech that’s guaranteed to have your guests crying one moment, and laughing the next.
1. Start Early: Write From the Heart
No great speech was ever written in haste. Begin collecting heartwarming stories, jokes that involve the bride, groom and family, and memorable moments from the couple’s journey at least three months before the wedding. This will give you ample time to curate a speech reflecting the couple’s essence and the joy of the occasion.
“Talk to the couple and their closest friends about the speech – you don’t need to make anyone aware of the contents but understand who will be at the wedding to assess the appropriate tone. Understanding the dynamics of the attendees and ensuring you get the right language, makes it all the more personal and memorable and will make your life easier when starting to write it!”
2. Establish a Central Theme
Choosing a central theme will provide a cohesive structure for your speech. Let the theme revolve around the couple’s love story – from how they met, to the groom’s admirable qualities, to the bride’s radiant beauty on her special day.
A well-structured speech, with a distinct introduction, body, and conclusion, leaves a more lasting impression. But avoid the allure of the internet’s generic speeches – they’re easily recognised and lack the personal touch that makes a speech truly memorable.
3. Keep It Genuine
Your speech should feel personal and genuine. Remember that your speech focuses on the couple, so ensure your narrative revolves around their journey and love story. Avoid clichés and let your admiration for the couple guide your words. The audience will appreciate the authenticity, especially those who have travelled far to be a part of this special occasion.
4. Don’t Forget Introductions: Welcome All
Not all guests will know who you are. A brief introduction is essential, but keep it concise. Ensure to introduce all the key players in your speech. Welcome different groups of guests – from friends and colleagues to distant relatives. And don’t forget a special welcome to the groom’s family, acknowledging the union of two families.
“This is one of the most important parts of a speech – especially where family and friends have been involved in planning the day or in the lead-up to the wedding. Check in with the bride and groom ahead of the day to ensure you have included and referenced everyone important!”
5. Avoid ‘in’-jokes
While humour is a great way to add warmth to your speech, in-jokes are risky; they may leave most of the audience feeling excluded. Aim for humour that all guests can appreciate. And remember, this is not the time for startling revelations or stories best left for bachelor parties.
6. Keep it Short and Sweet
A 10-minute limit per speaker is a good rule of thumb. Keeping speeches brief ensures guests remain engaged and prevents the program from dragging. Aim for a total speech time of no more than 30 minutes. A heartfelt and concise speech that offers a glimpse into the couple’s journey will captivate the audience’s attention.
“Timing is also something I flag with couples – making sure your speech givers know when they will fall during the run of the speeches alongside how long you want it to be. This information helps people writing speeches to understand where their content fits into the wider speeches and helps with the amount of content they need to prepare!”
7. The Timing: Pre-Dinner Speeches
A well-timed speech, preferably before dinner, allows you to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening’s festivities. It also avoids disrupting the flow of the event and keeps the guests’ attention undivided
“Often during the wedding breakfast, people utilise this time to enjoy a tipple or two so it can be tricky when the speeches are too late into the meal.. I have seen a few times that guests have lost concentration or are using the bathrooms during speeches that have been planned late into the meal. ”
8. Consider the Venue: Adjust Accordingly
The setting can influence the formality of your speech. For outdoor speeches, ensure that proper audio equipment is available for everyone to hear you clearly. Venues with a grand setting may demand a more formal tone, while casual venues lend themselves to a more relaxed speaking environment.
“If you are nervous about speaking on the day then just take the speech really slowly and calmly. Regardless of the setting, it isn’t as daunting as it seems and really does help everyone enjoy the speech! Another tip would be to have a microphone on a stand, instead of a handheld microphone. This can help you forget you are even speaking into a microphone but if you want it to be more formal you can stand still and if you would like to move around and make it a bit more relaxed, you will have the option to take it off the stand.”
9. Remember your thank yous – but don’t make them a focus
Last but certainly not least, acknowledge and thank all the guests for their presence. The father of the bride typically thanks the guests, shares his thoughts on the groom, and raises a toast to the new Mr and Mrs. The groom, on the other hand, thanks the wedding party and raises a toast to his beautiful bride. Remember to save the thank yous for the end so they don’t overshadow the rest of your heartfelt speech.