How to deliver the perfect wedding speech
If you’ve been asked to give a speech at a forthcoming wedding, congratulations! It’s a wonderful opportunity to express your feelings for someone close to you, and it’s important to make sure you get it right. But as the wedding draws near, it’s entirely natural to be a bit apprehensive about giving your speech. If the fear of public speaking wasn’t enough, you’re under added pressure because everyone expects the day to be perfect. Naturally, you want your speech to be as good as it can be. So whether you’re the father of the bride; the best man at a forthcoming wedding; or perhaps it’s your own wedding; the important thing is not to panic! We’ve put together a series of tips on what to say (and what not to say), the etiquette and format of wedding speeches as well as some very handy hints on how to master the art of speaking in public.
Wedding speeches are different from other speeches. Firstly, everyone in the room is likely to be rooting for you and wanting to give you a great reception. Secondly, there are very few occasions in life in which you are actively encouraged to declare your emotions in public. A wedding speech is such an occasion – so don’t waste it!
There are two main aspects to giving a good speech, what you say and how you say it. We’ll show you how to say the right thing and deliver it the right way. Traditionally the father of the bride gives the first speech, followed by the groom, and then the best man. Although the best man’s speech is perhaps the most well known - and most anticipated – of the speeches, nowadays more and more brides and maids of honour are giving speeches, as well as mothers of either the bride or groom, other relatives and godparents. With such a broad range of guests, from the very young to the very elderly, you should make sure that everyone can hear and understand you. Most importantly your speech should be entertaining without offending anybody.
Not many of us are confident public speakers. In fact, a wedding speech may only be one of a handful of occasions in your life when you speak in public. As with everything practice makes perfect so, regardless of whether you’ve got six months or six days to write your speech, start writing it now. Believe it or not, it’s most effective to write it down quickly without the help of books, quotations or other aids. This is because the words and phrases you use are more likely to sound like they have come from you. A wedding is personal, emotional and a celebration and, if you are lucky enough to be asked to give a speech, your audience wants to hear you in your own words rather than a selection of vocabulary you found in a dictionary.