After the ceremony, before the big cake cutting, the speeches take centre stage. Traditionally delivered by the Father of the Bride, Groom and Best man, although increasingly Bridesmaids and Brides too (more on that later!)
As an Essex wedding photographer I hear a lot of speeches at weddings, so what makes a good speech? We have put together some tips, tactics and trends so that you breeze through your big moment!
Slow it down
You’ve practised until you know your speech word for word. You’ve practised in front of the mirror and you’ve even practised in front of your other half. Yet when it comes to the day, nerves can kick in and you fly through your speech so quickly that people barely understand a word, let alone feel the emotion behind them. Before you speak, take a deep breath. A trick used by broadcasters is to tense up every muscle in your body for 5 seconds then release. Speak slowly, emphasise important words and don’t be afraid of pausing for theatrical effect.
Use cue cards
Reading the entire speech from a printout can be off putting for the audience. Learn your speech and condense it down until you have a few card prompts to guide you. The delivery will be much more effective.
Leave the online speech at home
It doesn’t matter how deep into the dark depths of the internet you travel, pre-written speeches stand out a country mile. It is useful to browse online speeches when constructing your own, though a little inspiration is fine. Remember five of your own words are worth a hundred of the readymade! Which reminds us…
This time it’s personal
Speeches are a great opportunity to look back on relationships with and between the wedding party. A few in-jokes, a quick meander down memory lane and some tear jerker lines are all components of a solid speech. When it comes to a Best man’s speech, it isn’t complete without a bit of ribbing!
…But don’t cut too deep!
Adopt the ‘Grandma rule’ – do not share anything you would not tell your Grandma during the weekly Sunday visit. Sure, the embarrassing story that unfolded one January evening in Prague is hilarious, but maybe stick to the time the Groom cried at Mean Girls?
Props can serve as a welcome visual distraction for nervous speakers. Use props to embellish your speech: A sombrero for the Mexico story or a giant inflatable microphone for the time the bride and groom thought they were Karaoke’s answer to Sonny and Cher. If there’s a screen at the venue, consider images, videos and music too! This type of speech is always remembered, whilst the nerves of the speaker are not.
Brides time to shine!
There is a growing trend for Brides to deliver speeches: it is 2023 after all! Breaking from tradition can be a wonderful thing. Bridal speeches are used to thank people who might have been overlooked, share advice she was given from her family, or to give the Bride’s respective on the “how we met” story! Will you try one at your wedding?
We hope you found this useful. If you are delivering a speech soon just remember to have fun – it’ll be over before you know it!
If we can help in any way with your wedding planning please do not hesitate to get in touch! Contact Us!