For most people, wedding speeches don’t come naturally. Standing in front of a large group of people to deliver a speech sounds like a very daunting task for most of us! We’ve rounded up some handy tips for those delivering a speech and for couples too.
Main image credit: Andrew Kilfeather
The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Speeches
Do your research. Find out what is expected of you; when is your speech taking place? Traditionally, what are you required to cover in your speech? Get a handle on these things and you’ll feel much more comfortable.
Do keep it sentimental. People love to hear heart-warming stories about those they love. So, if you’re delivering a speech for your bestie at his/her wedding, speak about your great friendship and how much he/she means to you!
Do keep it granny- and child-friendly. This means no swearing or saucy jokes!
Do keep it short and sweet. 10 minutes max is what we recommend. Anything longer and your speech will start to drag.
Don’t drink too much before your speech.
Don’t wing it. Experts will tell you that no matter how well you know someone or how much public speaking you’ve done in the past, be prepared. Do your research, write some notes and then rehearse!
Don’t read your speech. Make sure you’ve rehearsed it so you can refer to your cue cards if needed, instead of feeling like you have to read your speech from start to finish.
Don’t include too many in-jokes. Save those for your wedding card! You want everyone in the room to enjoy your speech.
Don’t be afraid to try something unique! Props, songs or pre-made videos are some fun ways to keep your speech lighthearted and exciting.
Handy tips for couples
Let everyone know when their speech is taking place. To avoid people feeling flustered, it’s handy for everyone to know the order in which the speeches are taking place.
Get your speakers to work together. Now that they know the running order, they can work together! This doesn’t mean one group speech, but rather, if everyone discusses what they are saying, you can avoid duplicating anecdotes. They could even use one another’s speeches as a cue for their own!
Fun ways to introduce each speaker. You could have your MC introduce each speaker, with a little fun fact about each. Your DJ could then play a different song for each speaker as they walk up to the mic! If all your speeches are taking place in a block, another option is for the previous speaker to introduce the next.
Check that word count. People generally read about 130 words per minute. So, for wedding speeches, a total word count of around 750 is good! Anything more, and your guests will start to lose interest. The general rule is: no longer than 10 minutes.
Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.