A wedding speech can be a daunting task. The pressure to say something meaningful and funny at the same time, in front of all your loved ones, may cause you sleepless nights. This article by Schuggie (one of my guest writers) will give you some tips on what to do if this is your situation.
I’m Schuggie, and I run Schuggies-Ceilidhs (it’s pronounced ShUUg- eee s – Kay-Laes btw). I’ve been hosting wedding ceilidhs for over ten years, and that means I’ve heard some phenomenal wedding speeches as well as a few real corkers. With all sorts of themes and in venues from cosy wee village halls to majestic castles over that time. These are my pearls of wisdom on what works, what you might get away with and how to overcome those nerves.
The first thing I would recommend for anyone is not to worry about coming up with something original because it’s probably already been said before anyway! There are plenty of speeches that have already been written by people much more eloquent than you or me so use these as templates instead of trying to write from scratch. If there are any speeches that mention specific details about the happy couple then tailor them accordingly.
Try to touch on the key elements of marriage i.e love, honesty and commitment but the focus should be on how you know this couple is meant for each other. One great idea is to create a speech that tells a story using anecdotes about the pair of them throughout their relationship. This way it’s far more interesting and engaging and ensures it’s focused on them as a couple.
Don’t be too long
Your speech should always have a beginning, middle and an end, so use this as a guide when writing – start off by talking about how they first met, then focus on why they are perfect for each other and finish with what you know about their future.
Don’t forget to thank everyone who’s played a part in the celebrations – it’s easy to forget people so take time during your speech to mention these special people. Wedding speeches aren’t just about the couple getting married but also about those that have helped them along the way.
Tell a story or joke!
This is the best way to warm up an audience and get everyone laughing together with you. Of course, know your audience and refrain from using blue material as this could offend people and cause unnecessary tension. Embarrassing stories are best kept for the dance floor! Inside jokes have the chance that you’ll lose 98% of the audience and are best avoided.
Practice, practice, practice!
This is probably the most important tip of all – if you can, practice your speech in front of a friend or family member so they can give you feedback. This will help to make sure that it flows well and that there are no awkward pauses. Use your phone to record the speech and then play it back to see how it sounds and what could be improved. Brides, ask your Bridesmaid for honest feedback before the big day. Same goes for Grooms and Best Man.
Fake it until you make it!
Public speaking isn’t as easy as it looks but if you portray an authoritative figure, your audience will be none the wiser that you’re trembling inside. Try to smile and imagine your audience naked to help remove the nerves!
There’s nothing worse than an audience straining to hear the words of the Best Man or Groom and by projecting your voice, you’ll ensure that everyone can hear you loud and clear. Ideally, they’ll be a microphone available to you but if not, make a mental note to project to the furthest reaches of the room. If there is a microphone, have a practice run-through holding such a device as this could potentially throw you off guard!
Learn some toasts
A well-worded wedding toast can help round off a superb speech so dig into Google to find some that will fit the bill. Here are a few for your wedding party:
“To keep a marriage brimming with love in the loving cup, when you are wrong admit it, and when you are right, shut up!”
“Here’s to staying positive and testing negative.”
“May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.”
If possible, ditch the reams of A4 paper (an instant groan can be heard when the audience spots the print) and opt for a smartphone or short notes that will allow you to deliver the speech with ease.
A list of bullet points will allow you to talk freely but on point.
Some may be tempted to not use any aids during the speech but unless you’re a seasoned public speaker, the occasion may get the better of you causing you to forget vital details and mess up the overall flow.
Brevity is key
Too many folks try to cram too much into their speeches resulting in fluffing words and losing the attention of the audience. Keep your words tight and to the point for a more polished delivery.
Make a list of all the important wedding guests to thank paying particular attention to the father of the bride, your new wife (!) and the bridesmaids. You may also want to thank the wedding suppliers who were involved in making the day special. There isn't anything wrong about gearing them up for the ceilidh later either.
Whether you are the Groom, Best man, Father of the Bride or indeed the Bride herself, your wedding speech is a chance to share memories and express your emotions. It’s also an opportunity for you to say thank you, congratulate the couple🥂, and tell them what they mean to you. No one is expecting a stand-up comedian but instead, a heart-felt and well-crafted speech that will be remembered long after the wedding day.
Consider the above tips from a seasoned professional and you’ll be well on your way to a fantastic speech!
Did this help? Are you looking for more hints, tips and guides?
What else are you stressing about? With over 10 years of experience, that’s well over 120 weddings, I’ve helped shed loads of couples celebrate their big day. I know how to make sure everyone has a great time, and your day runs smoothly.
Get in touch today to start planning an unforgettable day together today!