The Empress Estate knows that giving a speech in front of friends and family can be just as nerve-racking as giving a speech in front of hundreds of strangers! To top it all off, knowing that a speech is taking place on someone's Wedding day, the most important day of their lives, places a lot of pressure on the speech giver. With a speech looming, you might be wondering, "what do I say?", "how do I make sure my speech is interesting?", or, "what's appropriate to say, and what shouldn't I say?"
So how do you capture the essence of the Bride and Groom in your speech? Having heard countless wedding speeches (both good and bad) let this Wedding Venue give you a few hints on how to make a memorable yet classy wedding speech!
1. Spend Some Time Writing Your Speech
It's fine to search the Web for some jumping off points in writing your speech, in fact we recommend you look at several speeches to give you an idea of structure and points to touch on; however, take the time to write out a speech! Waiting until the last minute on something so important will cause you unneccessary stress, and unless you're the next Ernest Hemingway, your speech's quality will undoubtably suffer. This isn't a 5th Grade poetry assignment, this is someone near and dear to you heart saying, "I do!" to the love of their life! Respect the event, and write your speech well in advance so you have time to edit it and practice it.
2. Keep it Personal- but NOT too Personal
To make a speech at a wedding memorable, The Empress Estate suggests making your speech personal to the Bride and Groom. Don't take one of Google's top hits and recite it verbatum; this is just asking for trouble! The Bride and Groom deserve more effort than this! Save yourself and the Bride and Groom the embarassment, and add some personal details. Add details about:
- The first time you meet your sister's fiance
- How the Groom (your childhood best friend) and you swore off girls at a young age because of cooties; but his new Wife's cooties must be tolerable
- Or (as seen in the video of the AMAZING Father-of-the-Bride speech) how you raised your little girl to handle her own
It's GREAT to make little jokes at the Bride and Groom's expense if they're not obscene and too intrusive. It's even okay to joke about the Bride and Groom's wedding night if that's their sense of humor, BUT DO NOT bring up juicy details of past rendevous (this is not the time to accidentally let cats out of the bad), or personal details of the Bride and Groom's relationship that they wouldn't want Grandma and Grandpa to hear. Remember classy, but intimate!
3. Practice Your Speech
Practice, practice, practice! You don't want to be standing in front of all the Bride and Groom's friends and family with your face down reading off of a piece of paper! This is an intimate gathering, the crowd wants to see your face. The Empress Estate recommends doing this in a couple of steps to assure you can recite your speech perfectly! First, practice alone. Do this several times, possibly even in front of a mirror so you can see your body language. Once you find that you don't have to read the speech off of your notes, practice it in front of a couple of people! Practicing your speech in front of other people is intrigual for you to check a couple of things: your body language, your pauses, your tone, and whether that joke you thought was hilarious really will be a crowd pleaser.
4. It's OKAY To Acknowledge Your Fear of Public Speaking in Your Speech
Are you someone who is terrified of public speaking? It's okay to be nervous! We've seen some great ways to turn your nervousness into a crowd pleaser. Joke about your fear! The crowd will respect your honesty, and if you spin it right, even find you down right funny. Take a note from some of these hilarious wedding speech jokes:
- "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I apologize in advance for not being a public speaker. If you see me looking down at this piece of paper againa nd again, it's not actually my notes, it's a picture of the massive drink I'm going to have as soon as this is over."
- "Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. I'll admit to you that I'm extremely nervous right now. As the people sitting at the table nearest to me can testify, it really is possible to smell fear."
5. Keep it at an Appropriate Length
There's no need to take a trip down memory lane and share the Bride or Groom's entire life story. You are not trying to put people to sleep here! Keep it poignant! Share a couple stories in your speech, just be conscious of the length of the stories you choose. On the flip side, don't get up in front of everyone and simply say, "Congratulations!" This isn't memorable. The Bride and Groom did not choose you to give a speech to get up and say hardly anything! Add a joke or tell them how you feel!
6. DON'T Get Wasted Before Your Speech
There is nothing classy about stumbling up to the mic on the Bride and Groom's big day. If you're nervous, and need a drink or two to calm your nerves before you give your speech, that's fine! Just know your limits. You do not want to turn this into the drunken escapades. This day is about the Bride and the Groom, so don't steal their thunder by making a fool of yourself. Save the partying until after the big speech.
We hope that our Wedding Venue's experience with speeches can help you write an AMAZING speech! Remember: Spend Time on It, Keep It Personal-BUT Not too Personal, Practice, Acknowledge Your Fear, Be Conscious of Length, and Don't Nurse the Bottle Beforehand.
May the force be with you speechgiver!