The demands of a wedding speech come with the expectation of effortlessly delivering a balance of sentimental and humorous anecdotes. But if you’re not a natural orator, the responsibility and thought of delivering a wedding speech might fill you with anxiety.
However, having witnessed so many speeches over the years, I can reassure you that there are ways to overcome any nerves. You can ensure you don’t have sleepless nights and you speak well when the wedding day arrives.
Some of these ideas which break with wedding speech tradition may help to calm any nerves…
Recite a Poem
If you’re not a wordsmith, a poem may work as the perfect alternative for your wedding speech. However, don’t use a poem as a quick and easy ‘get out clause’. Be sure to take the time to research and find a beautifully written poem that everyone will enjoy and suits the bride and groom. Also, be sure to check with the bride and groom which readings they are using for their wedding ceremony so you don’t repeat any!
Or, perhaps you’re a songbird, and could take inspiration from Tom Fletcher of McFly’s famous wedding speech…
It can be a lot of fun and encourage a few laughs if you involve the bride, groom and guests into your speech. You could do this through photos or stories from guests who played a part in how the couple first met. Another idea is to have a ‘Mr and Mrs’ quiz for the bride and groom (just keep it clean!).
Make Your Speech Visual
If you the thought of delivering a speech in front of guests you might not know overwhelms you, but you feel confident about writing your speech, a video or visual presentation could take away the jitters. It will give you the opportunity to film your speech ahead of time and edit out any blunders. You can then play your recording at the reception, taking the pressure off.
If you don’t want to film yourself talking to camera, using props or a creative montage of memories and moments could act as your cue when giving your speech in person.
Have Different Speakers
Long gone are the days of sticking to tradition, so feel free to ask whoever you want to give a speech. Just take timing into consideration; it could take up a lot of time when everyone wants to hit the dance floor!
Don’t Have the Speeches After Dinner
Speeches are a special moment for the couple, but can also be quite time-consuming in the running order of the day. I usually recommend that speeches are before the meal and between 5-10 minutes each to ensure guests are listening (and stay awake!). This means that speakers can get their speeches out of the way early on, whilst being fairly sober, and then relax during the meal.
Alternatively, you could spread the speeches out before each course. Remember though, it’s then even more important for speakers to stick to their time limit so that the food doesn’t go cold.
Guest post by Liesl Lamare of Lamare London
Photograph: Mark Bothwell
Picture on Easel and Child Wedding Speech: Sarah Hannam
Bride Speech: Photography by Krishanthi