Writing a wedding speech can be hard. Where should you start? What types of things should you talk about? How should you tie it all together? Red Carpet Events & Design, a leader in Northern Nevada event planning, has some answers for this flop sweat-producing task.
Start your speech off with a simple foundation of who you are and how you are connected to the bride and groom. Don’t leave your audience guessing. They will be more receptive to your speech if you lay a foundation made of context. Remember, they want to know you and listen to what you have to say.
“Hello, everyone. My name is Chris. I’m the best man and older brother of the groom. Josh should have been the older brother. I can’t tell you how many times he has saved me…”
Use thoughtful memories
Wedding attendees love to hear about the happy couple. Reminisce about your favorite memory with them or the first thing you think of when you think of them. Talk about how they have arrived at this point and where they will go in years to come. Use your unique perspective of their love story to your advantage.
“When Josh & Emily first started seeing each other, I could tell something was different. She was walking around a little lighter, like a weight had been lifted and she could breathe easier with him around.”
Practice makes perfect
Talking through a microphone at the wedding is not the first time you want your speech to be delivered. Practice. Pay attention to your timing. Don’t speed through it. Take a deep breath and slow down. Let each point you want to make have its moment. Remember to pause after every few words to help keep composure and flow. You can try recording yourself and watch it back a few times. Or practice your delivery in the mirror. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be.
P.S. Don’t forget about body language. Shoulders back. Chin up. You’ve got this.
If talking in front of a crowd is overwhelming for you, take the approach like you are talking to your best friend, and the bride and groom might very well be! Every wedding speech is deeply personal. Remember, your well-wishes and advice for the happy couple should be encouraging for the journey they are beginning. This is not the time to give a Ted Talk on marriage. Hone in on three major things you want to say and don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. You are you. And what you have to say is important.
Sprinkle in a little humor
Tell a funny, but appropriate, story that will fill the room with laughter. Laughter is contagious. Include other guests in your story and paint a picture of the wonderful times you have spent together.
Leave them wanting more
Keep it short and sweet. Great speeches are based on content, not length. 5 minutes is perfect!
It’s okay to show emotion, or not.
Wedding speeches don’t have to be emotional to be memorable. If you are the type of person who doesn’t cry very often, focus your speech on gratitude for the couple, a joke or two and the promise of everlasting love. If you are the type of person who wears your heart on your sleeve, use it to your advantage and tug at guests’ heartstrings.
Don’t forget the toast!
Round out your speech by asking everyone to raise their glass. This tradition originated with the Romans and Greeks, who used to offer wine to their gods before celebrations. These days, we toast by wishing good fortune and good health to those around us. When giving a toast, follow this simple recipe. Say a blessing, tell the bride and groom you love them, and offer relatable advice. Then, clink your glasses and let the celebration begin!