Guest Post: 7 Tips for Crafting a Memorable Wedding Speech
April 20, 2017 by Just Marry!
Today we’re happy to be featuring another wonderful guest post by Ronnie Berg with The American Wedding! Having been in business since 1919, this company has served generations of satisfied customers with their quality and values. Today Ronnie is sharing some of the knowledge and predictions the company has gathered through their staff of more than 250 great employees.
If you’ll be one of the lucky people delivering (or even receiving) a wedding speech in the near future, read on for some invaluable tips!
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Wedding speeches are a very important component of weddings. Speeches give families and friends the chance to extend their well-wishes, and the newly-married couple can thank everyone involved in their special day.
While not every wedding includes speeches, those that do often include a few people who might be less than confident in front of an audience. It can sometimes be a little intimidating to express their heartfelt emotions for the couple, and some people struggle to find the right words.
For those who are searching for help with their wedding speech, consider the following helpful tips. These ideas will help you to create a speech that is easy to read, to the point, and very effective in getting your message across.
- Type with Intention
One of the hardest things to do when performing a speech is to keep eye contact with your audience without losing your place. For those with a shorter speech this isn’t so difficult; however, longer speeches can often cause readers to lose their place and struggle to find it again.
If you’re worried about losing your place and halting the speech’s flow, the idea is to type with intention. This means separating the speech into small paragraphs that are short and sweet, and make certain titles or sections bold so you can quickly find your place.
Large fonts will also be helpful for reading, and color-coding is also a great idea if you’re going to be performing with a partner. Have two obvious colors represent each person’s lines, such as bright blue and bright red to keep things clear.
- Start Writing Early
If you know that you’re going to be expected to say something at a wedding, start putting together ideas as soon as possible. You are only doing a disservice to yourself when you put it off until the last minute, as this will make it harder to find the right words, and it will be even more difficult to get down your memorization or flow.
This is especially important if you’re not comfortable in front of crowds or performing. Write a few different versions ahead of time and practice them until you find the words that fit together perfectly. This way, you’ll feel more confident on the day of the wedding.
Remember that even if you’re not giving a speech at the wedding ceremony, you may be expected to speak at the engagement party or some other event. Always make sure that you ask about your responsibilities ahead of time so that you can prepare accordingly.
- Introduce Yourself
There is nothing worse than working really hard on a speech, only to feel as though absolutely no one is listening to you. Audiences are more likely to pay attention when they feel connected to a speaker, so begin your speech by doing a quick introduction about yourself and how you know the bride and groom.
Because wedding attendees often come from various walks of life, they will appreciate a quick personal tidbit before you start giving directions or talking about the happy couple.
- Be Genuine
You might assume that the happy couple is looking for cliché statements and popular movie quotes about their love, but this simply isn’t the case. If you’ve been asked to say something on their special day, it’s likely they feel very close to you and want to hear something genuine from you.
Avoid looking up love quotes or popular wedding speeches, and, instead, take some time to reflect on their relationship with each other and with you. Who did you know first? What were they like before and after they met one another? How has it changed them?
Personal stories and reflection are much more appreciated, whether you go for a comedic angle or a true, sappy story. This is why it’s so important to plan ahead of time. It helps to go through old photos, conversations, and keepsakes that will jog your memory about great stories and memories you have with them. Chances are they will have forgotten some of these things, too, and they’ll appreciate the thought you’ve put into your words. Although you’re speaking in front of an audience, your wedding speech is for them, so keep this in mind.
- Don’t Forget the Groom
It’s hard not to go on and on about how wonderful the bride looks on her wedding day, but don’t forget to talk about the groom as well! Even if he doesn’t normally seek out attention, now is a great time to highlight how handsome he looks, how great of a man he is, and why he deserves a day just as special as his bride.
- Shake Those Nerves
It’s inevitable that people become nervous in front of crowds, but it’s important to remember that today is a celebration! Your audience simply wants to enjoy what you have to say before moving on to the next part of the reception. If you’re nervous, there are lots of things you can do to calm your nerves. Most of all, be sure to practice for a few nights before the big day so that you feel comfortable with the lingo and flow.
If you must, have a drink on hand to help you calm your nerves, but don’t overdo it! A beverage will help you to relax, and it will also keep your hands busy instead of fidgeting.
- Stick to Your Language
If you’re going to be writing your own speech, make sure that you use words that you are comfortable using. Now is not the time to try to impress your crowd or to try using fancy words that are hard to pronounce. If you’d like, you can certainly go through a dictionary to find words that get your message across in the best way, but always be sure that you practice them and that they do in fact represent the message you want to convey.
Your wedding speech is sure to impress, so long as you remember to be yourself! This includes using your own language, telling personal stories, and speaking from the heart. Even if you mess up your words, a speech that you’re comfortable with will easily get back on track if you’ve prepared properly. Be sure to consider these seven tips for crafting a memorable wedding speech that the happy couple will love and appreciate.
Ronnie is the content manager for The American Wedding. When she’s not scouring Pinterest and Instagram for the most adorable weddings, you can find her on her paddleboard with her pugs, Max and Charlie.