It’s a very big honour to be asked to speak at a wedding, it shows a huge amount of trust from the Bride and Groom. It’s also a huge amount of pressure to get up on stage and voice your heart felt emotions to an adoring crowd of tipsy Uncles, emotional Aunties and crying friends or is that tipsy Aunties, emotional friends and crying Uncles anyway… Not all of us are born as natural Masters of Ceremonies. Here we’ll give you a few pointers to making the perfect speech!
Try to make eye contact and project your voice as it may take a little time to grab everyone’s attention. Being confident when speaking is important (especially if you are a nervous speaker). If you’re the Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid tell everyone how you know each other. Thanking the Bride and Grooms parents for hosting such a special occasion is a lovely touch!
But be careful not to become a blubbering mess, no one likes witnessing a fellow guest cry, especially on such a happy occasion. Yes there may have been some sad times together but keep them between yourselves.
So often they are forgotten about as the Best Man or Brides Maid address the crowd with their back to them. This is their special day and they deserve ALL of the attention from everyone! Little touches like looking at them when mentioning ‘how they met’ or ‘how happy they both look’ would be warmly appreciated I’m sure.
Write it down and go through it at least a week before. Do Not scribble down notes 15 minutes before you need to jump up on stage, be respectful and come prepared. There is nothing wrong in reading from prepared notes. However, keep them as notes not pages and pages of the script itself. The notes can act as a reminder and flow of your speech. Practicing in front of a mirror and/or in front of someone would help smooth out any distortions in your delivery. Important: Keep the microphone near your mouth (this is how the sound is projected out through speakers!!), even when ready from cards! Lastly, try to find out in advance who else is doing a speech and what order. This will allow you to introduce or thank the person coming on or leaving the stage and makes it all a bit more personal.
The funniest and most touching speeches come from the heart. Mentioning past stories can help the other side build a little picture of the ‘new’ family member. Do not ramble on for 10 minutes. It’s not a competition to see who can say the most for the longest time. Believe it or not your speech does have a bearing on other parts of the day – so STICK to your allocated time (generally 3 to 4 minutes is ample). Be sensible and do not mention past hook-ups or bring in raunchy innuendos, this is not the time for it. Remember there will be a lot of family and friends present that wouldn’t feel comfortable hearing such annotations, needless to say but neither will the Bride and Groom!
It is completely understandable that you want to feel relaxed, but there is nothing more embarrassing (for everyone) then a slurred speech. If you’re important enough to the Bride and Groom that you’re speaking on their big day, it should be important for you to stay sober. Having one drink to calm nerves is expected but control any further urges! Do thank all those that have helped make the day so special and conclude with a ‘toast to the happy couple and good luck for the future together’ Most importantly DO smile :)