HI friends, I hope that things are well with your wedding planning and hopefully you’ve been using my blog to help figure things out and save money on your wedding too. Well, today I’m changing gears ever so slightly and we’re talking wedding speeches and how to give a great one.
You know, as a wedding filmmaker, I most times record the speeches even if we don’t use them in our films and one of he things I can tell you is that most are just horrible, usually filled with inside jokes that only a handful know and the new spouse is rarely or generically talked about. Now not all speeches are like that but in my career, I’d say that about 85% are just like that.
Well, I’ve learned a few tips that I’d like to share with you that make a great speech even if you don’t have any mad speaking or writing skills. Let me share with you 4 of the best ones that I’ve come across in my career and hopefully you can use them to help you create your own speech for the new, happy couple!
One of the first things that you should do when you make a speech is to introduce yourself and provide a little bit of background on how you know not just the friend, but their new spouse too.
There’s bound to be guests there that don’t know who you are. If you’ve only met their fiancé a handful of times, chances are you won’t recognize a lot of their friends and family members.
Before you begin your speech, introduce yourself!
Tell people in a few words how you know the bride or groom so they have a better understanding of your relationship to the newlyweds.
Tell an Emotional Story
Throw it back to your days in school by telling an old story about the bride or groom. Do you have a memory of the two of you discussing the qualities you wanted in your future spouse on the playground when you were 12?
If they’re someone you met later in life, can you recall what they told you after their first date, or talk about what they were like before their spouse came along? Try to brainstorm with others for some good stories you can share.
Make a Joke
While this shouldn’t turn into a Comedy Central special, it’s okay to crack a few jokes. Perhaps, they had a funny first impression of their significant other (that won’t cause hurt feelings), or maybe they had a bad habit they were forced to break once they’d found the one. We recommend sprinkling in only a handful of jokes throughout your speech, versus making it chock-full of embarrassing events. Remember, grandma’s probably in attendance!
Be Sentimental About What You Say
The most important part of the speech is letting the bride or groom know how much they mean to you, and how happy you are to see them find the person they want to spend their life with. Give an overview of the relationship you have with that person and let them know how much they’ve influenced your life. If there’s ever a time to be sappy, the wedding toast is it.
Address the New Couple
With that, make sure you’re not giving the speech solely to one person. This day is about both, and while you may be closer to one person versus the other, do your best to include both of them. Reach out to their spouse’s friends for some insight if needed or make note of all the wonderful ways your friend’s S.O. has had a positive influence on them. Talk about his or her first impression, or what they said right after their first date. Memories like that are what the newlyweds will be happy to hear.
One of the biggest mistakes is when the maid of honor or best man gets up there and the speech is heavily leaning to their friend but not the new spouse. You can usually see that look on the one newlywed that shows they are not entertained about hearing their new spouses past relationships, one-night-stands or drunken stupidity they did with you so keep things clean, light and evenly address the couple, well, as a couple!
Although your main responsibility is to talk about either the bride or the groom, every speech should ultimately be about both of them. Tell their partner why they are the best choice for your best friend and what qualities you love most about them.
Give them Advice on Marriage
If you’re married, this is where you insert your best piece(s) of advice for a healthy marriage. If you’re not married, wish them a long, happy, and healthy life together. Make your wishes and/or your advice personal to their relationship and end on a positive, optimistic, and heartfelt vision of their future.
Always End with a Toast
This is common sense but let me tell you that sometimes people get up in front of a crowd and are nervous and they honestly forget. When preparing your notes (on small index cards) make one at the end that simply says toast.
It’s a great reminder as your flipping through the cards to give a nice little toast at the end and afterwards go to the couple and give them a hug before they can you. It will show that you’re genuinely sincere with what was just said and that you care about them too.
Well, I hope that you can take these tips and use them friends! Be sure to check out my award-winning wedding films and see what I can do for your upcoming wedding here in Virginia!