Wedding Insurance

MASTERING THE WEDDING SPEECH

Tips, Pointers and Etiquette

 

The bride’s father, the bridegroom, and the best man make the three main speeches at a wedding reception.  In some cases the bride may also wish to make a speech.  It is normally the duty of the best man (or master of ceremonies/toastmaster) to introduce the speeches and coordinate them so that they occur in the correct order.

 

The father of the bride will normally go first – especially as he is usually the one paying for most of the festivities!  If there is no master of ceremonies or toastmaster to do so, the bride's father should then introduce the groom to make his speech. The groom then introduces the best man.

 

The best man traditionally has the nerve-wracking responsibility of being expected to make a funny speech and entertain the guests. If the bride opts to make a speech she would go next.  The cutting of the cake normally follows the speeches.

 

Finding Material for the Speech

There is an abundance of information on the internet and in wedding books and magazines for ideas on making a speech.  There are many ancient and charming Irish wedding traditions and stories, which could also be incorporated into a speech to add some different and interesting content.

 

If you are truly stumped or can’t get started try using a sample speech to get the creative juices flowing and tailor it to fit the occasion.  You could use funny quotes, stories, jokes and poems.  Bible passages can also be incorporated.    Stories from the bride and bridegroom’s childhood and past are good fodder  - as long as done in a good-natured, tasteful way and without causing undue embarrassment.

 

Research significant events which occurred in the year of birth of both the bride and groom and incorporate into the speech, if appropriate.

 

Should the Speech be Read or Memorised?

 

Once the speech is drafted out you have to make a decision whether to read the speech from paper, or memorise it.  Trusting a speech totally to memory is risky, especially for those who know they are nervous speaking in front of large groups.  The excitement of the day (combined with champagne) is not conducive to being at your most mentally sharp!

 

Rather than reading the entire speech from paper, consider making a list of notes with bullet points and write or type them onto cue cards.  This is especially useful if there are a lot of names and dates to remember and it will sound more natural.  However, if you prefer to read from a prepared script is preferred then this is also perfectly acceptable.

 

Don’t forget to:

  • Pay attention to your posture and stand up straight
  • Appear confident – even if you don’t feel it
  • Make eye contact with the audience
  • Speak clearly and slowly
  • Don’t rush
  • Give the audience time to digest what is being said
  • Wait for laughter to subside after a joke or funny story  (hopefully!)
  • If a joke falls flat - be prepared and make a joke out of that
  • If there are interruptions be good-natured about it and take a rest!
  • Smile!

 

If making a speech is still a terrifying prospect, even after you have prepared and rehearsed it, consider seeking help from a professional. Toastmasters may be able to help, or contact a voice coach.  A few sessions of hypnotherapy (hypnosis) can also be very helpful to aid confidence and prepare for public speaking.

 

For more pointers, watch television and observe the way professional comedians time the delivery of their lines and then pause for laughter. 

 

Above all, remember that audiences are sympathetic to the speaker and they will be on your side – relieved that they are not the ones in the spotlight!

 

 

 


 

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