As a romance writer love is my stock and trade, and a big part of love is often marriage which naturally means a wedding. My first book, Song of the Whippoorwill, has two weddings.
Everyone knows that no wedding is complete without a good speech. At the second wedding Trent, one of the main characters, gives a speech. Now, this wasn’t planned so he hadn’t had time to prepare or give it much thought. And though it isn’t bad, he could have done better.
So to help him, and you, I thought I would take a moment to talk about what a good, well-planned wedding speech should look like.
We’re going to start before the speech begins. Most contemporary weddings are videoed, and without question, there will be photography so about ten minutes before your speech slip away to check your appearance.
This is also a great time to get your voice ready. Make sure you’ve had plenty of water and take a few minutes to warm your voice up with some gentle humming.
The speech itself is pretty simple. All good speeches have three parts; a beginning, a middle, and an end.
You should begin by briefly introducing yourself, explaining your connection to the couple, and expressing your gratitude for being included in the occasion. This doesn’t have to be long or in depth. In fact, the shorter the better.
Once everyone knows who you are, turn your attention immediately to the couple. Keep it positive by focusing on ways in which they complement one another. Talk about what qualities and characteristics they each possess that brings balance to the relationship and makes them work so well as a couple.
Finally, end your speech by wishing them well. Then invite everyone to raise a glass and toast the bride and groom.
And just like that, it’s over. Altogether, it should take no more than three to five minutes.
However, we’re not done yet. Being such an important occasion there are a few other things to keep in mind.
-Take the time to practice. Also, pay attention to your posture while practicing. Good posture shows confidence and will help to catch and hold the attention of your audience.
-Make eye contact, looking to each side, and the center of the crowd, as well as directly at the bride and groom.
-Keep it high-class; no vulgar language, no inappropriate or inside jokes, don’t mention previous relationships, don’t mention the cost of wedding gifts, and avoid drinking too much alcohol beforehand. If you’re a “lightweight” avoid alcohol altogether.
Remember, kiss, kiss, kiss; keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it simple. I know that isn’t perfect, but it serves my purpose so I’ll ignore the imperfection just this once.
In the end, if you follow these simple guidelines, you’re sure to help make the day memorable for all the right reasons.