After asking a number of Grooms about their thoughts on weddings one of the biggest hurdles for them, we picked up, was the groom’s wedding speech. In fact the best-man, father of the bride, and master of ceremonies all wished they had been better prepared for their speech. After a bit of research, from experts, friends and customers, we came up with these tips about your wedding speech:
- Start writing early. Do not leave your wedding speech writing to the last minute. For one thing, you will never think of everything that you want to say. For another thing, you will not have the time to polish your ideas into a great speech. Start at least a month before the event. Write down ideas, even if in no particular order. As you think of things while interacting with the people about whom you shall be talking, jot them down on your phone/diary/whatever. Two weeks before your event, start writing the final speech. Write the whole speech in one sitting, gathering all your collected ideas together. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling, just get the ideas down, then leave it for a day and start editing it the next day. Repeat this editing over the next few weeks.
- Start practicing early. Don’t think that your perfectly executed speech will flow effortlessly from your lips with only a few days (or a night’s) preparation. Our contributors suggest reading your speech to yourself daily for at least a week before the event. Read into a mirror and watch your expressions. Remember that you are not trying to win an Oscar, keep your manner natural. If you are not the type to throw your arms around while talking, don’t plan on doing it in your speech or you will come across as forced, or worse: false. Not to mention the fact that you will feel awkward, something that will probably hinder your speech's flow.
- Run your wedding speech past a family member that you respect, and take their comments on board. If you are generally a foul-mouthed person, you can probably get away with the odd swear word, but generally it isn’t a good idea; using a family member that you respect will give you an idea of whether you are crossing any inappropriate lines.
- Use proper English (assuming that is your language), but do not try to use words bigger or more complex than you use in general conversation. There is a temptation to try come across clever and you may well understand fully what you are writing, however people will know you are trying too hard. Remember it is a speech, not a business report, you do not need to impress with your language. That said, do not use too much slang, and remember that you are catering for people outside of your age group as well.
- Find out how to control your emotions. A tear here and there is fine; you will no doubt cover some emotive topics in a much pressured environment, but make sure that you are in control as much as possible. Good preparation will ease one pressure – the pressure of knowing what you wanted to say – which will play in your favour. You should cut out as many pressures as possible, the less you have to worry about, the less emotional you will be.
- Know your obligations. Make sure you know who you are supposed to thank and toast, and when you are due to speak.
- Don’t get drunk. It may be tempting to ease the tension, but you should believe us that it is a bad idea, and that it will probably do exactly the opposite. You do not want to realize that your speech is not flowing particularly well after the third tequila when it is too late to turn back.
- Get help. If you are not good at English and you plan on speaking in English, enlist the help of someone who you trust to help you get across your message without making you seem false.
- Don’t put anyone down. Tell funny stories, but at the heart of your speech should be a positive message about your subjects. Always end your speech on an upper!
- Don’t panic. Everyone in the room – for the most part – wants to enjoy your speech. That puts you ahead of the game at the start. They are mostly your friends who know who you are, so they are not there to judge. Enjoy yourself and enjoy the spotlight.
If you are really stuck, and haven’t got anyone to help, send us an email containing your speech and we’ll see what we can do to polish it for you.