You’ve taken your walk down the aisle, exchanged your vows and are now sitting together as a married couple. All that’s left to do is relax and enjoy the rest of your big day, right? However, there’s actually one more item on the itinerary. It’s sure to result in a few laughs, perhaps some happy tears – or, maybe some embarrassment! Wedding toasts can go very right, but they can also go very, very wrong. For a whole list of what NOT to do, check out The Knot’s 10 worst wedding toasts ever.
Horror stories aside, the wedding speeches delivered by your nearest and dearest can be memorable for all the right reasons. Here we reveal the dos and don’ts of writing and delivering a wedding speech.
Do prepare in advance
Leaving your speech writing to the very last minute is a huge no-no, whatever part you have to play in the wedding, as Wedding Ideas Magazine describes:
“While we’re all for speaking from the heart, there’s a difference between genuine emotion and an off-the-cuff rambling. Don’t leave your speech writing to the last minute, or even the night before the wedding. Get a draft written in advance, practice saying it aloud a few times and your wedding morning will be so much less stressful!”
Don’t make toast time too long
Everyone will have something to say about your union, but sticking to tradition somewhat is a must. This is to prevent toast time from encroaching on the rest of your wedding day. Traditionally the father of the bride kicks things off, leading onto the groom’s speech. The best man finishes proceedings. The boys shouldn’t have all the fun, though. More and more couples are choosing alternative speakers. As well as the bride saying a few words, maids of honour and mums can all offer their fair share of heartwarming moments and hilarious tales.
Although there are time restrictions, there’s no need to rush the delivery. Relax, make sure the speech flows and pace yourself. It’s easy to speed up when you’re nervous but a few deep breaths will help.
Do coordinate your content
Whoever you’ve chosen to give the toasts, it’s a good idea to review the content of each speech to prevent overlap. Odds are that most of these special guests have spent a lot of time together – potentially leading to similar stories or anecdotes.
To avoid overlaps, get together with the other speakers to compare notes. An extra pair of eyes could even help to make your speech even better!
Don’t be too serious
Wedding speeches shouldn’t be treated like work presentations. You should include those words of thanks, plenty of emotion and lots of stories that celebrate both newlyweds. Keep your speech light hearted and fun. Remember, practice makes perfect, and road testing the riskier jokes, innuendos and references to each newlyweds’ ‘past loves’ is certainly recommended!