So the 30-guest limit is to be lifted for weddings in England from 21 June but singing and dancing remain off the cards.
This comes as a blow to couples getting married before Boris’s new ‘terminus date’ of 19th July. You’ve likely already faced postponements, refund stress and lingering uncertainty.
And now your hopes for a dancefloor-filled celebration are dashed.
With the usual entertainment dialled down, and a full-sized audience to somehow entertain, wedding speeches will be even more highly anticipated than usual.
Here’s how to make sure yours is all-singing, all-dancing…*
(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than advice, check out our speech edit service or bespoke speech writing service. 5 Star rated on Trustpilot.)
You want to get the feeling people have on the dancefloor, smiling at strangers, laughing, feeling together, etc – so do this by asking everyone to email you a piece of marriage advice, serious or humorous, the few days prior to the wedding.
On the day – read out the ‘advice’ and get the contributor to stand up and confess to it. Some can be genuinely romantic and thoughtful (in which case, ask them, do they really stick to it?) but, generally, the advice ends up being rather comedic (the favourite piece of advice we got was ‘don’t do number twos in front of each other’)
Okay, so you don’t have dad moves or maids of honour attempting their best Beyonces – but you still have to make people feel like they’ve had a bloody great time. So find your funny:
Resist the urge to pilfer jokes off the internet – everyone’s heard them before and they’re honestly not that funny.
Be proactive and do some research. Text mates and family to ask them for funny memories you can turn into good anecdotes.
Also ask yourself lots of questions – what’s your partner’s worst habit / most surprising skill / guilty pleasure? Are they obsessive about anything? Identify their quirks and paint a picture that friends and family will instantly recognise.
Remember this evergreen advice: It’s funny because it’s true. That said, feel free to exaggerate and use a little creative licence.
Imagine your partner is a character in a sitcom. Who would they be? The wallflower who transforms into a karaoke queen after a couple of pints? The chef who makes do with a Pot Noodle on his day off? The teacher who still ties her shoelaces using the bunny ears method?
Irony is good, people love that stuff.
No one can jump up on a podium or table tonight but shine a virtual spotlight on your guests nevertheless. Your grandparents who have been married 50 years – can they add a few words of advice to everyone? Or what about your naughty page boys – can they add their unique insights into love?
If you’re still planning to have a band or a DJ, ask your guests to send you a 30 sec clip of them dancing round their living rooms in their wedding outfits. Cut all the clips together, put it on loop and you have a comedy backdrop to the evening ready to go.
Honestly, after the year we’ve all had, guests are going to love it if you go big on the emotion.
Your speech is your opportunity to tell your story and create a memorable moment for everyone you both love. The right words can provoke priceless reactions from those listening in, so make sure you capture this on camera – it’s a lifelong dopamine hit looking back on those wedding snaps.
Multi-award winning photographer Kevin Mullins told us how special the speech shots are:
‘As a documentary wedding photographer, some of my favourite images over the years have been a tearful bride as she glances at her dad or a groom understanding the tightest of bonds between him and his best man.
These images manifest themselves during the speeches so well. At this point, people are taking a moment out to listen, and it is also where the very fabric of their relationships is put on show for all to see.’
Our Swedish friends sure MAX OUT on wedding speeches. During the dinner (which can go on for four hours or more) there are often up to a dozen speeches, broken up with videos, games and songs.
Why not channel this inclusive party vibe and extend the speech duties to your guests as well as the usual suspects of groom, best man and father of the bride? Ask them to share memories of the first time they met you or your partner, any anecdotes that will have other guests rolling in the aisles – just make sure it’s not a body roll.
Take the stress out of this by nominating a friend to be master of ceremonies. Choose someone organised, who likes being the centre of attention – they get to coordinate everyone who fancies giving a toast and need to be good at wrapping lengthy monologues up in a tactful way!
It’s a good idea to let people know ahead of time that you’ll be inviting them to speak, so they can come prepared with some anecdotes to share. You can also gently remind them to stick to just a couple of minutes each – the dancefloor may not await, but this doesn’t mean everyone will appreciate sitting still while one person kind of drones on.
No dancing but what about voting with your hands instead?
Put some classic marriage dilemmas to the vote. Great if both partners get involved in the delivery – e.g…
What do you think is the most annoying question a husband can ask? Is it A) Have you seen my nasal spray / car keys / phone charger? B) Is my shirt clean? C) Are you going to wear that?
What should Roger give me for our next anniversary? Is it A) A KitchenAid B) Craft Gin Club subscription or C) A last minute book of promises?
Again – not traditional wedding fodder but it gets everyone involved and laughing.
The Speechy team are a team of TV scriptwriters by trade and these days we team up to help cool couples around the world craft amazing wedding speeches.
We’re rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot and, wherever you are in the world, here are some of the ways we can help you…