The venue, your overdraft limit, who’s going to sit next to Dave; let’s face it, there’s plenty to think about when you’re planning a wedding. But here’s something we reckon you need to think about more… the speeches.
Over the last couple of decades, wedding speeches have become something to be endured rather than enjoyed. They’re generally assigned as a ‘boy’s job’, relegated to being a must-do chore, where clichés and platitudes are not only accepted but actively encouraged.
A wedding can be quite formulaic (unless you’re the couple getting hitched & then, of course, it’s completely unique & generally amaaazinng). Speeches add that essential dose of personality and humour that your wedding needs.
Here are a few ideas to ensure your speeches really say something at your wedding.
(*Of course, if you already know you want more than simply advice, check out our innovative speech templates, speech edit service or our bespoke speech writing service. We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot for a reason).
Admittedly the politics of speeches can get a bit tiresome. Dad versus stepdad, best woman versus best man, your funny mate versus your old friend from school.
One way to avoid this is to have ‘spontaneous speeches’. The idea is stolen from the continent where it’s not unusual for everyone to propose a toast to the newlyweds.
Basically, there are no formal speeches but invites encourage guests to ‘feel free to call for silence and say something (nice!) or read a verse, or just say Hooray or raise a toast’ throughout the wedding meal (usually between courses).
This totally works for boho weddings because it’s casual, cool and generally gets more fun the more wine has been consumed.
Shake Up The Line Up
If you want to go down the traditional father, groom, best man route, that’s fine but we’d encourage you to at least question it.
Make sure at least one girl grabs that mic. Brides shouldn’t feel pressure to do anything they just don’t fancy on their wedding day, but we can highly recommend giving a speech. You get to thank all your favourite people for coming to the wedding rather than letting your ‘representative’. You also get to throw a few compliments your partner’s way!
Of course, don’t just consider the female ‘equivalents’ of the male speakers– think inventively. Young children always have comedic things to say about love and it’s great if you happen to have an elderly relative to add some suitably cynical advice. Contributions needn’t be long, in fact, better if they’re not. Quirky and cute is what we’re after.
The Not-A-Speech Speech
Your speech will stand out if it doesn’t sound like a speech. Don’t get tied down by all the usual ‘to dos’ and make sure it doesn’t become a roll call of thank yous. Instead, tell a story.
Get creative. If you’re planning a festival style wedding then maybe chronicle your relationship through your shared love of music and the debates you’ve had over the vinyl collection. If you’re both bookworms compare yourselves to your favourite literary characters and their qualities; Holden Caulfield’s innocence, Patrick Bateman’s humour?!
Consider this your very own TED-talk. Make it exciting and make it interesting.
Something different to consider; a joint Mr & Mrs Speech. Delivering a speech together shows you’re an equal partnership; one that can quickly establish a comedy double act and get guests laughing. It’s also a lot of fun.
Gone are the days when we need to toast the ‘health and happiness of the happy couple’ with a glass of Champagne.
Toasts should reflect you as a couple whether that’s a shot of tequila, a glug of bourbon or a sip of Indian chai.
Be inventive but equally don’t be insulted if Nan rejects the Jack Daniels option.
Also, forget the tired clichés and make sure you toast something that’s meaningful to you. Perhaps ‘decades of dancing on tables and inspiring each other’s tattoos’.
Avoid the ‘speech clump’ and get clever about how you schedule your speeches. 45 minutes of speeches can leave even your mates checking their newsfeeds under the table.
Think about dotting the speeches about. Schedule one between each course of the wedding meal so everyone can enjoy the interjection and they don’t tire of the stand-up, sit-down palaver of three toasts in quick succession.
Another option is to schedule the ‘main act’ (whoever that may be) for the evening do. Maybe it’s the surprise bride speech, or the naughty best man – whoever it is, it’s a great way of making the b-list invitees feel part of the whole day.
Enjoy Your Speech
So many people ruin their speech by getting too worried about it or delivering it like a business presentation.
Powerpoint is a no-no. Props like ‘Speech Bingo’ should be used with caution. Smiling, messing up your lines & laughing are all big yeses.
Don’t feel restricted by tradition or what you’ve seen at weddings before. Making your speech entertaining is not about doing a comedy rap or attempting to go ‘viral’ with it.
Think about what works for you, your partner and your wedding guests and you’re more likely to create an awesome moment. And, of course, read our Wedding Speech Advice and find out how you can write an amazing one.
How Speechy Can Help You…
Work with us if you want to deliver a speech you’re excited about. We really are blooming good at this and rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot.
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