The perfect guide to a great wedding speech.
As a wedding photographer I get to hear a lot of speeches and over the years and with the rise of the internet ( yes I really have been a photographer that long) people have turned to google for help. Whilst I am not adverse to a little googling I wanted to give you an outsiders opinion on why you should refrain from using it to aid your wedding speech.
As the photographer I would argue that I am the supplier that has spent the most time with the couple, this however does not give me inside knowledge of what they were like as children or prior to being a couple. I think that a good speech should appeal to those who do not have inside knowledge, because if there is too much inside knowledge then guests who are also not privy to this will tune out.
So what are the key components of a good speech?
Here are the nuts and bolts of it.
- the introduction
- The thank you
- The funny story
- The advice
- The toast
If you want to keep it short and sweet then that is the formula but if you want to add to that then here is my advice.
Make it personal, and from the heart. If you use jokes from google you may get a couple of laughs but I would be willing to bet some of your guests have been to a wedding and heard it before. I once heard the same joke 4 times in the same summer, and it was a bad joke the first time !
By making it personal and from the heart people will appreciate it, it will be unique and it will be remembered. I have actually cried at good speeches with lots of heart, why because they are touching.
Instead of using google jokes relay funny anecdotes from your life or the lives of the people involved. If you think about it there will be something amusing in the history. I can think of many little things I have heard over the years that were completely unique to the people involved but amusing to all in attendance. I was a guest at a friends wedding many years ago and his best man was comedian Steve Coogan, yes the speech was funny but not because it was delivered by a comedian but because he had great material in the groom to work with and he delivered it well. Delivery is half the battle. Don’t over complicate it for yourself.
Keep it short, I really have yet to hear a long speech that really needed to be. When I say short I do not mean 2 minutes but as a rule under fifteen minutes is good. Remember the guests have to sit through more speeches or if you are last have just sat through a load of other speeches.
As for the more traditional aspects of the speeches they are as follows.
Father of the bride: Welcome to all guests, talk about the bride, welcome the son in law into the family, toast to absent friends and family, sagely advice and a toast the the happy couple.
Groom: He should thank all the parents, guests and bridal party. Often this is when gifts are handed out. The groom of course has to comment or should compliment his bride. The groom should toast the bridal party and the bride. The groom can also include a bit of an introduction to his best man but personally I think you should end with a toast to your bride.
Best Man: A short introduction to who they are and how they know the groom is sometimes required. A thank you to the organisers and suppliers. To read any messages from family and friends. A funny anecdote about the groom. Some advice for the couple and compliment the bridesmaids. Compliment the bride and end with a toast to the couple.
If you have any wedding speech horror stories or have heard an amazing wedding speech then I would love to hear about it so drop me an email.