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Wedding Speeches

Posted by vince
Published on 15 February 2024

Wedding Speeches

Wedding events are forever. They cannot be rewritten in time, so it's best to create a lasting memory that people want to discuss long into the future.

Have you ever held the responsibility of delivering a wedding speech? Responsibility is the key word. Your guests' expectations are high because it's a one-off event. It's a primary part of the wedding protocol. 

Over the years, I have helped many grooms, best men, and fathers of brides. Even experienced speakers get the jitters. It falls uncomfortably into the fear of public speaking that so many are familiar with. The thought that you'll diminish yourself in front of friends and family can ruin the big day. 

Alternatively, you might be lucky and know the right man for the job.

My best man, Howard, had the onerous task of delivering four speeches. The first spoken in English, and the second in polished Portuguese, as my wife and in-laws are Brazilian (coincidentally, he had lived in Brazil for eight years previously). 

It was a walk in the park for a bright, accomplished and humble man. He didn't break a sweat. He spoke on behalf of my father-in-law, who had little time to prepare for the wedding. 

That's an unusually complicated setup, and was I happy he was at the helm?

As Howard explained, wedding speeches are formulaic and values-based: follow the formula and stick to the values (of marriage).

The formulas can be found in any wedding book, yet frequently, something important is overlooked, like cohesive planning, preparation, and practice.

If the bride's father speaks for 20 minutes, the groom for 3 and the best man for 7, the speeches look out of balance. It feels awkward and disjointed. 

Similarly, the speeches can be rushed through, miss the formulaic aspects, and with it leave a sense of underwhelm. Is that what you want on your big day?

I attended a wedding where the bride's father was bood because he didn't follow the formula. His speech concerns the bride, not how much time and energy he'd wasted in the wedding planning while he should have been working on his business and not missing out on golf trips to Spain.

Change the focus and the formula, and you suck the joyous energy from the room. 

Two years ago, I heard the groom making comparisons of his wife to his ex-girlfriends. He tried to be funny, but it fell flat and created a horrible atmosphere. 

Never mind on your wedding night, there's never a time nor place for that discussion. The laboured applause said it all.

I once saw the best man make allusions to the bride's aunty liking red wine. The first time he mentioned it, I wished he had not. The second time, it was thoroughly unpleasant. The third time, it bordered on a character assassination. These comments can be trending on social media thirty minutes later. 

Imagine if you had three awful or inappropriate speeches at your wedding. It could end in argument or aggression. Is this how you'd want your wedding day to be remembered?

Occasionally, some people are offended not by what was said but by omitting a vital detail. Uncle Jim and Aunty Jane have flown in from southern California - it was worth a mention. The bride's grandmother has been in and out of hospital over the last few years, and she's handwritten 500 name cards using a complicated calligraphy font - it was worth a mention. These stories of family devotion deserve to be heard.

The speeches must combine to create a memorable experience for your guests, so dedicate some time to make this a memorable part of the evening. You owe it to your family.

Wedding Speeches

Cohesive Wedding Speech Planning

Most people are so worried about speaking that their planning, preparation, and practice fly out of the window.

Why not outsource that job to me? I have the experience to keep you focused and on track.

Suggestion: come on my 1-day, 2-day, or 5-day public speaking courses and build your speaking confidence.

Post course, I'll spend quality time with the groom, the best man, and the bride's father, drafting their speeches.

I'll review them and ensure the formula is satisfied, balanced, and cohesive. 

Do you want your wedding day to turn into a tragedy? I've seen it happen to some fine families.

wedding speeches

It's popular for brides and bride's mothers to make speeches these days. If that's the case at your wedding, I'll also be delighted to coach these principals.

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  • "An exceptionally useful day's training, delivered in a positive and personanable manner, very enjoyable and significant food for thought. Thank You."

    Diane Wilson - DCI Notts Police
  • "The anxiety is gone - now that I understand it. Not only can I make a presentation - I feel I have so much to give now. It's quite a transformation."

    John Eden
  • "Since attending the course, I feel like a completely different person; more confident, relaxed and easy going. I gave a speech at work last week and it went so so well."

    Ben Harding
hm treasury
deutsche bank
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