Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Nervous? Great … keeps you on your toes. A pro? Also great. Perhaps, this will be a refresher course for you.
If you are given the honor to show someone you care, it might seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips based on what we have seen at FNA Events over the years to help you deliver a speech that will be cherished at every family and friend gathering.
First, let’s address some of the most frequent questions.
Drinking before the speech? Not recommended, unless a little helps calm your nerves.
Is cursing allowed? Not recommended, unless no one will be surprised.
Can I talk about politics or religion? Avoid, unless it relates directly to the hosts.
Should I memorize my speech? Some of you may prefer that your speech be written down for reference and that is acceptable in any situation. Use large fonts and bullets to summarize rather than word for word.
Let’s Talk About Length
People have short attention spans. An ideal length for a wedding speech is eight to ten minutes. Practice giving the speech ahead of time and use your phone to check how long it takes.
Writing a wedding speech is one thing, but executing it is another. KEEP IT SIMPLE – be yourself, and speak from the heart. And learn how to use a microphone properly. Feel free to ask your DJ, who will want to meet you ahead of time and can help you with microphone tips.
On that note, hold the microphone with a strong, comfortable grip. You should point the head of the microphone at your mouth, but not touch your lips. Too close, and you sound muffled. Too far and the DJ has to turn up the volume.
When called on, don't forget your glass for the final toast! Stand up straight, take a deep breath ... smile.
What to Say? Keep it Measured and Deliberate
Play to your strengths and be yourself. You don’t have to be nervous if you keep it real. There is no pressure on you to make people laugh or cry. Are you funny? Great, everyone loves to laugh. Don't feel like you HAVE to be funny. If your strength is the emotional stuff, tug at their heartstrings. Keep the content positive and avoid anything embarrassing. When in doubt, ask.
How to Start
Keep it simple:
My name is ____ and I am the bestman/friend/brother/sister/etc…
Hey everyone, let’s give a round of applause to the people who put together this amazing night.
Break the ice with a joke. Here are a couple of good ones:
It’s been an emotional day, even the cake is in tiers.
I’d like to wish you a very memorable honeymoon. That brief but cherished period between 'I do' and 'You’d better.'
Use a Story From Your Past
Think of at least two amusing talking points. Perhaps, a scenario that showed strength of character or an amazing heart. But, be real. People will know if you describe them as world-travelers and they haven’t even left Jersey. Taking a trip down memory lane makes your speech delivery easier because you lived it. You can now direct most of your attention to the audience, not your notes.
Focus on the ones smiling or engaging with your words. When in doubt, remember that you have been chosen to share your thoughts. Be yourself and imagine it’s just you and your buddies.
Bring it Home by Bringing it Together
Pull everything together by saying why the couple is such a great match. And, finally, raise your glass, wish them an amazing future together and congratulate the couple with a toast.
Great job! Congrats on giving your wedding speech!