Share stories not lists in your wedding speech
Writing a Wedding Speech a list of adjectives about the bride or groom is boring and doesn’t demonstrate their relationship or their character. e.g. “She is beautiful, kind, talented and …” (yawn). What does that mean? Kind? We all have different definitions of these words based on our own experiences. Instead, share a story which demonstrates the characteristics you want to share.
Start by making some notes of stories and experiences that you’ve enjoyed with the bride, groom or couple. Take into account the audience’s cultural background, age, familiarity with the happy couple, etc. By sharing a few stories that show who they are to you, the audience gains insight into your relationship. e.g. “I’ll never forget …”
A sincere wedding speech from the heart is appreciated most. Share how they have impacted you, welcomed you, made you who you are. Stay away from crude material, so as to not offend or embarrass anyone. The focus should be on the positive areas of their character. A little humour is always good, as long as it is positive humour (not critical).
Talking to other friends and family can be a great way to get stories that illustrate the character of those to be thanked, and about the happy couple.
Once you have written your speech, practice it out loud several times and make adjustments where necessary. Written language is different to spoken language and this becomes evident when we speak it out loud. If possible run the speech by a trusted family member or friend to get an independent perspective. You can also record your speech as you read it out loud on your phone or a recorder to hear how it sounds.
As the groom try limit your speech to 5-7 minutes (you have the most people to acknowledge – see Tips on wedding toasts). Attempt to keep the rest of the speeches under 5 minutes. If your speech goes on too long it is liable to cause restlessness. An excellent rule of thumb is ‘short and sweet’.
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