Composing the perfect wedding speech can feel just as intimidating as actually giving it. How do you begin? Do you want it to be funny or to be touching? Can you do both? There is a lot of pressure that goes with giving a speech at a wedding, especially when you’re writing it yourself. Creating something that is just as meaningful as it is memorable can feel impossible. Before you put pen to paper, there are a few things you should consider, so we’ve created a guide to help you write the perfect wedding speech.
How should you start a wedding speech?
It’s important to introduce yourself at the start of your speech, even if you think everyone there knows who you are. An introduction serves as a natural starting point, helping ease your nerves and ground yourself if you struggle with public speaking. According to research, when you first begin a speech you have approximately 30 seconds to capture your audience’s full attention. So you better make that opening line punchy! Humour can be a great ice breaker. You can put a twist on your introduction, leading with a joke or anecdote to keep your audience on their toes.
Once you’ve decided how to begin, try to plan out a middle and end for your speech. You don’t need to compose a whole novel, but even the shortest of speeches benefit from having a clear structure. If you think about it, any piece of writing is more impactful when it takes us on a journey that leads to a conclusion. Speeches are no different.
Need a bit more guidance? We’ve composed our best top tips below to you deliver a memorable performance!
Our top tips:
- Incorporate music or images
If you’re looking forward to flexing your creative muscles, why not put a fun spin on your speech? You could sing your speech, write a song or even use videos or images on a projector to keep the guests enthralled. It will take a bit more effort than your traditional speech but it can be the perfect opportunity to create something sentimental and original right from the heart.
- Share a funny story (but don’t go too far!)
Everyone loves a funny story, and a wedding speech is the perfect opportunity to share a beloved memory and lighten the mood if the day is getting particularly emotional. The secret to a funny speech is mastering the fine line between comedic and embarrassing. No one wants to feel shamed on their wedding day so try to pick a story that’s family friendly and isn’t going to upset anyone.
- Watch examples from real life or TV and film
Some of the most iconic wedding speeches of all time have been immortalised in TV and film, so why not use them? We’re not suggesting you copy them word for word, but rather take some notes on what makes them so special and use those reflections to better your own writing and get a real understanding of what you want to achieve.
- Focus on a quote or a memory related to the couple
Finding inspiration can feel impossible, and other time it can feel like you have too many ideas. It can be hard to decide what exactly you should talk about and having one or two themes to stick to can improve the flow of your speech and keep people interested. Picking a particular quote or memory to circle back to is a great way to keep you on track and give structure to your speech.
- Get someone else to read it first and listen to any feedback
You may want to debut your speech on the day for full-impact, but running it past someone you trust first can help identify any teething problems. Like any good writer, it can take multiple drafts to get your speech just right. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and help edit will help speed up the process and get you to that flawless final draft.
- Don’t just copy and paste – personalise it
There are plenty of speech templates available online if you’re truly struggling. Just don’t forget to personalise it! Connection is vital to a good speech and a speech with no real connection to the wedding is going to be impossible for people to relate to.
- Use note cards to ease anxiety
There’s nothing worse than forgetting what you were talking about mid-speech and it can really ruin the moment if you’re left scrambling to finish a story. Public speaking is one of the most common fears and if you’re not used to it you can easily become vulnerable to ‘brain freeze’ where increasing anxiety can lead to your mind going blank. Using prompts such as note cards can really save the day and even if you don’t end up needing them, the comfort of having them to fall back on can really help ease anxiety.
Any seasoned public speaker knowns just how vital rehearsals are. Not only will speaking out loud alert you to any sections of writing that feel unnatural, but it’ll help you keep a grasp on timings (apparently 3 minutes is the best duration) and prevent you from tripping up on your words on the big day.
- Don’t forget to congratulate the happy couple
It’s so simple yet so easy to forget to do in the moment! Don’t forget who this day is about – and what better way to encourage a toast? Weddings are meant to be memorable, so who wouldn’t want their speech to be the same? At Mount Pleasant Hotel, we can help make your day special. If you’re looking for a venue that offers breathtaking views and excellent service, we’re located in the historic spa town of Great Malvern on the side of the Malvern Hills.
Get in touch with us today to explore the options we can offer to make your wedding day spectacular.