Planning 101 20th July 2015

8 Tips For An AWESOME Wedding Speech

 If you haven't seen it yet, now is the time to watch this INCREDIBLE wedding speech currently doing the rounds on the internet. Kelsey and Maddie Hallerman wrote this insanely amusing, witty wedding song/rap for their sister Caitlyn for her Californian wedding. And by God we're glad they did. It's hilarious. But they've also now set the bar VERY high for the future of all wedding speeches. This stuff is on a parr with Tom Fletcher (McFly) and his adorable 'My Wedding Speech', except in this version the sisters prove that you don't need the vocal talents of an international pop star to make it a success.

Greatest wedding toast of all time! from Chair7 Films on Vimeo.

Alas, public humiliation is not everyone's cup of tea. And song writing abilities are hard to come by, otherwise we'd all be famous right now. SO, if you've fallen upon this blog post whilst on a desperate hunt for some speech writing advice, here it goes...

1. Make Notes
DON'T rely on the inspiration of the day to wing it through your speech. There will be wine, and emotions, and an AWFUL lot of people staring at you. Sure, we've all given the speech of our lives whilst staring into the bedroom mirror, of the most impressive rendition of our favourite songs whilst in the shower, but when it comes to performing these things in real life, it somehow never works out the same, right? Preparation is key, write the speech out, section it into 3/4 parts, and bullet point it on note cards. There is no shame in note cards.

2. Know Your Audience
Leave out the private jokes, to incriminating stories unsuitable for half the audience, the fowl language and vulgar anecdotes. Your speech should be all inclusive, inspiring and unite the room. Even if you think that makes it a little dull. Save the stories for later on round the bar. Tell stories of how you met, silly stories of the lovely couple and tug on a few heart strings.

Always check that people can hear you. Don't be afraid to ask the question early on in the speech to ensure everyone can hear at the back of the room. It's worth practising projecting your voice in a large space prior to the event if this isn't something you do on the regular. Don't rely on there being a microphone, there are always technical hitches. It's also worth practising to get your tempo right, you need to speak slowly and clearly, but not so slowly that you're boring everyone.

4. Get a laugh
Try and get a little laugh somewhere near the opening couple lines of your speech. This will ensure that everyone is engaged and listening, and they'll immediately like you, which is always a bonus. Use humour wisely; some light teasing of the person you're toasting always goes down well, or a silly anecdote of a time they were stupid yet still lovable. Clever uses of poetry or lymerics are always amusing if you fancy giving that a go, and you can usually get away with being a bit more naughty under the guise of poetry than you would if you just go ahead and say it out loud.

5. State The Obvious
Yes, everyone else may have said it already, but people love to hear that the bride looks beautiful, the groom is a lucky man, their parents must be so proud and that you wish them a long and happy marriage. People love to be mentioned, not just the major people but also anyone who played a part in getting the couple together, or who helped with something for the wedding. Make sure you get names right (those notecards will come in handy) know where they are in the room so you can give them a quick glance.

6. Get Creative
Props are a life saver. It may take time and effort, but having a prop or two to accompany your speech gives people a visual element the keep them engaged instead of just the aural. It could be something like a photo or collection of photos (large enough that everyone can see!), perhaps detailing funny points throughout the groom's life (or brides). It could reflect some element of their job; for example if they're an accountant you could base your speech around a series of pie charts and graphs. Popular props include elements from somebody's childhood (teddy bears etc) or an old diary (fabricated for entertainment, of course!).

7. Don't Get Drunk
Seriously. A slurred speech will be an embarassment to all involved. Limit yourself to 2 drinks only before speech time. If nerves are a serious issue it may be worth discussing giving speeches at an earlier point during the day.

8. Fill Your Glass
Don't forget to remind everyone to charge their glasses towards the end of the speech, and remember to actually do the toast bit. And take a drink yourself! You'd be surprised how often this gets forgotten.

 wedding speech tips