Planning 101 13th May 2015

Speaking Without Gushing!

Aside from childbirth, weddings are the most sentimental occasion you will celebrate. It is commonplace and pretty much a given that the mood of a wedding ceremony and reception will be light, loving, reflective, and emotional. The beautiful union of two people who have discovered joy and love, and are looking forward to a lifetime of partnership, is an occasion that brings out the best in everyone. When the ceremony has ended, family, friends, and the wedding party gather to receive the newlyweds, share a meal, and dance the night away. Speeches by those closest to the bride and groom often echo the sentiment of the day. Depending on your history with the couple, your relationship with them, the memories you share, and your personality in general, it can be tempting to fill your speech with personal stories, inside jokes, and to gush over your friend.

Speaking from the heart

However, speaking from the heart is one side of a very thin line and the other side of that line is gushing. The essence of love is heart, to speak from your heart while giving a wedding speech, simply state your love for the couple, why you value them as people and friends, and offer advice on how to nurture and further cultivate love throughout the entirety of their marriage. Share with guests when and how you knew the couple were in love and how their love has blossomed. A heartfelt speech is one that is original, personal, and allows others to connect or know more about yourself and the couple. You can speak from the heart when you share endearing memories, express why the person is in your life, why you are happy to be a part of their big day, and also through the use of loving advice, lyrics or quotes.

Think before you speak

Save the intimate details or personal stories for a card or private conversation. If you’d be embarrassed to stand and say it to someone in the middle of a restaurant, it’s probably too private to be shared in public. If you find yourself speaking as you would to a baby or small child, if you can’t pull yourself together enough to get through sentence, or if your speech sounds more like a Hallmark card than a speech, you’ve crossed that line. Express your happiness, vocalize your love for your friend, or share a sentimental story; a tear or two shed at a wedding is expected. However, making people blush, squirm, or avoid eye contact with you when you look at them, those are clues that you’ve crossed the line from heartfelt expression to gushing.

Remember also that you are most likely speaking as a representative of either the bride or the groom. So, if you go on and on, gushing over one, it’s unfair to the other half of the new couple, as it is their day to share together. While it’s OK to have a shared experience or loving words to say to your friend, balance that out with hopes and well wishes for the other so they don’t have to sit in darkness while the figurative spotlight shines on their spouse.