Planning 101 1st November 2014

Stealing a Quote in a Wedding Speech

There is nothing new under the sun, everything that’s being said has already been said before. So when it comes to giving wedding speeches, while your stories and memories will be original and personal, and the people to whom you’re speaking will differ, the sentiment remains the same. Most wedding speeches are structured to first inform the guests of your relationship with the new couple, then to share some insight, via a story, and to end with your wishes for the new couple in their marriage.

From Shakespeare to Oprah Winfrey, well known people have paired their intelligence with their understanding of life, others, and emotion, and provided us with brilliant quotes. Weddings, love, and marriage are some of the most spoken about topics in our society, and fittingly, there are millions of great quotes that are ideal for a wedding toast. Using a quote by a famous person, or even something you heard the local shop owner say is acceptable when writing your wedding speech. While quoting someone in your speech is a great way to express your sentiment in a more thought out and impactful way. To ensure that your speech doesn’t become more of someone else’s voice than your own, use no more than two quotes; just one would be ideal.

Make the Time

Give yourself enough time to compose your speech; write a rough outline of things you want to touch on a few weeks before the wedding. Then turn your outline into a rough draft of the full speech. As you write it out, say everything you’re thinking, as you write your final copy you can eliminate things that may not be worth sharing, are redundant, or that just don’t fit the occasion. Don’t worry yet about adding a quote; just write about yourself and your relationship with the couple, and a story that involves them and you. As you write your final copy, decide on a quote that perfectly matches the tone of your speech and that says what your hope or advice for the couple is.

Quotes become known because they are shareable, memorable, and meaningful. No matter which quote you decide on, remember to site your source. When written, it’s standard to cite the source of the quote after the quote, but when speaking, you cite the source before saying the quote, for example, “as William Shakespeare says, ‘my heart is ever at your service.’

Since you reserve your hopes and wishes for the couple until the end of your speech, prior to toasting, the most appropriate place for your quote would be near the end of your speech. People enjoy hearing well thought out speeches, and taking the time to find a quote that mirrors your sentiment and the sentiment of the occasion shows that you didn’t carelessly through a speech together at the last minute.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel or spend hours trying to sum up how you feel when a quote can do so perfectly.

image courtesy of: Kate Harrison Photography