How to Write a Wedding Speech
If you have been asked to be the Best Man or Maid of Honor for someone’s wedding, it is most certainly an honor. In most circumstances it also requires you to deliver some type of speech or toast. You may be asking yourself “How do I write a Best Man speech?” or “How do I write a Maid of Honor speech?”. This is a common question. Believe it or not, the number one fear of most people is public speaking. Don’t worry though. In this blog post we will give you the best tips and pointers for and help show you how to write a wedding speech.
Tip #1: Begin with a Strong, Funny, or Thought Provoking Statement
The way you begin your speech is the most important. You only have one chance to make a good impression and keep people engaged. Make it count. DO NOT begin your speech with “For those of you who don’t know me…” That is the single most boring way you can begin a speech. There are far more creative ways to introduce yourself. The first thing that you say should be funny, or thought provoking and catch everyone’s attention. This could be a short anecdote, joke or something to ponder.
Tip #2: Have a Plan
Don’t go into the speech blind or think you are going to wing it. The best speeches have outlines or structure. Think about this as an essay. You should have an introduction, body and conclusion. Don’t forget your purpose, which is to honor the Bride and Groom. Everything you say should be heading in that direction.
The Best Speeches will make the audience laugh, make them cry, and make them think. If you can achieve that in your speech, you are in good shape. Plan to tell something whimsical or funny to begin, then move toward the sentimental. Know what you are going to say before stepping in front of the audience and have this mapped out ahead of time.
Tip #3: Keep it Short
Even the best speeches don’t drag on. People are hungry and are waiting for dinner to start. Don’t go on a tirade 15 minutes long. A good length is 4-6 minutes for a speech. Anything longer is going to push peoples’ patience.
Tip #4: Use Simple Language
Make sure your language is conversational. The best way to create a disconnect with your audience is by using language that feels un-natural or forced. Talk to the audience as if they are having a casual conversation with you. Avoid any jargon or inside jokes you might have with the Bride or Groom. No one else will understand your inside story or language that isn’t a part of their everyday life.
Make the audience hear what you hear, see what you see and feel what you feel. Draw upon your senses to put the audience in your shoes. Use descriptive language to transport them into your story.
Tip #5: Don’t Read
PRACTICE, PRACTICE PRACTICE! Don’t read your speech from a phone or paper. Have the main points that you’d like to talk about or the stories you want to tell already mapped out. Speeches read from paper or a phone are contrived and seem insincere. Spend plenty of time preparing your speech. Please do not wait until the day of the wedding to think about this and definitely don’t wing it. Not many people can pull that off and we have seen our fair share of train wrecks at wedding receptions. Practice your speech and be prepared before the wedding day.
Tip #6: Use Clean Humor
One of the best ways to make a connection with your audience is by using humor. Especially if the object of the joke is you, or if you are roasting the Bride or Groom.
Nothing is more off-putting or awkward than crude humor or crass language at a formal event. There are many sources for clean jokes you can insert into your speech if you don’t have any ideas of your own. If you want to win the audience over, make them laugh at an unexpected CLEAN joke about yourself or the Bride or Groom.
Tip #7: Leave a Lasting Impression
End your speech with something memorable. Let the audience know that it is time to honor the Bride and Groom, but leave them with a bit of wisdom or a story that puts the Bride and Groom in a shining light. Make the audience proud to be there and that they were invited to such a magnificent event. Leave them with a smile on their face. Thank them for the honor of being a part of the wedding and for including everyone there.
These are a few tips for writing a successful speech at a wedding. Hopefully we will see you at the next one and you will be able to bring the house down.