Writing any speech is nerve wracking; delivering it in front of an audience even more so. A wedding speech carries all sorts of implications with it. It will always be remembered by the bridal couple and will forever be captured on the wedding video. If awkward or inappropriate, the speaker will not quickly forget his or her faux pas. They should also not be overly long, boring hungry guests and causing them to lose focus. For these reasons, best men, fathers of the bride, grooms or brides that are delivering speeches need to keep some pointers in mind.
There needs to be 1) an introduction, 2) the main body and 3) a conclusion.
Introduce yourself by stating your name, your role in the wedding and your relationship with the bride or groom, while still keeping it light and even a little humorous (e.g. “Good evening, I’m Mark, the best man and Derek’s younger, much better looking brother). Thank the guests for being there and thank the hosts for their hospitality (usually the bridal couple’s parents).
2. Main Body
This part of the speech can be funny, but should never be embarrassing or inappropriate. Avoid bringing up stories of your single days and the mischief that you may have gotten up to and never divulge comments shared or secrets spilt about anyone. Rather, make this part of the speech about little known facts of the bride or groom, their interests, passions or hobbies, funny stories you know of them and celebrities that got married on the same day as they are enjoying their wedding. If you are the bride or groom, these stories could include how you met, your first date, etc…
Be sincere in wishing the bridal couple happiness and success for the future if you are not the bride or groom. Thank the guests again for making an effort to be there and encourage them to relax and enjoy themselves. As the groom, you should definitely take this opportunity to express your love for the bride, how beautiful she looks and your excitement for spending the rest of your lives together.
Write each section of your speech on a different card so that these three sections are clearly defined. While delivering your speech, maintain eye contact with different people in the audience (do not stare at one person as this will make everyone a little uncomfortable). Make sure that you speak clearly and loud enough and always address the bride and groom in the first person. Keep your head up so that your voice projects effectively. If you are reading from notes or quoting something from a book, place the microphone between your mouth and the book, so that your voice does not muffle or distort.
Most importantly, keep your message to the guests, bride and groom sincere and meaningful. This is not the time to raise issues that may cause hurt, offense or jealousy. Rather, remind everyone of the reason that they are there and encourage them to join in the spirit of love and romance that makes weddings such special occasions.
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