Guide to Wedding Speeches
Being given the honor to give a wedding toast is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is an opportunity to share memories and kindly show your appreciation for the bride and groom. Wedding speeches are one of the most meaningful moments in a wedding. Though nerve wrecking for some, giving a wedding toast is a rewarding experience.
Most people feel pressured to write a speech that is both funny and touching. We’ve seen many examples of wedding speeches “gone wrong” in movies and tv series. The speaker is often depicted speaking of inappropriate things, sharing “level 5” secrets, and making the moment about themselves. Hopefully, this will not be an issue on your wedding day and instead, you will enjoy the warm wishes of your close friends and family.
One of the toughest aspects of writing a wedding speech is being able to capture years of fondness, funny moments, and memories into a five minute wedding toast. There is also the pressure of making your speech unique without any overused wedding quotes or punchlines. We want your speech to be amongst the best wedding speeches and thus researched the best tips for writing your wedding toast.
Long and Complicated
With so much to cover (growing up, college, breakups, lessons learned), a wedding speech can easily grow from 1 page to 2 to 3! If you begin your writing process eliminating or avoiding certain topics though, you can easily hinder your creative process. Writers simply let their thoughts flow and allow their writing to take shape. We strongly encourage writing everything that comes to mind about the bride and/or groom. Once you write to your heart’s content, read it and enjoy it! Allow your short story to unveil its strong points as well as its weaknesses.
Organize your rough draft into paragraphs with a take away message. Your goal should be to find that one story in your speech that ties all of your take away messages. For instance, you may notice that all of your paragraphs reflect the kindness of the bride or groom. Hopefully, you have a really touching story that enhances your message. Once you discover the theme of your wedding toast, it will be SO MUCH EASIER to spot all the extra content you can eliminate without taking away the heart of your speech. Ideally, your wedding speech should be like a picture, a still moment that deeply captures the essence of the bride or groom.
Use the idea of a long and complicated rough draft to help your ideas flow. Your finished speech should be significantly shorter, about 4-5 minutes in speech length. You can use the following website to check the “estimated speech length” of your speech: Speech Length.
This is the moment to really express yourself. Whether the bride is your sister or the groom your brother, the setting encourages a full bloom of love, inspiration, and joy; all it’s missing are your genuine words and emotions. Try to focus on moments that meant the world to you especially if it were small gestures made by the bride or groom. It is honestly those small, unexpected gestures that really make an impact on us, some times completely unaware to the contributor.
The secret ingredient to delivering a moving speech is ‘HOW” you say it. If your speech is based on genuine moments, moments that really made a difference in your life even as you remember them, wedding guests will feel the powerful impact of your words. Don’t worry about including a cliche; it’s all about telling a story that means something.
Write it Ahead of Time
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! We are all guilty of procrastinating and staying up all night to START AND FINISH a task. There are people out there who most definitely leave their wedding toast until the last minute and somehow manage to write a very moving speech. On the other hand, there are some souls who could only manage to write a poor speech at the last second or who even improvise at the exact moment! In either case, both individuals most likely wish they would’ve taken the time to write their wedding speech.
Why would someone who wrote an amazing last minute speech still regret their procrastination? In hindsight, any last minute work falls short of the potential it had. People always reflect on all the things they could’ve done or included on their speech. Even an amazing last minute toast will be no match to a timely written wedding toast.
We strongly recommend finding a soothing environment where you will ONLY focus on writing your speech. We encourage you to find a brand new place to write your speech; an open area such as a dock, a park, or anything else outside your home. A local coffee shop is not one of the best options as the noise level could be quite distracting. Any room in your home is also not a great option given that we always tend to find something to do while at home. Dedicate a few hours per week on your speech. If you need to feel motivated, carry an album full of pictures of you and the bride or groom. Another great option is to watch a few videos of touching wedding speeches and moments to really get those emotions running!
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