Giving A Memorable Wedding Speech
Brides and grooms do it. Parents on both sides do it, too. At some weddings, even the Best Man and the Maid of Honor do it. But to do it well, to make it memorable, there are certain tips you should follow with your wedding speech.
1. It’s an honor, so be honorable
Whether you asked to give a speech and they agreed or they asked you and you agreed – taking the stage at a wedding is an honor. You are there because these two people trust you with a precious moment on their once-in-a-lifetime day. They will remember your speech forever. Don’t let that scare you. Prepare ahead of time and just remember that they honored you . . . so it is only fitting that your speech honors them.
2. The formula is easy
Memorable speeches start with a funny or heartwarming anecdote featuring the speech giver and one or (preferably) both of the people getting married. Keep it clean, make sure it will not truly embarrass anyone, and have fun with it. Once you have your anecdote, add your well wishes to the couple. And bam: one anecdote plus a heartfelt wish for the future equals marital bliss (or, at least, memorable toast).
3. It’s OK to use notes
Chances are, you are not a professional speaker (and no one expects you to be), but even if you were – in personal emotional times, even professional speakers can get nervous. It is OK to use notes, or even write out your entire speech script-style. Certainly, you should do your best not to read it verbatim, lest it sound impersonal – but remember that the goal is “memorable” not “memorize.”
4. Keep it short
Guests came to the wedding to witness the vows, to have a delicious meal, or to dance the night away. They did not come to hear you ramble on for hours on end. Be brief. Refer to #2.
5. Have a drink to relax, but celebrate later
If you are nervous, grab a glass of wine before you’re up. But know your limits – do not get to the microphone drunk. There will be plenty of time to celebrate with more drinks after you give an honorable, memorable, brief speech.