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What we intend for wedding speeches?
It can be the happy couple welcoming their guests and thanking them to be an important part of their special day, but also the speech the parents will want to give during the reception and/or the toast speeches by friends, siblings, best man, and maid of honor.
In my 20 years in the industry, I witness a bit of everything: from speeches so long and boring people start yawning looking around asking when the "pain will end", to incredibly moving, hysterically funny or dreadful embarrassing moments. On one of our last weddings, I had to have a search party for the mother of the bride that disappeared minutes before her speech. She had cold feet and while she told me she was going to the powder room to check her make up before her "big moment" she went back to the hotel room without telling anybody, to edit her speech ( I am not kidding ! It truly happened). It is a big honor to be asked to give a speech but I do understand that writing and delivering your wedding speech can be nerve-wracking especially when in front of the entire family and/or a large audience. Please remember that even if you are the groom's best buddy or the bride's best friend this should not be the time to spill the beans on their most embarrassing moments in college or such... It not should even be the moment where you unleash your ego or where you talk about the bride and groom's past girlfriends or boyfriends.
So where to start? First of all realize that it is very, very,very difficult to wing it and to just improvise on the spot. You risk to do a poor job and to miss the chance to say something meaningful that it will be remembered for long time or at the contrary to say something you should not have said. If the couple asked you to deliver your speech you should at least take it seriously and prepare. Once you write it down practice in front of somebody that can give you a feed back.
It is absolutely OK to admit you need help. There are quite few books about it ,and google is always a good place to start your research and find some examples. I also want to suggest Wedding Spechees for All which is an amazing resource. Remember that you need to personalize each speech and while there is not an exact formula to do it we found that Starting strong with a joke or two and finish out with a sentimental toast it is always a great way to deliver it.
Last but not least please keep it under 10 minutes long. It is a long day with a lot of moving parts involved. We are confident you can keep it meaningful and to the point in 10 minutes or less.