Preparing a Heartfelt Wedding Speech
By Rose Smith
You've been asked to deliver a wedding speech during the reception and you have no idea where to begin. What's a person to do? Here are some tips to help you get started.
**The Difference Between a Toast and a Speech**
A wedding toast is a short acknowledgement. Usually only a few lines are said, then everyone is asked to raise their glasses and drink a tribute. A wedding speech, on the other hand, is usually several minutes long and encompasses stories, accomplishments, etc. of the person (or group of people) being acknowledged.
**The Order of Wedding Speeches**
There is usually a certain order that is followed when giving wedding speeches. This is not written in stone and can be changed to suit the particular wedding party.
First, the bride's father or a good family friend gives a speech about the bride and groom, ending with a toast. The groom then stands up, thanks the speech maker
and delivers his own speech on behalf of the bridesmaids and maid of honor. The best man then accepts the speech on behalf of the bridesmaids and thanks the groom. He then delivers a speech about the bride and groom's parents. At the end of each speech, the current speaker also proposes a toast to that particular person or persons.
The above is just a general guideline. You can rearrange the order of speeches, have the bride make a speech, etc.
**Preparing Your Speech**
DO consider what you know about the person (or persons) you are giving the speech too. Write down any funny stories, anecdotes, little things that stand out in your mind and a few appropriate jokes.
DON'T be crude or bring up extremely embarrassing situations.
DO think about the length of your speech and what you'd like to say. Keep it short, no longer than 2 or 3 minutes at most. Take your time writing and rewriting as needed.
DON'T make it boring by sticking only to facts. Add a joke here and there, or bring up a funny (but not too embarrassing) situation that you remember.
DO rehearse your speech. Practice it over and over. Rewrite any long sentences and make sure the speech flows smoothly.
DON'T read directly from your speech. Make short notes on index cards to cue you on what to say next and make eye contact on with the guests.
DO get together with the anyone else who is making a speech at the wedding so you have an idea of what you'll each be saying. You don't want to be repeating a similar
story or joke that someone else has prepared. Also, make sure you are familiar with the order that the speeches will be given in, so you are prepared when your turn comes.
DON'T rush your speech. Take your time and speak slowly and clearly. If you have a joke or funny story, wait a few seconds after you tell it for people to laugh.
DO remember to thank the last speaker and accept their tribute on behalf of the person they were speaking about.
DON'T forget to end your speech with a toast to the person(s) you just paid tribute to.
The above tips should help you get started. However, if you're still nervous and don't believe you can write a great speech, I'd suggest picking up the ebook
Wedding Celebration Speeches. It contains everything you need to help you write that perfect speech from your own heart. http://www.wedthemes.com/weddingspeeches.htm
Rose Smith is the author of How to Create a Beautiful Medieval Wedding and several other wedding booklets. Visit Wedding Themes and More for great ideas to help you plan your wedding. http://www.wedthemes.com