Could there be anything more terrifying? For many people speaking in public is the ultimate fear while others consider being in the spotlight their rightful place and crave any audience. However most guys fear having to write and deliver a wedding speech.
Traditionally the Father of the Bride gives the first speech, during which he ends by toasting the happy couple. It also seems to be tradition for the Brides father to give the longest and dullest speech possible and talk for longer than the ceremony lasted. This can be easily avoided with a few simple tips.
Second comes the Groom who will publicly thank the bridesmaids, ushers and acknowledge both sets of parents.
The Best Man’s speech is usually given third and there is an expectation that this is the main act of what can sometimes be a rather dull part of proceedings. This speech will either be celebrated as the high point of the wedding or he’ll be removed bodily from the building by the bride’s angry brothers while the bride’s mother looks on scowling. The best man should not only mention the bride but he also answers on behalf of the bridesmaids and ushers for the kind words of the Groom.
At many weddings the father of the bride’s has been known to drag out a bit, well it’s only fair, he is the one that laid out all the cash so that a load of relatives he doesn’t like and strangers he’s never met and will probably never meet again can have a free meal and party at his expense. However there is no need for him to be dull and there is help at hand (see below). Most Grooms don’t prepare their speech and try to rush through it as quickly as possible, seeing as its his party the Groom can get away with delivering his speech however he chooses. The perfect wedding speech should last around 7 minutes.
Swearing is a big “no no”. Just don’t do it. Remember this will be a very mixed crowd.
Most of the time the real fun stuff comes from the Best Man however although he is there to ensure the groom gets a comedy roast what might seem really funny to a the Groom and his friends down the pub on a Friday night might not be the kind of thing that’s going to amuse the bride’s grandparents. If you are undecided about whether something is too close to the knuckle then its best to err on the side of caution.
The Basic Phases
All three of the wedding speeches can be broken down into phases, stick with this basic rules and you can’t go wrong. Here is an example of the Best Man’s speech phases.
- Introduction. Introduce yourself and your relationship to the groom. This is a good place to try your first joke to relax yourself and your audience.
- The formal bit. Reply on behalf of the bridesmaids, ushers, etc. Compliment the bride’s parents on the great day and their hospitality. And compliment the bride.
- The Roast. A few gags or a relevant story at the groom’s expense.
- Words of wisdom. Offer some words of advice or insights into marriage, this is a good place to deliver some killer jokes or quotes.
- Time to be nice. Before you wrap up and now that you have given the groom such a hard time its then time to offer some sincerity and best wishes for the future.
- Postman. Read out any messages or cards from those who couldn’t make it on the day.
- Toast. Finish your speech by asking everyone to stand and raise their glasses to the newlyweds. This might have been done by the father of the bride but no one will mind toasting the happy couple a second time and it’s a great way to bring your speech to a close.
Speech Writing Services
The internet has numerous companies that offer to write your speech for you and while this may seem an easy option it isn’t a great idea. Firstly these “writers” don’t know you, everyone has a particular way of speaking and so there’s no way they can write for your speech patterns. Also they have never met the happy couple so how can they be qualified to speak to them? No matter whether you are the Father of the Bride, the Groom or the Best Man your speech should come from you. If need be there are plenty of sites that can help providing you with a bonanza of one liners and ice breakers that you can weave into your speech without losing your own important words. But don’t be afraid to mix good humour with a hint of romance, there are many great quotes on love and marriage which can give your speech a touch of class. Let’s face it most guys have never had to write a speech before let alone ensure that it is littered with a few laughs to keep the crowd entertained. Using databases to help bring your speech to life is a useful tip and can certainly fill in the blanks and give you some humorous hand grenades to throw when needed but keep in mind that ultimately it must be YOUR speech and YOUR words, it’s a special celebration and your chance to pay tribute to a couple who hold you in such high esteem.
Most of all don’t let the nerves get to you. A famous English comedian once commented that giving a wedding speech is a bit like making love to the queen, it’s a great honour but nobody really wants to do it. People recognise how hard it is to have to give a wedding speech, everyone at the wedding wants you to do a great job and so is on your side willing you to do well. So relax, enjoy and don’t let it give you too many sleepless nights. Stick to the basic rules and you will be celebrated as the hero of the hour. The Father of the Bride will have the adoration of his wife and beautiful daughter and admiration of his friends and relatives. The Groom will show why his new wife chose so wisely and be welcomed into the arms of his new family. For the Best Man…. Well get it right and you could well wind up with your pick of the bridesmaids!
For more expert tips and advice go to the writers of this article (many thanks to them) www.simplythebestman.co.uk / www.simplythefatherofthebride.com / www.simplythegroom.com
You’ve booked the venue, picked the dress and chosen your rings, the cakes been ordered, the car-hire arranged and the honeymoon’s sorted. Everything’s in place for the big day but… what on earth are you going to say to each other?!
Wedding poems can be a problem. Finding something suitable to share with your guests causes many a bride and groom a real headache. Love poems found online are all very well but they aren’t about your love and some ‘funny’ poems have more of a cheese-factor than the burst of humour you’re looking for. In the past wedding readings were quite restrictive – a passage from the Bible or some other weighty tome. But now with licensed venues for weddings and civil ceremonies and partnerships the wealth and breadth of wedding readings has increased no end. It is no longer only the guys that get to make speeches either, and often now the bride might like to do a reading or wedding poem of her own, and sometimes even a sister, best friend or mum like to get in on the act too!
An invitation in poetry-form is a nice way to start the bridal ball rolling and a little gift of poetry to your beloved on the morning of the big day adds a really lovely touch of romance.
When thinking about wedding readings it’s important to think not only to think about the couple in questions, but also who will be delivering the reading. Some people are excellent at humour, whilst others are better at poems of a more serious or touching nature. And if you’re the bride or groom, and you’re planning to read a wedding poem during the ceremony, it might be a good idea to have a friend waiting in the wings to take over if the emotions get too much.
Kate Tym, The Wedding Poet, trawled through hundreds of poems for her own wedding and still came up blank. But when she wrote her own wedding poems everything fell into place. She says, ‘I wanted something completely unique and personal that came straight from my heart – and when I wrote something myself, that’s just what I got!’ She now writes bespoke poems for other people and finds that being able to share their feelings in such a wonderful way really makes the happy couple’s day complete. Kate makes sure she finds out all she can about the couple in question, and also about the person who will be doing the reading, so that what she writes is completely tailored to them. Her poems have featured feelings, friends and family - things that are unique to that couple and therefore are meaningful in a way no off-the-peg wedding poems could ever be. Kate has written poems featuring children, pets and pants. Anything that is meaningful to that particular couple can go in to one of The Wedding Poet’s wedding poems. Kate says, ‘This may be the one chance you have to share with those important to you just how you really feel, so it needs to be just right. So if you have find it difficult putting your thoughts and feelings into words, you really don’t need to worry - as I can do it for you and create a poem which is absolutely one hundred per cent personal to you!!’
Kate provides a country-wide service, to get in touch with her for more information or to book a poem