Monday, February 1, 2021

Wedding Speeches

by Deborah Joy Block, Certified Wedding Planner, National Wedding Dance Expert, Matchmaker and Certified Relationship Life Coach

For Western weddings, the vows, the First Dance and speeches are the most sacred rituals of the entire wedding day. All three are expressions of your love and none can be outsourced to a vendeor or delegated to your bridal party. All three focus on the reason why you got engaged and married. These three rituals acknowledge special people and make everyone feel connected regardless of the size of the group by sharing your true emotions. You will have several opportunities to briefly thank your guests during the receiving line, visiting tables and written thank you notes but this will be your only way to publickly expresss yourself in a more substantial way and have your sentiments recorded on video. Possible speech topics might include talking about what you love most about your spouse, what lessons you learned from specific honored guests about marriage, what marriage means to you, etc....Here are a few tips for giving a great speech:

Who speaks? Traditionally the groom speaks on the bride’s behalf but in modern times guests enjoy hearing from both the bride and groom. Both sets of parents should be represented as well as the Best Man and Maid of Honor. Let everyone know ahead of time when their speech will take place in the timeline and ask them to keep their speech to no longer than 3 minutes.

Acknowledgements: Begin your speech by acknowledging and thanking the speaker who came before you for their kind words.

Humor: Opening your speech with a bit of humor is a great way to get the attention of your guests.

Keep it short: There is a good chance that your wedding includes several speeches. For that reason, it is a good idea to keep all speeches under 3 minutes.

Name Names: If you plan to name names when it comes to who helped with your wedding, it is a good idea to make sure that you have the names written down and share how they hellped you have a perfect wedding. Also mention a general thank you to all who have contributed but have not been specifically named to avoid hurt feelings.

Timing: The engagement party, bridal rehearsal and reception should all include speeches. The timing can affect the energy flow of the so it is important that it fits into the timeline. Most commonly speeches occur during the cake cutting or dinner.

Practice makes perfect: You should practice reading your speech out loud several times. This isn't necessarily to memorize the speech. You should have a few bullet points that you can improvise from the heart so that you will not have to stare at the paper the whole time. Instead, you should be looking around at your guests as you speak.

Thank your parents: This is the perfect time to tell them how much you love them and appreciate everything they've done for you and how special they are and how proud you are of their accomplishments and contributions to your growth. Regard your wedding speech as an opportunity to reassure your parents that they are not losing a child but gaining a son/daughter. You could also thank them for teaching you specific values that you feel will contribute to helping you be a good spouse to your partner.

Thank your in-laws: Thank your new parents for welcoming you into their family and express how happy you are to be part of their family. If you have tensions with them you can at least compliment them on raising a fabulous person and reassure them that you'll take care of their son/daughter.

Thank your spouse: Let everyone present know how happy you are to be married to him/her and why. Don't worry if you end up crying, your family guests and spouse will understand any outpouring of emotions you feel. 

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