What is the number #1 reason your timeline goes askew on your wedding day? It’s having too many speeches or guests that speak too long. Here’s a few tips to make sure your wedding speeches are perfect! Share these tips with anyone speaking at your wedding!
According to History Wedding blog, the tradition started back in ancient times when neighbors were at war with each other:
“Many times the wars ended in a truce that brought the leaders’ children together in marriage. At the banquet celebration, the bride’s father drank from the communal wine pitcher first (again to show it wasn’t poisoned). And this is where the tradition of the wedding toast began.”
The traditions began under this premise, but have been upheld by generations as a symbol of love and support for the couple getting married.
Traditional speeches at a wedding are: Maid of Honor, Best Man, and Father of the Bride. Though many people opt to add the Groom’s parents as well. But make sure you include whoever you want!
Speaking at a wedding is an honor, and most people like some time to think about what they are going to say. Once you decide on your date and venue, it’s time to start notify your most important guests, and that will include those you want to speak at your wedding. At least six months in advance.
Family dynamics are complicated, and we don’t always want to celebrate traditional family roles in the typical way they might be at a wedding. And that is perfectly okay! No one deserves a speech at your wedding, it is an honor and a privilege. So what do you do if someone might be expecting to speak at your wedding? You may want to consider letting them speak at a different event, like your rehearsal dinner, where the crowd is smaller. Feel free to blame this on your wedding day timeline, too! Let them know your wedding day is jam-packed, and you just don’t have time allocated so you’d rather they speak the day before.
If you really don’t want this person speaking at your wedding altogether, it’s best to have a conversation about it long before your wedding day. Waiting too long can mean emotions will run high close to your wedding day. And we always want you to feel as relaxed as possible.
Sometimes there may be more guests at a wedding for one significant other over the other person. If their family is based internationally it may be difficult for them to have representation on your wedding day. If that is the case, you’ll want to make sure the speeches feel balanced, and even if one spouse doesn’t have the same amount of people speaking, you’ll want the speeches to feel like they represent both of you.
Speeches are one of the things that can through your timeline off the most. It’s best to plan for at least 3-5 minutes per speech. Ask your speakers to stick to that, and if you know they will have trouble, consider asking them to make a longer speech at the rehearsal the night before. That way they can share a more abbreviated version the day of.
Your wedding planner will help them get organized on the day of. And will remind them ahead of time so they know what order they are speaking in.
Don’t assume someone will want to speak at your wedding. If they aren’t comfortable, consider asking them to read a poem that might be significant to you. Or ask them to participate in a different way at your wedding. Many people like to have close family (or people you consider family) walk down the aisle during the ceremony.
Speeches vary from person to person but usually follow this general format:
-Story about how they know the person.
-How they know the couple.
-What wishes they have for them on the future ahead.
Don’t worry about being funny or making people cry. This usually comes naturally, remember, you are speaking at their wedding for a reason! They already love you, share that love with their audience and the emotions will resonate with the crowd.
Many couples like to have a quick moment to stand up and thank their guests for attending their wedding. This is especially thoughtful when your guests are traveling a very long way, like to Martha’s Vineyard.
And don’t forget to thank your vendors! They may be working away in the background but a quick shoutout goes a long way.
Don’t forget to end with a “cheers to the happy couple”. Everyone is waiting at the end of your speech to cheers and clink glasses with their neighbors. The end of your speech is their cue, so don’t forget this!
Don’t forget your drink! You need something to cheers to!
Don’t forget to hug it out after your speech!
What wedding speeches have you heard that you loved? Let us know in the comments below!