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5 Tips for a Wedding Speech

5 Tips for a Good Wedding SpeechNeed help with your speech?
Also see 5 Tips for Delivering a Good Speech

Why take a wedding speech seriously? Often, it is the one chance we have to honor a loved one publically outside of a eulogy. It is a time of great joy, and with this, an opportunity to lift up the bride or groom with smiles and laughter. Old family friends, colleagues and business associates may be there, as well as friend who "knew you when." Not only is your audience more than the bride groom, but it may wind up on YouTube. Do it right.

A good wedding speech is generous, funny, and warm. It goes from 1-6 minutes, so there is not much time to meander. What can you do to prepare one?

  1. Remember Your Goal.
    You are honoring someone. It is about them. Whether it is your spouse, a parent, a child, or a good friend, you want to let them you know appreciate them. Don't embarrrass them. Many a relationship is ruined by telling a story that the person preferred remain locked in the archive forever.
  2. Keep It Simple.
    Eloquence doesn't need to be complicated. While being thoughtful is important, sounding like Shakespeare will not help.
  3. Be Sober.
    Have a drink later if you like, but if you took the time to prepare your thoughts, make sure you are capable of telling them. What could be more awkward than instead of telling your best friend, "I treasure those days playing in the school yard," you say, "Do yoush remember... member that whatchamacallit where we would, um, swing?" 
  4. Keep Stories Short.
    Tell anecdotes, but remember your audience just needs an overview. Get to the punchline quickly and they will be wanting more. Drag on with details, and they will be looking for the guy with the hors d' oeuvres tray.
  5. Have Fun.
    This is a wedding celebration, not a condo association budget report. Smile often, and enjoy the opportunity to ham it up, and toast a new day!