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A Toast is in Order


Some speeches capture your attention while others make you ponder what the next dish is going to be! The truth is no one wants to sit through yet another boring speech, therefore tell people something they want to hear, like funny stories of the couple how they first met or little tiny secrets (has to be done tastefully!).

Expressing love. Photo by Plush Photography. Wedding of Fiona and Alistair.

Nearly anyone, although typically it would be the father-of-the-bride and/or the best man. It is perfectly fine and more common these days for the matron-of-honour, mothers, best friends, or the couple themselves to make the speech.

Think carefully about who you pick. You don’t want someone a sandwich short of a picnic giving the speech on the most important day of your life!

If you have the ideal person in mind to give the speech, do personally request the honour from them at least 3 to 6 months in advance. Be understanding should they refuse your request - they may have stage fright or tend to get too emotional. Someone enthusiastic about giving the speech would probably give a better delivery than someone who was reluctant in the first place.

The speech will vary depending on who delivers it. When writing a speech, include humour, anecdotes and reminiscences. Usually, it involves some interesting stories about them, congratulatory wishes to the happy couple and ‘thank-yous’ to special individuals for their help and support. Saying something nice about both families is appropriate since a wedding is also about bringing two families together.

Brides and Grooms, if you decide to make the speech, do thank your parents for creating the special you; thank your partner for his love and your in-laws for welcoming you into the family. Tell an amusing story about how you met. If your partner is going to make a speech after you, try not to steal the limelight. Consider a double act if either one is a nervous public speaker. Whatever you say, the important thing is to be honest and sincere.

Both you and your husband would have received many compliments on how gorgeous the both of you look throughout the day. Return the compliment and thank your guests for taking the effort to dress up too!

Hint: The brides’ speech usually has immense impact on the guests.

Prepare early
-Jot down draft points as early as 2 months before the wedding. Early preparation helps in a successful delivery. Have a full draft ready at least 3 weeks before.

Go slow - One tends to get nervous and do a speedy Gonzales. Be conscious of speaking slowly and clearly so everyone can hear and understand you, especially if your audience are not native speakers of the language you are giving your speech in.

Keep it short - If guests are hungry, their attention span is short. Once they get distracted, all they can think about is food and pay no attention whatsoever to the speech. Everyone must have gone through this before! Keep it brief and punchy.

Timing - The best times to make the speech are just before the start of dinner, after the first course. For those who have cake cutting or champagne toasting, right before these events are also ideal for speeches.

Practice makes perfect - This may be a cliché but oh so true. If time permits, practise in front of a mirror as you would be able to see yourself and correct any funny arm movement or facial expression.

Add a humorous anecdote - If you say something funny, pause for a moment and allow guests to have a laugh. If they don’t, say something cheeky to encourage laughter.

Be yourself and be confident - Square your shoulders, chin up and breathe.

Drink too much before making the speech
- You never know when the alcohol effect will kick in and the last thing you want to do is make the wedding memorable for the wrong reason!

Read from the script - It can be boring to listen to someone read. If you can’t memorise the full speech, try at least to remember the opening paragraph and main points. At the same time, have the script in hand for reference purposes.

Go overboard - You want to make the speech interesting but you also want to ensure the couple is not embarrassed more than necessary! Commenting on how the wedding day is the start of the groom’s henpecked life or discussing anyone’s sexual habits are absolute no-no’s.

Side-track - Keeping the speech short will reduce the chance of sidetracking.

ExtraOrdinary Weddings Tip

  • If you find that speech-giving is not your cup of tea, consider reading a meaningful poem, playing an instrument, sing or dance!
  • Ensure a good sound system is available especially if it is a big wedding as it ain’t going to matter whether your delivery is mind-blowing when no one can hear you!

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