The speeches are often the high point of a wedding reception. Making a speech that is entertaining and memorable is one thing, but making sure it’s entertaining and memorable for all the right reasons is another! If you’re in the midst of writing your best man or father-of-the-bride speech, check out wedding expert Kate Thompson’s guide to making it a good one.
Photo by Perfect Day Photography
The absolute worst wedding speech I have ever heard (and there have been a few) was by the proud father of the bride after a few too many. An ex-mayor, he obviously confused his daughter’s big day with a council speech and, puffed up with pride and his own self importance, he rolled merrily along for forty long, excruciating minutes, eager not to leave anything out, to recount every lame joke he had ever heard and to tell everyone in the room how wonderful he was. The bride hung her head in shame while poor mum looked as red as her hat.
The best speeches are short, witty, and affectionate. The wit’s the hard bit – pitching at the right level so you don’t offend Aunty Maud while raising a few genuine laughs seems to send most otherwise sane and rational people into a sense of panic.
Help is at hand however, with books specially tailored to giving the perfect speech a real help for those whose words desert them in moments of stress. And, let’s not beat around the bush here, giving a speech can be stressful for a lot of people. One of the best man’s main duties will be a speech, fathers are also expected to say a few words, the groom will never get away without rising to his feet to toast his new wife, and these days the girls are getting in on the act too.
Remembering what it’s all about is key. People aren’t expecting Russell Howard or Jonathan Ross, but they do want to hear some heartfelt thank-yous, a reminder of the couple’s love for each other, and a little memory to take away. Props like photos can help, but really it’s all about a clear head (watch those drinks!) genuine warmth, and the ability to remember it’s NOT ABOUT YOU (unless you’re the bride of course!)
Find more great information on our Wedding Planning pages!
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.