Composing a Striking Wedding Speech: A Guide for Non-Writers

Theoretically, delivering a speech at your friend’s wedding is a privilege. However, if you are not a professional speech-maker or writer, this event may become a real pain.

Most people perceive this task as a pretty daunting one because the importance of the occasion brings enormous pressure. You feel that your words are obliged to be funny, touching, and memorable. Also, it is beyond argument that most of us are afraid of speaking in front of the audience.

Considering the fact that many people don’t participate in public speaking regularly, the wedding speech for you friends may become the biggest performance in your entire life. No, we are not trying to scare you, instead we have prepared a list of ideas and tips that will help you deliver a really good speech.

Getting started

Even if you are a professional writer, it still difficult to make the first step. Both writers and amateurs know that awful feeling when you are sitting in front of the blank list of paper or Word document and your mind is just empty. Experts recommend that you should start with making an outline of the qualities and traits the bride or a groom has before you start writing the first draft. Think about the characteristics you value in them. Maybe, they are organized, passionate, creative or simply hilarious? The main trick here is to make it personal. To do so, you are recommended to recall and tell some stories of their life that support these qualities.

If you want to make it even more detailed, you may have a small chat with their friends and relatives. First, this will provide you with fresh ideas. Second, this will become a source of inspiration and make your creative juices flow.

Choosing 2-3 qualities will be enough. Your speech doesn’t have to be too long – 5 minutes are just fine. Make it structured and clear instead of rambling around the topic. And remember, you are not writing an artistic story, so make it simple.

The best method is to make some point and proceed with a related story. Then you can make the next point and tell the second story. So the perfect recipe may seem like this: here is your friend, here is his characteristic – loyalty, empathy, morality – and a story.

What else to include?

  • Start your speech informing the guests about how you are related to the hero of the occasion because they might be clueless about your relations;
  • Express gratitude to the hosts and guests. Also, you can mention people who wanted to visit the holiday but couldn’t come as well as family members who went aloft;
  • If you are a friend of the groom, never forget to give a genuine praise to a bride, too (and vice versa). Remember that this event is not about one person but a couple;
  • Weddings are all about feelings and emotions, therefore, your speech should include enough of them. Your toast should be full of care, sensitivity, hints and jokes. These small nuances bring life to it and make it memorable;
  • End your speech with an offer to lift the glasses for the bridal pair.

What to avoid?

  • Forget about copying a speech you have found on the web. Personal occasion means personal approach! Therefore, cutting and pasting is a no-no here;
  • Even if your friend is okay with dirty jokes and harsh terminology, you’d better avoid them in your wedding speech. Try not to include any strange and shameful stories even if they are entertaining. Remember that some guests may not understand your crudity. Male speakers are especially liable to speaking rudely because they are ready to sweat guts out to be funny. You don’t have to panic about that;
  • Don’t mention any ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends in your speech. Never!
  • Don’t make jokes about the bride or husband of your friend. This is the day when they want to shine and you shouldn’t spoil this amazing feeling they want that much.

Some brave and unique ideas

Making something not traditional may be a perfect idea for the speech. Do you remember a musical gift Kelsey and Maddie Hallerman made for their sister Caitlin for a wedding? This video was extremely popular and has been watched for millions of times. The girls made a mix of sister’s favorite songs and changed the lyrics to the song about Caitlin, her childhood and the love story of her life.

The other example of a creative approach to a wedding speech is John Boswell’s song for his brother David. The name of David’s wife is Jasmine, so John performed the song from Aladdin, which was a perfect match. All the guests were chuffed.

Final thoughts

The best approach is to come up with a big idea first and then move back. Once you have that big idea, think how do you get there. In the process of reflecting, you will remind some stories, songs, poems, situations, etc. Think which of them you can include to your speech and add some details.

However, making something non-traditional doesn’t come easy for everyone. Don’t be upset if you have no creative ideas about making a viral video-speech that will gather millions of watches and comments on YouTube. If this approach is not natural for you, then make it simple.

You don’t have to push yourself to write a poem or sing a song if you don’t feel like doing it. People write and sing songs because they feel comfortable when expressing themselves this way. Don’t do anything that doesn’t bring you pleasure.

However, if you decide to do something really unusual, you must be sure that it is going to be 100% amazing. Remember, your own amusement is the key, and even if your voice is far from perfect, pure emotions will make it sound naturally and good.

Hopefully, these tips will help you do something really great and meaningful. So good luck!

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