Working in a living, breathing wedding speech hub is great fun. Not least because people from all round the world send us their first drafts to review.
This means we have purred in approval at some outstandingly relevant, original and humorous drafts. And, as you would expect, we have also seen some real horrors!
We’re a nice bunch, and we don’t tell tales. Quite the contrary. We pride ourselves on our discretion. But we thought that anyone preparing for their own wedding speech could benefit from a brief list of the most common mistakes that ruin speeches for grooms, best men, fathers of the bride, bridesmaids, brides and their mums. Avoid these ten wedding speech mistakes and you are well on the way to speech success (although we are, of course, always happy to take the entire job off your hands and write it for you!):
Weddings tend to be family affairs. Jokes that work in front of ten guys in the pub, may not appeal to great Aunty Doris. Or even Uncle Quentin. Our ‘riskometer’ suggests that if it MIGHT be offensive, you should avoid it. So the less reference to the details of THAT night in Magaluf the better.
A ‘heard it all before’ wedding speech won’t offend anyone, but it will create the sort of stale atmosphere often witnessed at a double glazing sales convention. First and foremost it means avoiding cut and paste gags from the internet. Once your audience recognises a one liner, they will assume everything else is ‘borrowed’ too.
It’s a wedding. Which may sound obvious, but it is amazing how often speakers forget that crucial bit. Weddings are really about the bride, the groom and their families. And so the best man who uses his speech as an opportunity to reminisce about his adventures with the groom as a single man may find that he loses the audience’s attention rather quickly.
It’s a horrible word. And whispering to your fellow guests that the Father of the Bride is guilty of it may seem a little harsh. But it can be all too true. The signs are clear. He starts by wiping away a tear and remembering the day he heard his wife was pregnant. He continues by explaining what he was doing at work when he received the big call to say the waters had broken. He moves on to his emotions when he held his little girl in his hands for the first time. At this point you look at your watch and he’s been speaking for six minutes already.
Yes, there are lots of people to thank at a wedding. And yes, you want them all to feel loved. But no, you don’t need to embark on an all-inclusive list of thanks that will make your guests feel like you are re-creating the school register. Try to work your thanks around a theme. Blend them into an anecdote. Group people and thank them as one. And, most importantly, don’t thank the wedding planner, the chefs or the flower arranger unless they are doing it as a favour. Professionals can be thanked privately and by settling your account on time.
It doesn’t cost anything to chat to a speech writer so please give us a call or drop us a line to discuss your next speech or presentation.