Our friends at Weddingly set us a new task! To help their members write a truly original wedding speech.
It’s not easy – this is, after all, the internet age. And any great new joke or angle tends to be available for cut and paste in minutes. If you’ve ever been to a wedding where the best man stands up looking sheepish, and starts by explaining that he’s so nervous this is the fifth time today he’s stood up from a warm seat with a damp piece of paper in his hand … well enough said!
But it still possible to be original. Here are five possibilities:
‘Original’ doesn’t require dancing girls or stand-up comedy. It means giving an audience something they could never have heard before. And the easiest way to do that is to write a speech that could ONLY be about your subject.
If you’re a father of the bride whose daughter grew-up locked in her room listening to S Club 7, then build a speech about her worked around their song titles and how they may have influenced her (including her choice of husband). If you’re a best man to a guy who loves Arsenal and tap dancing, then try to frame a speech linking both. You don’t need every line to be clever or funny, because the entire structure of your speech will be amusing simply because it is so clearly relevant.
Turn things on their head
Best man speeches with stories of drinking and debauchery. Tearful groom’s speeches with long descriptions of the proposal. Fathers of the bride recounting their daughter’s CV – including qualifications. Bridesmaids telling long-winded stories about teenage crushes. However beautifully told, these are all distinctly unoriginal. So how about turning them on their head? Build a speech around the groom’s impeccable manners and sobriety. Or the bride’s decades of abstinence before meeting her husband. It’s instantly funnier and different. And it can easily be peppered with ‘real’ stories and memories. If the audience aren’t expecting it then it will almost certainly count as ‘original’.
No, a poem isn’t at the very cutting edge of public speaking. But taking song lyrics or a poem written by the bride or groom’s favourite band or poet can create a brilliant structure for an original speech. You don’t need to sing it, but it’s vital that you retain the original metre. Again, the key is relevance. If Bob loves Oasis but can’t dance, then describing his life’s pivotal moments to the rhythm of ‘Wonderwall’ is going to be a hit in every sense (“Today is gonna be the day / That Bob’s gonna dance with Sue / By now, we very much doubt/ He’s realised what he’s gotta do etc“)
Show a pre-recorded speech
It isn’t always necessary to give a live speech on the day. We are being asked ever-more regularly to help wedding speakers pre-record their speeches. These are then shown on a screen at the reception. This has two key benefits: 1) the speaker doesn’t spend half the day worrying and 2) there are countless (inexpensive) ways to be original. A simple green screen and a video camera allow you to appear to be speaking in front of any background you choose. So if the groom is obsessed by American politics, the speech could be given against a typical media backdrop of the White House and presented as a news report. If they love the outdoors, you could pick a series of country scenes and begin to the Countryfile soundtrack. The setting will be unique, the narrative relevant and the overall effect 100% original.
Hire a speech writer!
Why should you waste countless hours trying to put together an original speech? After all, you’re not expected to arrange your own flowers, make your own dress, bake your own cake or DJ your own disco. Research published last year illustrated just how much wedding guests look forward to and talk about the speeches. Our job is to help you write something completely original that sounds like you at the very top of your game. Please do give us a call to discuss how we can help. Or check out this introductory video.