So you’re going to speak at a gay or lesbian wedding. And you’re stuck.
Join the club! We receive calls from people in your position on a weekly basis. Some are simply worrying about the things that so many speakers worry about – public speaking phobias, lack of structure, concern about a first draft. But others call because they expect the event itself to require a ‘different’ sort of speech.
Hopefully, these tips will reassure you. Either way, we’re more than happy to help write it for you or edit a draft you’re not altogether confident about.
1. A gay wedding doesn’t require a gay speech. There’s no such thing. You are just preparing a speech about some people you know and love.
2. Gay weddings don’t require extra dollops of innuendo. Seriously. Unless you think the audience demands it. But that’s the same with any speech. Ten friends of any sexual persuasion who fly off to get married in Ibiza will require a different tone than those who tie the knot in front of friends and family in Marlow. That’s not a gay thing, it’s an audience thing.
3. Fathers of gay brides don’t need to use their speech to ‘endorse’ their daughter’s sexuality. She’s getting married to someone she loves. So speak about her and her wife in exactly the same way you would speak about her and her husband (in a parallel universe).
4. OK – so there may be two groom speeches. It doesn’t matter. As long as they are both original and well balanced. So if you are both going to speak, compare notes (or at least headings). Please don’t waste ten minutes repeating the same thankyous.
5.The best man (or woman) often feels under particular pressure at gay wedding. Particularly if they are straight. No idea why – they just say so when they call us. Again, there are no special rules for you at a gay wedding. Just make fun of your best friend and be happy that they are marrying the love of their life.
6. Whoever you are – this is not a time to make a political statement about marriage, gay or otherwise; it’s a celebration of love. So that means sticking to the key rules for a great wedding speech: relevance and clarity – with a sprinkle of magic on top
7. Remember the families. Too many wedding speeches are written under the influence with too many guys (or gals) telling too many stories that really aren’t appropriate for the big day. If you write the speech for the bride (or groom’s) aunt – ideally a fun, open-minded aunt – then you can’t go far wrong!
8. If you’re writing about the bride or groom, focus on what makes them unique. That’s the best way to create a memorable and amusing speech. And let’s face it, if they’re gay, then being gay is hardly going to make them unique amongst their friends. So build the speech around something else – that couldn’t be said about anyone else you (or they) know.
9. Don’t be self-conscious about the type of wedding you’re speaking at. Ever!
10. Remember that great speeches have a clear structure (often held together by a theme), are punchy and well-balanced. They are best written in short sentences (or soundbites) that flow seamlessly. They’ll be delivered using great eye contact, positive body language and a clear voice. They’ll sound natural and heartfelt. OK, tip 10 has nothing to do with same sex weddings, and requires a blog piece of it’s own, but it’s always worth remembering!
So here’s the rub: don’t write for the occasion, write for the audience. Don’t worry about the ‘type’ of wedding, the speeches are about people, and the key thing is to ensure the right balance of humour and sincerity for them and their guests. Feel free to call us on 020 8245 8999 for advice (or some help writing your gay wedding speech for you).