Wedding speeches: 8 biggest worries

Speech Writing Weddings

If you are worrying about your wedding speech, you’re not alone. We speak to best men, fathers of the bride, brides and grooms every day. Each has his or her own concerns, but here are the eight questions we are asked most regularly:

Help! I’ve been asked to give a joint best man speech! How should we go about it?”

Ah, the Joint Best Man speech. When they work, they can be glorious. When they don’t, excruciating. The pay-off can be huge. But the flops are usually spectacular. Here’s our advice on the DO’s and DON’TS of the joint Best-Man speech.

I’m giving a Groom speech next month and there are simply too many people to thank! What should I do?

Part of the Groom’s role is to give thanks where thanks are due. And hopefully that includes lots of lovely people.

But nobody – not you, and certainly not your guests – wants your speech to sound like you’re taking a school register. So you’re going to have to be canny. And we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you out. Check out this article for further details!

I’ve been asked to be a Best Man. The thing is, I don’t really know the groom very well! What should I do?

So, you’re not childhood best friends. Perhaps you didn’t meet during the glory years of University. But chances are, if you’ve been asked, you almost certainly know the groom well enough to craft something special.

The first step is to forget what you think a Best Man speech should be, and focus on what you do know. Remember: you’re there to give your unique insight into the groom, not just to reel off a litany of embarrassing stories from his years in the wilderness.

If that’s what the groom wanted, he wouldn’t have asked you in the first place. Trust that whether it’s only been a year working together, or that two-week holiday bromance backpacking in Nepal, you have enough insight to write a speech befitting of his big day. And don’t be shy! If you need to gather further material from his past, feel free to consult some friends and family. We guarantee they will be more than willing to dish up some dirt.

I’m a Father of the Bride. My daughter is getting married and I don’t know how to give my speech without crying. Any tips to help me hold it together?

First of all, a wedding should be emotional! It’s a huge day, and a huge moment for you as a father. Pretending otherwise is pointless. Yes, you can tip the balance of the speech in favour of humour rather than sincerity, writing a speech less likely to bring on the tears. But in doing so you’re at risk of selling yourself short. Of not saying what you really wanted to say. And years down the line you might come to regret it.

So the only thing we can do is practice.  Again and again until you have cried your tears and are now performing.  It will make a huge difference.  We can provide coaching in speech delivery that will help too.  And if you do shed a tear, nobody will think the worse of you.

I’m Father of the Bride at a gay wedding. Do you think I need to give a different kind of speech?

This is a simple one: not at all! And let’s face it, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t feel the need to describe it as a gay wedding at all. Simply a wedding. Between two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Nevertheless, we appreciate that as a new possibility for couples of the same gender, it’ll quite probably be a first for their friends and family. So it’s totally understandable that you may worry about the etiquette! Relax. We’ve written an article precisely for people in your position:

6. I’ve written a speech. Now I just need to memorise it. Any tips?

Our advice is simple: you don’t have to. At least not entirely. And for two reasons.

The first is that – unless you’re Daniel Day-Lewis – the chances of you convincing everyone you’re delivering it ‘off the cuff’ are next to nil. At best, you’ll deliver a perfectly competent recital, at worst, a painfully wooden performance.

The second reason is practical. Most people are nervous enough about having to deliver a speech at all. But the added anxiety of ‘forgetting your lines’ is enough to tip most people over the edge! Instead, we always advise our clients to take their speech with them, whether on A4 paper or, better yet, flash cards.

What we’re not suggesting, though, is that you write a speech, stick it in the drawer, only to dig it out the night before. Quite the opposite! Practice makes perfect, and with enough preparation you will know your speech well enough not to be glued to the page, petrified of losing your place. For lack of a better analogy, think of yourself as a session pianist: you may know the piece you’re playing intimately, but you’d still make sure you have the score in front of you! The benefits of going paperless are few. The hazards, on the other hand, could prove disastrous! 

I’ve been asked to give a Maid of Honour speech. I’ve been to lots of weddings, but I’ve never actually heard one before. Help!

The days of three speeches given only by men are over. Nearly. We might be well into the 21st century, but all too many weddings still fail to include a female speaker! Clearly, thought, this isn’t one of them. And you’ve been asked to say a few words. Which means you face a particular set of challenges. The men have centuries of tradition to guide them. You, however, may never have heard a Maid of Honour give a speech before. This can come as a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you may not be sure what’s expected of you. On the other, you can bet most of the other guests don’t either. If there isn’t a rule book, you have the chance to write your own. Here are our top tips to help you write the perfect maid of honour speech.

This can come as a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you may not be sure what’s expected of you. On the other, you can bet most of the other guests don’t either. If there isn’t a rule book, you have the chance to write your own. Here are our top tips to help you write the perfect maid of honour speech.

This is probably the biggest day of my life. What if you write a speech that doesn’t sound like ‘me’?

It’s the million-dollar question! And you’re absolutely right to ask. Which is why very first step in the process begins with you. Getting to know your quirks. Idiosyncrasies. What makes you tick. In short, the very things that make you, well, you! Our mission objective is to make you sound like you at the very top of your game.

So think of us as a translation service: our job isn’t to tell you what to say, but to capture the very essence of what you want to say, and help you to express it in the most compelling and entertaining way possible. But maybe you’re not quite sure what you want to say?

If so, don’t worry. Our writers have an incredible knack for coaxing out the right information from our clients (in the shortest possible time!), and guiding them towards a speech that is one hundred percent personal, unique, and original.

If you’d like to add a sprinkle of extra magic to your wedding speech, that’s exactly what we’re here for. Give us a call on +44 (0)20 8245 8999 or email enquiry@greatspeechwriting.com

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