Wedding & Function
Wedding & Function

Getting your wedding speeches right

Making a wedding speech to a hall full of people can be a daunting task to anyone who is unaccustomed to public speaking. Fortunately, at a wedding ceremony, your audience will have been warmed up by the happiness of the special occasion and nobody will be expecting a lengthy, formal address.

You just need to give them a few well-chosen, genuine and entertaining words – often not longer than five to ten minutes. Besides being sincere - and not pretentious or demeaning, here is how to get the audience on your side:

  • Practice, Practice … Practice. It can never be overemphasised that practicing your wedding speech will make it perfect.
  • Timing. Keep your wedding speech brief – longest should be 15 minutes. Refuse the temptation of breaking into a long, boring recitation of your family’s previous achievements.
  • Be audible. It is important to speak up - nervousness often makes a speaker inaudible.
  • Pace yourself. Remember to pause and breathe properly - try not to deliver your wedding speech at a hundred kilometres an hour.
  • It is usually advisable to tell only one joke and stick with it. Remember to keep it clean so as not to offend anyone in your audience.
  • Structure your wedding speech. Remember the basic structure of story-telling i.e. your wedding speech must have a beginning, middle and an end!
  • Stand up and confidently say, “Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, it is an honour to be celebrating love with [names of bride and groom] on their wedding …” or “Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ll start by saying our bride, Amber, is looking absolutely beautiful today and I’m sure gentlemen you’ll agree with me that today is a sad day for all single men, as another beauty has been snatched off the ‘available list’…”
  • Research online, or anywhere you can, for wedding speech ideas.