There is no moment a wedding guest fears more than when the MC announces it is time for speeches. Here are a few tips to turn those long, dry monologues into meaningful, heartfelt moments you will always remember.
1. There are no rules
Wedding ‘traditions’ are quickly dying in favour of truly personalised events and I love it. All of a sudden we have been unleashed from the bounds of yesteryear and we are free to celebrate in a way that truly reflects us, and the speeches are no exception. You do not have to have the best man toast the bridesmaids. You do not have to let every lovely, dottery uncle or drunk groomsman take the microphone. You do not have to have speeches at all if you don’t want to!
If you do choose to go ahead with speeches, be thoughtful about who you ask to participate. Do they truly know you? Are they committed to ‘doing life’ with you? Will they speak life into your marriage?
2. Set some boundaries
Don’t just ask your people to give a speech and leave it at that. Preparation is everything so be sure to give them a few boundaries like these…
- Keep it brief – always give them a shorter timeframe than required as most speakers will go over time. Eg. If you want it to go for five minutes tell them to prepare a three minute speech.
- Private jokes are for private moments – they’re just awkward for everyone in the room so leave them at the door.
- Don’t start with ‘I didn’t know how to do a wedding speech so I got a few tips from the internet….’. We’ve all heard it before. Speeches don’t have to be hilarious – speak from the heart and you will have the room in the palm of your hand.
- A wedding is about the future so make sure the speech reflects that. Nobody wants to hear about ex-boyfriends, embarrassing escapades or wild nights. Parents will be tempted to give the entire life’s history of their offspring but try to steer them towards sharing just a couple of proud moments woven into their well-wishes for your future.
3. Open microphones are dangerous
I would always recommend that you don’t offer an open microphone (hello ramblers!) but if you simply must, make sure you give some clear boundaries and have a bold MC ready to steer the ship. The best way to do it is to let everyone know earlier in the night that you’ll be opening the microphone and if they’d like to participate they should let the MC know before the end of dinner. This gives them time to gather their thoughts, make them concise (in an ideal world) and be ready to go.
4. Brevity is golden
Of course, its your night and if you want speeches to go for two hours then go for it. But if you’d like your guests to actually speak to you again, I’d suggest keeping the sum total of the speeches to a maximum of 30 minutes.
For more information about wedding photography collections contact firstname.lastname@example.org