How to write the best wedding speech
If you are here it’s because, either you are the bride or groom looking to send out some advice to your speakers, or you’ve been asked to give a toast during the wedding day, you’ve been trying out but got no idea where to start.
So here I’ll try to give you my advice based on the wedding speeches that I’ve been able to witness being a Maui wedding videographer.
FEW QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE A GREAT WEDDING TOAST:
#1 DON’T BE THAT GUY!
There’s always someone that tries to be funny… except he’s not!
Your speech should be a mix of your story with bride/groom, how you met, how you bond, and therefore, why you think his/her partner is perfect for the other. It can have some bits of humor to keep everyone entertained, but it MUST have some word of advice and open your heart to them.
There’s a thin line between funny and disrespectful. It’s NOT a roast! Everybody loves some jokes during the speech, but the humor should be some silly tiny fun story, not an embarrassing one.
They all should be laughing WITH the bride/groom, not AT them.
#2 LET YOUR HEART SPEAK.
Don’t copy someone else’s toast that you’ve seen online that seemed like a great speech. Because what makes it great it’s the context of the story and it’s authenticity.
It could be the best written speech, with deep advice, but if it’s not from the heart, it’s not authentic and it won’t stuck. A good speech comes from a great story with good execution. If yours it’s from the heart, you’ve got nothing to worry about, as everything will flow as it should.
#3 HAVE A BACKBONE THEME TO ALWAYS COME BACK TO.
Every story should have a intro, a middle, a turning point (that no one expects), and an ending. But everything should be connected and happen for a reason. Your backbone theme!
Intro - Give context to the story (Who you are, How you’ve met, How you bond, What you thought when you met his partner)
Middle - The story in which you’ll focus your speech
Turning point - Something that no one expects (#TalkFromTheHeart - Show your feelings)
Ending - A word of advice or what you’d learned from them TOGETHER.
It will be so much easier if you first define this THEME (or VALUE) you’ll want to focus your speech about.
Is it about love? Respect? Companionship? Friendship? Support?.
Once you have that defined, your speech will flow on it’s own, maybe a funny moment both of you shared but you learned a lesson about him/her and you noticed this VALUE on him/her, some personal experience in which you learned this VALUE is so necessary on life, or even maybe a quote from someone you admire that promotes this VALUE.
Finally, you’ll close your speech talking about both of them, together, and this VALUE they both share, and nurture it for days to come.
#4 ASK FOR HELP.
Have someone you trust to help you out!
Of course, you can’t go to someone else to write the speech for you, because it has to be personal and your own. But find someone you trust to whom you can read it out loud a few times and they’ll be honest with you. Was this funny or was it disrespectful? Was this emotional? Did it feel long or was it entertaining? Would you add something to it?
This way, you’ll also get to practice, the flow, the rhythm, the pauses.
#5 MEMORIZE YOUR SPEECH.
You should definitely write it down, but on the wedding itself, just have a summary!
To memorize something, you first have to write and prepare it. Once it’s written, revised with your trustworthy person, and it’s all set and done. MEMORIZE IT!
Know by heart every topic, every theme, every story, every pause. It will make the story much more compelling, will captivate people’s attention, and most importantly, you will not look unprepared.
It’s a privilege being asked to give a speech during a wedding. The least you can do is being prepared and memorizing it.
Try not to improvise; you can turn a great memory into an awkward one. (Again, don’t become that guy! #1)
#6 USE A SMALL NOTEBOOK, if you do.
You are allowed to have a “topic” reminder.
You should still memorize it! But if you need one, you can have short notes, straight to the point of each story you want to tell or things you want to comment. There’s no need for you to read a whole speech! It will be more authentic, real, emotional if you talk from your heart while looking up and not at a paper.
Why a SMALL notebook?
I know it’s easier to print it on the office on the old classic office paper size, but it’s distracting since you’ll be wiggling it around, because you’ll be a bit nervous, and you’ll be driving people’s attention to the white paper instead of what you are saying.
Also, it doesn’t look good on camera, so help me out here!
#7 KEEP IT SHORT.
Just keep it short, 5 minutes is the ideal timing before people looses interest. That’s why it’s good to practice.
Also, consider there are other people that will talk.
If there’s a mic stand, use it! We, videographers, will appreciate you.
But the main idea of it, is to help you out, so you have both hands free; to hold your notes on one and the champagne glass on the other, cheers!
Always keep a close distance from the mic, if not you’ll loose “volume” and people won’t hear you clearly.
Video by: Northernlight Filmworks
WHAT DID SHE DO WRONG?
#1 BIG PIECE OF PAPER
She had a BIG piece of paper, winging it around driving your eyes towards it.
#2 WROTE EVERYTHING DOWN
Because of that, she was reading most part of it, instead of looking up.
#3 DIDN’T PRACTICE
Also at one point she got confused and had to correct herself and go back in the story, probably because she didn’t practice.
WHAT DID HE DO WRONG?
#1 TOO LONG
Could be the best speech of the world, but when it goes longer, people looses interest.
#2 MOVED THE MIC AROUND (So volume goes down)
What did he do right?
#2 JOKES ABOUT HIMSELF, NOT A ROAST!