Over several years here at Pink Caviar Events, we have seen it all when it comes to speeches. We have seen speeches where the groom literally said “Wooo I’m Freaking Married, get your drink on” and passed out on the floor. Then to the opposite end where the speech went for over an hour and people fell asleep. We have seen a lot of wedding speech guides talk about WHAT to say but not HOW to say it. Presentation, practice and writing from the heart are what will turn your speech from ‘bored’ to BOOM!! RIGHT ON THE MARK. We are calling this blog ‘Wedding Speech Handy Hints’ because it is literally just that. A blog about how to create the best wedding speech possible.
Wedding Speech Handy Hints
Please note that this guide is based on Australian weddings. Many of our clients often search for wedding speeches and (without realising) go to UK & US sites. While a great starting point, this often leads to misinformation. For example many US based sites state that the best man speaks last but in Australia the Groom does. This had one groom rewriting his speech at the last moment because his punch lines were on the assumption the best man spoke after him).
Order Of Wedding Speeches
Knowing when you are going to speak at a wedding is important. We have seen people miss their cue to speak, prepare punch lines out of context and other people not even realise that they had to speak. It is a good idea to know WHEN you are speaking so everything runs smoothly and collaboration between speakers is important. The guide below for order of speeches is broken up into what is considered ‘Traditional’ (expected for that person to speak) and ‘Optional’ (not compulsory)
- Father Of The Bride: Traditional
- Father Of The Groom: Traditional
- Best Man: Traditional
- Maid Of Honour: Optional (Can be preformed solo or with other bridesmaids)
- Groom: Traditional
- Bride: Optional (Can be preformed solo or with the Groom)
Speech Length and Timing
The speech should only be around 4-6 minutes maximum depending on time and everyone speaks at different rates (100-160 words per minute). With this in mind, write out the first draft then time how long it takes you to speak it and now you have your benchmark of timing. We have noticed over the years that while even with practice, people tend to speak faster when it’s time to do their speech. Feel free to add an additional 30 seconds to your talk (of course keep it relevant) but this way your speech will not end too quickly.
A helpful tool give to our clients is http://www.speechinminutes.com/. If you know how fast you speak (roughly), instead of multiple times of timing yourself just put in the word total to know if you need to add or take out something.
Do not be afraid to cut out some of your speech if it’s too waffly or irrelevant. Remember that you want to make your speech memorable with some mild humour, honouring the couple. Trim the fat of your speech, for example in my husband’s wedding speech he cut an entire paragraph down into one sentence. It allowed him to get the same impact but with more concise wording.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Remember to practice your speech. If you don’t practice you will end up stumbling while staring at your piece of paper. This leads to not lifting your eyes to make eye contact with the guests. You should have your speech ready at least 1 week before the wedding. Practice in front of the mirror at least once a night till you get it down pat (Old school rules).
Have A Backup Copy On Hand
Another handy hint is to have 2 copies of your speech (physical and digital). Keep a printed a hard copy of your speech because you never know when your phone will die. Keep it in your inside pocket and of course have a copy on your phone BUT you will be busy the whole day from the morning till evening you will be out.
You may not have proper access to a power outlet, on more than one occasion we have had brides / grooms asking us for a USB charger just prior to reception. If this happens and your only copy is on the phone, you will try to ‘wing it’. Then your speech will never be as good as your rehearsed version and kick yourself.
Alternate Text Colour
Unless you have memorised your speech off by heart, chances are you will read your speech. A piece of advice I was once given is to alternate the colour of your paragraphs or sentences with black and blue. This helps the eye distinguish between sections and help you get back on track if you have had a few to drink.
I Got This Speech Online
One speaker during the night will say “I got this speech online” during their speech, just don’t let it be you. Sure you have to refer somewhere (EG here) but no reason to let every know you had no idea. As a friend of mine says “Stay classy”.
That’s it, if done correctly then everything should go as smoothly as possible! Follow these wedding speech handy hints are it can help anyone a great wedding speech.
Feel free to check out our other wedding speech guides down below. Here we give you guides for the perfect speech on your wedding day (or anyone else speaking).
- Wedding Speech Handy Hints – A basic guide for all wedding speeches
- Groom’s Speech
- Best Man Speech
- Father Of The Bride Speech
- Father Of The Groom Speech
- Bride Speech
- Maid Of Honour Speech
- Bridesmaid Speech
- Groomsmen Speech
- Cringy And Worst Wedding Speech Guide – A basic guide of what NOT to do
Do you think these wedding speech handy hints could be useful to you or someone you know? Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know and join the discussion below 🙂