After the happy couple ties the knot, a wedding is still not complete until a few special people make a speech or toast. It’s a tradition we’re all familiar with, and it helps to usher the new couple into the world of marriage…hopefully with some good advice. Being asked to speak at a friend or family member’s wedding is definitely an honor, but it can also be a wee bit stressful.
It can be stressful because we’ve all experienced a poorly delivered or even an awkward of speech at some point in our lives…and we don’t want to be that person. No worries, you don’t have to be that best man who spoke of the questionable things that he and his pal did, and we don’t have to be the one who fills our speech with inside jokes or inappropriate stories that no one else can relate to…or even worse— we can definitely stay away from those cringe worthy stories that should never be mentioned in public…to anyone…ever.
We’ve seen it all here at Special Event Proz. Plenty of awkward toasts and speeches, and that’s exactly why we’re writing this post. We want to save you and everyone else the embarrassment of a terrible speech and/or toast. In that spirit, we’ve compiled a few tips that should help you make it memorable…in a good way.
Keep in mind that not everyone at the wedding will know who you are, so be sure to introduce yourself and let everyone know how you’re associated with the bride and groom. This will help set the stage for your experience with them, and it also gives you credibility with your listening audience. It paints a mental image to everyone in attendance as to how you know them so well.
Tell a Story that tells others about the bride or groom
Add some personal history by sharing an old story about the bride or groom. Did the bride or groom discuss what they wanted in a future spouse at a sleepover when you were 10? Did they always claim they would never get married? Do you recall something unique about the happy couple from when they first started dating? Tell those stories. Let others see them through your eyes.
Make a Joke…or several
While you may not going on the road with this act, it’s always a good idea to include some humor when speaking to a crowd. It keeps them engaged and entertained…which should be a portion of your objective. Chances are you can find something amusing and humorous to mention about the couple. Just keep it appropriate for the audience at hand. This is the wedding reception…not the bachelor or bachelorette party.
Don’t be afraid to discuss how much one or both the bride and groom mean to you. Discuss how you’re associated with them, anecdotes of how happy you are to see them together, or even how much you’re going to miss your pal or best girlfriend because they have found their soulmate…but close this portion with how glad you are that they’ve found one another.
Speak to the Couple Directly
While it may seem like a no brainer given the tips we’ve mentioned so far, be sure to speak to the couple directly. It is their wedding, so don’t go off on a tangent about Aunt Edna’s foot fungus or grandad’s snoring issues. Keep it about them.
Don’t Sweat it too Much
Public speaking can be a bit intimidating, but this is a group of family and friends…for the most part. Treat it that way, and keep things brief and to the point. Speak your piece, share your love for the couple, wish them well, and sit down. You’re not stumping for political office, or delivering the opening monologue for the tonight show, so don’t be nervous.