In my role as a Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies, I am often asked for advice about how to handle the speeches.
It’s one of those moments that most people dread. The very thought of standing in front of family and friends can send shivers up and down your spine and if you’ve never done any public speaking in the past then the moment can be daunting for sure!
The most important thing that you need to remember is that with some careful thought, preparation and practice it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Who normally gives a speech at a wedding?
Traditionally it goes in the following order.
- Father of the Bride
- Best Man
Obviously, there are some subtle differences for same-sex marriages but the order is pretty much the same. In cases where the Father of the Bride cannot be there then you may wish to include another parent or sibling for example.
Father of the Bride
Traditionally the speech would include:
- Welcoming friends and relatives to the celebration.
- Stories about the Bride through her childhood and teenage years.
- Praises in her choice of husband.
- Welcoming his new son-in-law into the family.
- At the end, he would ask everyone to stand and toast the Bride & Groom.
It’s one of the highlights of the day, an awesome opportunity for the Groom to show wit and charm and with everyone on his side the Groom will have the floor to himself and in his speech, he will be expected to thank:
- The Father of the Bride for his toast and welcoming him into the family.
- Guests for coming, especially those who have travelled long distances.
- The Bride’s parents for the reception (if appropriate) and their generosity.
- His own parents for their love and support over the years.
- The Best man for his friendship and support.
- His new Wife for making him so happy!
- The Ushers and Bridesmaids.
- At the end of his speech, he will ask everyone to stand and toast The Bridesmaids.
The Best man is expected to produce an entertaining, funny and revealing exposé of the Groom! It is preferred that any stories shared are kept family-friendly with no rude language. In his speech:
- He will thank the Groom on behalf of the Bridesmaids for his toast and kind words.
- He will select and read out a small number of messages from distant or absent friends.
- He may want to refer to the Groom’s strengths and weaknesses.
- He will want to share funny stories about the Groom that might be slightly embarrassing.
- He will almost certainly want to talk about the Bride in glowing terms pointing out the positive effect she has had on his best friend.
- At the end of his speech, he will ask everyone to stand and toast the Bride and Groom.
- It’s all about preparation. Practice, practice, practice! Run it by someone you trust and ask for their honest opinion.
- Use notecards rather than a word-for-word speech typed out on your computer if you can. It will give the speech flow and sound much warmer and more sincere.
- If you feel that you’re about to burst into tears, look up…it works!
- Be yourself. If you’re serious, be serious. If you’re funny, inject some humour.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol before your speech. Alcohol may make you think you’re a better speaker, but it also probably makes you think you’re a better dancer too! Hangovers, headaches and lack of judgement are not pretty at a wedding!
- Try not to be nervous. This isn’t public speaking and you’re not under evaluation. You are speaking to a private gathering of family and friends.
- Don’t tap the microphone to see if it’s switched on, it is!
- Hold the microphone 1-2 inches away from your mouth. It won’t pick up your voice when it’s held at your chest. Best advice is to hold it like an ice cream. Too far away and you could get feedback.
- And finally…do NOT attempt the mic drop, under any circumstances!
I really hope you found this post useful.