Planning the perfect wedding breakfast speeches
The perfect wedding breakfast speeches will be remembered for a long time and need to suit you and your partner. To help you make the perfect wedding speeches, here are our top tips.
Who should be giving a speech?
This all depends on how traditional you are feeling. Traditionally, this would be the father of the bride, the groom and the best man but less and less bridal parties are being so traditional these days. One in five brides are now giving wedding speeches, as are the maid of honour or bridesmaids and the father of the groom. Whether or not you are having many speeches is up to you and your other half. You may not feel that some people are appropriate for making speeches and some people may not feel comfortable doing it so remember to bear that in mind.
How long should they be?
A couple of sentences probably isn’t enough to satisfy the audience so simply raising a glass may not cut it. On the other hand, you don’t want the speeches to go on so long that there isn’t enough time for anything else on the day. The length of the speech will also be dependent upon how many speeches you are having. If you are having more than just the traditional three speeches, you may need to consider telling people to keep them to perhaps five minutes each so that everyone gets their chance to make a speech but without it all overrunning. If you’re having fewer speeches then you can let them go on a little longer. The best man’s speech (or perhaps the maid of honour’s speech as the case may be) tends to be the longest and the most anticipated on the day.
If you’re going the traditional route, it would be the father of the bride, groom and then best man but if you’re adding in other speeches, you may as well take the opportunity to rejig the running order to suit you. If you can mix up the speeches from each side, that will probably also work quite well. To make them flow better from one to the next, introductions for the next person’s speech should be made by the person who just finished theirs. It’s also best to give the speeches after people have eaten, this way they won’t be wishing the speeches would go faster so they can eat and is a great opportunity to let the food settle before any dancing, if there is any. It’s also worth noting that people tend to be in a better mood after eating and more likely to laugh at your jokes.
What should be included?
Generally there will be some thank yous to those who have supported the bride and groom, whether that is financially, emotionally or with their time. Compliments to the bride and bridesmaids are also a common feature and sometimes the speeches are used to give gifts to those who have been particularly helpful. Jokes about the bride and/or groom normally go down well, as long as they are tailored to the audience. Some cute or funny stories are normally the perfect way to get the audience on your side.
What shouldn’t be included?
Try to avoid too many in-jokes, unless the whole of the audience will get them, as it will make the speech boring for the other listeners and they may feel left out. As mentioned previously, any jokes should also be appropriate for the listeners. If there are lots of children in the audience, try to make sure that either your speech avoids anything lude or is phrased in a way that will go over their heads, much like the adult jokes in children’s films. It is worth those getting married talking to the speech givers to make sure that any private information that should not be heard by the guests will stay out of the speeches.
How can you make your speech a little different to keep the audience’s attention?
There’s nothing wrong with a traditional speech that is just words but sometimes people like to take advantage of technology to include slideshows, videos and pictures in their speeches to add a little something extra. Other ways of doing this include creating poems and raps (generally to the tune of a well-known rap song) or doing adapted song medleys. If you are at a themed wedding, you can try to incorporate any words, phrases or ways of speaking into your speech and props can always be used for a laugh.
Making the speech make an impact
In addition to the types of speech that are mentioned above, you need to be confident when delivering your speech. To help you with this, cue cards with key points of your speech should be made just in case and make sure you practise your speech a few times so you are comfortable with it. You can always start with a bit of a cheat to get a guaranteed cheer, like the groom referencing their partner, such as ‘my wife and I…’. Stay calm and go slowly, no matter how nervous you get, make eye contact and keep your head up, as looking down will make it harder to hear you. Pause for laughs and if they don’t come apologise for the bad joke, it may get a laugh after all. Embrace any hecklers and turn it into a joke. Just limit alcohol intake before the speech, as Dutch courage may be okay but slurring through the speech may take away from your awesome intent.
When you’re planning your wedding, get in touch with our expert team at Ettington Chase and we will help you create the perfect wedding.