How to Write and Deliver a Heartfelt and Memorable Speech for a Wedding?

Do you know that more people are afraid of public speaking than they are of death, spiders, or heights?

If that’s not you, we salute you. If it is, relax. We’ve got tips to ensure you make it through.

Regardless of how you feel about public speaking, there’s another element: you’ve got to deliver a speech – and not just any speech. A memorable, heartfelt, personal one – bonus if it elicits laughs… and tears.

So. Where do you start? Is there a formula, or some sort of cheat sheet you can use to both write and deliver your speech?

Yes. Check it out.

How to Write a Heartfelt Wedding Speech?

First things first, always introduce yourself and mention how you know the couple. Thank everyone for being there, and don’t forget to include the staff.

Now, let’s get into the purpose: Why do you have to go through all of this? What’s the significance?

The purpose is to cheer the couple, and send them off with well-wishes and goodwill. It’s also to (gasp) entertain the guests.

Now, before you start to hyperventilate, let us remind you. This is not an open mic situation where your amateur attempt at stand up is ignored or mocked. Far from it, you’ve got the audience in the palm of your hand.

They’ll love hearing stories and anecdotes or insights you have into the couple; they want you to succeed.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Brainstorm potential stories

Grab a pen and pad of paper, or cue the voice memo on your phone and brainstorm all the stories, memories, and situations pertaining to the couple.

What have they overcome together? Who were they 5 years ago? What made you think, aha, they were meant to be together?

A good speech contains a beginning, middle, and end.

Sharing embarrassing or deeply personal memories seems fun, but there’s no point in sharing them if it doesn’t relate to your overall message.

Show, don’t tell

“It’s a dark and stormy night, and the phone rings. It’s Jon. Dude, I need help, are the first words out of his mouth.” Or something along those lines.

Set the scene. Include details like smells, sounds; anything to draw people into the story.

Keep it appropriate

Remember, there are kids and grandparents in the audience. You can allude to “things,” without getting crass or using foul language.

It’s fine to mention how beautiful the bridesmaids look, for example – but keep it PG.

Be Yourself

Play up your personality. If you like to make people laugh, great! Don’t feel as though you have to become a thespian and deliver a dramatic monologue, that’s not what this is about.

Be yourself, be the most entertaining, engaging version of you.

Short and sweet

Your speech should be no longer than 2 to 5 minutes. When you initially start writing it, it’s fine if it’s longer. That gives you the opportunity to edit it down to what’s strongest and most impactful.

Consider: if this speech were given about you, what would you like to hear?

 

How to Deliver a Heartfelt Wedding Speech?

Ok. You’ve picked the moments to highlight and have created a funny, yet heartfelt speech. Now, it’s time to deliver it.

Prepare

A word of caution: Please, whatever you do, don’t wing it!

Practice it months before the wedding. Go through it, over and over again. Record yourself, and play it back. Get constructive feedback from others.

That way, when it’s your moment to shine, you’re prepared.

Remember to breathe

Don’t rush it, this is a special moment.

Smile.

Look at your audience, and remember why you’re doing this. If you mess up, no worries. Breathe and have fun, or at least try.

Carry a cheat sheet

If you’re worried you’re going to forget your speech, tuck a cheat sheet containing the main points in your pocket.

Just remember, in order for the audience to connect with what you’re saying, you need to connect with them. This isn’t possible if you’re eschewing eye-contact in favor of a piece of paper.

Don’t get drunk

If the booze is flowing, it may be tempting to quell your nerves by knocking back a few.

Don’t.

You want people to laugh with you not at you, or squirm uncomfortably as you slur your way through.

Pay attention

If anything significant happens at the wedding before it’s time to deliver your speech, make note of it, and bring it up in your speech.

Share a unique point of view—a funny or different perspective. It’s easy to unite the audience that way, everyone was there.

If the road to the venue is full of potholes and getting there in one piece was no small feat, make a joke, “Life includes big bumps and hair raising twists and turns, as everyone present experienced on the way up here, but I’m certain the two of you will…”

Don’t forget

Don’t forget to thank everyone for being there. Include the key players, the event staff, and end your speech on a positive note that has people clapping, whooping, and raising a glass.

Conclusion:

You were selected for a reason: you’re someone the couple holds near and dear. It’s an honor to be tasked with giving a speech. Speak from the heart, remember to connect with your audience, and don’t be afraid to be yourself. You’ve got this!

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