Attention maids of honor, best men, fathers, and mothers: you have an essential job to accomplish soon and might be stressing out about it. What’s more stressful is that every aspect of this luxury wedding will be perfect, elegant, and grandiose. You might think, “What if I mess it up with my speech?”
Public speaking is a significant fear for 75% of Americans. It’s completely understandable to be nervous about it, but we encourage you to prepare in advance to calm your nerves, write from your heart, and nail that speech! Double points if people laugh. Triple points if people cry. Follow our step-by-step guide to writing and delivering a killer speech.
1. Do Your Homework
A select few gifted public speakers can wing it and capture the hearts of everyone in the room, but for most people, winging it can mean bombing it. Start brainstorming long before the event. That will give you plenty of time to let the ideas flow (vs. cramming the night before).
Don’t wait until the last minute to think about your speech. Speeches are a beautiful and personable touch to a marvelous luxury wedding.
2. Know your Audience
Take some time to analyze who will be at the wedding. You don’t want to offend the bride’s great-grandfather or share a memory the groom’s father won’t find funny.
Try to get a feel for the guests ahead of time, and that will give you a good starting point for writing an inclusive speech that everyone will enjoy and appreciate. Know your audience, and if you’re on the fence about sharing a certain memory, just stay on the safe side and refrain from including it in your speech.
3. Jot Down Your Ideas
Start with the memories. What’s a luxury wedding speech without memories? Start by reminiscing on memories about the couple that impacted you, displaying just how much they love each other or what brought them to this point.
Remember, you can be funny and silly in your wedding speech at luxury weddings but don’t take it too far. Be cautious about any memories that are too embarrassing or inappropriate for the audience. It’s good to also add memories with the bride and groom separately to highlight how special each one is as an individual. Don’t wallow in the melancholy. Any tears should be happy tears, and the goal is to make the couple, plus everyone else, feel warm and fuzzy.
4. Jot Down Other Ideas
After you’ve jotted down memories, think about how you want your speech to be: funny, sincere, or both. Start thinking of ideas that could complement your theme: a favorite quote, song lyrics, or a personal story.
Stay away from the cliché; make it personable. You want your speech to stand out. After all, it’s going to be on that wedding video forever. This is a luxury wedding, so it’s time to pull out all the stops.
5. Structure the Speech
Here’s where your high school English class comes into play. Properly structuring your speech is vital. The order should make sense, flow well, and all come together. There should be a creative opening that pulls your audience in, a body that is the main essence of your speech, and a conclusion that wraps it up and leaves your audience feeling touched.
Make sure your opening contains a hook. Reel your audience in with a joke, a creative analogy, or the memory of all memories.
Transition to the central part of your speech by providing fun details on how you met the couple and watched their love blossom. Then get to the meat of your speech, where you tell hilarious or touching stories. Share details that will help your audience visualize. For example, don’t just say that the groom was starstruck by his bride-to-be. Share that story of how he was so entranced that he ran into the waiter at the restaurant, causing an epic mess.
Wrap up your speech by reiterating some key elements, congratulate the couple, thank everyone for their attention, end on a warm and sincere note, then raise a glass to toast to the couple.
Some additional tips for your speech include:
- Don’t rely on liquid courage. Abstain from alcohol the hour before your speech so your mind is clear and ready to deliver some tear jerkers.
- Consider recording yourself for practice. This is a tried and true method that works for practicing speeches. This allows you to watch yourself and point out anything weird you do without realizing it, like saying “um” too much or using your hands too much.
- Make the speech inclusive and appropriate. Be careful with jokes. Stay away from memories that would humiliate anyone in the room, be inappropriate for anyone, or be not appreciated by anyone present. If you choose to be funny, be tasteful as well.
- If you draw a blank, improvise. You know the couple well, so if your nerves lead to forgetfulness, just change course and talk about how much you love them. Your speech doesn’t have to be word-for-word what you prepared. And if you’re prone to forgetting under pressure, make sure you arm yourself with a 3 x 5 with bullet points to help you stay on track.
- Don’t make it too long. A good speech is short and sweet. Even if your speech is fantastic, everyone will zone out if it drags on.
Writing a speech can seem tedious, but we know you can nail that speech if you follow our guide. And if you put the work in, you’ll feel so accomplished when you sit down and see the smiles on everyone’s faces. As luxury wedding planners, we’ve seen the best and worst of wedding speeches. Make sure you do some prep work, practice, and show the fantastic couple how much they mean to you. Shoot from the mind and the heart, not the hip, and you’ll hit your target.