The best wedding speeches are short and sweet. Your speech should be less than five minutes long with the ideal length between two and three minutes. If you make it too long, your audience will start losing interest, so make sure to time yourself at home.
Keep the audience in mind while writing your wedding speech. You are addressing everyone at the reception and not just the bride and groom. Your audience will be made up of older guests as well as younger children, and you probably won't personally know most of them, so avoid jokes or anecdotes that only a few guests will understand. It is also a good idea to make frequent eye contact with the audience while speaking, as this will keep them engaged.
Making your wedding speech personal is the key to grabbing everyone’s attention. Stay away from clichés and say your own stories about the bride and groom. You probably have a lot of them and it will be a challenge to squeeze everything you would like to say in a few minutes, so opt for something short, effective, affirmative and perhaps a little bit sentimental. Pulling out a cute old photo of the couple and showing it at the reception is a great way to get audience’s attention! You can always hand write an extended version of your speech and give it to the bride and groom to read after the wedding.
Once you have finished writing your wedding speech, allow some time to practice it. This will help you deliver it with more confidence at the reception and help you perfect your speech. You can recite it to a member of the bridal party or a friend, or even practice alone if you prefer. But remember that no matter how much you practice, it is always a good idea to have the text in front of you at the wedding.
Play it safe and don’t try to add spontaneity to your speech by deviating from the script. If you have followed all the previous tips, then you have the perfect tone and the perfect length, so there is no need to risk spoiling everything with an anecdote which you accidentally think of while delivering the speech.
A good wedding speech should end on a high note, so raise your voice as well as your glass and look around the room. Use a simple salutation such as “ladies and gentleman, to the bride and groom”.
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