Need to speak at a wedding reception? Don’t quite know what to do? Try these ideas:
TO WELCOME AND CONGRATULATE
- Welcome the bride and groom as a couple.
- Welcome the guests, i.e. the family members, the best man, the maid of honor and the bridesmaids, the friends and the colleagues of both the bride and groom.
- Congratulate the bride and groom, their family, and friends.
- If you are the best man or the emcee, introduce all speakers.
- Compliment the bride with, you are looking beautiful, great or something like that. And mean it!
- Compliment the ones who made her dress. Her mom, sisters, aunts.
- If you are not the best man, thank the best man for his efforts.
- Briefly describe your relationship to the bride and groom.
- Why are you invited to speak at their wedding?
- Why do you want to speak?
- How did you meet them? Can you come up with a funny story?
- Tell them what they mean to you personally in your heart and mind.
- Mention special people in the lives of the couple.
- Refer to the joys of the meal in case you are an after dinner speaker.
MENTIONING KEY EVENTS
- What are milestones in the lives of the bride and the groom?
- In what key events did you play a part?
- What happened in history the day they were born?
- What in history happened at this wedding day? Stay with nice things…
- Look for funny speech topics about the groom or bride.
- Tell a happy story of the couple.
- Visualize how they met for the first time.
- Narrate how they were introduced to the parents.
- Mention and describe their common activities.
- Describe their different characters, be nice and funny!
- Express how happy everyone is.
- Wish the couple all the best.
- Thank the guests for attending.
- A joke or quotation can serve as good closing statement.
- End your wedding speech with a REAL toast!
Other Tips: Speaking Order
Is there a toastmaster or a master of ceremonies? Then let him or her decide who is speaking at what time. The speaking order below is often used at weddings.
- The father of the bride. He ends with a toast to the bride and groom.
- The groom. He replies to the father of the bride and ends with a toast to the bridesmaids.
- The best man. He replies on behalf of the maid of honor and bridesmaids and ends with a toast to the parents of the bride and groom.
- The maid of honor.
- The father of the groom.
- Other people, like the mother of the bride also can speak at weddings. But remember, the bride and groom decide!
Writing & Delivery Tips
- Use brief notes on index cards.
- Keep it short, 4 of 5 minutes.
- Rehearse your wedding talk in front of someone else and adapt the helpful recommendations and feedback you receive.
- Write down the words Break or Pause to the left of your notes, to speak in a normal pace.
- Make eye contact with the bride and groom while you are speaking. Look around to the other guests. And talk with a smile!
Congratulations and good luck!
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