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Your Wedding Speeches Question Answered

Nov 8, 2007
Wedding speeches can cause sheer panic. Many people find that they are not comfortable addressing a large audience filled with unfamiliar people. Even if they know the crowd, sometimes it is easy to get a little tongue-tied.

It is, after all, a joyous occasion that is most likely being recorded. Who wouldn't get a bit nervous at the thought of a slip-up living forever in jokes each time the reception recording is watched? There are some tricks and tips to make that speech a little easier to give. It is not always about what you say as how you say it.

What is the history of wedding speeches?

Wedding speeches started out as blessings given by the male members of the family. It was unusual in most parts of the world for a woman to give a speech or a blessing to the new couple. This, of course, has changed over the past hundred years. Women are always welcome to give a speech.

Historically the wedding speech was not what we would think of it today. It was not filled with jovial reminders of familiarity nor was it as laid back. The wedding blessing was a solemn rite given to ensure the new couple of fertility and heavenly blessing on their fledgling marriage.

Is there proper etiquette for giving a speech?

There really isn't an etiquette per se, but instead should let common sense be your guide. Wait. Stop. Okay, some people may have a different idea of common sense so elaboration is in order.

There are a few Do's and Don'ts when it comes to giving a wedding speech.
Do: congratulate the bride and groom on their recent wedding.
Don't: talk about ex wives, ex husbands or ex significant others. It may be funny to you that the groom has been married four times before but it will not be as funny to the bride, or vice versa.
Do: share a short, sweet story of how you know either the bride or groom.
Don't: talk about how the bride first met the groom at a wild party where everyone was intoxicated. Once again: humor is in the eye or mind of the beholder.

In general the speech should be about acquainting an intimate thought with the entire crowd. Inside jokes may make the couple smile and laugh but it could cause great confusion with the rest of the guests. Give the couple your blessing and wish them well, it will go much farther than an embarrassing story.

How long should my speech be?

Keep the speech no longer than five minutes. Even five minutes is pushing the limits of the crowd. You want your speech to be remembered for its poignancy, not the fact that it put everyone to sleep. Most people have very short attention spans when it comes to long speeches. By keeping to the topics you have in mind and keeping it brief, the crowd and couple will appreciate it.

When should the wedding speech be given?

This depends on how the reception goes. If it is a full sit-down reception, the best time to give the speech is either before or during dinner. That way you have the guests' full attention. If it is just finger foods, the speech can be given as soon as all the guests arrive from the ceremony or even before the wedding cake is cut.

What are some tips for speaking in front of others?

The first tip is to drink a glass of orange juice. The sugar will help boost your energy and ease some of the nervousness. The second tip: do not picture the audience naked. It really does not work, especially if some of the guests could cause you to burst out laughing uncontrollably. The third tip is to practice the speech until it does not sound rehearsed.

That may seem like an oxymoron but it will help you not be dependant on reading from cards and sounding like a robot. Take it easy, the crowd understands that people get nervous when getting up in front of large audiences.

Talk slowly, almost until you feel like you are dragging it out because chances are you are not really talking slowly. Most people tend to rush their speeches. The most important thing is to remember that you are paying an honor to your friends. If you mess up, no one will really notice.
About the Author
Wedding Speeches is a memorable act that newly weds treasures for life and Mike Selvon's portal will expand your horizon on wedding speeches. Visit us to receive your free gift and leave a comment at our wedding reception blog.
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