Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The best and worst wedding speeches

A wedding is an emotional time for all families – not only the bride and groom who have spent months, or even years organising the biggest day of their lives, but also the parents of the happy couples who have probably had to empty their wallets to contribute to the big day. There’s also a fair amount of pressure on the best man, head bridesmaid or friends who wish (or are expected) to give a speech at the reception.

What’s the etiquette of a wedding speech? Do you try to make the bride and groom cry with tears of joy or tears of excruciating pain and embarrassment?

One Money Saving Expert Forum user thinks that it all depends on the ears awaiting your speech. “It’s vital to know your audience. The last time I was best man, there were a lot of Catholics and elderly in the audience, so regaling them with our adventures in Amsterdam was not appropriate.”

So maybe you should go for the safe option? Although not everyone is a professional singer…
We all remember the legendary speech delivered in song by Tom Fletcher from McFly when he married long-term love Giovanna Falcone. For those of you who missed it, catch it below. It’s certainly heartfelt and tear-jerking, but awesome or sickly depending on how you look at it…

This one seems to go down well too:

If you do want some laughs, here are some ways not to deliver your speech. This wedding speech may well be fake as one comment suggests, but it could be considered as a quite inappropriate approach despite laughs from the bride and groom:

And as this film clip from A Few Best Men suggests, don’t let someone else look after your speech notes, and try not to offend the audience:

Wedding speech top tips

If you’ve been given the responsibility of giving a speech at a wedding of a close friend or relative, you may not have the foggiest idea how to start. Unless you fancy following Tom Fletcher’s lead, here are some ideas about how to go about planning your speech:

• Decide your angle. Do you want your speech to be sincere or funny? The odd joke can be amusing, but don’t try to be a comedian unless you know what you’re saying will have every single person in fits of laughter.

• Think about how you know the bride and groom, significant experiences you’ve has with them and how they met each other – are there any moments that stand out? Anything funny that’s happened or that you’ve spoken about that you could reference?

• Could you mention the stag do? Probably best to avoid the subject if it involves strippers in Prague (chances are the new wife won’t be too happy), but if something happened on the big night that’s appropriate for grandma and any five-year-olds in the audience, go right ahead. If the stag party hasn’t yet taken place as it’s just before the wedding, that’s no problem as you could always slip an anecdote in at the last minute.

• What do the bride and groom have in common? For example, do they both have a love of Bon Jovi you can reference? This is a crime in itself and should not be overlooked. Are they both obsessed with Tarantino films? Perhaps there’s something you can quote or reference as a starting point.

• Run your speech past a few other people. Does it get the reaction you were anticipating?

• Practice, practice, practice. The more you run through it, the less nervous you’ll be when delivering it on the day.

• Don’t forget to toast the happy couple at the end!

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