Wedding speeches during the wedding breakfast. For some, it’s a great opportunity to stand up and address the crowd while having a few jokes at the groom’s expense, especially if you’re the best man. For others, it’s a moment to dread, all eyes on you and you’re hoping to just get through it all without any mistakes. No matter the type of wedding, the following advice still applies.
Yes, I see a lot of nerves while the clock ticks down to the wedding speeches. A few wedding days kick off the speeches before the wedding breakfast is served. That enables the speech makers to get it out of the way so they can enjoy the meal. Mainly, however, it is far more common to make the speeches after the meal. I’d like to give a few hints here from my experience as a wedding videographer.
Be bright, be brief, be gone!
There is one golden rule and it is this: “Be bright, be brief, be gone!”
Hopefully, you as the speech maker are going to get a few laughs as well as those emotional moments. If you do, then you’ve done well. The worst thing you can do is look for Dutch courage. It really doesn’t help and actually builds you up for a fall, sometimes.
There’s an old cliche…”Always leave them wanting more”, and you could say the same here. In my experience, wedding speeches have been as short as twenty seconds and once or twice, as long as ninety minutes. I would say that five to ten minutes is great, short enough to hold attention and long enough to get your points across.
I once experienced a power failure during the wedding speeches. All the house lights went out. Fortunately, I was able to keep recording in the pitch darkness as I use batteries. The best man, who was speaking when the power cut hit just carried on like the trooper he was, without missing a beat. Another time, the (very loud) fire alarm went off and no one had the key. We just carried on and everyone made their speech. This has actually happened twice to me, once during the ceremony and once during the speeches.
Past, present and future.
There is another golden rule for wedding speeches. Past, present and future.
It’s great to say a few words about how the bridal couple met. How they have proceeded to get to today and hopefully, the wonderful years ahead for them. And if you’re the groom, always, always say something nice about your new wife. It’s so easy to forget the simple but crucial things when you’re standing in front of a hundred people, knowing they’re all looking and listening to you.
If you’re super confident, you can wing it without notes. You can also Google wedding speeches and no doubt, you’ll find some good ones. No one expects you to speak like a professional so reading from notes is fine but do try to look up occasionally to the people you’re speaking to. They will appreciate it.
If there is a microphone, do use it so everyone can hear you. It would be a shame if no one could hear a word you say, it does happen.
The best man’s wedding speech.
Traditionally, we get to see the father of the bride, the groom and the best man make wedding speeches. The best man probably has the hardest job here but tends to get the most laughs because he can can throw the rule book to the wind, it really is an open slate for him and secretly, I can tell you that his audience is probably hoping that he has the ability to make the groom blush…within reason. There is a line that even the best man can’t cross, especially if it is embarrassing to the bride and her family. It’s always a good idea to run your prepared speech before a friend in the days before a wedding.
I’ve filmed hundreds of wedding speeches over the years and I can say this…I can count on one hand, the times when a wedding speech has gone wrong, a speech that had people looking at their hands and it was usually down to way too much alcohol.
It really is quite difficult to make a mess of your speech because everyone there is rooting for you, your friends and family, me too so just relax and enjoy the occasion.
Follow my advice and you’ll do very well. If you are having your wedding filmed, have a look here.
East Kent Wedding Video.