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A simple guide to wedding speeches

There are no rules

Gone are the days when wedding speeches were the exclusive territory of the father of the bride, the groom and the best man. While you might wish to stick to tradition, don’t be afraid to mix it up a little. Some wedding parties choose to have an all-female line up, others make joint speeches and so on – the important thing is that the people who matter the most to you have their moment.

Keep it short and sweet

It’s understandable that, when making a wedding speech, your wedding party want to say as much as possible. However, the best speeches are short (even five minutes is on the longer side) and impactful. Encourage people to cut their speeches down to the highlights. Less is more and people make a bigger impression only using their best material.

Also, limit the amount of people making speeches to three or four people maximum. Too many long speeches can really slow down the pace of the evening and leave your guests with an energy lag.

Compare notes

As a couple, you probably want to be surprised by the content of the speeches, but that doesn’t mean that your loved ones can’t compare notes with each other. Suggest that they decide who covers which areas and points so that the speeches remain short but there is new and entertaining information in each.

Visual aids are your friends

If you or your wedding party can’t find the right words, then don’t be afraid to use pictures, props or anything else you can think of as part of your speech. Just make sure that, if relying on technology, you’ve tested everything out and have a back-up or plan B in case something doesn’t work.

Keep it tasteful

While it is customary to inject some humour into the speeches, keep it tasteful and tactful. Avoid mentioning ex partners, painful moments or anything else that could inadvertently be upsetting or embarrassing (beyond the norm, that is). If you’re not sure about something, leave it out.