For many people, the idea of giving a speech or toast at their wedding makes them want to run for the exit. Talk? In front of people? Hard pass.
If you’re one of these nervous nellies, don’t fret. Yes, eyes will be upon you as you give your thank-you speech, or toast your bridal party or honour your spouse, but that shouldn’t cause you concern.
Keep it short and to the point
Simple sentiment is always a winner compared to long, drawn-out rambling. Toasts should be under two minutes, with a couple extra minutes for the newlyweds.
Get in front of a mirror and deliver your speech or toast from beginning to end, several times. Once you’re comfortable, ask a trusted friend to listen and offer feedback. If possible, perhaps the evening of your rehearsal, practise your speech in the same location you’ll be giving it on the wedding day. This will get you used to your surroundings and the size of the room.
Take a deep breath and relax
Take time to breathe. Be mindful of your alcohol intake. A drink can calm the nerves, but more than one and your speech can become sloppy. Have a glass of water close by and a tissues, too!
Toast, don’t roast
Slight jabs and small jokes at the expense of your family, friends or even partner are OK, as long as they are light and quick. Instead, be vulnerable with your feelings. A wedding is the best day to tell your loved ones how you really feel.
Be enthusiastic and optimistic
Smile, be friendly and you’ll have the audience right there with you. Even nervous laughter can be endearing. Mumbling, not so much. Take your time and say each word slowly and clearly.
Don’t wing it. Sure, speeches are better when you don’t read them, but if you need notes, use notes! They will keep you focused and stop the word vomit. No one expects your words to flow flawlessly, so feel free to pause, gather your thoughts, take a breath and continue.
Avoid inside jokes
You might think they are funny, but your audience won’t get them and the sound of crickets can throw you off your speech game. Light humour is appreciated, but at a wedding, sincere emotion will go over much better.
Speak from your heart!
Read more from our Rosé Wedding Guide!