Wedding speeches - Is there such a thing as too many laughs?

1 July 2016

For even the seasoned public speaker, speeches can often be a daunting prospect. There are many suggested ways of keeping the nerves at bay, but perhaps most important is to plan, prepare and practice. Plan what you are going to say, draft it into your speech and practice, practice, practice! We don't just mean in your head, but out loud, in front of the bathroom mirror, in the car on the way to work, and forget about singing in the shower - this is prime practicing time!

Knowing your crowd is important, identify a few friendly faces and deliver your speech to them - make eye contact and smile! Force yourself to take that leap and let your inner self confidence shine through - once you make a start on a confident footing, you will relax - you might even enjoy yourself!
 
One temptation when nerves are rearing their head, is to turn to humour. This is fine, and some of the best speeches have the guests in stitches, but it is important to get the balance right. Having been witness to many wedding speeches over the years, the wedding team at award winning Leicestershire wedding venue, Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands have a few tips for prospective speech toast makers:
 

Balance - Depending upon your role, humour is perfectly acceptable in a speech, but you need to get the balance right. Your speech shouldn't become a stand up comedy routine. You are not Michael McIntyre and this is not Saturday Night at The London Palladium! That said, you can be as funny as you like (within certain boundaries, which we will cover shortly), but it is important that there is sincerity in what you are saying. Who can forget 'Best Man Joe' from a couple of years back, a Best Man speech from a Hothorpe Hall wedding that went viral and has over 1 million hits on YouTube! We aren't suggesting that everyone bursts into song for the duration of their speech - but the balance of humour and sincerity was definitely evident and his speech went down a storm!

Seek Advice - Sometimes your  words can seem hilarious in your head, but when you say them out loud it may be a little different. Make a good choice and run your speech past someone you trust - they will be able to help you to make any tweaks that may be advisable!
 
Remember your audience - It can be tempting to include lots of in-jokes that you share with the happy couple, but if the majority of the guests don't have a clue what you are talking about, your speech may fall a little flat.
 
Don't cross the line - Steer clear of anything that is likely to offend anyone, especially the couple themselves. Mentioning ex-partners is probably best avoided.
 
Be yourself - The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, you are making the speech because the happy couple have asked YOU to do so. So if YOU are comfortable and enjoy yourself, everyone else will too - you never know, you might become another YouTube sensation - just make sure it's for the right reasons!
 
If you would like more information about booking a wedding at Hothorpe Hall & The Woodlands, or would like to arrange a viewing, contact the Weddings Team on 01858 881500
 

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