Whether your wedding celebrations are held in a hotel, restaurant or outdoor venue, there usually is one person in charge of proceedings i.e. a person who takes charge of the celebrations from start to finish – The Wedding Coordinator. This is a person that the Bride & Groom trust as it has probably been the first person they met when they first entered their proposed venue for their wedding. The Wedding Coordinator also must trust the Bride & Groom with respect to what they want on the day and their plans for the day i.e. a schedule of events. They say that the only thing that the Wedding Coordinator is not in control of at a wedding is the speeches. They can control everything else as usually they call the shots, but when it comes to the wedding speeches they have no control, they usually know when they are going to take place and that’s it. Duration and content is out of their hands.  The speeches can place at anytime during a wedding:

  • When the guests arrive in the main foyer of the wedding venue
  • Just before the guests enter the eatery
  • Before the meal starts
  • After the starter
  • After the main course
  • After dessert
  • The speeches can be delivered during the meal courses where one or two speakers would deliver their speech

Wedding Coordinators usually prefer to have the speeches delivered after the dessert is served.  There are many reasons for this with respect to the Wedding Coordinator and indeed the guests. The guest would prefer the speeches to take place after the meal because:

  • From the time the wedding service (the nuptials) are over to the time they get to the venue can be usually a  long period of time and hunger sets in
  • When people are hungry, all they are thinking about is their stomach
  • They need to know when the meal is officially over, the speeches does this
  • They want to allow the food that they have enjoyed ‘settle’ by they sitting down and not moving for at least 30-40 minutes, the speeches fills this time period
  • They want to experience various emotions as they think about the Bride & Groom through other people’s thoughts and stories and they cannot best do this on an empty stomach

The Wedding Coordinator would prefer the speeches to take place after the meal because:

  • They can plan their day better for the Bride & Groom
  • They can work with the Chef and his or her kitchen staff around when to start cooking the food and what time to serve the food
  • The Chef can plan when he needs to have his team ready to serve the food
  • The Chef would prefer to serve the food immediately when it is cooked as we all know food that has been kept warm for a period of time after its cooked does not taste the same
  • When the food has all been served their main worry and challenge of the wedding is done and complete

So whether you are a Bride, Groom or indeed the Bestman (the person who is in control of the speeches, their content and especially their duration), let the Wedding Coordinator know about your plan for the speeches, when they are taking place, how long they will take and then inform each speaker of this giving them a maximum time to speak. They should then have the courtesy to plan their speech around this and everyone will be happy with everything.  

Speaking in front of family, friends and relations can for some people be the most difficult when it comes to delivering a speech or saying a few words. They all know you, they all know how you speak and they all know how you ‘go about yourself’. They have been a witness; with you all the way through your life to date, watching you develop and grow into the wonderful person you are today, some more than others. Whether it is speaking to them on a one to one or in a large group or indeed formally at a social occasion, they want to see and hear the real you speaking i.e. they want you to be authentic. If you are not, they may not believe what you are saying. Will the real Ger please stand up…! You need to remember that when speaking formally to family friends and relations, you are speaking to ‘old friends’, people who know you. With this mentality of ‘speaking to old friends’ you become more of yourself, the person your audience know. You will speak from the heart (like the way all speeches should be delivered) and become a speaker that they immediately take to, accept and believe. OK, you still need to have the good, appropriate, structured content for the occasion, but it can be delivered brilliantly and confidently with the above mindset. Like in all speeches, the audience want you to succeed and do well, they are behind you all the way, especially people that know you; speak to them from your heart to their heart. A little anxiousness and a little stress is a key requirement, as long as it is controlled and you are controlling it…it shows that you care! Try to look forward to speaking to family, friends and relations in a formal speech setting; believe in yourself and they will believe in you and you know the 3 P’s Plan, Prepare, Practice…! ENDS…  

If you are one of the people who have to make a wedding speech, then having a guide map can be very useful.  Although, it is an honour to give a wedding speech, it is not an easy event.  A wedding speech will require careful preparation and flawless execution, in order to be deemed successful. Consider the following general tips;

  1. Start by preparing yourself fully.  Remember that only careful preparation will save the day.
  2. Do research on what you are going to say in the wedding speech.
  3. Include appropriate comments about the bride and the groom in your speech.  Make sure that you express your best wishes to them.
  4. Thanking the guests and people who helped in anyway is customary, so make sure that you don’t forget anybody.
  5. Rehearse your speech as much as possible.
  6. Add humorous comments to lighten the tone of your speech.
  7. Avoid talking about the groom’s/bride’s past experiences with other woman/men.
  8. Use a joyous tone of voice in your speech, don’t fidget with your hands and always make eye contact with your audience to establish rapport with them.

Great Speech provides a specialized service in coaching people to improve and enhance in public speaking and communications skills whatever the occasion. Our tailored approach to the needs of the people we work with, delivers on their specific speaking challenges, requirements and budget. Contact us for a confidential 1 : 1 session and let us help you say what you want to say (content) and say what you have to say (structure). Let us take the stress out of your day so you can look forward to pleasing your audience…