Wedding Speeches

When should the great wedding speech be delivered…?

How weddings have changed over the decades! From a handful to 400-500 invited guests; one-two to six-eight bridal party members; a simple wedding car to expensive and large wedding cars; three course meals to six course meals; one to three live bands; simple attire to colorful and flamboyant dresses, suits and attire and off-the-cuff to well-prepared wedding speeches.

Speaking of the latter, wedding speeches are still an important part of a wedding and guests do look forward to hearing them, talking about them before, during and indeed after they’ve been delivered.

We have all heard of wedding speeches delivered before the meal, during the meal and after the meal, however it is of a strong opinion that the wedding speeches should be delivered after the meal. I know that for many bridal party speakers i.e. Father of the Bride Speech, Father of the Groom Speech, Bride Speech, Groom Speech and Bestman Speech (the five main speakers), they would prefer to have the wedding speeches before the meal, so they can enjoy their meal (some of them are paying for it!). However, it is all about the invited guests and how most of them (and indeed the wedding venue staff) would prefer the wedding speeches to be delivered after the meal for many reasons, some of which include:

  • The invited guests have been fed and watered and are not listening to wedding speeches on an empty stomach (at least of food, which would be the case before the meal, though weddings today do provide light snacks upon arrival at the wedding venue)
  • Food can be cooked and served at the agreed time (introduce the wedding speeches before the meal and their could be a delay of 15 minutes to 1.5 hours, driving the kitchen staff crazy trying to keep food freshly cooked, presentable and edible)
  • The wedding speeches act as the transition from the meal to the dancing (with nothing happening after the meal, people are expecting ‘a few words’ to be shared about the Bride & Groom after which they know they can get up, move around, take a break, go for a walk, go to the bar…)

It can be difficult for parents of the Bride & Groom to speak in public, as most of them would not be used of it. So, they could, if they so wished, speak before the / their meal.

There should still be some form of formal wedding speech(es) after the meal…

Should I Use My Native Language in My Wedding Speech??

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Most Irish wedding speeches are delivered in the English language as most of the audience expect it to be and most of them anyway will probably speak or understand it.
For people who are fluent Irish speakers, it would be suggested that you do deliver part of your speech in Irish. This can be done at the start of the speech, at the end of the speech or throughout the speech. It is important that what you say is said in English too either word for word or in a different way, as your guests can feel left out if they do not understand what you are saying / have said.

For people not born in Ireland and who are getting married in Ireland where English is not their first language, it is expected that most of the speech could be delivered in their native tongue, though not all of it. One would have to make an attempt at delivering part of the speech or saying a few words in the English language.

If you are wondering what to say in the Irish language or in your native tongue, consider wedding blessings, wedding poems and opening and closing your speech in Irish.

Your wedding guests always appreciate people speaking in their native tongue, once they know what they are saying or that it is translated for them.

Finally, if some of your main wedding party and guests are from a particular part of the world, welcoming them in their native language or saying a few words during your speech would make them feel really at home.

Whatever language(s) you use during your wedding speech, cover everything that your specific speech is supposed to cover, prepare well, practice, look forward to it and don’t forget to smile!

After you have delivered your speech…

After you have delivered your speech, what do you do, how do you celebrate, what do you think about? Your journey to this stage of 'when it is all over' and your feeling of 'a sense of relief' maybe, 'elation' and maybe some 'self-analysis'. You are also probably saying, 'What was that all about, what was I so stressed and worried about, I want to do it again.!' Every speaker in what ever their speaking platform thinks some or all of these thoughts. So, what should you do after you have delivered an important speech on a big stage to people who know you so well? Read more

Should I read it out or memorize it…

When we are asked to prepare a speech for a social, business or work situation, many people do not know where to start. How do they get the words that they are expected to say from their mind and heart onto paper in a structured format? How then do they get these words from their heart and mind into their mouth so as to say them to their audience without forgetting them or embarrassing themselves (or indeed the audience!)? Do they read it out or memorize it? All relevant questions for many! Let's focus on the latter i.e. your speech delivery and how you plan to remember it as you stand in front of your audience. Read more

Being Yourself With Family & Friends…

2013 is the year of The Gathering, an initiative by the Irish Tourist Board (Bórd Fáilte) and the Irish Government to encourage the Irish diaspora and people who were born in Ireland, to come home and visit family, friends and relations. It's about people getting together and catching up on lost time and memories. Perhaps some might come home and stay at home. Since January this year, many families and indeed organisations have been planning and organizing events all across the country in preparation for a Gathering event of which most took / take place around the late Spring, Summer months and early Autumn. Read more