Wedding Speech Guide

As a wedding photographer I’ve seen many wedding speeches. In this blog post I’m sharing some thoughts on writing and delivering a wedding speech that is uniquely you.

Brainstorm ideas

Once you’ve decided that you’ll be making a speech (or have been asked) take a trip down memory lane and spend time reflecting on memories with each other, of people you want to talk about. Brainstorm personal anecdotes that highlight your relationships, your friendships, and any special or funny times you spent together.

Bride Wedding Speech Ideas
Wedding Speeches

Introduce yourself

If you are not the one getting married, don’t forget to introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the couple. This helps guests understand your connection and why you’re speaking.

Share a story

Whether it’s funny, sweet, or a bit of both, personal stories make your speech unique and engaging. Share anecdotes that highlight your / the journey as a couple. Aim for stories that are touching, funny, or showcase their love and personalities.

Wedding Speeches at The Perch in Oxford

Be yourself

Authenticity really is key. Speak from the heart and let your personality shine through. Your guests are there because they care about you, so they’ll appreciate your genuine words. If wedding speaking isn’t for you, perhaps think of an alternative way to convey your message of love and gratitude, like writing a song!

wedding speech

Wedding speech timings

Wedding speeches can be delivered at various times throughout the day, depending on the number of speakers and the flow of your day. Here’s a breakdown of common timings:

Before the Main Meal: These days, I would say speeches are often given before the main meal, either at the dining table or congregated in a different area before guests are seated (outside if the weather permits) This timing allows speakers to get their speeches out of the way and enjoy the meal without any lingering nerves.

After the Main Meal: Traditionally, speeches are given after the main meal, I guess the idea is that your guests will be relaxed after their food.

Throughout the Meal: Another option is to intersperse speeches between courses. This can create a dynamic and engaging atmosphere, keeping guests entertained throughout the meal.

Wedding Speech Guide - The Oxford Wedding Blog
Wedding Speech
Wedding Speeches at weddings

How many wedding speeches?

That is really up to you, but one thing I’d say is don’t be put off by having too many. Sometimes people roll the idea of having loads of speeches, but for me, it’s wonderful listening to people you love sharing stories about your journey together.

Wedding Speeches
Two Dad Wedding Speech
wedding speech

Enjoy it

No matter how many people laugh, or cry… the most important part is to write and deliver a speech that you enjoy giving. Prepare in advance, practice before the day, and enjoy it.

Ingredients for writing the wedding speech

Now, I’m definitely no speech expert so this only comes from what I’ve seen at weddings.

  • Start with a powerful opening – a memorable line or heartfelt thank you to immediately capture attention.
  • This might seem obvious, but make your wedding speech engaging by sharing personal anecdotes, but ones that everyone has the opportunity to understand.
  • Don’t forget to acknowledge key people like parents, in-laws, the wedding party etc
  • Make eye contact with the guests – reading is absolutely fine, but remember to look up and engage.
  • Finish with a note that leaves a positive vibe, this can be touching or humorous.

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