How can there be a wedding without wedding speeches? The bride’s father is the first to do the honors, followed by the groom and then by the Best Man. At some weddings even the maid of Honor may be asked to speak a few words. The guests wait for the speeches to end before heading for the bar, and joining the celebrations.
It is not that wedding speeches are not fun. They are. Good speeches can add life and zest to wedding celebrations. But these speeches are few and far between. The majority of the speeches fall flat, because the speaker has not made adequate preparations.
Most wedding speeches are today delivered as a ritual. The bride’s father is too busy making arrangements and has not spent sufficient time reciting his lines; the groom is too overwhelmed by the occasion to stand up and deliver; and the Best Man is busy enjoying the attention to worry about the speech.
So, what should be done? Should the guests suffer the speeches in silence at wedding after wedding? Or should the speakers realize the importance of the occasion and do justice to the responsibility entrusted to them?
The speakers clearly must rise to the occasion. They must put in the same effort in their speeches as the families of the bride and groom have done in making the wedding arrangements. They must remember that they have not been asked to deliver an impromptu or an extempore speech. They had enough time and warning to get their speeches ready. Now that the time has come they must not let the guests down.
The best wedding speeches, of course, are those that are delivered at the spur of the moment. But those who are gifted give these speeches. The rest have to work hard to prepare their speeches. They must spend some time putting their thought on paper, ideally at least a month before the big day.
When doing so they should not look for smart one-liners to liven up their speeches but talk about the groom, the bride, the family and friends. The speech should not forget the guests who have taken time off their busy schedules to be present for the wedding. It’s a great family occasion, and the speeches must capture this spirit.
A good idea is to rehearse the wedding speeches. This helps eliminate unnecessary words or sentences. The speaker does not have to stutter to locate a word or a sentence. His thoughts flow smoothly. More important, they are suited to the occasion, and add to overall joy and festivities.