Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

March 2013

How to Conquer Your Wedding Speech

SingaporeBrides shares some useful tips and pointers on how to draft and deliver your wedding speech with the skill and stealth of a professional public speaker.

A common tradition at weddings all over the world, it should not come as a surprise to you when you are asked to prepare a speech for your big day. As per tradition, the bride and groom will take turns to speak nearing the end of the evening, each undertaking a language to cater to both their English and Mandarin speaking guests.

To give you an idea of what your speech should be about, think of it as your Oscar winning moment. Imagine you’ve just won an Oscar and are now giving thanks and sharing your journey to success. That’s what your wedding speech should be about – giving thanks to those who’ve made this wedding possible and sharing your journey as a couple. The wedding speech is an integral part of any wedding celebration, so rather than try to squirm out of writing one, we suggest you take a close look at these 5 tips and learn how to write one.

Tip #1 – Start Your Preparations Early

There are two reasons why you should start writing your speech as early as possible: the best speeches are often ones given careful thought and time to develop and inspiration can come anytime, anywhere and any day.

Pick up the habit of bringing around a small notebook with you to jot down any thoughts or memories that could be worked into your speech. Doing so ensures that all your thoughts are recorded and you can refer back to them whenever you want to. Write down any stories you want to talk about and the names of the people you want to thank on your big day as well.

Tip #2 – Language Matters

Because your guests are not privy to the script in your hands, you should not use overly stiff or formal language in your speech. Instead, keep your speech audience friendly by using informal language. Aim to keep your speech to no more than 5 minutes by employing short and concise sentences. Begin your speech with “Ladies and gentlemen” and end it by rousing your guests to a toast. To prevent your guests’ attention from waning, try to insert funny or heartwarming anecdotes into your speech every now and then. If you have the tendency to speed up when you’re nervous, insert the word “pause” at intervals on your script as a visual reminder to take a breather.

Tip #3 – Practice Makes Perfect

Now that you’ve got your speech ready, what’s left to do is for you to practice delivering it by reading it aloud. If you are a public speaking virgin, read your speech aloud when no one else is around. Get used to the feel of the words on your lips and the sound of your voice projected out first.  Once you’re comfortable and confident enough, practice your speech in front of a small audience – your bridesmaids or your husband-to-be – to familiarise yourself with the feeling of addressing an audience. Your audience can also help point out places where you speak too fast or tend to stumble over words.

Seize every opportunity to practice your speech – do it in the shower, while you’re on the go or even during lunch. Make a recording of your practice to reflect on areas where you need to improve on. Remember, the more you practice, the more prepared you are and the less nervous you’ll be on your big day!

Tip #4 – Make Multiple Copies of Your Speech

The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day and add on to your public speaking anxiety is losing the only copy of your speech. Prevent that from happening by making multiple copies of your speech and entrust your maid of honour, bridesmaids and parents with one each for safekeeping. It’s not possible for all copies to be lost, so relax and enjoy your big day without worrying about losing the copy of your speech.

Tip #5 – Eye Contact

Conquering Your Wedding Speech

Albeit the trickiest part of speaking to an audience is the question of who to look at while you are delivering your speech. It is not possible to meet everyone’s eyes during your speech, so don’t try to. Instead, allow yourself to focus on one guest at a time and make eye contact with them. Briefly maintain the eye contact as if you were addressing them directly before moving on to the next person. You may also want to let your eyes scan the room but remember to let your gaze focus on one person at the end of it. Refrain from staring at one guest only for the duration of your speech, nor should you let your gaze roam about aimlessly without meeting anyone’s eyes.

Things You Should Never Include in Your Speech

Although there are no hard and fast rules about what you should include in your wedding speech, there are some topics that you might want to leave out. Some examples of topics you might want to omit from your speech:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Ex-partners
  • Last minute threats to call off the wedding
  • Swearing
  • Explicit sexual references

Give Thanks

Now, what’s an Oscar speech without the long list of people to thank? Your wedding day would not be half as successful or complete without the help of these people and it is only right that you thank them for making the day perfect for you and your new husband. Here’s who you should thank in your speech:

  • Your parents and parents-in-law – for their support throughout the years, for their unconditional love, for their help in the planning/organising of the wedding.
  • Your loving husband – briefly mention how you met him and the qualities you admire in him.
  • Your guests – for taking time out of their busy schedules to join you on your big day and for their generous gifts.
  • Your wedding party – for their help and for being part of the celebration.
  • Wedding planners – for planning a beautiful wedding for you.
Conquering Your Wedding Speech

Every great speech ends with a toast. Complete the tradition by raising your glass and prompt your guests to do so as well.

Download the free SingaporeBrides Wedding Speech Template.