Adrian Simpson | best manx speech writer

How To Write Wedding Speeches

Wedding Speeches – two little words, that actually cause an awful lot of frustration, trauma, and pressure for those involved. If you think that that’s an overstatement, I talk to people every single week of the year who have to make a wedding speech, and whose lives have been completely destroyed by it. Over 75% of us fear public speaking more than death, and that doesn’t factor in the added dilemma of public speaking and being funny at the same time, so it’s no wonder many people would rather juggle with sharpened throwing axes.

 

So, it’s time to rationalise that fear, understand it, and do something about it, and without sounding too obvious the problems all stem from the content. The reason you’re not looking forward to standing up and speaking is that you feel whatever you’re about to say simply is good enough; nobody will laugh, nobody will be interested. And chances are, if you’re feeling that way, you’re probably right.

All wedding speeches thrive on the same basic things: lack detail, humour, and length. If you get all those three elements right, then you will have success. You will stand up ready to make your speech knowing that the content, balance and timing are all spot on, and victory will be yours.

DETAIL

This is something that many many wedding speeches get wrong, and is is the single biggest contributing factor to wholesale guest boredom. Do not be tempted to go into any detail whatsoever.

If you’re a groom we don’t need a real time account of how you met your wife, best men avoid granular description of incidents, and fathers of the bride don’t give us every single qualification your daughter has notched up. The aim of a good wedding speech is to demand as little from the listener as possible, and nothing turns them off quicker tun having to sit through boring detail, when really you should be making them laugh.

Wedding speeches are an entertaining overview, not a job application.

 

HUMOUR

Every speech in the world works better for having humour in it, and wedding speeches are no exception, but there does have to be some careful consideration. Humour is never scripted jokes that have nothing to do with the people involved, it’s not one liners you’ve grabbed from internet sites, and it’s certainly not anything that is edgy and borderline obscene. Humour in wedding speeches is warm, inclusive, and genuinely very funny.

Being funny, if it doesn’t come naturally, is a hard won skill, but like most things in life requires time and practice. The real humour can be found in observations around people, what they do, what they like and how they act…it just takes time to think of the best way to describe things so that people will laugh.

LENGTH

The length of wedding speeches is absolutely critical, and something which most speaker get catastrophically wrong. A great speech should never go over ten minutes, if you’re talking beyond that point, you’ll be talking to yourself as the majority of the guests will be tweeting selfies to people they hardly know.

Guests have an attention limit and ten minutes is where it’s at – so many guys I speak to want to shoe horn in more, but it’s really counterproductive, and grooms are the most guilty of this. Do not think for one minute that everyone loves you so much they really want to hear exactly how you met each of the ushers, it’s simply not the case. Less is more. However, if you’re talking for less than 3 minutes, it could take some explaining  afterwards.

 

So, if you can get the three magic ingredients right for your wedding speech, then I can guarantee it will be a winner. Treat all wedding speeches as a good dollop of entertainment and not an opportunity to lecture and people to death, and you’ll be on the right tracks. And if you read it out and aren’t tempted to laugh at least once…then keep working on it. For more tips and hints on the comedy visit the Best Man speech Jokes page.

Avoid anecdotes at wedding speeches

Wedding Speeches – Death By Anecdote

 

 

Most of the people I write wedding speech jokes for for are not afraid of standing up in front of people and speaking. Many jobs nowadays require everyone form IT heroes to construction site managers to communicate en masse, whether you’re letting everyone know just how whoopy doo the latest software is or guiding people through the finer points of the coffee machine that’s just been installed, it all means speaking out loud to a group of people.

 

However, these same people have an automatic and overpowering fear of the wedding speech because in corporate life there’s no room to be funny. In a wedding speech there’s no room not be.

 

Being funny, either or paper or out loud, is not easy. People build a lifetime’s work around the art of making other people laugh and it’s hard won experience. Some out there are naturally funny and others will have a delivery style that will carry them, but for most it is undeniably difficult. Everyone from stand ups to wedding speakers live in fear of delivering a joke which lands flat; it’s hard for the person making the speech and very often harder for the guests.

 

But Wedding speech jokes are not about anecdotes. There is very little that’s genuinely funny about a procession of tales about the grubbier details of the stag do or about that time he landed up in a foreign jail. Funny really is about observation; looking at the bigger picture and thinking about how you can comment on that in an amusing way. When I’m writing a best man’s speech I’ll only ever have room for one genuinely fully recounted story, unless the client demands it. In the rest of the speech I might allude to them but there’s simply no room and no apetite to hear them.

 

Instead of leading us through the time when the groom was found with his pants on his head, think what that says about his character in a funny way and then make a slight reference to the story. Nobody wants to see both sets of parents openly shocked and nobody wants to see the guests bored out of their minds. If you venture down the Avenue De L’anecdote, that’s what you’re guaranteed to find.

 

So if you’ve sketched out some wedding speech jokes and they read like an extended feature from Loaded Magazine, then start again and incorporate thoughts from those stories in a much more subtle way. Either that or be prepared for some serious yawning.

Two Best Man Speeches

Two Best Man Speeches – The Worst Idea Ever?

 

 

It’s becoming quite common these days to have more than one Best Man. The reason for this is mainly just good old fashioned plain cowardice; you’d rather not offend somebody, who up until that point had been laboring under the impression you liked him the most. Or maybe you’ve been told you have to use your brother and knowing that he’s not really in a position to do your greatness justice, have employed another much more racy character to sell you in as well. Or maybe you’re just deluded enough to think that death by anecdote is a pleasant way to go.

Multiple Best Men speeches, where our heroes are performing on stage together, are notoriously tricky to pull off. In order for them to really work, the two characters must have a well rehearsed repertoire, that bounces along and never stumbles. Think of the way rappers hit off each other – that’s the kind of relationship you’re going for. By introducing two nervous people on to the stage, you’re simply introducing more problems and potential for things to go wrong. The best outcome, if it’s not throughly worked through, can only be speech tennis where your head gently moves from one speaker to the other every few minutes as they wait nervously for their next cue. If you’re going to go down this route then the only answer is stacks of practice, don’t just come together on the day and try to make it work. It won’t.

 

By having two best men you’re also going to increase the length of the speech and this is never a good idea. Everybody, unless they’re made of wood, loves the speeches but nobody loves a long speech. If yours is running at anything over 10 minutes, you’re on dangerous ground and should really be subbing things out of it. Getting two guys to make a speech can end in catastrophically time consuming routines and some uncle will be punching the air as it nudges past the 20 minute mark having just snagged the sweepstake.

 

There is also the concern by the Groom that by having just one Best Man the guests won’t get the full picture of who he is, and has been, throughout his life, up until this point. To be frank: they don’t care nearly as much as you do. Of course, they’d like to hear a few snippets from various stages but they’re not studying for a degree in the groom they just want some easy laughs and then a disco dance with their tie wrapped around their head.

 

There is, however, a far worse scenario: separate multiple best man speeches. I have just written for a guy who is a second best man and is last on the stage out of…wait for it….six speakers. Six? By the time he gets on, the guests will be several years older, interest rates will have gone up and everybody there will want to kill him. If he gets out of the place alive it will be a miracle. Hearing yet another speech about the groom but from a slightly different era is heartless, selfish and very uncool

 

If you do insist on having several best men, do everyone a favour and make sure they’ve got sharp and succinct précis of your life in their hands. They’ve also got to really communicate with each other to make sure they’re not crossing any common ground. It’s also worth considering giving the speech duties to only one of them. One of them, usually the non speaker, is going to love you forever and the other, once he’s done his speech, is going to love you forever. The speeches are a celebration not a form of torture and not an opportunity for self aggrandisement. If you love yourself that much  then get married to yourself – it’s almost certainly possible in America and probably way cheaper.

 

Funny Best Man Speeches

Funny Best Man Speeches

 

Forget the internet 

Forget the internet. If you’ve reached this point because you’ve been made best man and now you’re looking for a template to copy or cut and paste joke to steal – stop. One of the fundamental facts of life is that what we do and how we do things is way funnier than some guy who’s sticking contrived jokes online for you to plunder. If, for example, you’ve decided to start your speech: ‘it’s an emotional wedding even the cake is in tiers’, then you need help. Not from me necessarily but from the voice in the back of your mind which is saying ‘the groom’s a funny guy, he deserves better than this’. You’re right. He does.

 Observations

The thing that makes people laugh in funny best man speeches is observation, and no matter how great Google is, it can’t quite yet come up with amusing observations on your friend and his life to date. But you can, and you don’t have to be a stand up to do it. Let’s think about those stand up comedians; they make a living out of simply relating everyday things, which when we hear them back make us laugh because we can relate to them. You are one step ahead of these guys because many of the guests already know the groom and his foibles so reminding them of those will be enough to bring the house down. There’s an easy way to go about this…

 

Funny Best Man Speeches Example

 

  1. Take one anecdote from the groom’s life
  2. Extract exactly what it is that makes it funny
  3. Construct a sentence that eludes to this quality
  4. Revel in the laughter

 

This may sound overly straightforward but here’s an example of a speech I wrote recently and took a seemingly mundane anecdote and gave it some zip.

 

The Best Man had written to me and amongst other facts had told me that in Australia the groom had gone from delivering the sandwiches to a company to running their accounts department. On the face of it, there’s nothing there. No meaty pay off, no story, just a mundane fact, but in the background we can all see it’s got its humour.

 

So instead of thinking about what it says about the groom I thought what does it say about the accounts department? And then things started to fall into place. Playing on cultural stereotypes, I came up with this:

 

“Not only did he have amazingly bad dress sense and a fairly good grasp of the English language but he could also count without using his fingers. The Aussie accounts team held him up as a modern day god.”

 

That’s exactly the type of funny you’re looking for; an observation rather than an anecdote. You’re relating verbatim a story about the time he was at work….blah blah blah. You’re giving an overall humorous observation and the only trick to that skill if you’re not used to it is…time.

 

We all think our mates are funny and they are and that’s for a good reason so simply think what it is that tickles you about them and describe that as an observation. No long winded anecdotes and explanations.

 

Let’s face it; you’re friend has asked you to do him the honour of giving the best man speech, if all you can do is Google funny best man speeches, let this be where that search stops. Got out and get ‘em kid.

 

 

 

 

Practice makes speeches perfect

Wedding Speeches: Practice Makes Perfect?

 

 

Well, the short answer is: nearly always yes, but sometimes no. If this sounds a little bit confusing then bear with me. There is one sure fire way, when it comes to wedding speeches, of giving yourself the best possibility of landing them,  and that’s to make sure you know what you’re saying inside out. Once you’ve read it through several times, the blocks of content should start to form in your brain and then with a few prompt cards on the day you should be home and dry. Only reading through the speech as often as you can puts you in that position.

 

However, there are some big ‘no no’s’ in my book when it comes to wedding speeches practice and the fundamental one for me is reading it to other people. If this is going to form part of your practice then you are making a challenging task way more difficult than it has to be, and I’ve seen this happen many times. If your girlfriend looks puzzled at the joke you loved, or questions a play on words you’re really chuffed with then it becomes speech writing by committee and you’re now relying on the sensibilities, and indeed sense of humour, of another party. And who’s to say they’re right and you’re wrong?

 

Wedding speeches should always be pitched at the level where you neither offend nor isolate anyone present, there is absolutely no room for crudeness or rudeness. But that doesn’t mean the guy’s ones have to lose the masculine edge that defines them. If you start trying to write things that your girlfriend (and it is always your girlfriend) thinks suitable then what is likely to result is paler version of what you really wanted to say. And the same goes for the girls – don’t start letting the boys interfere with your speech on the big day because they’ll want to start shaping into the speech they were never asked to make.

 

The second fundamental rule of wedding speeches is: don’t change things that you were perfectly happy with at the beginning. If something makes you laugh first time round then go with it because that’s exactly what’s going to happen on the day. What can happen is that you read it so often that you’ll start to question the humour and sentiment of things that really work. So don’t mend something that doesn’t need fixing. At the very start get a version that you’re really happy with and stick to it. Changing it is counterproductive and unsettling.

 

And finally, if your idea of practice is to memorise the speech, then good luck and I’ll see you for counseling afterwards. I have to learn scripts as part of my broadcast work and I’ve got pretty good at it, but 1200 words? Not a chance. Unless you have circuit boards where your brains should be, memorizing a speech with either send you mad, or result in at best, a monotonus delivery. The most likely result is that you’ll just become so utterly lost in the forest of words, you’ll come to a grinding halt and the guests will have the opportunity to watch a very public breakdown.

 

Only you really know what’s going to work for your speech; what you want to say and how you want to say it. So have the confidence to go with something you believe in, because if you’ve got that, then the rest is easy.

Best Man Speech Brother

As a Best Man Speech Writer I have a gifted insight in to how grooms operate the world over. I know that the Empire State building is pretty much de rigeur when it comes to proposals, I know that well over 85% of my clients still ask for permission to marry from the father and I know that from the minute the button is pressed the girls take over and you become a passenger on a rather fast, furious and pricey roller coaster ride.

So, pretty much all the groom has to do is choose a best man and organise the cars, except when I say choose…it’s very much one of those situations where there IS a loaded revolver to your head and it WILL go off should you make the wrong decision. There are expectations from your wife to be and your family. One doesn’t want you to ruin everything by choosing the close friend she’s never liked with the potty mouth and drink issues, and the other wants you to choose your brother. So you choose your brother.

This of course keeps both parties happy but doesn’t necessarily make anything easier for you, as most brothers won’t have lived or indeed socialised together for many years by the time the wedding comes around. In fact the only really good stories he has about you are over 25 years old and he really hasn’t got know your girlfriend yet as he lives in Australia. This is a very familiar scenario for me when I’m writing best man speeches. Over 70% of the best man speeches I write are for brothers and they do bring about their unique issues – mainly that they know very little about the groom’s real life after the age of 18.

This is not as worrying as it might first seem because I never really use anecdotes anyway as they’re boring, exclusive and not usually that funny, so you’re forced to think of things in a different, more inclusive and hopefully funnier way. Actually this is how every best man speech should be written – forget the anecdotes and tell a story instead. We don’t care about EXACTLY what happened in his life to date, I want daftness, I want fun and I really don’t care about detail. So don’t worry about not having any information on your brother past the point of puberty – it doesn’t matter.

Instead think about what his dreams were, think about what kind of character he used to be growing up and think how you can use that in a funny way. What were his hobbies, passions and disasters? Put your thinking cap on and make that funny. A good best man speech for a brother should be written in exactly the same way as that for any other best man – with warmth, intelligence and a great dollop of imagination.

 

A groom holding a bouquet and looking as though he's about to practice his groom speech

Groom’s Speech – Death By Thanks

There seems to be a commonly held opinion that the groom’s speech is really just a quick rifle through everyone you have ever known and thanking them personally and in precisely the same way for the part they’ve played in the story of your greatness. Now, nobody is saying you’re not great, and not for a minute am I suggesting that some people in your life don’t deserve recognition but in order for your groom’s speech not to become a tsunami of acknowledgements you really need to think carefully about who you’re going to thank and how you’re going to thank them. 

There also needs to be a healthy balance. Even the most stable of grooms can get a bit carried away and treat it as an opportunity to spend 15 minutes talking about how great their new wife is. Whilst most people there would probably agree with you, nobody wants it on heavy rotate, so keep it sincere, warm, funny and ultimately snappy. 

 

Procession

The most common mistake with the groom’s speech is just making it one huge procession of thanks. It’s incredibly dull to listen to and usually the thanks end up being as heartfelt as a gas bill. Limit the number of people you’re going to acknowledge to a maximum of three people and then work out a funny way to include them in your speech. Simply saying thank you to Aunt Hilda for the cupcakes simply isn’t good enough. 

 

Paid Service

The golden rule is: if you’ve paid for a service they don’t need thanking. You haven’t got the time to thank all the people who really mean something to you let alone the florists, wedding planners, car suppliers and cake makers. Unless they’re giving the proceeds to starving orphans, then forget about them. 

Parents

I’ve worked with enough grooms around the world to understand just how important their parents are to them and I’ve seen enough draft speeches to see just how spectacularly they seem to cock this one up. Dismissing your beloved parents in a sentence is poor but then, as so often happens, spending two paragraphs talking about how great your new in laws are is nothing short of thick. Make sure you thank both in equal measure and with a dollop of humour. 

Toasts

There are really three you could make but the only one you have to make is to the bridesmaids. A good idea is to toast the parents, although complicated family situations might see you having to word this carefully and often a groom would like a toast to absent friends. Never ever toast the bride in isolation – it’s weird and uncomfortable, and never make people stand for the toasts – it’ll break your flow and to be honest they’re happier seated. 

 

Best Man

Say something funny and genuinely heartfelt about him. It’s amazing that most grooms will either forget to mention him or simply reference him with regard to the stag weekend. It’s one of the most important and meaningful positions of the entire event so acknowledge, but don’t forget to get your punches in early.

 

Stag Weekend

I’ve never included a stag weekend reference in any of my groom’s speeches as they’re always cliched, dull and not very inclusive. I don’t care if you were dancing with a traffic cone on your head in Prague, I wasn’t there and deep laughs from those that are trying to galvanise their association with you are just going to rile me. 

The Bride 

Don’t forget to have fun, girls like laughing too and there’s no reason why it should become an overwrought declaration of love. Of course she means the world to you but try to break things up with something funny from your first date or when you met here parents. The you can get a bit mushy. 

 

Fun

A wedding speech without laughs is a wasted opportunity so think funny all the way through. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the best man is the only one they’re expecting laughs from. The guests are sat there, quite merry and need entertaining. You’re second on the bill. Don’t disappoint. 

 

For more hints and tips on how to lay out your Groom Speech then visit the Groom Speech Structure page.

 

 

A Really Good Example of a Really Bad Speech

That Pippa Middleton Best Man Speech

Some people aren’t funny, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They’re happy to admit it, and find another way to fit in socially. But then you get some men, usually Alpha Males with a triathlon habit and lots of charity event challenge T shirts in their wardrobe, who are so unbelievably supersonically thick and conceited, they just don’t realise they have all the comic sensibilities of a Stasi punishment block guard.

Here I’ve given my thoughts on just where he went wrong with his Best Man Speech.

‘Thank you to you all from being here today, some having travelled as both families have roots in Yorkshire, so I will say this: “Hear all, eat all, drink all and let your hair down”. Thank you to all the the flower girls and page boys, who have helped make today so special. They have had a very long day.

He’s meant to introduce himself. It might come as a huge surprise to him but unless he’s made a complete tit of himself at the church, not everyone knows who he is. Do not thank anyone for coming or being there or mention flower girls or page boys or any of that nonsense. By this point in the proceedings the guests have been thanked and welcomed a million times…yet another welcome could see more senior members reach inside their smoking jacket for their service revolver, and the find the nearest study. 

‘Firstly, some messages from those who couldn’t be here today. “Wish Pippa the best with the hair. We have really enjoyed seeing you and how you have mastered interpretive dance. Don’t forget to buttock clench on the star jumps.” That’s from Steve and the gang at the Crazy Feet dance studio in Soho.

I never go with fake telegrams and messages because they are just never funny enough…at least he didn’t ‘receive’ one from the ‘Ping Pong’ Strip Club in Bangkok. Hilarious. Not. 

‘Ladies and gentlemen, as I just said, I have the great honour of being James’ best man.

‘I have to say that James has made it a remarkably easy job since he has been here. He has been totally calm throughout.

Ok, he’s now been talking for around a minute and hasn’t said anything remotely funny, this is far too long for a Best Man to keep the guests waiting. The longer they wait the harder it is to land that gag..and I don’t know, call me mad, but I just don’t think this bloke has got it in him. 

‘Other than having to having to carry all of his baggage, the hard part was to keep the rings safe. James doesn’t ok now this but I have a habit of losing things. Not often, but they are usually quite expensive.

‘So I resolved to keep them on my person the entire time that they were in my custody.

‘We both got up for a run early this morning and James jokingly asked if the rings were on my person.

‘I had them in a shower cap tucked in my shorts. He said “really, in a shower cap? I don’t want that in my head when I am putting the ring on Pippa’s finger in the church.”

‘I’m sure it wasn’t on your mind in the church, but it was on your mind now, sorry Pippa.

If anyone can tell me how this is supposed to be funny, I would be really interested. Actually if anyone could tell me what it means, that would be even better. At best it’s completely unfathomable.  He’s now been rambling on towards the 2 minute mark, has said nothing about the groom whatsoever. 

‘I’m not married. But I took a girl home, my mother didn’t like her. Took another girl home and my mother still didn’t like her.

‘So I went out and picked a girl that looked like my mother, took her home, and my father didn’t like her.

A completely unrelated scripted gag from the internet. It has nothing to do with the bride and groom and is pretty clumsy, but yet again its biggest problem is that it’s criminally unfunny. If he’s still single I can only think it’s because his modus operandi is to ‘laugh girls into bed’…it could be done but it’s going to be like Leicester City winning the league and winning the Lottery all on the same day. 

‘James and I met 10-years-ago. Since then he did enough long distance together that we probably shouldn’t have any cartilage left in our knees. 

Oh, you high adrenaline guys…no really a little more about me and my Pepsi Max lifestyle…

‘While success on the track did not translate to the road, where James was involved in a police chase on his moped as a teenager.

What? This is a statement of fact that is meant as a joke. Where’s the punchline…hang on a minute where’s the funny bit?

‘But I have it on good authority that James is gullible. Early in his career, while racing for motorsport, James was asked to get some items from another racing team.

‘So James promptly asked a competitor’s engineers if he could please have some tartan paint. He then asked for sparks said for spark plugs and elbow grease.

I first heard crap like this as an 8 year old working with my dad. This guy wouldn’t know a joke if it came up and puked all over him. We are now half way through the speech and he’s said nothing meaningful and nothing funny. This is unparalleled.

‘After Formula 3, James pursued a career in the world of finance joining his brother at Lloyds. Once again his gullibility was tested after his team sent him to a bar in Soho to get the drinks then, since was full of people not of James’ sexual persuasion, decided not to go at all.

‘After a few admiring glances James, realising he had been had, and was about to be, turned on his heels and ran.

What I want to know is: when he read any of this out at home, especially that bit above, did he really think anyone would laugh? Has this freak been living in North Korea where laughing out loud is banned or is he on some course of mind bending drugs that prevent him from seeing that he lives in a humour vacuum and makes up for it by going for long runs in aid of charity. 

‘There was a time when both James and I were single. We took ourselves off on a boys’ weekend. I proclaimed to James that I was going to try it on with anything that moves.

‘I said to James, “what are you going to do?” He said: “Stand very still.”

Where do you start? Crass, dreadful rubbish which by now we’ve come to understand is this guy’s thing. Imagine if he came to stay for the weekend…’no, no guys don’t go to bed…I’ve got another real thigh slapper for you…’

‘Now to the love of James’ life: beautiful, energetic, loyal, soft-mouthed, comes on command, great behind. But that is enough about Jame’s spaniel, Rafa, I’m here to talk about James’ love, Pippa.

I think we’re covering old ground here with this guy…I mean, I would be slightly shocked if he actually came out with something funny but it’s way beyond his skillset. I tell you what: don’t compare the bride to a dog…just a thought. 

‘As James said, they met in Scotland in 2009 and a friendship blossomed.

‘They have a deep and instinctive love for each other.

‘I think I can say for everyone, that you look stunning. The image of perfection. I know that James first fell in love with your gutsiness and your spirit and then succumbed to your beauty. You make James extremely happy.

You have a voir la joie that warms the hearts of everyone who knows you and you have won the heart of the best man that I know.

I bet at this point he’s not thinking you’re not the man he’s knows…

‘With the wedding shadowed in secrecy, I can reveal, and wish the bride and groom a happy honeymoon in North Wales.

‘At least that’s where I presume they are going as I heard Spencer saying that after the wedding, he [James] was going to Bangor for two weeks. Enjoy the Welsh coast, guys.

Boom boom! Get it Bangor…Bang Her…Yeah? I have to give credit to this guy he saved the most unfunny, uncomfortable and genuinely shit gag until the very end. Unbelievably he’s not managed to say a single thing about the groom…mainly because he’s been too busy destroying his life. 

‘Now for the moment that we have all been waiting for – take it away Fred and Ginger.’ 

The microphone awaits the groom and his speech

Practicing Your Wedding Speech

There is a stat out there somewhere that states we are all much more afraid of public speaking than the prospect of death itself, and you can sort of see why. No one knows for certain what happens when the lights go out for the last time, but we’re all pretty sure it’s preferable to standing up, feeling every drop of moisture instantly leave your mouth, and then trying to crack jokes whilst fending off some kind of bowel related public disgrace. Yes, content is king but practicing your wedding speech is what makes a great speech a truly amazing one.

When it comes to practicing for the big day, you firstly have to be honest about type of person you are. If you’re a naturally super confident, articulate and positive character, then trying to learn the speech and nail it without notes on the day, is a possibility but you have to give yourself time. The best way to go about this is actually not to set out to learn it at all. All you need to do is keep reading it at every opportunity you have, and before you know it all those words will have cemented in your head. Then once you have the words to each paragraph licked just work out a way to remember how the end of one paragraph links to the following one – some people use prompt cards, others can find a way to remember without prompts. If you set out to learn it parrot fashion it will be by far the quickest and most efficient way to get yourself sectioned…and the wedding really wouldn’t be the same without you. The danger of this approach is that all your focus will be spent on remembering the words and consequently the performance will suffer, so don’t forget to practice making it sound entertaining – that means pauses and intonation.

Personally, I would avoid the modern temptation to read your speech from your iPhone. Every day we have the things glued to our face and if you want to look like you really don’t care, then please go right ahead. That also applies to auto cues on iPads. I used these as a television presenter for many years and unless you’ve got hours of practice under your belt they suck the life out of a performance, simply because you’re not focussed on the audience.

If you’re less confident about speaking in front of people then there is nothing at all wrong with reading the speech out from sheets of paper, however, there are some key issues you need to be aware of. Firstly head down and buried in bundle of papers might be a great way for you to hide whilst making the speech but it will undoubtedly render there whole event a miserable and joyless experience for all concerned. You must maintain as much  eye contact as possible, and read it as slowly and purposefully as possible. If you follow the temptation to rattle through nobody will understand a word you’re saying, and you may as well be reading out the menu. And lastly, have something to rest your papers on – you’ll be pumped up and those papers will be shaking like a leaf so you’ll need to mask that with a folder or a book. Keep reading it through so that there will be now words that will trip you up on the day..and remember to look happy!

Fancy Dress Weddings

Fancy Dress Weddings – The Final Insult

 

 

Here’s a tip when organizing your wedding: you know those people who’ve made such a great effort to be there? Well, they have feelings too. It’s very easy to get carried away with the whole idea of planning your big day. Many people feel that anything and everything that’s ever meant something to them has to be shoehorned into the event in some way.

 

This is, of course fine. If you really would like to give the bridesmaids something woven from your (deceased) grandmother’s hair, then go for it. If nothing else will quite do for that church reading then that particular excerpt form Mr Tickle, it’s your call. And if you want to make mobile hanging decorations from your first shoes and baby teeth, the go right ahead. I’m with you all the way. Anything that doesn’t overly impact on my enjoyment is fine by me.

 

A wedding is a personal indulgence and that’s the way it should be but never to the point where you start to impinge on the guests sense of worth, integrity and sanity. This form of wedding torture comes in many guises: there’s the two hour transfer from ceremony to venue, there’s the ten best men scenario and of course the never ending church service. But perhaps the greatest of them all is the fancy dress wedding.

 

These tend to be the preserve of people stuck in an adolescent fixation with Star Wars, horror films or superheroes but the worrying spread must send a shiver of fear down the spine of anyone entering their early twenties. You see, if this trend keeps growing there’s a better than evens chance they’ll have to attend one. And you wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Seeing your uncle as Princess Leia, your Granny as Mr T or the next door neighbor as a DIY Edward Scissor Hands, isn’t fun, it’s ritual humiliation. And if that’s the plan, then I’d like my money back.

 

Fancy dress is great when you’re a kid or trying to find a girlfriend on New Year’s Eve. It breaks down barriers, adds a sense of fun to an otherwise dull occasion and gets the whole thing going. You don’t need any of these things at a wedding – it’s already there on a plate and having just travelled the length of the country to be with you and spent half a month’s wages on being there, the last thing I want to do is dress up as stormtrooper in the middle of the afternoon. In fact, the only way I’m going to emerge from my room clad head to foot in some ridiculous costume is if I’m already half drunk. And I wont be the only one.

 

Anybody who can wear a Spanish Conquistador outfit on Cheltenham High Street at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon without being plastered needs to exploit their wholesale lack of shame for commercial purposes, almost certainly criminal. So there we have it: childlike obsessions should really only be carried out in the privacy of your own home or even better at one of those weekends when similarly minded freaks get together and pretend they are from another planet. Don’t worry you are.