Don’t need help with a wedding speech? Think again…
Everybody could do with just a little with a little wedding speech help because there are two creeping trends into modern weddings that make it virtually impossible for the guests to enjoy themselves and for the speeches to work: having the speeches before the meal and making your guests stand whilst they listen.
You could have spent a year and a half writing the perfect ode to your new partner, celebrating their character and overlooking their mother. It may well, rhyme and have cute references to in-jokes you, the happy couple have enjoyed over the years. But if you have the speeches before the meal, you might as well be reading from a Haynes manual about removing a gearbox. At least somebody might gain some practical knowledge from the whole episode.
Having the speeches before the meal simply states that one or more of the speakers is so nervous about talking out loud that they would rather just get the whole thing over and done with. Well thanks a lot. I’ve practically remortgaged my house and sold a kidney to attend the stag do, buy a gift, purchase a suit and get a hotel room for a couple nights and the way you reward me is to make me endure at least three speeches about how great your life is.
And I do say endure; because what makes a wedding work, what fuels its beating heart is alcohol. Getting nicely warmed up to listen to the speeches whilst drinking freely from the complimentary table wine is one of the great things about going to a British wedding. Instead, a surly waiter hands you a half full glass of Lady Petrol and expects you to make it last for at least the next 40 minutes. Try laughing your head off about the time the groom got his tie stuck in his zip on that meagre ration.
It does, however, get worse: speeches where the guests are made to stand. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got Jack Whitehall to give you help with a wedding speech, this is going to render it punishing at best. This nearly always goes hand in hand with having them before the meal and usually in some sort of ante room to the main event, which is why there’s none of that lovely free wine. Anyone who has seen Bridge Over The River Kwai will understand implicitly that being made to stand whilst you’re talked at, is a form of torture. Nobody apart from the front ranks can see, nobody can hear, hideously uncomfortable new shoes make guests spontaneously burst into tears and oldies and kids start to melt.
Nobody will laugh at your jokes, no tears will be shed at the mushy bits and no one will raise their glass because the whole thing has been rendered a survival situation. So, give yourself the best possible chance of making a great speech, let the guests really enjoy themselves and stick to convention. Some things about modern weddings do need rethinking, and some certainly don’t.