GIving a wedding speech soon?
After listening to - and dissecting - innumerable speeches that have ranged the spectrum, I've noticed a thing or two about what grabs the audience, what matters most to the bride and groom, and of course, what makes for great (or at least usable) video content!
Take this with a grain of salt, but you might find some of this helpful as you begin to craft your speech. As with anything, trust your gut and put the bride & groom first, and you really can't go wrong!
I say all of this not just for my sake as a videographer, but for the couple who will forever treasure your words - depending on what you use that precious time to talk about :)
- Tell childhood stories of you and the bride/groom unless they are SHORT and the story is directly related to a character trait of the bride/groom's that your speech's theme is revolved around. This day is not about you and him or her, it's about the bride/groom and their relationship, their love, their story. If you have stories and sentiments to share with the bride/groom about your personal friendship with him/her (ie. how you met on the soccer field and loved those sleepovers in the 6th grade), my opinion is that that should be shared on your own time, or maaaayyybe at the rehearsal dinner. No one likes a long speech, so focus your time on stories relevant to the bride and groom.
- Thank parents and guests multiple times. If someone has already thanked the parents for putting on the event and the friends/family for traveling from near and far, you don't need to do it again... and no one will think you're a bad person for not repeating it. If you really want to, say it in a different way; offer something more specific or unique.
- Introduce yourself, saying, "for those of you who don't know me". Enough said.
- Talk for more than 15 minutes.
- Rehearse too much. Have general ideas, maybe some bullet point notes, but speak from the heart - or like you would in a conversation.
- A nit-picky video-specific one: try not to manhandle the mic or talk too close to the mic. If you're passing the mic back and forth with someone who is giving the speech with you, make sure you have the mic in hand securely before you start talking. An unwelcome sound reverberates everytime you touch the base of the mic, so when it's being passed back and forth, there's unwanted feedback that we don't want to overshadow your words :)
SO what can you do?
- Come up with one (or some) themes about the bride or groom's character/personality and talk about those qualities you see in them, and tell a story (or multiple short stories) about how/where you've seen those traits come to life.
- BONUS points if those character traits/personality traits play into their relationship and you can tell a story that relates to the relationship and how it's a good match for the other
- Bonus points for humor
- Gush about how much you love them and what you love about them. Shower them with all the things you see in them, and the things that their significant other brings out in them.
- How has he/she changed since meeting so & so? How has he/she grown and evolved into a bigger brighter version of themselves?
- How do you see him/her compliment the other?
- Talk about what kind of person you always saw _____ ending up with.
- Talk about how the bride & groom met
- Talk about how/when they fell for each other - and maybe why you think they fell for each other?
- What did you think the first time you met him/her (the significant other)
- When did you know it was the real deal and why?
- Talk about any hurdles they had to overcome
- What kind of impact do these two have on the world around them when they're together?
- What has ______ said to you about the other throughout the relationship?
- What has lit you up in watching ______today, on this epic and monumental day? What have you seen?
- Is there anything special about the location where they're getting married & celebrating today? or where they got engaged? talk a bit about that!
- Share a relevant quote/poem/thought
- Talk about the power/themes of commitment, partnership, etc. and why you think they'll be successful
- Talk about what you see flourishing in their future
- Talk about any threads (from earlier in life to present-day) that have remained
The shorter the stories -- the quicker you get to the point -- the more likely your stories and themes will not only make it into the video, but will stick with the bride & groom and the audience. I always chop & edit to make it work when I can, but sometimes it just can't be done because of the delivery.
I hope this has been helpful! Please let me know if you've found this useful - or if you disagree:)
Like I said, just my own honest opinions! It's up to you to show up for the bride/groom in the best way you see fit for you!
Cheers, and happy wedding prep!