Whether a wedding ceremony is the simplest or the most extravagant of all, it is not complete without speeches from the newly-wed couple, the parents, principal sponsors, and even relatives and closest friends. It is at this point and time in the wedding celebration where laughter as well as tears of joy and mixed feelings about the affair is displayed.
Many years back, a wedding speech was reserved mostly for the fathers of the bride and groom to give and to the groom himself. A bride delivering a speech on her wedding day was very unusual. Gender sensitivity was not yet as strongly practiced then as it is today.
There are a variety of wedding speeches which have gained prominence. Some of these speeches have even been written in books to serve as references for the present generation. In Egypt, these speeches were attributed to the gods in the form of offerings and blessings. On the other hand, in Europe, it is the fathers who usually do the talking during the wedding reception.
Times are really changing and people are now, little by little, getting away from tradition. Modifications are being made to be in tune with the present times. It is very common now for the maid of honor to deliver her speech. Part of this evolvement also is the content of speeches. It used to be that speeches were once more inclined to giving blessings, wishes for good luck, good health and more kids and so on. Modern speeches inject humor, drama, and many tales which usually exposes the personalities of the bride and groom as well as their respective families.
Generally a wedding speech tells of the feelings of the speaker towards the newly-weds. The speaker himself usually writes it or asks somebody to write down his feelings for him. There are a lot of styles, tips and approaches to wedding speeches and they can be found in reference books on how to effectively deliver this kind of speech. The following guidelines have proven to aid first-timers:
1. Be familiar with the place. This includes checking the area where you will speak. Acknowledge the person who introduces you. Greeting the attendees/audience will
establish rapport with them.
2. Avoid negative thoughts about your capacity to deliver this speech successfully. And always SMILE.
3. Stand with confidence and try to connect with your audience. Look at them one at a time for 5 to 7 seconds. Do not address them as a whole. Establish eye contact. Eye contact in this process helps the audience to feel important, and they realize what you are about to say is important also. This will give you confidence.
4. Speak from your notes or memory, if possible. The main point is, you want to say your message from the heart and do it naturally so that is it heartfelt.
5. Just be yourself. Don’t be afraid to use your sense of humor.