In a Pinterest-loving society it's tough to think of unique wedding ideas without being accused of ripping off someone else's idea. For my sister's wedding I wanted to do something special but I wanted it to be original and heartfelt. I tried to think of something outside the box, so naturally, I did a little reflecting on my own wedding day.
I wish I could have bottled up my wedding to relive it over and over again. In the midst of it all you forget or don't notice the many details that you work so hard planning prior to walking down the aisle. I wish I remembered every word from the speeches. I wish I remembered the advice passed along but I honestly don't remember it all. I just remember bits and pieces.
For my sister's wedding I wanted to make sure that she was able to remember as much as possible. When she got married about a year and a half ago, I was her Maid of Honor and it was my duty to give a speech during the dinner. I felt like that was my opportunity to do something extra special - and so the brainstorming began.
Like anyone giving a speech I felt a certain amount of pressure and nervousness. My sister gave a phenomenal speech at my wedding so there's that, plus I'm not intentionally funny, so I couldn't fall back on the assurance that people would laugh if I made a joke. I wanted the speech to be memorable but I knew first I had to do something special to get their attention.
Thus, the book.
I wrote my speech and put the entire thing in a photo book. There were pictures to accompany each bit of the speech. To kick-off my speech I explained to my sister and new brother-in-law that I'd be reading them a book and promptly handed them the photo book so that they could follow along
Tips for giving a great speech at a wedding:
Introduce Yourself - This seems obvious, but I've heard several wedding speeches where the speaker completely forgets to tell the audience who they are. The quickest way to lose the attention of the audience is to have them shuffling through a program to find your name.
Explain How you Know the Couple - Set the stage for why you're giving a speech. Are you the bride's best friend from college? Is she your sister? Make sure the audience understands why you're special to the couple and why the couple is special to you.
Be Authentic - This is the most important thing to remember when you're giving a speech. A wedding speech is not the time to try out your new standup comedy routine, unless you are legitimately funny (I mean funny like other people have told you that you're funny).
Keep it short - Your speech is important but no one came to listen to you talk. Keep it short and sweet, there's no need to ramble on and on just because you've been given the opportunity.
Thank the Couple - It's a blessing to be a part of someone's special day, make sure you thank the couple for including you. It's just nice manners.
Practice - I cannot stress how important it is to practice your speech in front of someone else. Even if you haven't written anything out and you're just going to speak from your heart - give that a try beforehand. Make sure if you're trying to be funny that the person laughs when they're supposed to otherwise, reconsider the material.
Stay Clear of Inside Jokes - "Remember that one time..." it might be a great inside joke between you and the bride but if no one else understands it maybe it's something you should save for a card.
Have you ever done anything creative for a wedding speech? Do you have any tips I've left out?