6 Easy tricks to make sure your wedding speeches are fun (for everyone)

I give quite a bit of advice on speeches in my Instagram captions so I thought this is the perfect time to put them altogether in a blog. And I’ve even brought in an expert for some fabulous advice, Nat Raybould – humanist celebrant and speech maestro! So let’s get to it…

When should you have your speeches?

Normally speeches take place after your meal, it means everyone is seated, it’s easy to grab their attention and everyone can see them.

But let’s swing some ideas around here, if your guests who are doing speeches (for the sake of this blog let’s call these guests “Speechers”) are nervous and struggle to eat then why not have them before your wedding breakfast?! Or during your ceremony – which will work harmoniously if you’re having a humanist wedding!   

Humanist wedding ceremonies are 100% bespoke, written from scratch to represent you as a couple. It would be a fantastic touch to have your friends or family say a little about your relationship just before you exchange your vows, and would emphasise the love and support you have in your new marriage right in that transformational moment…! 

Here are the traditional timings alongside other scenarios:

Traditional timings

  • Ceremony
  • Confetti time!
  • Group photos
  • Popping Prosecco!!
  • Wedding Breakfast
  • Speeches
  • Cut the cake
  • First dance

First example

  • Ceremony
  • Throw your confetti
  • Group photos
  • Pop that Prosecco
  • Speeches
  • Wedding Breakfast
  • Cake cutting
  • First dance

Example 2.0

  • Ceremony with speeches
  • Confetti walk
  • Group photos
  • Prosecco time
  • Wedding Breakfast
  • Cake Cutting
  • First dance

Also, you don’t have to do either of those, just have a play around with them and do exactly what fits for you, your partner and your Speechers! Remember if it’s really something you hate you can just scrap them too.  

Where do you want them?

When visiting your venue think about where you want the key parts of your wedding day to take place – these are different for everyone but generally most people have:  ceremony, wedding breakfast (buffet, sit-down meal or food truck), speeches, cutting the cake and a dance floor. To make sure you make the most out of your venue and give variety to your photos use different spaces.  

Let’s bring it back to the speeches! They’re ALWAYS emotional with happy tears and lots of laughter! It’s an opportunity for your photographer to capture not only your reactions, but your guests and your Speechers in action. So, think of the layout – what backdrop would you like for the speeches?! This window for Matt and Rina’s wedding created a perfect one for their intimate wedding in Severndroog Castle.  

If you don’t have a gorgeous window with an amazing sun flare, then you could use your ceremony backdrop, set up a second one or get your florist to create a massive gorgeous bouquet. Like Rebekah and Ben did here with Catherine at Floral Evolution.

Why you want them and what to include!

You might have been to a few weddings where the speeches seemed too long, a bit tedious or just not the best. Which could be putting you off having them altogether because you want EVERY part of your day to be amazing for everyone.

First of all, remember this day is for you and your partner. Secondly, it’s when the real emotions come in to play for you and your guests and I love to capture them for you, so you can literally keep them forever! There won’t be a dry eye in the room – including me because I’m a sucker for a happy heart-warming moment – I’m so glad I get to hide behind a camera! 

And thirdly here’s some advice from Nat for your Speechers:  

Always keep a sense of balance when writing speeches, whatever kind you are going for – sentimental, jokey, even a roast! Keep a touch of sweet in the bantz, and pop the odd self-deprecating joke in a sincere homily. It will help to keep your audience on its toes!

The usual timing for a wedding speech is 5-7 minutes, which is quite a long time to speak – you will get everything you would like to express into that amount of time, no problem! That said, if you want to say less, don’t force yourself to add content. Short can also be sweet! Practice speaking your sentences out loud: you will often find out that way if your sentences are too long or your jokes need re-jigging that way.

Keep the sections of your speech marked in your script and use the magic of Word to juggle them in different orders, to find out which flows the best way. And in the end, have fun! – it doesn’t have to be too formal, just from the heart. If you mean it, write it! Everyone will want to hear it. <3 

Let’s talk about who…

Traditionally speaking – the groom, father of the bride, maid of honour and best man but let’s stuff the tradition! Your day your way!  

Choose your friends or family members who suit public speaking, aren’t going to be an anxious mess and most importantly those who’ll give your guests the best giggles and heart-warming moments. Remember you can always pair up, if you both want to become a Speecher or you have some friends who are a bit like Ant and Dec like these two… (they actually introduced themselves as them). 

How long should they be?

For my sister’s wedding, my speech is three sentences, it’s going to take me longer to stand and sit down than say it and I am completely fine with that! So, I’m going to confirm here that they can be as long as you want them to be. As Nat said above, if you have said all you want to say, why feel you have to add to perfection…? 

Remind your Speechers that there aren’t any awards and it’s not a competition! Unless you want to make things competitive, but that’s on you.  

Jazz them up and make them your own – pub quiz or karaoke anyone?

Do you and your other half love a pub quiz? Why not ask one of your close friends to create pub style quiz about your relationship – there could be a photo round or a lego round! Then During or instead of the speeches they can read the answers! You can see everyone from Jess and Duncan’s wedding enjoying them below!  

Or if you ooze confidence and love a bit of karaoke after a couple of drinks… Karaoke wedding?!? You could change the lyrics so it fits you and your other halves lives? Or just rap Bonkers like Luke did here… 

A little more about Nat and what she can do for you…

As a Humanist celebrant who also performs as a classical soprano, I have decades of experience in writing and delivering speeches long and short. I prioritise balance, symmetry, authenticity and a dash of the unexpected in order to make my wedding ceremonies flow smoothly, taking my guests and of course my couples through the story of their unique relationship, and celebrating their commitment in front of everyone who they love best. Your wedding day is too important to have a lukewarm ceremony that everyone has witnessed tens of times before: it should be the pinnacle of the day! My aim is always to make the ceremony the most personal, most enjoyable and most memorable part of your wedding day. I also believe that everyone has the ability to make a kick-ass wedding speech – and if the above tips have invigorated you, I also provide a wedding speech coaching package called Speech Maestro, where I will copy edit and advise you on how to write the perfect speech for you, and then coach you on the delivery too. You will bring the house down!  

If you want to know more, get in touch! I am natraybouldweds@gmail.com or find me at www.natraybouldweds.com or give me a follow on Instagram Speech Maestro full details can be found at www.natraybouldweds.com/speechmaestro 

Thanks, Lottie, for asking me to contribute! – and have so much fun with your own speech at your sister’s wedding…! 

Wedding Vendors in order of appearance
Venue: Severndroog Castle
Venue: Tanner Warehouse
Suit: Next
Dress: Grace Loves Lace
Veil: Blossom and Bluebird
Hair: Hair by Bethany Alden
Make up: Becky Make up and Beauty
Flowers: Floral Evolution
Venue: D’evere Hotels, Cotswolds
Venue: Bartholomew Barn
Dress: Luna Novias
Dress from: Fross Wedding Collections
Hair and Make up: Tea and Trim
Venue: Rotherhithe Holy Trinity Church

If you’re ready to enquire about your wedding photography, please fill out the form below or send me an email at info@lottiepovallphotography.com