As it's December and loads of people get married in December (we did), I thought I'd give some tips on how to write that wedding speech. Many of the tips can apply to a birthday or anniversary speech as well.
The first thing is to avoid clichés. You want to avoid saying things like "This is the happiest day of my life."or "You look so beautiful,Darling." These expressions are vague and can apply to anyone and mean very little.
Instead, you could say something like, "When I saw you coming down that isle in that flowing white dress, your hair in ringlets, your face beaming, my heart skipped. Wow, I thought, I am so lucky to be marrying you."
The second thing is that you do need to tell specific stories. Instead of saying, "I love you because you have always been there for me." which is sooooo over used, you could say something like, "I'll never forget the day you came into town to pick me up when the trains stopped running. You really drove in the rain and waited outside my office and took me all the way home. That's just typical of the way you put yourself out for me." Or tell the story of how you met or how she/he comes to watch you play your sport.
Avoid thanking the same people. Yes it's great when people come from interstate and overseas for your wedding. Decide who is going to thank them. Just get one person to do it. Make sure their names are pronounced correctly and the person does not have to be you. Grooms-man can do that job. You have enough people to thank.
Thanking the parents and in-laws. This is usually the bride/groom's job. It's very hard to thanks your parents in a few words. Again, think f a story about the wedding arrangements or a time when your mum and dad have put themselves out for you and tell it briefly. With the in-laws, don't just say they have accepted you. Be specific about the time they invited you for that late supper or the time they told you how much their daughter loves you because....." Keep the stories clean and short.
Thanking for presents. Often there is a wedding list and you could make a point of thanking those people who went to the trouble of choosing those list gifts. You could also mention how you are looking forward to using them in your new home after the honey moon.
About jokes. There are loads of wedding jokes on websites. Avoid them. They can be clichéd and inappropriate. Do not embarrass anyone or any guests. If you are good at humour, just be yourself and tell a self deprecating joke. Avoid any jokes at your fiancée's expense. It may take years to live down.
Keep it short. No one wants a long speech. keep it to 5 to 10 minutes at the most. Less is more.
What if you get emotional? There's nothing wrong with showing some emotion. Have a hankie and water on hand to blow the nose and sip some water. If you have practised as if you are at the reception at least 13 times, you should be fine. Also if the two of you go up together, you can take turns. It gives you a breather and the other one can take over if you cry.
Finally, a wedding is a joyous occasion, let the joy and passion carry you along. If you want help writing your speech, just email me to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help.
Good luck and my next blog will probably be next year. Enjoy the Silly Season and be safe.