the Butterflies at Bay
or toast doesn't have to be a panic-inducing event. With a little
preparation and sincerity, you'll be able to keep the butterflies at
Will you or a
member of your wedding party be giving a wedding speech or wedding
toast? Is the nervous sweat starting already? Using the tips below
will help you determine what you want to say and minimize your
will I say?
begin to write your speech or toast, jot down some thoughts about
the couple's relationship, how they met, how you know them, their
personalities, or general thoughts about marriage (as long as
they're good thoughts). Once you have some of these thoughts down on
paper, it usually becomes easier to craft a heartfelt speech or
wedding toast. Here are some handy tips:
Start off by introducing yourself,
so that everyone in the room knows who you are and what your
relationship is to the bride and groom. (This doesn't apply if
you're the bride or groom!) Then make a welcoming statement
like, "We're so happy to be here for this joyous occasion."
Transition into a funny story or
memory about the bride and/or groom, give your thoughts on love
and marriage, tell the story of how the couple met - whatever
you choose to speak about from the list you made before you
started writing your speech.
Wrap up with a wish, toast, or
blessing for the bride and groom. Then raise your glass with a
congratulations, cheers, or whatever is most appropriate.
with writing the speech, there are also some things you should and
shouldn't do while preparing or giving your wedding speech or toast:
speech on index cards. They are less distracting than paper, but be
sure to number the cards in case they get shuffled around.
Practice. Even though the typical
wedding speech or toast is only 3-5 minutes long, it can be a
very long and nerve-wracking 3-5 minutes if you're not prepared.
Knowing your material well helps lessen your nervousness.
Stand up straight, look confident
and make eye contact. Even if you're nervous, it's less likely
to show if your body language doesn't give you away.
Speak slowly and clearly. If you
don't pause to let your main points sink in, the audience may
miss much of what you're saying.
Be sincere. It's an honor to be
chosen by the bride and groom to give a speech. If you speak
from the heart, it's hard to go wrong.
Drink too much before speaking.
Although you might feel it will calm your nerves, too much
alcohol will prevent you from speaking and thinking clearly.
Talk too long. Nobody wants to hear
you ramble, but they will like to hear interesting details or
Use humor in poor taste. Avoid
stories about exes and keep your stories suitable for the
children and grandmothers who may be in the audience.
What if you're
really prepared, know your speech inside and out, and still can't
shake the, well - the shakes?
If your knees are shaking, subtly
lean against a table or podium. Just don't be tempted to sit
down. Standing is a way to show respect to the newlyweds.
Are your hands shaking? Clasp them
in front of you or behind your back or simply hold onto
something (like your index cards).
To break the ice, you can always
admit your nervousness to the audience. Most people have the
same fear of public speaking and are just happy that you're the
one giving the speech and not them.
Being asked to
give a wedding speech or toast is an honor. With practice and
sincerity, you can give a memorable speech or toast that
will touch the hearts of the bride, groom and everyone invited to
share in their happy day.