It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of the school year and that in just a little over a fortnight it’ll be wedding bells for us! So now, I’m thinking about the speech I’m planning to make after everyone has finished the meal…
Even though I stand up and orate in front of groups of students on a daily basis, the thought of this speech makes me feel really quite apprehensive. Because it’s one thing to lecture a class of 17 year olds about Charlotte Perkins Gilman but quite another thing to stand up in front of all your relatives and friends to bare your soul, right?
But there is no way on earth that I am not going to have a voice at our wedding! I gave a bridesmaid’s speech at my little sister’s wedding and it would be just weird not to at my own. Gone are the days of the silent bride smiling coyly while her new husband, dad, and a bawdy bestman hog the mic.
Here are my top-tips:
#1 Deliver it ad-lib to show your guests that you’re capable of being natural, genuine and sincere. Reading from a script just doesn’t have the same effect. Michelle Obama wouldn’t read from a script and neither should you!
#2 However, do prepare a single A4 sheet with cues to yourself on. Wouldn’t it be awful if you forgot to thank an important someone?
#3 Content-wise, stick with major thanks to the people who matter and say how happy you are to be married to a wonderful man.
#4 Don’t be afraid to be witty or tell a joke. (But don’t be bummed when your sexist male relatives don’t guffaw in the same way that they do at your hubby’s speech. This might be just my family, but it’s part of ‘lad-bonding’ to roar and shoulder-slap at another man’s jokes at family celebrations. I promise you I can be funny, but I’m obviously not a ‘lad’ so know it’s likely that my banter will be met with astonishment like when I said I was going to do a masters degree or that I voted for the Labour Party.)
#5 I could harp on about using devices like the rhetorical question, the tricolon or the anaphora but wouldn’t that be a dull, boring, English-teacher-y thing to do? Just keep the speech short and sweet because… well. There’s cake to be ate. There’s fizz to be downed. There’s disco-dancing to be done. (See what I did there?)