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Wedding speeches - what NOT to do

I have been very fortunate that most #weddingspeeches I have photographed with happy tears in my eyes. Speeches full of emotion, love and laughter. Kind and funny stories of the bride/groom from childhood and university. Beautiful stories about their personalities and character sharing all the wonderful things about them with the people the couple have decided to share their special day with. Heart warming stories that make you smile and your heart beam. These are the types of wedding speeches that are a winner with the everyone present in the room. Even those who don't know the couple at all (suppliers)!


On the other hand, there are times where I have been almost too frozen to press the shutter button on my camera. Moments where my mouth has often hung open in shock, dismay and absolute embarrassment for both the person giving the speech and the bride/groom who the words are being referred too. Times when the weddings guests look at each other silently in utter disbelief, where everyone wants to rip the microphone out of the hand of the hands of the person speaking. Times, when these words hurt so deep that the tears forming in the bride/groom's eyes are not of joy/happiness, but of anger and sadness.

Speech giving is not for everyone. Some find it much harder than othersIf you're one of those special people who has been tasked with giving a speech for a couple's big day, here are a few things to think about:


  1. When writing your speech, always keep it in mind that they have asked you because they first and foremost trust you. It is an honour to be asked to give a speech at your friend's/child's/relative's wedding.

  2. The main aim of your speech is to make the bride/groom you are speaking about sound AMAZING! I hope you believe that they are! By the end of your speech you want all the guests to know how special you think the bride/groom really is, if they didn't already know you felt that way about them.

  3. Focus on the good points - talk about their positive character traits - resilience, good humour, acts of kindness, loyalty etc.

  4. If you're not sure about whether a joke is going to get any laughs, leave it out. Remember the good 'ol saying "if in doubt, leave it out".

  5. Following on from the last point, leave out anything about "that time they got really drunk" or "she went on holiday with her ex-boyfriend" etc. If it involves anything that might cause even the slightest amount of embarrassment to either of them, don't mention it. Plus, their parents probably didn't know about and could have done without hearing about it.... EVER.... let alone on their wedding day.

  6. Always (ALWAYS) have a read through with someone and ask for honest feedback. Don't take negative feedback as criticism, take it as help to improve your speech. It'll help you when it comes to the wedding day. Better to hear the negative feedback from one voice before the wedding, then make the mistake of saying something inappropriate on the day.

  7. Keep it SHORT. No-one wants to listen to talk for half an hour! We know there is lots you would like to tell everyone, loads of stories and experiences you have shared together, but keep it short.

  8. To help you with number 7, choose ONE story to talk about. Why that story? What happened that stood out to you about the bride/groom's character in a positive way? Focus on just the one story with a meaningful ending.


If you're a bride/groom giving a speech about your partner, it's ok to use words about them like stubborn and demanding. But, avoid words like difficult and unforgiving. Some words can sound like an attack on their personality and the last thing you want to do on your wedding day, is unknowingly attack your partner's personality as you embark on your future together. Feel free, however, to use these words about yourself if you feel you need to and how wonderful you partner is at being able to put up with you ;)



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