Wedding Speechwriting 101

Wedding Speechwriting 101

Expert speaker Jim Davidson gives his tips....

The vows have been uttered, the photography snapped, and now with an ominous pop, the sparkling wine has been poured. As everyone files in for dinner, there will be only one thing on the mind of the best man, father of the bride, and groom: the speech. However, with a pragmatic attitude, some advance preparation and a heartfelt story in hand, public-speaking needn’t make you cringe. This month, expert speaker Jim J Davidson offered us his insight into crafting and delivering an exceptional wedding speech. This is your opportunity to show your love, gratitude and respect for those people around you, so do make the most of it.

I’ve been asked to write a wedding speech. What are my priorities?

All too often, people begin to prepare the speech around two weeks before the wedding. The advice I would give is start early, ideally six months before the big day. There are two considerations: writing the speech, and delivering it so that you don’t bore people. In starting early, you’ll find ideas will come to our mind every so often. It might be a story, or something you see of their family or relationship in that six months’ time frame that becomes a good symbolic framework or analogy for the overall message.

And what if I’ve left it to the last minute, where can I go to seek inspiration?

One thing you can do is go online and look up the wedding date’s historic significance. Find out what happened on this day in time, trace a connection with the couple to be, and use it as your opening.

Is there an ideal length for a speech?

Five to ten minutes; no more than ten minutes, preferably five.

What’s your advice on humour?

The thing about humour is that humour comes from not so much having the fine line in place but from finding the humour within your speech. It’s all in the way you deliver. If you do have a humorous line and you’re not sure it will work or not, just deliver the line and pause, and if no one laughs its okay, if they do, give them time.

What would be your advice for someone experiencing nerves at public speaking?

Bear in mind that you are going to be nervous, and say to yourself when you get that feeling of nerves, “Yes I will be nervous, but I’m not going to be nervous now”. The reason you become more and more nervous is that you are focused on being nervous. Just before you get up to speak take three, long, deep breaths, you’ll find that will calm you down. Lastly, make sure you the very first sentence of your speech by heart. That way it will be much easier to ease into the speech, and you’ll relax

What should you never forget to say?

You should always recognise the people who are part of the wedding party, however that is made up, and everyone who has contributed to the day. As for what not to say, it is absolute taboo, particularly for a best man, to mention any previous relationships that the groom may have had.

About Jim

Jim J Davidson is the founder of Your Wedding Speech, a former Division Governer of Toastmasters International and the former owner of a public speaking school. Jim always had a desire to be a public speaker, and has been a member of Toastmasters International for 10 years. Toastmaster International helps people with public speaking and leadership skills, and has clubs across the world, including Scotland. Today, Jim advises budding entrepreneurs.

You can view Jim’s website at

More Info at: Jim Davidson's Website

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