The Art of the Speech.

Have you ever been to a wedding where you’re left feeling really uncomfortable because the speeches were too long or too awkward? If you go to enough weddings, its inevitable.

How does it happen? When people are given a microphone who do not normally have a microphone and audience, they are likely unseasoned orators. Out of either nerves or misplaced ideas of what humor is, your best man may roll out a roll of toilet paper across your dance floor with some superficially funny joke about talking the groom out of marrying the bride. Yikes!

When you’re planning your big day, don’t over-look the speeches and know how to avoid losing the merriment on your wedding day. And if you’re about to be front and center with a mic, here are a few key rules…

First, who gives speeches? You will find that this is actually a point of contention. The people who traditionally speak at the reception are 1) the host(s), 2) someone to say a prayer or invocation, 3) the Best Man, and 4) the Maid and/or Matron of Honor. Some couples opt to have the speeches at the rehearsal. This is a great idea. I am not someone who gets über excited about speeches because they tend to bring the party down. #sorrynotsorry. My husband didn’t understand why his entire family wasn’t allowed to give a speech. I’ll tell you why…because it gets BORING and AWKWARD! Especially when people start drinking. Even more so when people try to be funny. 

Second, when do speeches happen? Try to do speeches when the band or DJ is on a break. The host will welcome everyone at the beginning of the reception and typically a prayer or invocation is said at that time. Then, midway through the reception (right before cake cutting) the speeches should happen. This is also a good time for a champagne toast.

Finally, what do they say? Something short and sweet from the heart. The better question is: what should they not say? Here are my speech giving rules:

1) Keep your thoughts and comments short and sweet.

2) If you can’t say anything nice, decline to speak.

3) Keep in mind mothers and fathers are present. No jokes about sex, drugs, or exes.

4) Know your audience. If everyone speaks Spanish, why would you speak to them in English? Don’t isolate people. No inside jokes. No slang.

5) Don’t get drunk before your speech. Just don’t.

6) Speak slowly and clearly…like you’re reading the news.

7) If you can turn your speech into a rap, by all means…DO IT!

8) Don’t rip off someone else’s great idea… Chris and Natalie could be at the wedding and will be unimpressed.

Happy Toasting!

XOXO, Mrs. Make It Rainka

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I'm an award-winning, expert attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. I represent professional women and their families who are injured or arrested in Florida. I love my job and am proud to have a career, but when I became a mother, I learned that working moms are uniquely tasked with having to achieve "balance." (whatever that is.) What I really wanted was freedom - freedom to practice law in a way that works for me and my family. Through the support and advice of other working moms, I have found success by developing a personal brand that allows me to create my own clients and practice law in a way that gives me freedom. Now it's my turn to help other lawyer moms learn how to do the same and make it Rain(ka).