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Struggling to Write a Wedding Speech? It’s All in the Details.

  • June 17, 2021

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It’s easy to panic and Google a wedding speech template, but cut-and-paste jobs rarely make memorable speeches. If you find yourself writing a string of clichés, toss your speech and get down to basics, said Jason Mitchell Kahn, a New York-based wedding planner and the author of “Getting Groomed: The Ultimate Wedding Planner For Gay Grooms.” “When a client comes to me,” he said, “we focus on three points to hit: how you met, what you loved about them before they met each other, and how you’ve seen their lives enriched as they’ve commingled.” Another tip: Don’t say things like “they’re perfect for each other,” because, as Ms. Ellert-McDermott said, “nobody’s perfect.” Also, try to avoid quotes. “We’ve never heard a good speech that started, ‘As Jane Austen once said,’” said Ms. Keller of Speech Tank.

The pandemic has caused many weddings to become smaller and more intimate, which means speeches can get more personal and casual. The key is to read the room, whether it’s virtual or in person. “Don’t talk about a wild night in Vegas on drugs,” Ms. Barker said. “Remember there might be grandparents there.” She also suggests addressing both of the newlyweds. “When someone just gushes over one of the parties, it can get awkward.” Another key to avoiding awkwardness is not leaving people out. “Inside jokes always fall flat,” Ms. Eustache added.

Longer doesn’t equal better. Most speech-writing experts suggest three to five minutes, tops. “No one ever gets upset if a speech is too short,” Ms. Keller said. Most experts also prefer holding a piece of paper to scrolling through a phone or device, since that can affect the flow of your speech. Leave the phone at the table, practice, memorize as much as you can, and don’t forget to breathe. With the popularity of outdoor weddings becoming a post-pandemic trend, Mr. Kahn offers another important tip: “Always have a microphone,” he said. “There’s nothing more frustrating than a good speech that people can’t hear.”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/15/style/how-to-write-a-wedding-speech.html

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