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Guidelines For A Successful Wedding Reception Speech

Bridesmaid SpeechWedding season is upon us- which according to Gerri Willis, a columnist for CNN, unofficially starts Memorial weekend. In the United States, it seems to me that the wedding season is typically any month deemed "warm". Weddings are stressful for everyone involved, not just the bride and groom. As a person who has been to a handful of weddings, I have heard my fair share of speeches from members of the wedding party and other various guests. I will be in a wedding May 2011. I will also be the "unofficial" Maid of Honor. Having been deemed with that honor, the bride and groom are going to do a special registry which I am in charge of, and of course I am expected to give a speech at the reception.

I have heard better Best Man speeches than Maid of Honor speeches. Maids of Honor seem to typically just get too involved in talking about her and less about the bride. I decided since the wedding is far enough off, I will write a speech that I would want to hear! Sounds simple, right? It was for me. I decided that since it was easy for me, and to help protect the ears of millions of other wedding reception attendants, I should pass on some basic information of how to write your own Maid of Honor or Best Man speech. Following the guidelines that I have laid out is the speech I wrote for my friend's wedding. Keep in mind I'm not 100% sure that it is the final draft, but if I had to give the speech tomorrow I would not be ashamed.

Points I will be covering are: Audience and expectations, Connection with Bride/Groom, Encouraging words, Length, and Congratulations!

It's good to start off deciding if the audience wants something funny, serious, or both. When deciding upon the type of speech, be sure to consider the bride and groom, their personalities, and their view on the ceremony. Also, if you're not a "funny" person and you want to put some humor in there, get help with it or simply don't try too hard. A lame joke in the middle of a speech is one of the most awkward things. You have been put in a position of significance because he or she trusts you. Use your judgment. If you question it, get a second opinion. This is where it seems that men have the most trouble.

People at the wedding reception know who the bride and groom are, but they may not know who you are. Brainstorm what and how much you want to say. It's good to do a brief introduction of you and how you met the bride/groom. In this part, not every single detail is necessary. This is typically where it seems that women go off into details of where they met and why they were there, and every little thing they did. In my opinion, this is where women go into their own world and nobody has followed them there. They talk about things that are not crucial to the speech at hand. This is where it seems women have the most trouble.

Next thing to consider is the length. You're not giving a lecture, so anything more than 10 minutes long really is too much. If you're not comfortable speaking then keep it short, sweet, and to the point. I wanted to keep mine short and sweet, so when spoken at a normal speed with a few pauses in the right places it's a little over 2 minutes.

Complimenting your bride (and/or groom) is a plus. In my speech, I mentioned differences between the couple that complement each other. I followed with their similarities; things I believe will make them last though the thick and thin.

Lastly, make sure to congratulate the happy couple! The point of the toast is to congratulate them. Give them a cheer. Glasses are raised, aren't they?

Key ingredients to remember for a good Maid of Honor or Best Man speech are: -Who the audience is and what their expectations are -Who you are and how you met bride/groom -Positive statements throughout the speech -How long does this speech really need to go on for? -Congratulations!

Some people can give a speech without planning ahead, and if you are one of those people you are probably not even reading this. Saying a lot of random sentences, that may be important in their own right, just to say something leaves the audience confused and annoyed. People would appreciate something short with a point than something long that they can't follow. Figure out how you brainstorm the best, and do it! Then get a second opinion. If you read this over several times and finally finished your speech, pat yourself on the back. You made a smart move to being a good Best Man or Maid of Honor. YOU PLANNED AHEAD! I hope this little article of guidelines helped you. If you have something else to add, your comments are appreciated!

BRIDESMAID SPEECH :

In three short years a girl named Georgia, who I considered to be a very silly and strange girl, has become what many would label as my "best friend". And she's just that. I've had the opportunity to get to know the layers that this wonderful and free spirited girl contains. I couldn't be more blessed. The girl in me wants to make this a little silly, and the woman in me wants to make this a beautiful speech because this day is about Georgia and Gabe. I'll attempt to compromise with both because I know that is what Georgia would want. Georgia is caring, sweet, honest, and willing to do whatever she can for other people. If you are here then I can assume many of you know this about her already and she's likely to have gone out of her way to do something for you.

Georgia and I met on a business trip to Indianapolis. We ended up having to share the hide-a-bed, and ever since we've been attached at the hip. I can't say we've been through anything major yet- I think this will be the first incident and I see us making it through. We sometimes disagree but we always work together and figure it out. Our friendship has been great. Going places, meeting people, eating delicious food...

Then Gabe came along. When he first proposed to her I thought that they weren't ready for this and that they should work on getting to know each other better, and yada yada yada. That's probably what every single girl thinks when her best friend will soon be eternally linked to a dude. I quickly remembered that they weren't getting married in the next 5 minutes either. I have seen Gabe and Georgia mature as individuals and as a couple. He encourages her to remember that she too is important. His spontaneity keeps her on her toes and her logic keeps him on track. They might have quite a few differences, but some people say opposites attract. With their faith in God, love for each other, heart for family, and hope for the future, they make a dynamic duo who might someday rule the world. At the very least, they will surely continue to touch lives and make a positive dent in this world.

Congratulations to Georgia and Gabe!!!

Source:

Gerri Willis, "5 Tips: Surviving Wedding Season", www.cnnmoney.com

By Heather Dawn - Learning to live my life and stand by every decision, and if it ends up the wrong decision to learn something from it.  






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