Speeches are an inevitable part of any wedding, and as a wedding planner I can tell you that the best ones are the ones that are quickly forgotten. If, years later, the most memorable part of the wedding is your speech, it means it was terrible. Unless you're a professional comedian. Which most of you are not.
It's just a matter of fact that things can go off the rails when egomaniacs get in front of microphones, and the results can mean that your guests are forced to endure awful/inappropriate/coma-inducing speeches that over-shadow the entire affair.
It's a phenomenon that has never really made much sense to me, given the extensive time, money and planning that goes into a wedding.
A typical reception lasts five hours, with at least half of that time dedicated to toasts, prayers, the first dance, a father-daughter dance, possibly a mother-son dance, the introduction of the head table, usually some sort of ethnic or religious dance/tradition, and the not-at-all-embarrassing bouquet/garter-toss.
With the cost of a DJ or live band for the night, one would think hosts would therefore prefer to keep any additional speeches to a minimum, yet the magnetic pull of the microphone seems to just be too much for most people to resist.
I therefore implore you to think and plan carefully before you reach the podium. Here are some tips to get you started.
Let the band earn its fee, and let your guests have a good time. Ideally, the speeches should be the least memorable part of your day.
After trying to break up her best friend's wedding unsuccessfully, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119738/" target="_hplink">Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts)</a> realizes that it's time for her to throw in the towel after causing so much trouble. In this clip, she gives a heartfelt toast (and apology) to the newlyweds.
Despite their differences, Maggie Feller (Cameron Diaz) <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388125/" target="_hplink"> gives a heartfelt reading</a> of an e.e. cummings' poem at her sister Rose's wedding ceremony. Her sister, (Toni Collette) is surprised and touched.
In this scene, George Hanson (Paul Rudd) <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120772/" target="_hplink">gives a speech</a> at his little brother's wedding. He toasts to the couple, and his friend, Nina (Jennifer Aniston), who has recently fallen in love with him. Unfortunately for Nina, George is gay and about to get back with his ex-boyfriend.
Samantha (Kim Catrall) may not have always had a strong belief in love, but she <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOGQrWE8Noc&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">can't help but to make a short and sweet toast</a> at the engagement dinner of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) after she's asked to be Maid of Honor.
Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) and Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones) are about to tie the knot, but not before Peter <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1155056/" target="_hplink">toasts his new best friend</a>, Sydney (Jason Segel), for being at his wedding. His short but sweet wedding speech begins (and ends) with a string of "I-love-you-mans"
Best man Charles (Hugh Grant) starts off his wedding toast to the newlyweds, Angus and Laura, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109831/" target="_hplink">by cracking a few jokes</a>, but soon makes it clear that he really admires the couple for believing so strongly in love.
In this <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVCbuLgF4xg" target="_hplink">adorable wedding speech</a>, Anna Brady (Amy Adams) and Declan O'Callaghan (Matthew Goode) watch the bride tell the groom, "May you never steal, lie, or cheat. But if you must steal, then steal away one's sorrow. And if you must lie, lie with me all the nights of my life. And if you must cheat, then please cheat death because I couldn't live a day without you."
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