Spicing up wedding speeches

Jun 9, 2011 at 9:29 a.m. ET

It's no secret that speeches are a very important part of the wedding day but, too many times, inside jokes and drawn-out speeches send guests into sleepwalk mode. So, to avoid boring your audience keep these four tips in mind when you set out to speak from your heart.

Wedding toast

4 Tips for a memorable toast


A word of advice

Aside from the formalities of toasts and gracious gestures of gratitude, it seems many speakers make the moment a forum for their views on marriage or on their family history. Leave the preaching to the pastor. Advice is nice, but keep it simple. Most couples will appreciate memories more.


Do a little dance

Spicing up a speech with some silly moves just might keep the guests intersted. Grab a few crazy friends from the crowd and change the words to a known tune in order to get the message of your toast across. Mix in a few dance moves and voila, you've got a crowd pleaser. You don't need to be a polished dancer for this gig --  you just need to have fun.


Speak from the heart

A poem from the heart is a classic route to take when planning your speech for the newlyweds. Even a funny speech with sentimental touch will leave your listeners with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Write down some of the more humorous events in the lives of the couple and read the list in poetic form. The bride and groom will appreciate your creativity and the guests will be entertained.

If there are inside jokes, steer clear. The majority of the guests won't understand and it makes the speech a bit uncomfortable for others.

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Less is best

Especially for the shy speaker, less is best. A short effective speech will be remembered longer than a long speech that loses its point. If you feel intimidated by a crowd, don't try to say too much. Short and sweet is the key. Use the two-minute rule -- If it can't be said in two minutes, judge whether it has to be said at all. There's no need to fill time that can be spent on the dance floor. The couple and the guests will appreciate it.

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