How to Give a Wedding Speech

Categories Reception + Wedding Planning

Raise your hand if you have a bit of anxiety at the thought of public speaking … Just what I thought–that would be most of us! Have you been asked to give a wedding speech or wedding toast? If you have, you are most likely a Father of the Bride, Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honor … Have no fear! Remember the words of Arthur Ashe–the famous tennis player “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Below are helpful tips on how to give a great wedding speech.

{Emmanuell & Susan’s Private Yacht Wedding}

yacht wedding

To the Bride and Groom–be sure to first ask those key members of your family and wedding party if they want to offer a toast or give a speech at the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Give them time to prepare for it. To the Wedding Party–be prepared to give a short toast–just in case you’re asked at the last minute.

Tips to Giving a Great Wedding Speech

What does a wedding speech consist of?

1. Introduction
2. A funny, or lighthearted story
3. Well wishes for the couple
4. Ends in a toast
5. 2-5 minutes in length

What should the tone be like?

1. Celebratory and positive
2. Anecdotal
3. Congratulatory
4. Sincere
5. Focused on the couple. Honoring them.
6. Along the same formality of the wedding

What to say in a wedding speech:

1. Keep it positive. Keep it short. Keep it simple. If the speech or toast goes on and on, there are increased chances of losing the attention of the audience and saying something that shouldn’t be said: something really dumb.

2. Introduce yourself and how you know the couple. Chances are, not everyone knows you and your history with the bride and/or groom.

3. Make it personal. Based on your relationship with the couple, tell your version of a sweet, funny or touching “short” story that is relevant to the bride and groom and their love for each other. Let your personality shine through … so if you’ve got a great sense of humor–make it funny. If you’re a super-sensitive soul–make it touching. Be yourself!

4. Congratulate the couple. Wish them well. Raise your glass! Be sincere!!

Is Preparation Key?

Yes! Even if the speech is only 2 minutes long, spend plenty of time deciding on which story to tell. Prepare an outline. Practice in front of the mirror. Practice in front of a good friend. Carefully choose the right words–ensuring that they’re not offensive or negative. Practice. Practice. Practice.

What advice do you have?

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How to Be Perfect Hosts

Categories Reception + Wedding Planning

What a daunting task to throw a party for 100, 200, 300+ people … I’m betting that it’s probably the biggest party you will have thrown to date! How can you be hosts with the mosts & have a terrific day yourself? I think it has to do with a thoughtful & well-executed plan.

7 Ways To Be The Perfect Hosts!

1. Comfy guests are happy guests! Making sure your guests are comfortable and safe is high priority! You simply need to put yourself in their position and think about what you’d expect … For instance, outdoor weddings require lots of planning: i.e. make sure there is shelter nearby or at least be ready for plan B if it rains. If the day is hot, hot, hot–make sure there is enough water, fans, & access to shade. Are paths even to walk along? Is it safe for children? Are bathrooms easily accessible? If they’ll be sitting for a long while, are their seats comfy enough? With indoor events–think about about creating sitting areas where guests can converse & perhaps take a break from a loud band or DJ every once in a while.

2. Make the rounds-Hospitality is huge! In some cases, your guests have traveled a great distance to support you on your big day! Make sure that you get a chance to meet with every single guest with a hug & a hello. Some guests might not want to “bother” you as everyone is vying for your attention but it’s important to do your best to speak with everyone! You may have to get help–ask your new Husband, Mom, and Maid of Honor to help you seek out & connect with some guests.

3. Fabulous food- Whether your serving hamburgers & brats or fillet Mignon, make sure your food tastes great! Quality is key and if your guests can recognize most of what is on the menu–all the better! The food will be one of the elements your guests will remember the most! And, if there are any dietary considerations to consider, see that your caterer honors them.

4. Sense of direction- If you have out of town guests, make sure they are well well-equipped with maps, hotel & travel information. Stay abreast of any road construction that may hinder their travels on wedding day.

5. Keep in time- Some delays can’t be helped but overall, stick to the schedule. Not only will your guests & wedding party appreciate the timeliness, so will your vendors. Tip: type up a wedding itinerary& schedule & give a copy to your vendors & wedding party members.

6. Seating satisfaction- Assigned seating. This option is ideal for large receptions or when there are family members who aren’t getting along. Additionally, guests do not have to make a decision where to sit–thus eliminating the awkward milling about. You’re in control … Aunt Grace won’t be stuck near the speaker and Uncle Jim  won’t be stuck next to Uncle Bill–whom he is still feuding with.

7. Dazzling details: Small, thoughtful gestures go very far and have a deep impact on your guests. From toiletries in the bathroom, to helpful signage {menu items, directions} to explanations in your programs regarding special readings, songs or unfamiliar customs … By keeping your guests informed, you’ll also keep your guest included in the festivities, which will result in greater support & participation.

Get savvy advice from those that have gone before you–like your married friends and your wedding planner! If you’re planning a destination wedding, talk to someone who has planned a destination wedding before. Tap into their wisdom and experience!

What else can we add to this list!  

Check out all the wedding planning resources at MagnetStreet Weddings! From a budget guide to wedding invitation wording and much more!

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Wedding Chalkboard Ideas

Categories Inspiration + Reception + Resources

It’s back to school …

Remember being called up to the front of the class to write out the answer on the board? Writing on a chalkboard is fun- always has been, always will be. And, with chalkboard paint, it’s so easy to get creative with your wedding signage.

a few fun ideas…

via Southern Living

drink tags via Etsy

 

wedding chalkboard signage

This pretty cut-out at the dessert table  gives this chalkboard sign a more formal feel.

via Martha Stewart Weddings

 

chalkboard painted car

A chalkboard painted getaway car … would be enormously fun- if you’re brave enough! 

getaway car via Make Create Do

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Head Table Seating Ideas

Categories Inspiration + Reception + Wedding Planning

When it comes to making head table seating arrangements for your wedding reception, you have options! From traditional seating to the romantic sweetheart table and more, there is a lot to consider before you make your final decision. Here are a few ideas …

Traditional Head Table

Will you opt for the one-sided head table that seats you and your wedding party up-front and overlooking your guests? This traditional seating option is great for keeping you all at the focal point of the room for toasting, etc. But, keep in mind that this seating arrangement also keeps your wedding party separated from their dates. It’s also a little hard to converse with those not on either side of you.

How about a sweetheart table? With the privacy allotted with this type of seating, you and your honey are sure to bask in a few private moments for intimate conversation and simply to take in the atmosphere and all that is happening around you. *Sigh* It would be amazing, romantic and a fantastic focal point for beautiful pictures! Keep in mind, your time alone together would probably be short-lived- because everyone wants to talk to you. {For those that don’t like the idea of separating yourselves from everyone else- this is a good thing!}

And, more than ever … all eyes will be on you!

Long rectangle tables with the bride and groom on the end-  fantastic for outdoor weddings, and venues with a lot of space. They are also great for integrating your wedding party with their dates and families.

Perhaps this layout provides for a more inclusive and possibly more festive atmosphere {the increased conversation} AND the bride and groom are still the focal point of the room.

What do you think?

Vast venues with lots of space.  At this exquisite and spacious venue, the rectangular tables aren’t very wide or very long- which probably makes it even easier for your guests to converse. And, lining them along the perimeter of the room, gives way to a center-stage dance floor.  Love it!

So, as you think about your head table options, consider your personal style, venue space, and the comfort of your wedding party and guests.

Pros? Cons? Which is your favorite idea?

head table reception ideas image sources

black one sided table via Le Fabuleux Events
round end via Ginger’s Decorations
sweetheart by Karen French Photography via Wildflower Linen
Long, white table  image
double sided rectangles via Brian Dorsey Studios

 

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