Even the most talented public speakers can get nervous about speaking at a wedding. After all, being the witness is a huge honor and your speech is expected to reflect that honor, make the crowds laugh and cry, and pay homage to the couple on the happiest day of their lives. What you need to remember when writing the witness speech is to thank people for coming, explain how you know the bride and groom, and make the guests laugh while not embarrassing anyone.
Part 1 of 2: Write a special speech
Step 1. Be yourself
Don't try to make a too formal speech that doesn't sound like you. While it's important to stick to conventions, it's even more important to honor your friendship with the couple (although you should cut down on the number of dirty jokes you usually indulge in with each other). You don't want to sound too serious or do something that isn't like you. Ultimately, it is most important that what you say comes from the heart and that you be yourself.
- For example, the witness's speech can be funny in order to lighten the mood and get guests in the mood. But if that doesn't suit you, because you're not used to telling jokes, then you don't have to feel like you have to.
- On the other hand, if your humor and sarcasm are familiar to everyone, don't force yourself to be overly sentimental. Describe your feelings towards the couple in a few words to convey the message, without it seeming forced.
- If you don't like public speaking, don't stress. You could make a joke out of it, say that the groom is getting revenge by making you speak in public for the time you made him push your car down.
Step 2. Be brief
Don't just say "Honeymooners" or some other banality, but don't get into a never-ending speech either: it's not about you! Your speech should be long enough to express your thoughts, no more. As a general rule, try to have a speech that lasts between 2 and 4 minutes. Most people don't have the patience to listen to someone for more than 5 minutes. The bride and groom might even have an idea of the length of the speeches, so don't hesitate to ask them.
- Although you have spent a lot of time polishing and preparing your speech, watch your audience carefully. If the guests are particularly agitated, if they clearly want to drink and dance, drop this second anecdote that you were still not so sure.
- The witness is expected to make a speech, but others will also want to lend themselves to the exercise. The father of the bride often takes the floor and it happens that some bridesmaids give a speech. Not to mention the somewhat soaked cousin Kevin who will want to say two or three words. If there are a lot of speeches planned, it is impartial to keep it brief, so that guests don't spend their evening listening to people talk.
Step 3. Write and rehearse your speech in advance
If you start writing it early on, you will have more time to rehearse and polish it, which will give you confidence when you have to recite it in front of everyone. Do not think that you will have enough courage to get up on D-Day and improvise a speech about the bride and groom. In reality, this is the worst idea you can have, as you risk saying something that you will regret or give a rambling speech. It is important to be prepared in order to deliver a smooth speech.
Don't be afraid to use a printed version of your speech when it comes time to deliver it in front of everyone. Even if you don't use it, holding it in your hands can be reassuring because you know you won't make mistakes
Step 4. Look for inspiration
If you are having trouble writing your speech, don't be afraid to go to YouTube to see some of the best witness speeches filmed and posted on the NET. These talks will surely give you ideas that you would not have thought of on your own. You can also search the NET for written speeches or ask family or friends who are used to speeches to give you a copy of theirs, or even help you write your own.
Part 2 of 2: delivering your speech
Step 1. Don't drink too much before your speech
Although every wedding is different, the witness usually delivers his speech during the meal, when the guests are seated and they can focus on the speaker. This means that several hours will have already passed since the start of the day. There will have been the reception and many other drinks between the end of the ceremony and the moment when you have the microphone in your hands. You will therefore have to show willpower and not drink too much, at the risk of embarrassing yourself. After the speech, you do what you want!
Remember that witness speeches are often filmed. So you're going to want to look fresh
Step 2. Ask the guests to give you their attention
Everyone may be talking to each other and you may need to jingle your fork against your glass to get their attention. You can also wait for it to calm down before you start. Since you will be introducing yourself first, it is important that people are listening to you at this time so that they know who they are listening to and how you know the bride and groom. Say something simple like, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention."
Depending on how the festivities unfold, you may not need to show up if someone else is in charge. But be prepared to do so in case the mic is passed on and your audience is dissipated
Step 3. Introduce yourself
The first thing you need to do is introduce yourself. Many people will by now have understood that you are the witness, certainly those who were present at the ceremony, but it is always better to introduce yourself and explain how you know the bride and groom. In short, not everyone knows you, so explain who you are, how you met the bride and groom and how long you've known them. Even if you haven't memorized your speech, try to memorize this passage so that it sounds sincere. Here is how you can introduce yourself.
- “For those who don't know me, I'm Pierre, xxx's little brother. "
- " My name is Paul. I am xxx's best friend. We've known each other since the fifth and I've known yyy since their second date. "
- "I am Jacques, xxx's best friend. I've known xxx and yyy since our freshman year in college. We lived together during our studies. "
Step 4. Don't forget the acknowledgments
It is traditional to thank the people who pay for the reception, usually the parents, but do it subtly. Don't thank them for “paying” for the wedding, but thank them for making this day possible. You can, for example, say that the ceremony and reception are magnificent and that everyone is having an unforgettable time. It's a way of thanking parents, without being too direct. Be careful, however, times are changing and today it is perhaps not only the parents who foot the bill, so thank everyone who participated.
- You can also thank the guests for attending. Thank the families of the bride and groom.
- Optionally thank the bridesmaids. Thank them for their friendship and their multiple attentions to the bride and mention how pretty they are. You can even try a few jokes, as long as they remain tasteful. You could compliment them on the color of their dresses, thank them for their help with the preparations, whatever, as long as you're brief and courteous.
Step 5. Gently laugh at the groom
A good witness will at least make a joke at the expense of the groom, so that everyone can get a glimpse of his true personality. If you want to use a funny, but classy quote, consider Oscar Wilde: “Marriage is the triumph of the imagination over intelligence. Without falling into rudeness, make a joke about the groom's shy, outgoing, perfectionist character. It's better if this is a personality trait that everyone is familiar with, so avoid jokes that only you will understand.
- Remember that half of the people present do not know each other. So all these people need to understand your jokes and references, even if they don't know the groom. Of course, if it's a small wedding and everyone knows each other, you can include more personal details.
- If you're the groom's brother, play a joke about your intercourse when you were little or anything you did to him as a kid. You can also joke that nothing has fundamentally changed since then.
- Remember to keep a certain balance. Have as many funny moments as you have serious moments.
Step 6. Tell a touching story about the groom
Most of your speech should be a story about the groom and, if possible, the bride. The point of the story is to make your speech personal, so avoid distressing or unpleasant memories. This story should center on what makes their couple unique, why they are made for each other. Here's how you can go about it.
- Tell a funny story. Not only will this have the merit of relaxing the atmosphere, but in addition the guests will find it charming. An ideal solution to grab everyone's attention would be to say “Let me tell you a secret about the groom” or “The groom begged me not to include this story in my speech, but I couldn't. not do otherwise. "
- You can also tell a nice anecdote. For example the story of their meeting or a moment in their history that brought them together. Since you are the groom's best friend, you are in a good position to share how you saw him fall in love with the bride.
- If you can't come up with a suitable story, or don't know the bride well enough to include it, make some general observations about love or marriage or the groom's feelings toward the bride. married. Even if you haven't spent a lot of time with the bride, you can relate the first time the groom told you about her or the time he told you about their first date.
Step 7. Avoid sensitive topics
Even if you think it's funny to make fun of the groom's annoying ex or the time he ended up in drunkenness for public drunkenness, the groom, bride, parents and families are at risk. don't find it that much fun. Your jokes should be innocent and tasteful. If you absolutely want to include a salacious story, be absolutely sure that everyone, the happy couple included, will appreciate it.
- If you've decided to tell a funny story, be sure everyone will appreciate it. You don't want the guests to think that you are trying to humiliate or despise the bride and groom.
- If you talk about when the couple broke off the engagement for three weeks, or if you say your best friend was a lot funnier before they settled down with "a ball," his wife might never forgive you. You don't want to ruin your relationship for a few misplaced words in a speech.
- Also, don't say that at first you really didn't like your friend's wife, but that you got used to her.
- Finally it is totally out of place to make fun of the reception venue or the food. Someone spent a fortune on these decorations that remind you of a Christmas tree and that overcooked chicken dish you think.
Step 8. Procrastinate on the qualities of the groom
Talk for example about his loyalty, his compassion or his unconditional love for his wife and the fact that he will make an extraordinary husband. In a way, you can see yourself as a salesperson who has to sell the groom to the bride's family, who may not know him as well as you do. Let them know how close you are, how he has helped you in the past, or how you could not have gotten through without his help during a difficult time in your life.
- You can relate something the groom did for you. Some will say something like “I will never forget the day Marc helped me go abroad so I could make my dream come true. I could never have done it without his help. "
- It is quite normal not to feel very comfortable when you bring up this. Just remember that this day is dedicated to your friend and that no one is going to laugh at you for being serious for two seconds.
Step 9. Remember to pay homage to the bride
You don't want to give the impression that you have no idea who this wonderful guy is marrying at all. In fact, you can even explain how the groom is more outgoing, happy, calm and quiet since he met his wife. You can say for example that "When Jules and Marie met, his worried and paranoid side started to disappear…"
If you don't know the bride very well, that's fine. But instead of saying it as is, say something like, "Although I didn't have the chance to spend a lot of time with Marie, I knew right away that she was perfect for Jules." "
Step 10. Compliment the couple's relationship
It's a nice touch at the end of the speech, especially if you spent your time making fun of the groom. There are a number of ways you can compliment the couple: by saying how good they are together, that they are a wonderful team, that they are genuinely complementary, or you can just say their love is obvious.
- Say something like, "Even when Jules and Marie are on opposite sides of a room, you feel like they're there for each other." They don't have to be glued together to have this incredibly strong bond. "
- You can also talk about how you admire their relationship and hope to one day experience such happiness (if you are single). If you are married, you can share your thoughts on marriage and explain why you think they are right for each other.
- You should definitely not exaggerate by saying that they are a perfect couple, that they were meant for each other, soul mates… if you don't think so. Talk about what makes their relationship unique, without falling into forced sentimentalism.
Step 11. End on a high note with a quote
You don't have to use a quote, but it's a handy solution to passing stories about the couple to the toast itself. You can find inspiration online or you can use a famous marriage quote, like "Marriage is not about finding the person you can live with, but finding the one without whom you cannot live.". You can even personalize the quote if possible.
Don't force yourself to include a quote unless you find one that works well in your speech. Here's another: “Marriage is not looking at each other, it's looking together in the same direction. "
Step 12. Offer a toast
Wishing the couple the best for their life together is the most important part of your speech. It is a nice conclusion to your speech and it makes everyone feel included. Raise your glass of champagne and invite the other guests to toast the happy couple. You should politely ask the other guests to raise their glasses as well and wish the young couple the best.
- You can say something like “Ladies and gentlemen, let's have a toast to Marie and Jules. Let us wish them a life full of joy, happiness and health. "
- You can also say “To a life full of happiness for Marie and Jules. "
- If the bride has taken the groom's name, you can also offer a toast to "Mr. and Mrs. Martin." "
- Give lots of compliments. A compliment will make you smile as much as a good joke.
- Have mints in your pocket, you may find yourself very close to certain people a lot during the day.
- Take your speech with you in case you have a memory loss. Don't read it entirely from a piece of paper, instead use cards with a few keywords that will help you follow a pattern.
- Whenever possible, have a funny and serious speech. Tasteful humor is in its place in most speeches, that of the witness is no exception. A good joke will help ease the mood at the start of your speech, or set the mood again after a more serious anecdote.
- When you tell a particularly serious story, look at the mother of the bride.
- A short poem (4 or 5 lines) dedicated to the couple will also be greatly appreciated.
- If you want something out of the ordinary, consider a couple photo slideshow or use an object.
- Unless you are one hundred percent sure of the tastes of the guests, especially not your speech go off in the indecent. Avoid salacious jokes, suggestive honeymoon remarks, and stories about the groom's ex. They are probably not appropriate. You are not in the locker room. Even if the groom and his friends find it funny, it probably won't be the same for the bride and her mother. People will forgive you for being a little tense or tearful, reading your text on cards, or being a little boring, but if you make a gritty joke you might ruin the reception and put the bride in. embarrassment. Anybody would forgive you and especially not her. If you're not sure your joke is correct enough to tell, don't tell it.
- Don't force humor. If you hate public speaking and aren't confident in your ability to be funny, then it's better to read a serious speech than try to improvise yourself as a comedian for the night. Moreover, most of the jokes that you can find in books like "The best wedding jokes" or on the internet are not not funny. No one is going to blame you for not being funny enough, you are only going to manage to ruffle everyone's hair in the room if you suddenly turn into Michael Scott.
- Stay sober before you give your speech. If you look soaked up it is going to give people a bad impression and it calls into question the groom's good judgment.