Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Speak From the Heart

I was just talking to a colleague who has to write a toast for her sister’s upcoming wedding. She’s not sure what to write and while we were talking I remembered the tip I wrote on how to write a great wedding speech or toast in January of this year. I sent her the link to the post, and thought I’d share it will all of you again – especially for those who are newly engaged:

I hope you’ve all seen Wedding Crashers. It's one of the funniest movies about weddings ever. I’ve even heard that couples have actually hired “professional wedding crashers” to crash their wedding. I don’t quite understand that, but I guess if you’re going to have someone crash, you’d like to at least know who they are and what to expect from them.

Now I’m not saying that you should expect wedding crashers at your reception, or that you should hire professional ones, but there is an important lesson in this movie.

Remember the scene when Rachel McAdams’s character, Claire Cleary is talking about the speech she is about to give at her sister’s wedding, and Owen Wilson’s character, John Beckwith, tells her that her speech is, well, bad, and that she should speak from the heart?

This is so true. Whether you’re writing the speech you and your fiance are going to give at the rehearsal dinner or reception, or you are a maid-of-honor at an upcoming wedding, think about what you want to say. What emotions and feelings you want to convey. And most importantly, write your toast down.

Either write out the whole speech, or make some notes for yourself so you know what you want to say, and you remember to say it. Unless you are a professional speech writer and public speaker you don’t want to wing it.

I didn’t listen to this lesson when I was the maid-of-honor at my sister’s wedding, and I regret my speech. I wish I had really taken the time to make it more heartfelt than the three or four lines I said.

If you know you are expected to make a speech at your wedding, or at someone else’s, think about what you want to say a head of time, and if you need help ask friends or relatives for their advice, or you can hire a toast writing company to help you out.

Remember, most weddings are videotaped and if your toast is a disaster, you don't want it to end up on You Tube.


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