Whether you're one of the newlyweds, the best man, the father of the bride... Here's what to avoid when planning your wedding speech!
#1 Don't leave your preparation until the last minute.
Unless you're an experienced and confident public speaker, you'll want to prepare in advance as much as you can. Even if the thought of standing up in front of dozens and dozens of people makes you feel sick, knowing that you have a solid understand of what you're going to say will help you feel a little more in control!
Key words on flash cards are a great way to help you remember everything you say - keep what you write brief, to avoid anything sounded too scripted.
#2 Avoid dwelling on anything miserable.
Everyone loves a story with a happy ending, so if the bride or groom has overcome some kind of adversity or difficulty, of course, mention it. Otherwise, steer clear of going into too much detail; as unsympathetic as it sounds, you run the risk of bringing down the mood and potentially upsetting the newlyweds on what should be a day purely of celebration.
#3 Don't rely too heavily on props.
A video montage of adorable childhood photos - great! A series of small hand-held props that guests at the back won't be able to see? Not so much.
#4 Don't tell too many in-joke stories.
Whilst a few select members of the crowd might crack up, the majority of the room just won't get the anecdote about the stag do incident involving the goat and the washing line. Rather, use it as an incentive for guests to find you later on in the day!
#5 Don't embarrass the newlyweds.
Avoid telling stories or making comments that will mortify the bride or groom - it's not cool, not funny, and no one will be impressed. Equally; don't forget who your audience is! If it's a mixed audience of old and young, family and friends, make sure you keep things amusing but PG-friendly.
#6 Don't drink too much beforehand.
A little Dutch courage is fine, of course; but a whole bottle of champagne to 'calm your nerves' might leave you feeling a little worse for wear.
#7 Don't go on... And on... And on...
Have a trial-run before the wedding day and time yourself. Keep things moderate; if you speak for longer than ten minutes, it's time to trim it down.