A wedding is a joyous occasion filled with family and friends, all gathered to celebrate the happy couple. Nothing could be more exciting and wonderful.
However, after the wedding ceremony ends and the reception begins, you may begin to feel the nerves start to settle in as you anticipate your wedding speech.
The thought of speaking at a wedding can be overwhelming. But, to all the maids of honor, best men, and anyone else giving a wedding toast, there are simple tips you can use to overcome the wedding speech nerves.
Best Ways to Overcome Wedding Speech Nerves
Here are some simple and effective tips to help you overcome wedding speech nerves and deliver a flawless wedding speech:
1. Take your time preparing the speech.
A great wedding speech comes from the heart, but that doesn’t mean you should wing it. Spend some time thinking about your relationship with your friend, recalling fond memories and gathering stories you might want to incorporate into your speech.
Just remember your audience will be filled with friends and family who may not know you (or the groom) very well – keep it appropriate and be sure to include some humor but not too much. After all, it’s a toast, not a roast.
2. Practice but don’t memorize your speech.
Practicing your wedding speech will help you feel more comfortable on the big day, and it will sound more natural than reading from notecards.
You can write the speech out word-for-word but give yourself a little leeway during practice to change the wording as it comes to you.
On the day of the wedding, keep your note cards handy but try not to rely on them too much.
3. Expect and prep for success.
There’s nothing wrong with being nervous about delivering a speech in front of a crowd, just know that no matter what happens everything is going to be okay.
It may help to imagine yourself succeeding and delivering a heartfelt and memorable wedding speech that truly honors the happy couple.
A technique often used by athletes, imagining yourself succeeding can boost your confidence on the day of the event.
4. Familiarize yourself with the venue.
If you’re battling severe wedding speech nerves, you may want to visit the venue early so you can familiarize yourself with where you’ll be delivering your speech.
The more familiar you are, the more comfortable you’ll feel – this is a simple trick to overcome anxiety and stage fright.
If you can’t get into the venue ahead of time, try to sneak in before the reception starts to get in a few reps with your notecards.
5. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol.
After a long day of wedding activities, you may be feeling tired, but avoid downing too much caffeine because it could give you the jitters and amplify your nerves.
At the same time, you want to avoid drinking too much alcohol before your wedding speech – it may help soften your nerves, but you could end up losing your train of thought and rambling instead of delivering a well-rehearsed speech.
6. Focus on the happy couple.
The most important thing to remember is that your speech isn’t about you at all – it’s about the newlyweds. Remembering this little fact may help you feel less nervous.
Most of the people in the room won’t remember you or your speech at all, so there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Everyone in that room is gathered for the same purpose – to celebrate the happy couple.
Even if you stumble over your words or your jokes fall flat, what really matters in the end is that you’re there to support your friend. At the end of the day, any personal embarrassment you may feel will fade away in the glow of happiness surrounding the bride and groom.
Close your wedding speech with a toast and all will be forgotten, so speak from the heart and offer the happy couple best wishes on their big day.