Wedding Reception

The toast is your conclusion


This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

So, you’ve been invited to speak at a wedding!

Well done! The Bride and Groom obviously think highly of you! They’ve asked you to become a special part of one of the best days of their life.

Although it may feel like a daunting task we’ve put together some guidelines that should make the job easier. We know that you will want your words to be long remembered by the happy couple and all of the guests.

10 Great Tips For A Good Wedding Speech

Talk to the bride & groom

10.  Discuss your speech with the Bride & Groom.

This may sound fairly obvious, but it is amazing how often it is not done. Ask the Bride and Groom what they ‘do and don’t’ want you to cover in your speech.

If the bride and groom can’t give you much guidance you can always check with the MC. The MC generally knows who will be speaking and should also have a good idea of what each speaker will be covering. You should also find out approximately for how long you are expected to.

9. Introduce yourself.

Start by introducing yourself and outline what you are speaking about. Remember that there are probably a lot of people at the wedding who will not know you.

Inject humour into your speech

54587345 – man with thumb up

8.  Humour & Balance.

It is always helpful if you can include some humour in your speech. Try not to make it embarrassing though.

You will generally speak about both the bride & the groom in your speech. Try to allocate about the same amount of time for each.

7.  Conclusion.

Speeches will usually conclude with a toast. A toast often starts with “so now can I ask you all to charge your glasses (wait for people to get their glasses) and drink a toast with me to ……..”

Know your audience

6. Know your audience.

It can be very easy to offend or embarrass people if you don’t take the time to understand who is attending the wedding. A private story or joke may seem harmless to you but it may be offensive for others at the wedding. The last thing you want to do is leave people feeling uncomfortable. If you are not sure about what you are planning to say- leave it out.

5.· Practise your speech until you feel comfortable.

It doesn’t matter if you are experienced at public speaking or not – one key to giving a good speech is to practice it over and over again. Reading it aloud also helps. Read it both in front of a mirror and to an ‘audience’ (but not the bride and groom!).

Deliver your toast with confidence

4. Speak Loudly, Clearly and Slowly.

Speak clearly and at a steady pace to ensure everyone can hear you – no matter where they are sitting.

One of the common mistakes that people make is to speak too quickly because they are nervous. This will make it more difficult for people to understand you. Because people can’t understand you, they won’t be able to respond to what you say. Getting little response makes many speakers go go even faster to get through their speech as quickly as they can!

Speak slower and louder than you would normally speak and allow for pauses as you speak.

3. Reading your speech is not a sin!

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking without notes, it is more than acceptable to use them.

Some people find that they write their speech word for word at first. They then practice it over and over again so they are comfortable with it. They then find that they can give their speech simply referring to dot points in their notes. The advantage? If you are able to do this, is that you can maintain eye contact with your audience.

2. Don’t drink too much.

One way people try to ease their nerves is to have a few drinks. This can be dangerous! Keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum before your speech. You want your speech to be memorable but not because you were drunk when you gave it.

There will be plenty of time after the speech to unwind and enjoy yourself.

The guests are on your side

1.  They are on your side!

Everyone at the wedding is there for a good time- they are ‘on your side’. 99% of them will openly admit that giving a speech is one of their main phobias. They understand where you are coming from and want you to do well!

If you follow these simple suggestions you will enjoy delivering your speech & it will be well received.

Looking for a great way to help finance your honeymoon? Consider a honeymoon registry from Honeyfund.

Bio: Craig Dougherty is the CEO of ‘My Ideal Wedding’ a recently launched online Wedding Directory.

 Craig loves being able to help engaged couples take the stress out of what is normally a very stressful process. The FREE tools available include ‘To Do List, Budget Planner, Guest List & Event Planner and even a personal wedding website to send family & friends to!

 For “A fun way to plan your special day”, see

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime. 

A colorful wedding. Are you having one? Do you want to incorporate color into your wedding without it looking like a unicorn exploded all over your celebration? Yep, I often hear that from my design clients. You really love color and want your party to look colorful without it looking like a rainbow. Sophisticated and classy amounts of color create a cheerful environment that instantly makes everyone happy.

In the last five years designing the most joyful of beautiful weddings, I’ve learned how to incorporate the perfect amount of color to make your tablescape look colorful but not gaudy.

10 Ways to Create a Colorful Tablescape

Here are my top 10 tips for ways to create a colorful tablescape:

Unexpected color

Tip 1: Use color in unexpected places, like on the candles

Taper candles are traditionally white, although here I used pretty aqua tapers to bring a color onto the tables that is hard to find in flowers. Good colors for taper candles are: gray, teal, black, tan, and seafoam.

Liven up linens with fabrics

Tip 2: Use fabrics to liven up a white tablecloth

These custom made table toppers were designed especially for this wedding, although you can borrow the idea with any store bought fabric that is in a fun, bright, color. Extra points for an interesting pattern. When you top your table with a colorful fabric, keep the flowers in coordinating hues or monochromatic to keep the look cohesive.

Use bud vases

Tip 3: Bud vases, bud vases, bud vases

Say hello to my best friend, bud vases. Filled with a stem or two of a beautiful, bright, flower, bud vases are an inexpensive way to add a pop of color to any tablescape.

Colored glassware

Tip 4: Upgrade those glasses

For a few extra bucks, ask your caterer to upgrade the standard drinking glasses to colored ones. Here I did purple goblets for this whimsical celebration. Don’t they instantly make the tables look that much more beautiful and interesting?

Go non-floral

Tip 5: Go non-floral

When you have centerpieces that aren’t held to the traditional colors found in nature, you can get creative and use unexpected colors like the big teal balloons and seafoam honeycombs I designed here.

Paint your lines

Tip 6:  Jazz up a basic linen with some paint

Are you crafty? Then this tip is for you. Basic white runners can be made to match your color palette by adding a few stripes of acrylic paint. So easy. You can thank me later.

Use votives

Tip 7:  Colored votive candle holders

Do you feel like your centerpieces need that fun color pop to make them truly look colorful? Consider using colored glass votive holders instead of clear ones.

Monotone flowers

Tip 8: Use only one flower type in one color

For a very modern, contemporary style, use one flower type in one color. This creates a bold, colorblocked look along the length of your tables. Much how I did here with the orange protea in yellow glass vases, the bright hue makes a fun tablescape.

Ombre placemats

Tip 9:  Ombre placemats create a colorful place setting

This about the whole table, not just what’s in the center, when designing your tablescapes. These Michelle Edgemont Shop Ombre placemats are a great way to bring color to the place settings at your reception tables while continuing to use the basic white rentals that are included in your catering package.

Bold runners

This custom-made felt runner brought this table from blah to showstopping. The colors mirror the ones used in the centerpiece, which makes the design look cohesive and not overwhelming.

After the wedding escape to Paradise with a  honeymoon registry from Honeyfund.

Bio: The Michelle Edgemont brand believes in a community that inspires, supports, and applauds all couples who are promising their lives to each other through bold, beautiful celebrations. Launched in 2011, NYC (specifically Brooklyn) is my home base. As an event designer, florist, and prop stylist, I’ve been quoted in the NYTimes and the best-selling book, A Practical Wedding, and featured multiple times on Style Me PrettyGreen Wedding ShoesWedding Chicks, and HGTV. The Michelle Edgemont Shop, full of modern, colorful event decor that I’m known for, is now open!  

I believe that weddings and celebrations don’t have to be traditional. Yours will be memorably impactful & filled with pops of individuality. I have a deeply rooted understanding that personal celebrations are an opportunity to unleash bold creativity. Throw conventionality out the window! This is a place where your ideas are applauded. I wholeheartedly believe in aesthetics that are described by unconventional beauty, whimsy, and soul. I recommend that you pair smart styling with intentional event decor by investing in statement pieces. When all of these elements come together on your wedding day, you’ll have a celebration that not only tastefully and artistically reflects you as a couple (down to your humorous quirks!) but serves as a beautiful foundation for a lasting marriage. For more information, see our website.


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