Wedding Speech Ideas

As Crewe Hall searches for the UK’s best wedding speech in its 2016 Wedding Speech Awards, the hotel’s expert Wedding Executive, Andrew Foster, takes a look at this year’s biggest speech trends and how to use them to your advantage.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Wedding Speech Awards entries, and his experience working closely with speech givers in Cheshire, Andrew gives his top tips for nailing your speech, particularly if you want to feature music or video.

Beverley, Rachael & David Foster Photography at Crewe Hall

Video speeches

What can you do?

One of this year’s biggest trends is incorporating video clips into speeches, or making the whole speech a video itself.

One option is to create a video montage, using a collection of photos, images and written messages for a new take on the ‘wedding PowerPoint’. You could use short clips of existing video footage, from either the bride or groom’s childhood videos or memorable moments the couple have shared for a trip down memory lane.

Alternatively, you could create a video which replaces the speech entirely. Take a look at one of last year’s Wedding Speech Award entries, where the best men used a video to tell the (fictional) story of waking up in a different country, with just eight hours to get home for the wedding.

Who it suits best

This is a great one for creative speech-givers.  It works particularly well if the bride and groom have documented their time together; think the couple that shower Facebook with holiday snaps! “Video speeches” are becoming a favourite amongst nervous speech givers, taking the pressure off being in the spotlight.

Our top tips

  • Speak with other members of the wedding party to find out what videos or photos might already be available
  • Ask yourself how you want your speech to be remembered. Do you want your speech to result in laughter, tears of joy, a blushing bride or groom, or perhaps all three? This will determine what kind of video will work best
  • Get in touch with the venue to find out where you’ll be presenting and what kind of facilities you’ll be working with. It’s no good relying on an on-site projector if you’re giving a speech outside! A full range of equipment can be organised with our hotel, please speak to your Wedding Co-ordinator.
  • Know the timeframe. Most wedding guests would agree that 10-15 minutes is a good length of time to keep your audience engaged, so creating a video is a great way to ensure you stick to the time limit

Frank Henshall Photography

Musical speeches

What can you do?

Since McBusted’s Tom Fletcher’s famous wedding speech, wedding songs have become immensely popular. It was also a song that won QHotels’ 2015 Wedding Speech Awards, a speech that went down a storm with the judges.

If you’re looking to turn your speech into a song, it’s a case of either re-writing the lyrics to an existing song, or if you’re extra creative, writing your very own song, personalised for the couple.

If you’re not much of a singer but play a musical instrument or know guests that do, you could even create a band for your speech and ask others to join in as an extra surprise.

If you’re looking to do something really memorable, this is a great way to go.

Who it suits best

If you have a natural musical talent then that’s fantastic, but the most important part of a musical speech is confidence! If you’re happy singing or playing an instrument in front of an audience – this one’s for you. Some people even find it easier than speaking.

Our top tips

  • Get some inspiration from videos that are already out there – just to see how they format the song and how they perform
  • Practice makes perfect! Practice in the car on your commute, or when you get the house to yourself – whenever you get a chance
  • Give your song a personal twist. Obviously you don’t want to copy another song word for word – make it really personal and meaningful, or just plain funny

Crewe Hall

Using props

What can you do?

Props can range from photographs to personal memorabilia and childhood possessions.

You might have an idea of a specific prop you want to use, but some people prefer to plan and write their speech beforehand and then think about the kind of props that they can use to bring the words to life.

Who it suits best

We have seen a huge increase in the use of props during speeches, especially from the best man. So if you’re looking to get the room in hysterics, this one’s for you. With the right props, it’s also great for sentimental speeches, to bring a sense of nostalgia to the occasion.

Props are also particularly helpful if you’re a nervous speaker – working as a distraction to take the spotlight off you for a moment.  Plus if you know you’re likely to fidget, it’s a great way to keep your hands busy!

Our top tips

  • Ask other members of the wedding party or family members if they have any memorabilia you could use in the speech
  • Think about how you will introduce each prop and what you can say about them, so the speech flows and you’re not lost for words
  • You could involve other people in your speech, by giving props to guests to introduce as you speak

The most important thing is to pick a speech format that works not only for the wedding party, but for you, the speaker. So we hope our guidance and tips can provide a good start to picking the right one for you!

This year, QHotels and the panel of judges at Crewe Hall will put together a shortlist of entries, and the public will then be invited to vote for their winner from the shortlisted speeches. Prizes include breaks at a choice of QHotels as well as golf and spa treats.

Any speech given at a wedding reception can be submitted, provided the speech is on a video that has been uploaded to the internet and is publicly available. Nominations can come from the speech-givers themselves, another wedding guest or even professional videographers.

This is a guest post by Crewe Hall  tel 0845 034 5777