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We talk to Lawrence Bernstein of London's Great Speech Writing about why this enforced lull in our lives is the perfect time to work on your wedding speech...
We know it's not quite how you planned it, but there is always an opportunity to be grasped in a crisis. So with time on your hands, a laptop and a phone, why not get cracking with your wedding speech? You may have planned to wing it: a few scribbled notes, a thank you or two and a sweet toast. If you're the best man you'll possibly have a joke or two up your sleeve.
But now just pause for a second... and let's face it, there's not much else to do. Imagine that you've just given your speech (whenever that might be), and rather than a relieved round of applause, you are met with a prolonged standing ovation. Guests crowd around congratulating you on the best wedding speech they've ever heard. Years down the line you bump into old friends who still refer to your oratory magic. Well, it's not as hard as you might think. It just needs time, focus, and a lot of rehearsing. Here are six tips to get you started...
1. Be Original
Use this extra downtime to think outside the box. How can you turn your stories or thoughts on their head? Can you draw together a theme that may come as a surprise to the wedding guests and that will perfectly describe the bride or groom? Build a speech around the groom's impeccable manners and sobriety. Or the bride's decades of abstinence before meeting her husband. It's instantly funnier and different.
2. Avoid The Internet!
You may be in lockdown but resist looking solely to the internet for help writing your speech - there are so many corny, cliched jokes out there. It's much better to sit down and use the time to think about what makes your relationship special and what you really want to say about them. This lockdown gives us a great opportunity to go back through old photos, scrapbooks, etc. - so go old school!
3. Create A Theme
Memories and anecdotes work best when linked around a central theme – something that defines them, that drew you together, their most memorable feature when someone meets them for the first time - the possibilities are endless! We've written wedding speeches based around the Beano comics, Grease, William Hague, Sebastian Faulks, the Royal Family and Arsenal FC. Each was completely and utterly original and only worked because it reflected the bride or groom to a tee.
4. Edit It
Great books don't get published after a single draft. Nor do great speeches become great straight away. You need to read them, tweak the structure and the words, make them punchier and clearer, and get to point where you can pause for breath at the perfect moments.
5. Practice Out Loud And Practice Speaking Slowly
Many of us instinctively speak very quickly without realising. Take your time and practise pausing for breath and emphasis. If you're locked down with a suitable audience member then use them and get their advice on your pace and delivery. We also offer delivery coaching over Skype for anyone feeling particularly jittery about standing up in front of a congregation!
6. Hire A Speech Writer
We're lucky enough to spend our working lives thinking about and writing original wedding speeches. We know what works and take the time to get to know you personally so we can help you write something that sounds like you at the very top of your game. We are all working from home during the lockdown, writing away and we're at the end of the phone if you'd like to chat through any ideas you have for your speech or to edit your first bash. These are very odd times, and the wedding may seem a long way away. But there will never be a chance quite like this to nail the speech of your life!
Give Great Speech Writing a ring on 020 7118 1600 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org