The Speech Surgery: modern day etiquette with Heidi Ellert McDermott, founder of Speechy

bride and groom with a glass of champagne in each hand

Some say addressing guests as 'ladies and gentlemen' is a mistake these days... what is the Modern newlywed speech etiquette? Let's start by saying (again) there are no wedding speech rules. When it comes to etiquette, it's simply a case of common sense and being polite. Honestly, that's it.

When it comes to addressing your audience, 'Ladies and gentlemen' is becoming less common for two reasons.

1. Avoiding unnecessary gendered language
2. It can feel overly formal at many weddings these days

I think we'll still be hearing the phrase for some years to come and it's certainly not 'a mistake' but when I write wedding speeches for clients, I generally start with something more friendly like a simple, 'Hello, everyone!'

Speakers can get overly worried about etiquette and doing 'the right thing' but rest assured, it's actually pretty simple.

With a newlywed speech it's just about
· Welcoming your guests
· Paying a tribute to your partner (sounds odd but some speakers have been known to forget this)
· Thanking the main wedding party – family and close friends who have helped in the run up and on the day
· A tribute to the dearly departed if necessary
· A heart-warming toast

Despite what some guides suggest, you do not need to
· Hand out gifts
· Namecheck everyone who has worked behind the scenes
· Thank the venue, caterers, or anyone you've paid
· Thank people who have travelled far
· Conclude by toasting the bridesmaids (in fact, I think it's odd if you do these days)

For more inspiration - speechy.com

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