Wedding speeches the new wedding vows?

I admit it, I like the traditional wedding ceremony.

There’s something about saying those words of love and commitment that have been spoken through the ages (ok, have not fact checked this – please don’t burst my bubble!) that sends a (pleasurable) shiver down my spine.

But if you’re nervous, speaking words that aren’t your own can be difficult. You might stumble, mumble… not really take in what you’re saying in the heat of the moment.

And this is where the speeches come into their own. The English have a bad reputation for wedding speeches – stilted, embarrassing, excruciating even (see the prime foot-in-mouth examples on ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral‘) .

But this has not been my experience. We went to 3 weddings last year and at all 3 the speeches were beautiful. Brides as well as grooms got involved. Best Men told tales of memorable moments and strong friendships.

No more nerves

By the time we got to the speeches the nerves seemed to have gone. The joy of the day was at its peak and the speakers wanted to share it with everyone.

We actually missed the speeches at the last wedding as we had to put Polly to bed – but they were pretty much all we heard about for the rest of the evening. I ended up asking the happy couple for a transcript.  Guests were almost in tears just talking about them, how sincere they were, how moving, how loving.

Rather than a chance to humiliate the groom, the speeches have become an opportunity for the couple to express their real feelings for one another, and for their friends and family. To say all the things they wouldn’t normally say – in a good way!

Some people dread them. I say pour the champagne and keep talking.  Please, Ladies and Gentlemen, raise your glasses and join me in a toast to the wedding speeches.



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