We write memorable, sensitive wedding speeches that the celebrants will listen to again, in future years, with pride and a smile. A speech that engages audiences and brings applause from, and pleasure to, all family and friends.
How did the business start and how long has it been going?
Being a professional writer, I was often asked by brides, grooms, best men, and maids of honour whether I could help write their wedding speeches as they ‘didn’t know where to start’. I thought to myself: ‘Now, that sounds like an opportunity to fill a niche!’
Who works at The Wedding Speech Expert?
I head up a team of professional writers and presentation coaches.
What is your background and how are you qualified to create speeches for others?
Being an established author, an international motivational speaker and speaker coach, for over 20 years, I believe I have the relevant experience to help write speeches and show people how to deliver them.
What services can you provide for weddings?
We provide a speech writing service and, if required, a speaker coaching service via Skype so that the person who is delivering the speech can be confident on the day!
Great Speech Writing provides speeches and presentations for weddings, international conferences, high-profile events, think tanks, dinners and a wide-range of social occasions. Our sole focus is to help clients write and deliver a speech that we would be proud to give ourselves.
How did the business start and how long has it been going?
I worked in the City wondering if this was all there was to professional life. I had always loved writing and found myself spending my summer weekends writing groom and best man speeches for friends and family. In 2005 I put a single classified ad in Private Eye offering my services as a speech writer. This attracted some interest, so I decided to place a second ad. Within two years, interest had grown so fast that I decided to take the plunge and develop a full-time speech writing business.
I now manage a small team of writers from my office in Highgate, and split my time between running the business and writing.
Great Speech Writing now has private and business clients based all over the world. They range from senior people in the private and public sectors giving high profile speeches, presentations and pitches, to best men, fathers of the bride and nervous grooms worried about their wedding speeches.
On first inspection you’d probably think a wedding would rank somewhere between, “Small girl with ice-cream” and “parcel delivery” on your average bloke’s internal list of terrifying situations to be confronted with. But when you start to break it down the Big Day contains a number of situations that rank wayyyyy higher on the Terrifying-O-Meter; perhaps even somewhere between “Rooney broken bone” and “getting things caught in zips.” So what is it that’s giving your groom, best man or father of the bride a nasty case of wedding nerves?
Walking down the aisle
Sounds stupid doesn’t it? The bride’s the one who has to do the aisle-walking dressed in the big frock and pokey shoes and yet the father of the bride is the one who’s sweating over it. Why? Well mostly because it’s his big moment. All those eyes turn towards him, he has to stick to that weird slow-walk rhythm and he knows that at the end of the aisle he has to hand his daughter over to some spotty oik he’s only met twelve times.
How to combat: Practice makes perfect on the walk and try to have the big, “You know I’ll always love you Dad” talk a month or so before, not in the car on the way to the church.
Saying his vows right
I do, just two little words that give men more problems than nearly any other. In this case though it’s not the weight of the ceremony or the pressures of commitment that petrify him, it’s the sheer bloody simplicity. Someone says the words and you just have to repeat them, that’s easy! Exactly, so you’d be really stupid if you messed them up wouldn’t you?
How to combat: Get hold of the text of the wedding ceremony you’ll be using and go through it a few weeks before. You can even practice if you like. Then it’s up to the registrar or vicar to put you at ease. Fortunately, they’re nearly all very good at their job and if you schedule in a meeting a few weeks before then they’ll help put you at ease.
This one is perhaps the most understandable. After all, writing a wedding speech is difficult enough when you consider the formalities and the etiquette you need to observe, and that’s before you factor in that it’s supposed to be eloquently emotional (the groom/father of the bride) or effortlessly entertaining (best man). Twin that with most people’s natural hatred of public speaking and you’ve got the perfect storm of fear.
How to combat: If they’re struggling to write it send them to a professional speechwriter like Burn The Toast or Great Speech Writing for help with their speeches for weddings. Alternatively, move the speeches to before the dinner, restrict everyone to toasts only or cancel them altogether.
Ahhh, where would the romantic comedy genre be without this old trope, that secretly men fear the idea of living with a woman more than they fear sharks, fire, or sharks on fire? It’s almost unheard of for men to actually act anything like the male characters from Friends. The closest most men will ever get to the commitment question is when one of their more laddish mates says, “You know that means you can only sleep with one woman for the rest of your life?” A question that’s easy to contend with because the friend in question last had sex in 2001.
How To Combat: Ignore it. He’s bought the ring and gone down on one knee, he’s not about to flit now.
About a month ago I a good friend of mine asked me to be his Best Man. Of course, I felt honoured he asked. But one of my first thoughts was “I’m going to have to write a speech. AAARRRGGGHHH!”
I have never been best man for anyone before, but I did of course give a speech at my own wedding. The groom’s wedding speech though, I believe, is relatively simple in comparison.
The groom is generally just expected to say a few thank yous, how much he loves his wife, how fantastic the bridesmaids look and what an amazing day it has been. But everyone expects the best man’s speech to be a witty and funny insight into the groom’s past. It should not only produce lots of laughs, but it should also not offend anyone. The best man’s speech should contain a fair amount of sincerity as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I was nervous about my groom’s speech. I am not a great public speaker and I would have preferred it if tradition had missed the bit where the groom says his piece. But I was in front of my friends and family, and was just saying what had come from my heart.
When the time came I was actually ok about it. I think the adrenaline of the day helped a lot and I just went with it. I did what was ‘expected’ of me and then sat down to watch my best man do a fantastic job of entertaining our guests with tales of my past misdemeanours.