Everyone knows that your wedding is one of the most important days in your life, an event which take months of intricate planning and meticulous preparation. Spectacular and historic Ashford Castle is over 800 years old, and it is, along with The Lodge at Ashford Castle, the most idyllic setting for celebrating your wedding day. Despite the fabulous surroundings, the day can still feel a little daunting if you’re one of those lucky ones to have to do a speech. Fortunately, our guide to giving a flawless wedding speech will help you banish those nerves.
Preparation is key
Whether bride, groom, father-of-the-bride or best man, it always pays to be prepared for your speech. There’s nothing worse than stumbling over words or leaving awkward pauses. Look confident and sound composed, by either learning small parts of your speech in advance or preparing cue cards. ‘Practice is very important’, says local wedding planner Samantha Harding, ‘You need to get to the point where you can recite your speech without thinking about it too much.’
Incorporate a touch of humour
Adding humour to your speech is an easy way to calm those nerves and to make it enjoyable for everyone – it is a day of joyous celebration after all. However, rather than overloading your speech with cheap gags or smutty innuendoes that may fall flat, recount a few amusing (and clean) stories about the person or people that you are toasting.
Stick to the point
Local wedding planner Colette O’Leary shares her advice for making speeches, ‘Keep it short and to the point, write down your points and stick to them, do not ramble.’ It’s important to engage with your audience and tell a good story, but you don’t want to go on for too long. Always take an appropriate tone, be aware of your audience and most importantly, make it punchy.
Say those important thank-yous
Your big day wouldn’t have been the same without a few special names, so use your speech to show gratitude for those who have played a part. This should include: parents, your in-laws, the bridal party, groom’s men and wedding planner, as well as any family or friends who have travelled from afar.
Add in a final tear –jerker
While a formal acknowledgement to your bride is very traditional, it is a lovely way to round off your speech and encourage a few heart-warming tears. If you’re not the groom, you could make a final reflection of the happiness you wish on the happy couple. And always mention how beautiful and radiant the bride looks.
Check that everyone’s glass is full
Now that the nerve-racking part is done, end your speech with a final toast. Before you do so, ensure that everyone has something in their glass. Regardless of your role in the wedding, the finishing toast should always be aimed at the newlyweds. This is a fine way to round off the speeches before the celebrations begin.
There’s no better setting to hear or deliver the perfect wedding speech then in the breath-taking grounds of the Ashford Estate. The luxurious rooms and suites at the Castle and Lodge make glorious accommodation for your adored guests.
Image Credits: Lead image © iStock/ozgurcankaya. Ashford Castle wedding © Red Carnation Hotels. Speech writing © iStock/AlexandrBognat. Wedding speech © iStock/pixdeluxe. Ashford Castle wedding ceremony © Red Carnation Hotels. Wedding toast © iStock/pixdeluxe. Champagne being poured © iStock/Poike.