2020 will be told in wedding lore as the year we grudgingly accepted Boris Johnson as our unsolicited wedding planner, spent more face-to-face time with Joe Wicks than with our friends, taught nan to use zoom, and briefly fantasised about every wedding speech having a ‘mute all’ button.
We may even have blamed the whole thing on Carole ******* Baskin, admittedly not in our proudest moments.
Getting through it together reminded us that love (and a shitload of anxious planning/the odd emergency Netflix binge) conquers all.
Some plucky couples stripped their guest lists down to the VVIPs and went ahead with a cute and cosy ‘minimony’, while others cut their Covid losses and postponed, optimistic that 2021 would bring more certainty…
Hmm, so much for the certainty, but we’re remaining hopeful that the only tiers we’ll be fretting over this year will be covered in marzipan. Here’s what we reckon wedding speeches will look like in 2021…
Highbrow, slapstick, observational, dark, whatever… People NEED a laugh this year. We basically qualify to have it on prescription. With all the uncertainty, angst and grief that 2020 brought, everyone could do with a pick me up. Witnessing a much-loved couple say ‘I do’ is a wholesome start. Now go all in for the dopamine hit with life-affirming, belly laugh-inducing speeches.
Easy for you to say, you murmur, while scratching your head with a stress-chewed pencil. Well, true, but there’s actually no big secret to creating authentic humour. There’s a world of time-worn gags to be found on the internet, but most are naff and impersonal. What really makes people tick is identifying the unique characters – that’s you and your partner – behind your anecdotes.
Entertain your guests with ironic facts about one another – the English professor with the ‘guilty pleasure’ shelf of Jilly Cooper novels, or the chef who discovered a penchant for Pot Noodles throughout lockdown. Whatever makes your other half quirky and loveable is the stuff guests need to hear.
If living through a pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to go with the flow, right? Life’s too short for overplanning and freaking out when there are humps in the road, especially with the official rules changing so often. That said, by ‘off-script’ we obviously mean, er, a carefully crafted masterpiece practiced to within an inch of its life, but delivered in a totally spontaneous way, including ad-libs.
Why not totally off the cuff? Because speaking from the heart is important, but when you have a sea of expectant faces staring back at you, it’s easy to draw a blank. We advise drafting, editing, and rehearsing your speech well ahead of the day. Once you know it inside out, you can relax and add some unstructured humour.
As Mark Twain said, ‘it usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech’. For us mere mortals, we’d suggest six.
With so many unprecedented restrictions to contend with last year – no music, or music with the volume turned so low it felt distinctly un-party-like, no raised voices – that’s uncle Nige uninvited – and so on, more couples recognised the wedding speeches as a moment worth investing in.
Bespoke speeches are key to achieving the uniqueness every wedding strives for. Speechy helps hundreds of people around the world write and deliver amazing wedding speeches that capture the newlyweds’ true characters.
We know how to hone a speech to bring out the very best of you, creating a memorable moment that will stay with guests long after the wedding favours have been munched.
But don’t take our word for it – check out our excellent Trustpilot reviews and see why we’ve been given five stars on Hitched.
Teamwork (or at least, you know, some kind of tolerance for one another) has got you through at least three lockdowns by now – why not max out on that and write a speech you can deliver together? Joint speeches can be a comfort for nervous speakers who feel happier having some back up. They’re also great for couples who are naturally silly together.
And if the two of you are chalk and cheese, this works even better for that classic comedy dynamic – the comedian and the stooge. Perhaps you tend to ‘embellish’ stories to make them more entertaining – your more level-headed partner can bring the story back down to earth with a deadpan punchline of how it really happened.
The important thing here is not to take yourselves too seriously – there’s nothing more attractive than a couple relaxed enough to send one another up. Don’t forget the cute stuff though – make guests giggle their socks off, then hit them with a love bomb right at the end.
One thing you notice when working in the wedding industry is the amount of competition there is for making things quirky or different. There are loads of ways to do this, so the speeches don’t have to be one of them. We love it when couples opt to shake up the line-up, but if you’re happier keeping things conventional, that’s absolutely fine too.
With all the changes we’ve had to adapt to over the past year, some wedding experts are predicting a return to traditional speech styles. However, you needn’t follow custom to the letter if you’re a bride and giving your own speech feels important to you. Take a look at our modern speech etiquette advice – think Bridgerton: classic with a modern twist. And less… nipples?
Champagne, yes. But also… one option for a Covid-safe wedding in 2021 may be having guests seated in ‘pods’ so that they can remain in their socially distanced bubble and still get to watch you give a slamming speech.
As the year unfolds, it may be possible to invite more guests, as long as tables are made up of 4-6 people from one household. Depending on the tone of your day, this could look quite formal, or more relaxed as a picnic-style garden party.
Since this requires spacing guests out more than usual, you may need to consider using a microphone so everyone can hear those amazing anecdotes you’ve been working on.