While you can't really expect to be the toast of the town on someone else's big day (don't worry, your time will come if it hasn't already), you can learn to give a killer wedding toast that not only honors your loved one, but keeps their guests thoroughly entertained too. Because, well, isn't that kind of the point? To win over the happy couple and the crowd, here are seven things your wedding speech absolutely shouldn't be or it'll def flop.
1. It goes on forever.
According to Brian Worley, celebrity event planner and co-founder of Your-Bash, a good wedding speech should be no longer than three minutes max. Otherwise, you're going to start to lose people and fast. If someone's compelled to share a personal story that's lengthier though, he recommends having them do so during the rehearsal dinner, where it's more appropriate.
2. It doesn't engage guests with a good story.
Or worse, the only "stories" mentioned in the toast are inside jokes no one else in the room gets but the bride and/or groom. Um, can we say yawn inducing? This is why Worley strongly suggests all wedding speeches be tested out in front of a few close friends or family members of the couple before they're made. "Too many inside jokes and boring stories can kill the mood of the party if none of the other guests can participate in what is being said," he warns. "A great wedding speech should have a meaningful story and evoke the emotions of every guest, not just a hand full."
3. It lacks direction.
The definition of a bad wedding speech is one that is literally all over the place and nearly impossible to follow. When the person giving it begins to ramble, is too nervous and has no direction as to what they're saying, guests automatically zone out, notes Worley.
4. It's unintentionally rude.
Some things are better kept to yourself, like how you thought your bestie would be a perpetual bachelorette or the long list of duds and studs she dated before she finally met the one. So awkward!
5. The timing is poor.
Unfortunately, when a bunch of wedding toasts are scheduled in a row and you're last, no matter how good your speech is, your audience will probably be antsy by your turn, cautions celebrity wedding planner Andrea Freeman of Andrea Freeman Events. "Some couples have insisted on doing all the speeches at once and it never goes well," she says. "My best advice is to get speeches out of the way early so that everyone is off the hook and can enjoy the party!"
6. The presentation is bad.
A wedding speech that's composed like an essay and read straight off the paper it's written on is never going to win over your wedding guests; it's just a fact. Practice makes perfect, and in this instance, that couldn't be truer.
7. It's hard to hear or understand.
Whether the speech giver is too drunk (a definite recipe for disaster) or is having technical difficulties with the microphone, any toast that wedding guests can't hear or comprehend is always bad news bears.