Speeches are one of those parts of a wedding reception that many guests either love or hate. They can be long, drawn out and boring, which will cause your guests to tune out and look at their watches in the hopes that the speeches will soon be over. Or they can be very touching, entertaining and have your guests laughing, crying and truly enjoying them. I have experienced so many weddings, both as a decorator and as a guest. In my years of experience, I have learned that the key to speeches is to keep them short and sweet. Having a quick, to-the-point speech will keep your guests engaged and entertained. I think limiting the number of speakers also helps to keep the speeches flowing. Only the bride and groom, Best Man, Maid of Honour and both sets of parents should give speeches.
The main objective of the bride’s and groom’s speech is to thank all of the people who have played a role in the wedding, give special mention to important people in their lives (such as their parents) and make special mentions to guests that have travelled from out of town. The bride and groom also will typically say something special to each other.
People will often use videos or photo slide shows as part of their speeches. Although the venues usually have microphones, I work with couples by arranging referrals for audio-visual equipment. I also think the appearance of the speech podium is a typically underrated and underused portion of the wedding decor. I believe that it is part of the head table and backdrop. I recommend keeping the décor for the podium simple and will often cover it with fabric so that the décor is tied in together. Anything more than a simple covering with a nice fabric will probably be too much.