The Do’s and Dont’s of a Wedding Speech

Nearly everyone at some point will have been witness to a memorable wedding speech. These precious spoken words are more often than not a big part of a Bride and Groom’s celebrations and, good or bad, are a talking point amongst family and friends for weeks to come. So it’s important you get it right. Let’s face it, you want guests to remember your speech for all of the right reasons, not the wrong ones.

Public speaking doesn’t come easily to a lot of people. It can be daunting to stand in front of a room full of people fixated on you as they hang on your every word. What could be worse than delivering the punch line of your best joke with the sound of just a few lonely crickets offering their support whilst those sitting before you stare in bewilderment?Having been in the wedding business for more than 50 years, you can image how many speeches the team here at PRC headquarters have witnessed over their time. Fear not about your impending moment in the spotlight, we’re here to help with the best of our “Do’s” and “Dont’s” to writing a great wedding speech.


USE NOTES

Unless you’re a Hollywood actor, the chances of you remembering your speech, especially if you’re one to get a little nervous, are slim. Write it down. Print out your speech on A4 paper or use index cards and be sure to staple them together – you don’t want play “Pick Up 52” with all eyes on you!Ask the Bride and Groom to check with the venue if they have a lectern and hands free microphone you can use. There is nothing worse than fumbling with sheets of paper as you try and flick through your notes with one hand whilst the other clumsily holds onto the microphone for dear life. A lectern will give you space to place and organise your notes and if you’re nervous with an unsteady hand, it will be less noticeable with a hands free microphone. Plus, you can always hold onto the lectern to hide any nervous shaking.


KEEP IT SHORT

Apologies in advance to all of the loving and doting fathers out there but we know once you have a microphone in hand and everyone’s full attention, you’ll want to keep talking about how wonderful your son or daughter is. And why wouldn’t you? It’s his or her wedding day and you’re as proud as punch! The important thing to remember is to keep the speech short. Very short. No, no, we’re not talking 20 minutes, we’re talking just five… OK, ten at the absolute most if you’d like to include a couple of mischievous childhood wrong doings.We once witnessed a Father of the Bride speak for 45 minutes despite the bride having insisted during the planning stages that Dad wasn’t much of a talker and would only need a few minutes allocated in the running schedule. Needless to say, Dad was promptly wound up by a member of the family upon advice from the event staff that the delicious steak he’d paid for 150 people to enjoy was about to go from medium-rare to “I need a butcher’s knife to cut this thing”.Groomsmen, you shouldn’t ignore this advice either. We’re aware many of you like to “wing it” but without something written down to keep you on track, you tend to go on, and on, with a tendency to drift off topic. You’re better to keep it short and sweet with a few humourous lines thrown in about the groom for good measure rather than have the guests willing you to wrap it up.
  

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU
Remember, this is not your 15 minutes of fame. You’re there to tell a few humourous or sentimental stories of the Bride and Groom. Yes, you’ve shared many an adventure with your best friend and lived to tell the tale but you’ve been chosen to speak because of your in-depth knowledge of the Bride and Groom. Once you write your speech, re-read it and consider how many times you refer to yourself. And above all, don’t tell private “in” jokes. It doesn’t matter how hilarious you and your close group of friends think your story is, most of the guests will have no clue what you’re on about and swiftly tune out.


BREAK IT UP

For Brides and Grooms considering where to put speeches into the running schedule, try and break them up. You want to ensure you keep your guests attention so any more than 20-30 minutes of speeches will be just too much before their minds begin to wonder if they made the right choice of stiletto shoe or patterned tie. Allocate 5 minutes to each of your speakers (trust us, give them ten and they’ll speak for 20!) and throw in a 5 minute buffer, just in case. It’s a good idea to break the speeches up to a maximum of two or three at any one time. We recommend the Fathers’ first, followed by the Groomsmen and Bridesmaids and finally the Bride and Groom. Two to three sets of speeches will be much more enjoyable for your guests and ensure their attention is retained.

DON’T MAKE BEST FRIENDS WITH THE BAR BEFORE YOU SPEECH

If a shot of vodka is what you need to take the edge off and give you a little boost of confidence then go for it. But stop at one. The same goes with a casual glass of wine or beer. Throwing back that second serve of Dutch Courage can often open the doomed doors to Tipsyville, where no-one else finds your jokes funny and old Aunt Maple sits in shock with her jaw on the ground as you throw in a few colourful profanities. We do suggest though that you take a glass of champagne when you get up to speak and always remember to toast the Bride and Groom. For our dapper Best Men out there, we also recommended you offer a toast to the beautiful Bridesmaids.

  

THANK IMPORTANT GUESTS

Don’t forget to thank those who have contributed to the wedding and to those who have travelled distances to attend. We also recommend you mention those who have passed or who were unable to travel for whatever reason. And whilst they’re not too common these days, ensure the Best Man or MC reads any telegrams sent from family and friends unable to share your day in person (for those too young to remember, please insert “e-mail” in place of telegram)

  

So, remember these tips and you’ll be on track to make the final cut of the wedding video. Good luck with your preparations and of course, no pressure!

CREDITS
Photography – Sarah Wood Photography /// Venue – Gardens House /// Catering – Peter Rowland Catering /// Marquee – The Marquee People /// Furniture – Place Settings /// Flowers – Cecilia Fox /// Brides Dress – Luci DiBellaPETER ROWLAND CATERING
Food | Design | Hospitality

Rippon Lea Estate – Shae & Monty

Monty and Shae chose the beautiful gardens of Rippon Lea for their wedding ceremony in Spring last year, with the historic 1860’s mansion featuring as a magnificent back drop for their vows.


“I’ll never forget seeing Monty’s face as I walked down the aisle”, Shae recalls. Melissa Jacob, of the Ceremony Store, officiated proceedings, detailing stories of how the couple met through mutual friends.

The bride’s stunning vintage style gown by Toorak designer, Jane Hill, and featuring lace capped sleeves, fitted perfectly with the theme of the wedding, as did the bridemaids’ dresses.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed some post-ceremony drinks by the pool whilst the couple wandered the 14 acre gardens with photographer Kristen Cook for some beautiful photo opportunities.

A quick rehearsal in the gardens of the couple’s first dance to Red Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You”.

The couples bursting floral table arrangements sat perfectly in the ballroom under the high ornate ceilings, compliments of talented freelance floral designer Debbie O’Neill who also put together the bridal party bouquets.

After mingling out by the pool with pre-dinner drinks and a selection of canapés, guests dined on a sumptuous three courses meal finished with French chocolates and servings of decadent wedding cake by Oakleigh Quality Cakes.

Shae recalls the reception speeches as being one of the most memorable parts of the day which brought both tears and laughter to the couple’s faces.


Shae and Monty took an extended honeymoon to the Serengeti in east Africa with a romantic stop in Paris on the way home. We wish the couple all the best for the future.

Mt Duneed Estate – Alana & Daniel

Not even the cool and overcast weather could dampen a beautiful beachside ceremony for Alana and Daniel. Braving the wind, the surf coast locals exchanged vows at Barwon Heads Beach in front of 160 guests with formalities lead by senior ministers Bram and Dianna Manusama.
Following the ceremony, Alana and Daniel were lead by talented photographers Mikala Robinson Koss and Jesse Hunter of All the Love in the World to some nearby locations for some amazing photographs.
The Bride’s stunning dress featuring elegant lace and beading was from well known Melbourne Designer Mariana Hardwick.
A feature of the day was the fun, retro inspired wedding Kombi from Klassy Kombies which provided several laughs for the Bridal Party and was a talking point amongst guests.
When guests arrived at The Hill Winery for the dinner celebrations they were greeted by these cute flags, handmade by the Mother of the Bride and adding a personal touch to the venue.
The Cellar Door at The Hill was transformed into an amazing banquet reception, beautifully decorated by Amanda Flynn of Smellies Florist and complimented by spectacular festoon lighting from Solution Red.
 The Bride & Groom take to the microphone for a few formalities.
Guests dined on one of two mouth watering main course dishes of grain fed beef eye fillet, creamed parsnip, sautéed baby spinach, sticky balsamic shallots and finished shiraz jus.
Live music earlier on in the night was then replaced by DJ Francis Ware who opened the dance floor with the Bride and Groom’s first dance.
Guests enjoyed this four tiered wedding cake for dessert later in the light, along with a selection of cheeses before hitting the dance floor until late into the night.

Q&A: A Creative Mind by Michael Davey

What is trending this season for colours and theming?

Today it seems to be all over the place in terms of trends, as brides have realised it’s about their personality and style, and not what’s expected from a wedding in terms of a traditional ‘look’.
But we have noticed from our brides that it’s between Winter whites and creams contrasted against navy and silver, through to dramatic deep rich Autumn inspired colours of claret, deep orange and burnt yellow often highlighted with branches and wood elements. Gatsby inspired creations are still flourishing with golds and orchids as it does with a blockbuster movies. I don’t think a trend will emerge from ‘Noah’, but as I always say ‘why be a trend follower, set your own trend and follow through with it’. Just because vintage and fairground interpretations of a loose ‘Hampton’s’ theme are popular, does not mean you have to follow!

What factors should be considered when selecting a colour scheme or decoration?

Seasons change and so do the flowers and trees. It’s really wise to think about this when you are having your wedding and is this right for your ‘look’, your dream ‘flowerscape’, but most of all choose your venue wisely. So many brides fall in love with a venue or feel it’s the one they should go to, but in reality what they want to achieve is not going to go with the space, in fact in so many cases it fights the venue. Remember a wedding should flow seamlessly and why shouldn’t the reception. Each element you add should enhance and not fight the space – the more you enhance keeping the venue in mind, brings out its beauty then its about adding your personal style to finalise it, in a word seamless.

What are some tips you can give brides who are starting to consider table decorations and styling ideas?

Think about your overall vision, this is your day, if you want giant arrangements standing tall in the centre of each table, then you shall have it! If you want floating candles in a crystal vase and not a flower in sight, you shall have it. It’s your day but remember it’s all about balance and that includes what the venue ‘feel’ is. Think of the venue as part of the bridal party, a very important part, that like a bridesmaid, should be wrapped in such a way and accessorised to bring out her beauty, not simply popped in something that you saw in a bridal magazine and thought would fit the budget. Overall like bridesmaids, if they don’t look good, neither will any photo. The venue decoration is exactly the same!

How soon prior to the wedding do you recommend couples to start organising their table decorations and floristry?

Depending on your time frame from making that all important venue decision till the actual wedding day, we find it’s wise to start discussions with florists and stylists as soon as possible. You have to build a rapport with them, but if its 12 months out, keep it general, discuss options, show them your ‘Pinterest’ folder or scrap book of ideas and get their opinion. Refine your ideas from the start, choose a direction and only change course if it is going to cause you grief down the line. It’s also about budget, you have the venue and the dress and everything that goes with it, but your reception décor is an unknown quantity, start with a figure you can afford to just hand over and not cry over, then you can add as the time frame shortens and the final numbers of guests come in. Remember whatever you do must be done well, its not worth trying to spread it all too thin, or it won’t be noticed or even worse appear half done. If that means using simple ‘in-house’ linen so that you can afford fuller table centrepieces, then go for it! If that means sacrificing an arrival cocktail to afford the full on candy buffet or those peonies you have always wanted, then go for it!

What flowers would you recommend for the Spring/Summer versus Autumn/Winter?

As long as you don’t look at the carbon foot print of importing flowers, you basically can have anything year round, but to keep it in a better budget position, look to the season and what mother nature and a slew of local flower growers can provide! Winter is a wonderland of contrasts, stunning Camellias, beautiful Tulips in all manner of colours (Parrot Tulips are my favourite), sweet smelling Jonquils and Freesias, and the classics like Dahlia in all their russet tones and tall Delphinium that range from the softest pink to rich shards of blue. Whereas your summer choices are varied in style from cottage inspired Helleborus and Hydrangea through to stunning David Austin Roses in all manner of shades to my personal go to bloom, the Phalaenopsis Orchid, but if the tropics is your dream then Frangipani all the way. But you can never beat roses on roses on roses!

What have you seen in the current season that was quite unique and left a real “wow” factor with guests?

I tend to feel the right word is more ‘ahhhh’ than ‘wow’ for a wedding. When a bride has all elements working together it shows, from the linen to the flowers to the lighting of the room, but there is always one that takes your breath away. Recently assisting internationally renowned Wedding planner and designer, David Tutera, a creation that could be called a true ‘one off’ marquee event on a beachfront in far north Queensland. 6000 Carnation heads, 500 stems of Phalaenopsis Orchids and more tropical leaves than the average rain forest has in several seasons of growth. You couple this with an entire ceiling turned into a sculpture of white lit lanterns and you are half way there. As a designer and stylist this is a dream location that we managed to outshine.

Gardens House – Fionna & Aaron

Gardens House, privately located in the surrounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, yet again set the scene for a gorgeous summer wedding. Our stunning couple, Fionna & Aaron, held their ceremony in a cool, shady nook on the back lawn of the property with the ever professional Steve Mason officiating.
The bride arrived in her own vintage car which fitted in perfectly with the theme of the wedding, the colour of the car event matching the bridesmaids dresses.
Guests were able to help themselves to a refreshing mocktail on arrival, for which the gorgeous vintage cart was provided by the talented team at The Style Co who did a brilliant job on the overall styling.
 
Once the ceremony had concluded, the drinks cart was moved to the front lawn and later became the setting for the wedding cake.
All of the wedding flowers for
this spectacular occasion were provided by The
Style Co
’s floristry team.
La Mauvaise Reputation provided live music for the ceremony.
The couple’s
beloved dog also made an appearing at the ceremony, acting as ring bearer on
the day
Time for a group photo!
 The couple share a glass of
champagne in the wedding car
 The bridal party celebrate with a traditional champagne toast.
This towering wedding cake,
covered in a delicious butter cream icing, was arranged by the Style Co
 
The rustic style bar suited the garden setting perfectly. 
The bride’s elegant wedding gown was courtesy of award winning, Fitzroy based Gwendolynne.
Festoon lights were a definite feature of the evening, helping to create a fantastic open air cocktail garden party reception.
This amazing festoon lighting looked spectacular once the sun had set. Guests were able to kick up their heels to sound of the band or relax on some casual style seating, hired in especially for the day.
Festoon lights were a definite feature of the evening, helping to create a fantastic open air cocktail garden party reception.
Guests were well into the swing of the night with the South City Blues Band taking care of the reception entertainment. The gorgeous Gardens House provided a fantastic back drop for the evening.

View this spectacular video produced by Diprose Media capturing all of the beautiful moments of this stunning day.

Gardens House – Lou & Aaron

Lou and Aaron celebrated their day at the private and beautiful Gardens House in the Royal Botanic Gardens in December of 2013. In an intimate setting with no official bridal party, the couple exchanged vows before guests were ushered through to the rear of the house for an afternoon cocktail reception.
These beautiful images are courtesy of Sav S Photography
The groom, Aaron, nervously awaits the Bride’s arrival.
 
A unique idea for decorations on the ceremony chairs and tying in with the rustic garden feel.
The Baker Boys provided some relaxed acoustic style music, setting up on the back lawn to entertain guests as they celebrated through the afternoon.
This fittingly rustic style furniture was provided by the ever talented stylist Brett Currell in collaboration with Complete Function Hire which tied in well with the garden setting.
A definite highlight of the day was Lou and Aaron’s choice of dessert – a deliciously brilliant, mouth-watering ice-cream cart from Short Batch Ice-Cream Co.
Bride Lou, takes charge of the ice-cream cart!
In a joint collaboration with Peter Rowland Catering and some clear styling by Brett Currell, guests feasted on this sumptuous cheese station.
This amazing raspberry fudge wedding cake by
the The Little Malvern Cake Company was later cut and served to guests as
part of the desserts.
A great view from the balcony of Gardens House over looking the rear lawn and Botanic Gardens.

Winter Weddings

Winter weddings offer a uniquely neutral colour palette, enabling you to incorporate any theme or décor into your special day. Create a romantic atmosphere using textured fabrics, warm mood lighting, as well as an indulgent winter menu, with rich and robust flavours.

Our Event Planners will provide full wedding catering service, taking care of every detail to ensure you have the perfect day. Our exceptional standards of excellence will result in the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
We’ll help you choose the right venue or location, select a menu and beverages, and make the style to suit you and create your perfect winter wonderland.
In conjunction with our preferred partners we can assist with inspirational wedding ideas from centrepieces, flowers, themeing, photography, and entertainment.
Peter Rowland Catering has exclusive access to some of Melbourne’s most beautiful venues providing the perfect location for your reception. Whether you want a contemporary city location showcasing the finest art, culture and history, a picturesque garden setting, historic mansion or a reception with water views, Peter Rowland Catering has a venue to suit! Your wedding will be delivered to perfection at a Peter Rowland venue.
Weddings by Peter Rowland are timeless. We encapsulate a taste of elegance in our packages whilst providing you with a selection of contemporary offerings.

Rippon Lea Estate – Carrie & Julian

Carrie & Julian were married at St Joseph’s Church, Malvern, on a beautiful October Spring day with around 100 of their closest family and friends. They celebrated later at Peter Rowland Catering’s Rippon Lea Estate.
After getting ready at home in the presence of her excited mum and bridesmaids, the bride arrived for the ceremony in an immaculate 1960’s Mercedes Benz 600 Grand Limousine, courtesy of Heinz Limousines. Carrie was radiant in a beautiful vintage style creation by talented designer Anaessia, opting for an elegant hand-crafted head piece over a traditional veil which perfectly complimented the lace detail and beading on her gown.
A Flower Affair designed the bride’s corsage as well as the bridal bouquet and reception arrangements.
Travelling from the church with their four bridal party members in the Mercedes Limousine, the bride and groom arrived at the venue, Rippon Lea Estate, before their guests. They chose to make the most of the spring weather and wander the grounds for some fantastic photo opportunities. 
These beautiful photographs are courtesy of the talented and creative team at T-ONE Image
As guests later began to arrive for the evening’s celebrations they were directed to the alfresco terrace where they enjoyed pre-dinner drinks and canapés around the 1950’s style pool before moving in to the Grand Ballroom.
After making their way down the marble staircase into the ballroom and being formally introduced to their guests, Carrie and Julian proceeded straight to the wedding cake for the traditional cutting as well as champagne toast.
Cupcakes by Paolo were responsible for the amazing cup cake tiers which guests later took home to enjoy.