I’m very pleased to say that I get to see all sorts of speeches and toasts at weddings and each and every one is great. It’s an occupational hazard that I very much enjoy! In the last year I have also seen lots of speeches from brides, bridesmaids and mothers – I’m a big fan of women speaking at weddings, so long may that continue!

mother of the bride is given the microphone to give a wedding speech at fun wedding

It’s very natural to feel nervous about public speaking – it’s one of the most commonly listed fears. The best advice I have ever been given was to learn the first paragraph of your speech by heart and then read the rest from cue cards. The first paragraph will be the hardest, then you’ll naturally find a rhythm and deliver a cracker.

Speeches are most commonly delivered from wherever the speaker is sat in the room. Most people will simply stand wherever they have been sitting for their meal, and deliver their speech from that position – it’s less nerve-wracking this way than walking up in front of 100 guests.

Groom delivers wedding speech from top table and reads from a giant piece of paper

When I photograph the speeches my aim is to document all of the emotions of the speech, so I’ll take some photos of whoever is speaking and then also get the reaction from your guests. I’ve found that the best way for me to do this is kneeling on the floor, so don’t be surprised if you see me wearing knee pads and crawling around!

Groom wipes tear from eye as bride gives wedding speech

If you have a particularly busy top table then I may need to move some of the larger items to one side so that I have a clear shot of you and your partner. I will always try to take photos through the regular items on the table (like glasses etc) as these can add interest to the image, but large opaque items can be tricky to navigate.

Bride scrunches up face laughing a best mans wedding speech

Top tips

  • If you are delivering a speech it’s perfectly normal to use cue cards or a phone to remind you of the words. If you do this make sure that you look up and engage with your audience every now and again. Your eyes looking at your audience as you speak makes the best photo!
  • If you are using a piece of paper to read your speech (again, totally acceptable and very common!) try not to hold it in front of your own face, or in front of your partner face.
  • Keep breathing! It sounds obvious but it’s very common to hold your breath with the nerves of delivering a speech. Just the act of taking a few deep breaths will slow your heart rate down and relax you.
  • SMILE. Again just the process of pushing your face in to a smile will actually relax you. Plus, I’ll get a lovely photo of you smiling while delivering your speech! Double bonus.

Bride gives wedding speech and laughs, standing in front of juke box at greenwich yacht club

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Funny and Relaxed Wedding Speech Photos

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And if you want to know where these photos were taken, here are links to venues (in order):

Stockport Town Hall

Greenwich Yacht Club

The Gypsy Queen Pub

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