Ranson and West

Confessions of a Suffolk Photographer – The Wedding speeches

This week our guest blogger is Sue Tetley, a Thrive Programme Consultant from Suffolk, she has recently opened her practice in Sudbury and offers positive psychology coaching to help overcome fears, phobias, anxiety, depression and many other symptoms to achieve life long postive change.  If you have been asked to present a speech at a wedding and don’t know where to start, take a look at her great advise or give her a call and discuss your concerns, she’ll soon put your fears to rest.  Her contact details can be found on our network page.

Top Ten Tips for the speeches

Speech preparation
1  Start writing your speech well in advance of the wedding day – put pen to paper and just start writing the first thing that comes into your head.  It won’t make sense at first but eventually, as you re-write your speech, the right words will shine through

2  Get use to presenting in front of people – why not take the opportunity to present at work or a small gathering.  Consider using a microphone if you have a quiet voice especially for a large wedding venue

3 Practice makes perfect – read your speech out loud once a week rather than in your head as it will sound very different or better still, record and listen to your speech.



4 Visualise being calm, confident and in control during the speech. Get your imagination on your side and always imagine what you want to happen, rather than what you fear. Your imagination is so powerful, get it on your side! If you keep thinking about how nervous you are going to be, sure enough you will be!

5  A few weeks before the wedding, take a few moments every day to rehearse how confident and calm you are going to be and think about what you are wearing, how you will be standing and what you will be saying.

6  Remember the other guests are not out to criticise you, everyone will be having a great time and they will all be supporting you.


Be proud
7  If you are feeling a little anxious, remember you have been chosen to be best man or to make an important speech because the bride and groom have confidence in you and respect you. Be proud of this and believe in yourself.

8  Are children present? Think about your audiences ages and family members, swearing, inappropriate stories and drinking too much before the speech should be avoided.

Last minute nerves
9  If you start feeling nervous try some calming breathing techniques. For example, take some slow deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Do this for 5 slow counts in and 5 slow counts out. Let your breath flow deep into your abdomen and repeat each cycle 5-10 times. When we get anxious, we start shallow breathing, but this exercise will really help.


Length of speech
10  Don’t make your speech too long, aim for 1000 words (about 7 minutes) bring cards with you that have key words to remember your content. If you are confident with technology and have access to a lap top and overhead projector, you could always use it to display some entertaining, appropriate pictures that are relevant and compliment your speech.  Having a visual image to talk about is a great way to support your speech especially if you get lost for words!


3 Quick Questions

Sue’s favourite………..
1  Way to relax – Going for a walk is a great way to wind down and clear your head. As a treat I also like to go for a massage.
2  Venue – I haven’t really been to many weddings in Suffolk/Essex, but did go to an amazing wedding at Southwood Hall in Norfolk http://southwood hall norfolk a few weeks ago, this is one of the best wedding venues I’ve seen.
3  My personal favourite wedding picture was at my own wedding. It was taken by my Uncle. I was walking down the hill with my husband Phil after we had finished getting some official photos taken. There is a procession down the road with lots of our friends having conversations. I love it as it tells a story.

Thank you Sue for your invaluable advise x





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