Wedding Videographer Surrey // How can speeches can make or break a wedding film.
If the ceremony is the heart of a wedding, the speeches are its soul. I can't remember where I read this sentence, but I could hardly find a better way to put it.
As a wedding videographer in Britain, speeches play a main role in my wedding films. More important than the ceremony or the bridal preparations or the first dance, wedding speeches are the element of human voice that operate as the narrative force of the film.
Coming from a country where there are no wedding speeches, Portuguese weddings are pure partying and drinking all night long after the ceremony. They are a load of fun, but something is missing.
When I say speeches are essential, I don't mean the traditional speech line up - father of the bride (FOB), Groom and Bestman (BM). As far as I am concerned, you should have the speakers you want. No wedding guest is hoping for a We shall fight on the beaches kind of speech - yes, the one Churchill delivered in 1940 when the country was under threat of the Nazi war machine.
And I'm not either. A wedding speech is like a weathered piece of wood: imperfect, full of nooks and crannies and very different from each other. The FOB will be emotional and bursting with pride; the groom will be incredibly nervous giving he's in the centre of it all, having to thank everyone and talk about his bride in a gracious and loving manner; the best man generally is expected to deliver crying-while-laughing kind of speech to warm people up for the rest of the evening.
But as I said, you shouldn't feel complied to have this traditional line up. Some of the best speeches I have heard were from brides. My brides don't make speeches very often, but when they do they always tend to be great pieces of rhetoric with amazing deliveries. Maybe that's because bride's speeches are never compulsory, so they end up being done only by women who feel confident with public speaking. The same goes for bridesmaids and maids of honour. Nine times out of ten? Great speeches.
What am I looking for in a speech?
Emotion, emotion and... emotion. This is the most important element. It's the glue that binds together the narrative of the day and gives a soul to the film put together.
Story. Ideally the speech will tell a story - your story. Of how you met. Of how you became special to one another. Of how you fell in love. Again. It doesn't have to be epic - that's up to me. It just has to be personal and close to your hearts.
Humor. A healthy dose of humour makes for a really nice balance. One doesn't need to embark in a self deprecating laughing crusade to give a light, witty tone to a speech. But of course, you should never take your speech too seriously. It's just a speech and the more you relax and let it go, the better will go. Speak truth and speak from the heart.
Intimacy. A speech should end in an intimate note. As you draw to a conclusion, makes sense to get intimate and speak directly to the person you are dedicating it to. This is not by any means a rule and you absolutely don't need to do this at the end of the speech. However, it's important to be specific and praise and make sure you talk about your bride or your groom or your friend by looking them in the eye.
And because we are talking about