No Laughing Matter: Giving a Speech at a Sober Wedding

Scotland’s Covid wedding rules include a blanket ban on alcohol until 17th May, reopening a years-long debate about dry receptions. Thankfully, we’ve moved on from the days of needing a drink in hand to have a good time. Haven’t we…? We asked the award-winning comedy writers at Speechy how to keep wedding speeches funny without the help of the ultimate social lubricant.

Dry weddings are fairly uncommon but – whether down to religious reasons, the Covid wedding rulebook, or simply as a lifestyle choice – they are on the rise. And without the usual bar and dancefloor antics, the speeches may well become the epicentre of your day, so they need to be on point.

It’s fair to assume some guests will be sceptical about sitting through a booze-free toast – as Ernest Hemingway famously wrote, ‘I drink to make other people more interesting’. That’s why it’s so important to add laughter to proceedings via your speeches. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through how…

SMART HUMOUR

A clear-headed audience is certainly a more discerning one. A crowd with its wits about it will be even less likely to laugh at recycled wedding gags so, first off, step the hell away from Google. It is not your friend.

The internet is a wonderful tool for things like wedding décor inspo and reminding yourself which day the bins go out, but it offers suspiciously few ideas for truly original wedding speeches. You’ll want to make sure your humour is fresh, witty and bespoke.
Sober guests are less likely to heckle and ad lib – this might be both a good and a bad thing, but ultimately gives you space to deliver your speech without distraction. If the bride’s nan guffaws throughout, you’re either doing something right or she’s managed to smuggle a hipflask into the venue.

COMEDY MOCKTAIL INGREDIENTS

There’s a basic recipe for a standout speech, so try the following advice – it’s worth a shot winks.

Honesty – Comedians get their best material from real life because it’s properly funny. Guests aren’t interested in some fantasy bride and groom. They know you’re not that pure so give them what they’re really after – the truth. Make the ordinary extraordinary.

Hyperbole – Keeping it real doesn’t mean you can’t jazz things up. If you’re the best man, exaggerate the traits your audience will already recognise in the newlyweds and feel free to put a slapstick spin on your anecdotes. Send yourself up while you’re at it.

Swearing – Just because it’s a sober wedding, it doesn’t mean the guests have suddenly turned into saints. Resist the urge to censor yourself if a potty mouth is how the crowd know and love you. Like any wedding speech, it depends on the audience demographic but a few bollocks, bloodies or arses adds enough of an edge to loosen people up.

Confidence – Enjoy yourself. It feels good to make people laugh. Like, really good. And after a year of pretending to enjoy Zoom parties, everyone will be ready to put on some suave-looking garms and be entertained in person. Believe us, they’re practically holding the belly laughs in before you’ve even started.

MINDFUL MOMENTS

Mindfulness isn’t just something you hear about on Yoga Influencer Instagram and your long-forgotten Headspace app. Being fully present and engaged in the moment is an important life skill, and it’s much better honed without the distraction of inebriants.
Taking alcohol out of the equation means none of the usual blurred memories or fuzzy flashbacks. Your audience is present. Like, bright eyed, bushy tailed present. This means they’re likely to actually remember the speech, so make sure it’s memorable for the right reasons.

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Monochrome Meets Rustic Farm Wedding

Although Sam and Mikey had to postpone their 200-perrson dream October wedding, they didn’t have to wait very long. They only pushed back until November and with the help of the bride’s mother and grandmother; who made masks for everyone, blankets and shawls for the bridesmaids, they were able to reschedule in record time.

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London Calling: Three Bridal Brands & Boutiques You Need to Know About

Photo: Devlin Photo for Rock n Roll Bride x Crown and Glory

London undoubtedly has some of the best wedding dress shopping on the planet, so when it comes to finding your dream wedding outfit, it’s certainly worth planning a shopping trip.

The great thing about visiting the big smoke for this is that being the capital, London bridal boutiques stock a vast selection of styles. Whether they’re a single brand boutique, or they host other designers, you’re sure to get that princess moment when you step inside.

With so many possible places to visit, t’s very easy to get overwhelmed though so today we wanted to introduce you to three of our favourites.

Katya Katya

KATYA KATYA’s website // Follow KATYA KATYA on Instagram

KATYA KATYA London has been creating romantic boho dresses and making brides’ dreams come true for 10 years this year. The brand opened their first store in the heart of London in 2011 and since has grown out to be a popular brand amongst brides looking for a unique wedding dress. To celebrate this incredible landmark, KATYA KATYA is having an astonishing up to 80% off sample sale on the 7-8th May at their Chelsea boutique.

This amazing sample sale is the perfect opportunity for brides to join a wonderful group of ladies and find their dreamy, timeless KATYA KATYA wedding gown. Dresses will be available in a range of sizes and from multiple collections, so everyone can find the perfect fit and the style that truly matches their personality.

To allow everyone plenty of time and keep brides safe, the sample sale is by appointment only. Go to their website, send them an email on info@katyakatya.co.uk or call them on 02073514359 to book your slot. Appointments are £15, however if you find your dream dress this is completely redeemable.

Browns Bride

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Moody, Abandoned Church Elopement in Italy

Travel lovers Valentina and Daniele chose an abandoned church near Città di Castello in Perugia, Italy, as their wedding ceremony location. Choosing to elope meant they could hike to their chosen spot with just their photographer in tow, and then have the intimate ceremony that they really wanted.

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Tonal & Cosy Mt. Rainier A-Frame Elopement

Brittany and Joseph didn’t really set a budget for their September elopement, but as soon as they found their photographer, Henry Tieu, on Pinterest, they decided they would spend whatever it cost to have him shoot the day. Keeping things small and COVID-safe kept all the other costs down anyway. They also hired Rain and Pines to help organise the day, do the décor and officiant the ceremony.

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