Writing Wedding Vows and Speeches / by Vanessa Larkey

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. 

Aside from gorging ourselves with food, it's a great time to reflect on how lucky we are to live in such a progressive country*, and hopefully, give thanks for living within a supportive community of family and friends. 

This weekend also marked the first time Peter and I attempted to write our vows and wedding speech. Thinking of our family and friends, we became overwhelmed with emotion. We are surrounded by such inspiring, caring, thoughtful, and intelligent people. How did we get so lucky? 

So! How should we go about writing all of our emotions down in a way that's entertaining for our guests? I took a trip down memory lane to find the answer. The year was 2008 and my cousin Deanna was about to marry the man of her dreams, Paul. I was tasked with saying a speech, and nervous as hell. I was sharing my anxiety with a colleague, Derek, who promptly sent me his foolproof MC plan.

Derek is an actor, former wedding DJ, and a great friend for calming my public speaking fears. To this day, I still use his guide as a launching pad for wedding speeches/MC duties. I've condensed what he said below. Maybe it'll help you, too.


The short speeches are almost always the ones everyone remembers/appreciates the most.  Less is more when people are bored.   

 2. Plan Your End Point (the last thing you say before somebody else speaks) 

Write it down.  This way, if you go on a tangent, you’ll be able to easily come back and keep it fluid.   

 3. Don’t be Afraid of Clichés

Unfortunately, they are almost impossible to avoid at weddings.  A good cliché with an obvious ending will garner you an applause line almost every time. 

4. Don’t Forget to Thank Everyone

People like to be thanked.  It goes a long way.  

 *I know there is still much work to be done, but compared to our neighbours down south, Canada is a progressive Utopia.