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Photography By Tarik

Milena & Richard’s Wedding at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Bride & Groom strolling through the grounds of The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh

Milena & Richard’s Wedding at Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh

Of all the places in the world that I love to visit, Scotland is up there. I mean right up top there. I’ll never forget the first time I got to Edinburgh and being welcomed by such a well maintained and historical city that just prides itself on its heritage. Not to mention the drive through the Trossachs and into the Highlands and Glencoe. To call it a photographer’s dream would be an understatement. But that’s enough about my love for Scotland, now back to the important stuff; the wonderful Richard and Milena.

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Faye & Adam Victoria Warehouse

Bride & groom stoof in industrial setting of Victoria Warehouse, Manchester backlit by a window

Faye & Adam’s Wedding at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester

Adam and Faye’s first date didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts.  She had no car at the time so they’d agreed he would pick her up from her work car park and go from there.  Looking out for the black golf she nervously opened the door and got in. Then a moment of shock… She realised the driver wasn’t Adam.  She’d gotten into another black golf by mistake. Luckily on her wedding day at the amazing Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, she was in the right place with the right man and the wedding day all went to plan.

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Himani & Phil’s Garden Marquee Wedding

Bride & groom sat in the backseat of wedding car laughing

Himani & Phil’s Garden Marquee Wedding

When I met Himani and Phil earlier in the summer for their engagement shoot at Kensington Palace Gardens I knew their wedding was going to be special.  They’d told me that their wedding day was going to be a real family orientated affair and one of two weddings as they prepared to set-off to India for the second half of the celebrations.  Continue Reading

Katie & Graham Blake Hall

Bride & groom being showered with confetti outside of the church

Katie and Graham’s Wedding at Blake Hall in Ongar, Essex

Thinking she was going on a surprise trip to Italy Katie found herself on a plane, heading out to San Francisco.  Little did she know she’d be travelling for 6 months with the love of her life.  It turned out to be a trip of a lifetime rather than the surprise Italy trip she was expecting.  It had all been organised by Graham.  From the Rocky Mountains to Napa Valley. They went travelling around the US soaking in the sights.  When she returned to one of her favourite restaurants overlooking the vineyards in the Napa Valley she hadn’t expected the proposal.  True to form; however, Graham surprised her yet again! Getting down on one knee at the end of the evening and asking Katie to marry him.  Flash forward to August this year, and that proposal led to their wedding day at one of my favourite wedding venues in Essex. Blake Hall in Ognar.

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Sam & Hayley’s Destination Wedding at Finca Son Mir

Suset shot of bride & groom walking through olive tree groves at their Finca Son Mir Wedding

Sam & Hayley’s Destination Wedding at Finca Son Mir, Mallorca

If you’re considering a destination wedding Finca Son Mir just outside Palma, Mallorca is a beautifully renovated olive farm.  Restored between 2006 and 2007 much of the traditional character of the estate Finca Son Mir was retained.  The wedding venue and grounds provide a wonderful and historic backdrop to your wedding day. From stone steps leading to an old, enclosed courtyard. Arches leading to lush green lawns and over 600 olive trees it is perfect for those special photographs.  If like Sam & Hayley you do opt for this your wedding at Finca Son Mir, Mallorca then you’re in for real treat.
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Sunset Pre-Wedding Shoot London

Man in suit with Fiancee wearing Red outfit stood outside of Winchester Walk in London for their sunset pre-wedding shoot

Natalie & Sam’s Sunset Pre-Wedding Shoot

Living in the UK, you have to get used to how erratic the weather can be. It’s kinda our thing. Maybe even our USP? Probably not, but one thing I must say is that when the weather is good in the UK, it really is good. When Natalie and Sam contacted me from their home in San Francisco late last year to inform me that they’d be heading over to the UK to celebrate their wedding day at Ramster Hall in Guildford, I couldn’t wait to meet them!
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12 Hints & Tips for Delivering the Perfect Wedding Day Speech

Gentleman wearing a blue jacket with blue patterned tie giving a wedding day toast outside a marquee using a microphone

Hints & Tips for Preparing for the Wedding Day speech

Here’s the thing about Wedding Speeches and Toasts; they are an integral and traditional part of any wedding day. Toasts form a chance to share memories from childhood, romantic stories of how the couple met through to funny anecdotes. With speeches and toasts being such an essential part of the day, many of the speakers naturally feel a degree of anxiety.  For this reason, I’ve created my hints and tips guide to delivering that perfect wedding day speech.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re giving the best mans speech, father of the bride’s speech, groom’s wedding speech, bridesmaid speech or any other toast. I’ve got you covered and there are some specific tips for certain individuals giving toasts that can be found on my other posts.

Tips for Writing Your Speech

Tip 1 – Mindmap & Brainstorm

Before you even start writing a wedding day speech jot down a few critical things about the person or couple. How do you know them? How did they meet? Any funny stories? Words you associate with their personalities and so on.  This can be a great place to refer back to when stuck.

Tip 2 – Make Contact With Other People Delivering Speeches

Get in touch with the other people who will be making the speeches on the wedding day.  Together figure out between you how to cover all the essential bases. Discuss what areas you will each cover. Knowing what jokes, anecdotes, stories and toasts each of you is planning will ensure there is no repetition. Figure out who will thank who during their speeches, so again there is no unnecessary repetition. Together you can tell a well-rounded story, that allows for introductions, entertains, and flows seamlessly.

Tip 3 – Keep It Short

You know yourself as a guest at weddings there is nothing worse than a speech that goes on forever. People soon lose interest, and you don’t want to be remembered as the one that waffled on. No more than 2-3 pages of typed A4 size 14 font should do it. If using prompts/notecards and freestyling try to stick to about five minutes if possible.

Tip 4 – Keep It Authentic

Cookie cutter speeches downloaded from the internet are a total no-no. Get some ideas from the internet by all means, but don’t rely on them – especially not the jokes. The guests will be able to spot the lack of authenticity immediately.  Focus on the personal touches. How do you know the couple? How long have you known them? How much do they mean to you or how do you feel about them? Were you there when they met? Do you know the details of the proposal?  Guests will appreciate your connection to the couple that comes from conveying this, and will naturally find your speech heartfelt.

Don’t feel under pressure to make your speech funny. Being funny doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’re not naturally comedic, it can appear unauthentic and can tank your toast with guests. Instead, share your genuine thoughts and stories about the couple and keep the toasts sincere and matching to your personality you will be loved by the guests regardless.

Tip 5 – Play To The Crowd

Remember when planning your speech you want to sound as if you’re talking to the guests, not giving them a presentation or reading from a script so try to deliver your speech naturally. Some people find it helpful record themselves talking about the couple and telling their stories, then using that within their speeches if not freestyling.

If you are going for jokes, make sure they are appropriate to your audience. Something that was hilarious on a night out with mates may not translate well to a wedding with Grandma and Grandpa or young children sat there.  Remember a few simple rules, it’s never funny to make racist, sexist, sexually suggestive, obscene, offensive or any other ‘poor taste’ joke at a wedding.  You will definitely offend someone.  By all means, tease and poke fun at the couple, but don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  With this in mind leave out the stories of exes or very embarrassing or intimate things you know about them.  You want to deliver your toast, so the couple and guests feel great at the end of it and not in anyway humiliated or offended.

Tip 6 – Remember You Are Celebrating A Couple

Make sure when you write your speech so that it includes and celebrates them as a couple and not just the person you are closest to.

Tip 7 – Practise, Practise, Practise!

Start writing your speech as soon as you can. This will give you plenty of time to practice it.

As soon as you’re confident it’s pretty much complete practice giving it in front of someone else at least once. That individual will provide you with some encouragement and may be able to give you some pointers, about anything that may need altering or isn’t appropriate.

Then the old adage practice makes perfect is true. Practice it every day. The more familiar you are with your toast, the more confident you will be when delivering it. Practising your speech will give you a pointer to the emotional parts, or that joke or word that you struggle to say clearly. If you find a hump, then you’ll naturally know to take a deep breath before that section.

Practising your toast will mean when you deliver it you’ll be less likely you lose where you are in the flow of the speech or forget the words or make mistakes. You will be much more relaxed allowing a more ad-lib and natural approach to its delivery.

Tips for Delivering Your Speech

Tip 8 – Use Cue Cards

Use cue cards and avoid using your mobile phone. They don’t look good in photos at all.  Also, you’ll naturally find yourself looking down at a mobile more than engaging with your guests so ditch the digital and go analogue.

Tip 9 – Avoid Alcohol

While it can be tempting to have a few sneaky drinks to help with the nerves, this can often be a mistake.  Have no more than one or two drinks before giving your toast, so you give yourself the best chance of delivering it flawlessly. There is always plenty of time to drink, and party after your speech is over.

Tip 10 – Remeber to Take it Slowly and Breathe!

Take a few deep breaths before you begin.  When we are stressed humans naturally have a tendency to take quick shallow breaths.  This often results in an adrenaline spike which can increase a feeling of being on edge or jittery.  Furthermore, when your breathing is stressed it will make your voice also sound stressed when delivering your toast.   You’ll also be more likely to make you babble and speak quickly, making it difficult for the guests to hear and follow you.

Be conscious of how quickly you are speaking, don’t be afraid to pause.  Take some deep breaths before and during your speech.  This will naturally help you relax, get energy behind your toast and not rush through it.

Tip 11 – Use a Microphone!

Most wedding venues will provide a microphone for speeches.  Use it to ensure everyone can hear you.  If there is also a videographer, make sure you request a lapel mic, or a feed from the sound desk before you give your speech to ensure your toast is recorded for the couple.

Tip 12 – Know When & Where You’re Delivering Your Speech!

I recently wrote a blog post on when is best for wedding day speeches so find out from the couple in advance, when and where the speeches are happening.  This lets you mentally prepare, and be in the right place at the right time.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful.  Just remember to always speak from the heart and to be yourself and you’ll do fine! Ultimately, wedding guests are generally the easiest crowds to give a speech to.  They’ve probably had a few drinks by this point in the day, and they are all invested in the couple as much as you are and want you to succeed.  So if you ever have to give a speech in your life you really couldn’t ask for an easier gig than a wedding. By the time it’s all over, you’ll be wondering what you were worried about.