It's only words - Speeches, vows and why they matter
A staple part of both the wedding ceremony and the traditional dinner and toasts is a traditional choice of words and speeches – at the ceremony itself, you have an exchange of vows that have remained fairly standard throughout the years, and at the dinner following this, you have the famous speeches from the family of the couple at the main table. Words are a huge part of any wedding, and choosing the right ones can change the feel of the whole event. Some best man speeches are best left forgotten – but as society becomes more flexible in their approach to tradition, so does the idea of such speeches and even the vows. Essentially, it’s your wedding – and at your wedding, you and anyone else can say whatever they like!
Gone are the days of having to mercilessly stick to the ‘to have and to hold’ of old – if you want to stick to this, it’s of course perfectly fine – but many people now opt for their own vows, long and short – often making them more personal in the process. Couples may recount their history in a few brief sentences. Some may even recite poetry or song lyrics which mean something to them deep down. Others may even use the opportunity to be even more light-hearted, and choose to crack a few jokes, or go completely left-field by inserting pop culture references that they will both understand, enjoy, and love.
And this is absolutely the main point of a wedding – to make it a day that you will both enjoy and remember for the rest of your lives. If this means swapping a few vows around or making a few jokes during the ceremony, then why not? Providing you arrange such changes or twists to the ceremony with a relevant minister or official beforehand, then you really do have a blank canvas to work with.
The same will also go for speeches – while many will be expecting the groom and of course the best man to make a few statements at dinner (where toasts are raised to the happy couple), there’s nothing to say that you can’t deviate from the plan! Many people – particularly the best man, it appears – can find writing and preparing speeches quite stressful – so why not keep it short and sweet? Alternatively, put your own personal twist on proceedings – there’s nothing to say the bride can’t say a few words if she wants to!
Vows and speeches matter because they express not only the love between the couple being married on the big day but also the joy of the family from which they come – the words used don’t have to be big, the sentences don’t have to be long-winded – but as long as they are personal, and come from within, then they are perfect – and are being put to good use. Whatever you say, and however you say it, say it from the heart – there’s really no better opportunity!