Help! I’m giving a speech at my Dad’s wedding: what do I say?

glasses_01Dear HTWB Agony Columns

My widowed Dad is finally getting married again to a really nice lady and they’ve asked me to give a speech at their wedding next month. What on earth can I say? I’m stuck for words!

Karen from Toronto

No worries, Karen – here is an outline that I’m sure you can adapt to your own circumstances and your family’s own history and stories. There is room for some humor in it, too, if that’s appropriate.

Once you’ve read through it and customized it for your needs, formulate a good structure and then talk it through to yourself – preferably on an audio-recording system which can then play back your “natural” words and wording. Transcribe that, tidy it up, add a few gems like jokes, poetry, quotations if you want and you’ve got yourself one powerful speech.

    • Hello everyone and as you heard I am (parent’s) daughter
    • I’m so happy to be here, and to be speaking at this event
    • In fact I say that on behalf of the whole (parent’s) family
    • I was thrilled when Dad asked me to say a few words today
    • (if you’re married, make joke about how s/he wanted some advice about marriage?)
    • Wasn’t always that way around
    • When I was little, he taught me so much
    • (anecdotes from your childhood?)
    • (a poem about parent/child relationship?)
    • I grew up to admire (parent) for (qualities)
    • A wonderful person and now s/he has found a wonderful partnership
    • We were all so delighted when (parent) met (spouse)
    • (funny story or joke about when they first met?)
    • My children took to him/her immediately
    • I was thrilled to have a new babysitter
    • It took a while to get to know each other well
    • We really appreciate how happy she makes Dad
    • She is (key qualities)
    • Dad, I hope you appreciate these things
    • We’ve really enjoyed meeting (spouse’s) family
    • Wondering if we should build an extension to our dining room as we’ll now be at least XX for family dinners
    • But what fun we will have

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  • And at the heart of it this wonderful relationship between Dad and (spouse)
  • Mind you, I’m surprised (spouse) is still even talking to Dad after the party for Dad’s bachelor/stag night
  • (funny stories about that?)
  • And things got a little stressed when (funny story about wedding preparations?)
  • But everything was OK in the end
  • Dad and (spouse), I can’t say just how happy we are for you today
  • In fact it’s better expressed by this short poem by (poet) / that I/whoever wrote
  • (read poem)
  • Thank you both for sharing this day with us all
  • (if you’re not toasting them) But I would also like to pay tribute to (whoever)
  • (why you want to pay tribute to them)
  • And may I now ask you to be upstanding and toast …
  • ….Ladies and Gentlemen, the (bride and groom, or whoever you’re toasting.)

Good luck and have a great day!

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family…

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