I was talking to a meeting planner today and she asked if I was interested in a job as a motivational speaker at a wedding. That’s a first! I’ve never heard of such a thing. She said the bride and groom were having an unconventional wedding and wanted a professional motivational speaker to jumpstart the crowd.

Motivational speaker at wedding

Okay, maybe I’m not very hip to what’s going on in the wedding industry these days, but it did get me thinking. I’m open to any kind of new and innovative speaker ideas and would probably speak at a rodeo if I was getting paid.

I would prepare for a job as a wedding speaker the same way I would any other corporate or non profit gig. If you’re a professional speaker and the bride or best man ask you to speak, you should be able to pull off a top notch performance. But what if you’re not a professional speaker and were asked to deliver a speech at a friend or family member’s wedding? Here are a few tips to make it a memorable one:


Nothing is worse than a wedding speech that drones on forever. Like a guest at a party, you should know when to get in and get out before you wear out your welcome. Keep it long enough to create a good story arc, but short enough that you keep them wanting more. Talk it over with the bride and groom. After all, it is their day and the focus should always stay on them.


Never give an impromptu speech at a wedding. Just like professional speakers write out and rehearse a speech, you should do the same thing for a wedding speech. Write down how you met the bride and groom, and any touching or funny stories you can think of. Mention something interesting about the bride and groom. Rehearse the speech enough where you know it, but not too much that it sounds canned. If you have to write down bullet points on cards, do it. But it’s always better if you can do it without cards.


First of all, take your time and enjoy it. Nervous speakers tend to speak too quickly, hoping to get it over with as fast as possible. Enjoy the moment and smile. The audience wants you to succeed. A good way to ground yourself is to look at the people you’re talking about. When you speak about the bride, look at her and gesture to her. When you speak about the groom, make eye contact with him like you were speaking just to him. And, most important of all, speak from your heart. If the bride and groom have asked you to give a speech, they are obviously close to you and you should consider it an honor. Wish them all the happiness in the world, and end your speech on a positive note.

What’s the most unusual speaking job you’ve ever been asked to do?