A Toast To Friday – Advice for Anyone Giving a Wedding Speech

The wedding planners of Big City Bride manage every detail of wedding day but we do not write speeches and we do not deliver toasts. Once the microphone is in hand we can not tell you to speak louder, stop talking, or rethink the embarassing story. Public speaking is never easy and with a few cocktails prior even the best planned toast can take a slight turn for the worst. In an effort to be as thorough as possible we would love to share this candid and amazing advice from a dear friend:

If you have been asked to give a speech at a wedding, you need to read this.  If you are requesting to give a toast, you really need to read this because the expectations are even higher for you. All others — you’re excused for now, but save this because you may need it someday — and the information included here has no expiration date.
1) Speak up. Nothing will get people plowing into their salads faster than a speech they can’t hear.
2) Speak clearly and articulate.  This is not the time to sound like you’re chewing on a sock or to show off your nervous vocal pauses.  “Ummm, Nicole and I met back in college, and, ummmm, like, we…”  Salad.
3) Timing is everything. The equation for speech length is as follows, using a scale of 5-12: (delivery skill) x (quality of speech) = number of seconds you’re allowed to speak.  If you think you’re a 8 at delivery and your speech notes are a ten then go ahead and give yourself 80 seconds to do your thing. There is a bill in front of Congress to get this passed into law.
4) Check yourself and your surroundings. Check your hair, your teeth, your fly, your tie, your make-up.  Be calm, be engaging, be prepared. Can you be seen well?  If you’re using notes, know that the lighting may not be as good as it was when you wrote your speech so be sure your notes are easily readable, especially if you have/need glasses. On a related note, bring those glasses.  And just say no to having your notes on an electronic device like an iPad or worse yet, your phone.  Blech.
5) Know how to use a microphone.  If you’re not used to using one, find one and practice — especially if you want your speech to actually be heard.  Working a microphone doesn’t come naturally any more than delivering a speech to a room full of your closest loved ones along with complete strangers.  Good mic technique includes finding the distance from your mouth (which is usually about an inch!) where it produces the right volume for the room, then KEEPING IT RIGHT THERE…The. Whole. Time.  If you turn your head, the mic needs to follow, otherwise it will sound like you just got tackled mid-sentence.
6) Private jokes and rambling. If I may quote Steve Martin in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, “Here’s a good idea — have a point.  It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!”  Reminiscing about things and events to which guests cannot relate or where there’s no comedic value is a sure fire way to lose your audience.  “Tony, remember that time when we were at Denny’s and, that girl, what was her name? Anyway, she…”
7) Insensitive, inappropriate and off-color content.  If you’re writing your speech thinking, “Oh man I wonder if I should bring up ________.”  The answer is no.  Your loved one’s wedding day is not the time to test market your low-percentage material.
8) The crying game. Women, don’t feel obligated to cry. If you do, get a grip, take a moment to regroup. Hyperventilating through your speech isn’t going to make the video highlight reel. Gentlemen, your Man Card is not in jeopardy if you get choked up but you sure better pull through it fast!
9) Bring a drink with you. It seems like such a simple thing but many people forget to do it, especially since the mic goes in one hand and the speech goes in the other. Remember, it’s a toast, so when you’re done, don’t forget to toast!  Have that drink ready and waiting to make a seamless end to your speech.
10) Big City Bride’s Hierarchy of Wedding Speeches.  It goes like this (whenever possible): Father of the Bride, Best Man, Maid of Honor, Bride & Groom, Father of the Groom. Not everyone can have a shot at the mic. If there are too many people with something to say, open the floor at the rehearsal dinner. For some speeches, this is an even more appropriate setting.
Photo Credit: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography 


Chrissy Magliano Is Getting Married!

ATTENTION WORLD – We have a very important announcement. The woman behind hundreds of Chicago weddings is getting married THIS WEEKEND. Chrissy Magliano is GETTING MARRIED!!! If you have ever browsed through The Knot, Inside Weddings, CS or Style Me Pretty you have most likely seen a wedding by Chrissy. She has mastered creating timelines, building budgets and creatively designing floor plans for everyone else, but this year she planned her own. Watching Chrissy plan her special day hasn’t been that different from watching her plan everyone else’s. Aside from her booking appointments for herself, the process has been very similar. Chrissy truly treats each bride as if it was her own wedding.  


We know you are dying for the story – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A WEDDING PLANNER GETS MARRIED?! The scoop on that will be dished out after the wedding, for now let’s talk about a really great love story. 

The Story: Brady and Chrissy met while they were attending Southern Illinois University.  Their personalities clicked  and they formed a beautiful friendship. In February 2010, Brady (finally) asked Chrissy on their first date!! Their love is as romantic as it sounds – two friends that fell deeply in love. After years of dating and many adventures together, Brady got down on one knee and proposed. Of course, Brady had something very special planned. Last year, Chrissy completed her first FULL MARATHON. After crossing the finish line with Brady, he got down on one knee and she said YES! 

This Saturday, EXACTLY 11-Months to the engagement date Chrissy and Brady will celebrate their LOVE with all their friends and family!  


After TEN YEARS of planning everyone else’s celebrations it is time for Chrissy to have her own perfect wedding day! 

Chrissy and Brady, 

         We CAN’T believe this day is finally here!!! Your love is admirable. You both fill our lives with such joy and we couldn’t be happier for you both. Your genuine hearts have found each other in the most romantic way. Let the wedding weekend begin!!! XOXO

Terra’s Little Family Wedding

We can hardly contain our excitement for the two episode season finale of Terra’s Little Family airing on Lifetime TONIGHT September 2nd @ 9:00PM CST! Susan Cordogan and Big City Bride were so happy to plan their special day. Susan planned the ultimate country chic wedding. Find an exclusive feature on People.com ! We can’t wait to see the FULL wedding tonight. Stay Tuned!