When you really think about it, it is probably one of the few, if not the only moment in a wedding that isn’t scripted and has the potential to bring both laughter and tears to everyone in attendance – the Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches. Talk about pressure! Having listened to a hundred or so over the past seven years of photographing weddings, I have laughed along with the crowd, as well as felt like calling for the dancing emcee like at the Apollo. Here are a few tips to help you plan a memorable and touching Best Man or Maid of Honor speech.
1 – Keep it short
While you may have waited years for this moment to either profess you love for the bride or roast the groom, everyone else is waiting too…for dinner and dancing. By keeping the speech short, not only are you making it easier on yourself, you are making it easier to be more memorable. Can you remember your favorite Shakespearean monologue? Me neither, but I can remember my favorite one-liner from any Will Ferrell movie. Three minutes is about all you need to make a great speech.
I say it humbly – I am so blessed. I have been given opportunities in my life that have changed me, shaped me, and grounded me. One of those opportunities has been traveling. In 1992, I lived in Warsaw, Poland and witnessed a country struggling to adapt to capitalism. To a 12-year old, it was eye opening. Years later, another opportunity came. This time, it was Italy. I lived in Rome for 5 months and documented my ventures on an old Minolta film camera. The photos largely documented places and artifacts, sculptures and ruins, history and culture. I was fascinated with the past to the point where I wanted to live in the past and even considered becoming an archaeologist.
That was 12 years ago.
I drink too much coffee. Not because I need it, but because it is socially awkward not too. See, it is booking season for wedding photography right now, which means I am meeting with three to four brides a week in coffee shops to talk about their wedding. I suppose I could switch to decaf…
One of the things I notice when I meet with brides and grooms is that beyond their excitement, many have no idea what makes a good photographer. Can you blame them? I think we have all seen the Dove commercials that depict the Photoshop transformation of a woman into a Barbie-like bikini model. Pictures can be deceiving. Photographers, websites, and businesses can too. That is why I require brides to meet with me, so I can educate them on the wedding market and the way I run my business. I want them to be both comfortable and confident in their decision, whether or not they decide to book with me. During our consultation, if a bride doesn’t ask these questions, I make sure to bring them up and answer them anyway because, I feel, these are things that can make or break a decision in who you will have photograph your wedding.
Over the years, I have noticed a significant difference in the flow of the wedding, as well as the stress level that everyone experiences, depending on one thing – preparation. When it comes to your wedding, preparation is key and it all starts with you getting ready. When your morning is rushed or doesn’t go to plan, is spills over into the rest of the day. Below are a few helpful tips to make your day go as smoothly as possible.
1 – Clean Your Room
When I enter a room, the first thing I look at is the lighting and a potential place to display the dress. Most of the time, I can find a nice window or door to work with; however, if I have to make a bed and move clothing out of the way to get the shot, I am not spending time where the action is – mimosas being sipped, hair getting done, and laughs being shared. If the room is clean, not only will you have better photos, but more of them.