Pimm's unveils winning wedding speech formula

14 May 2018

As wedding season looms, Pimm's has revealed the winning formula to the perfect wedding speech by shining a light on what guests hate the most

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To celebrate the launch of the new Pimm's Spritz cocktail, the popular wedding drink brand has canvassed the views of 2,000 British adults on wedding speech etiquette. 

Brits attend 50 weddings in a lifetime and listen to 25 hours of speeches, however 65% of respondents admit they have experienced a boring wedding speech. According to the research, the speeches are the third most memorable part of the wedding following the venue (39%) and the food (37%) and ranking higher than the bride's dress (34%) and the exchanging of vows (26%) - highlighting the importance of getting the speeches just right. 

When asked what the perfect wedding speech entails, respondents said that the speech should last nine and a quarter minutes, and feature three jokes, three compliments and four thank yous. Participants in the study also revealed the most over-used jokes in speeches and the top faux-pas to avoid. Here they are...

Most over-used jokes:

  1. “A happy marriage is a matter of give and take; the husband gives and the wife takes.”
  2. “Marriage is a 3-ring circus: The engagement ring, the wedding ring and finally the suffering.”
  3. “So where do I start with Jack? Jack is handsome, clever, witty, generous, char….cha… Sorry, mate, can’t read your writing. You’ll just have to tell me that part later. Anyway…”
  4. “It’s been an emotional day – even the cake is in tiers.”
  5. “Sheila deserves a good husband. Luckily, you married her before she found one.”
  6. “I’ve enjoyed myself so much, I hope I get invited to Dave’s next wedding too.”
  7. “Let us all be upstanding and give the bride the clap she so richly deserves.”
  8. “Jack is the kindest friend anyone could ask for; a man whose philanthropy knows no bounds. ‘Generosity’ should be his middle name. He would do anything for me; in fact, he even wrote this section of my speech.”
  9. “If I’m the best man then why is Sheila with Dave and not with me?”
  10. “I’d like to thank Mastercard and Visa, without whom this would never have been possible. I really do mean it when I say the bride and groom will be in their debt forever.”

Top speech faux pas:

  1. Mentioning an ex of the bride/groom 
  2. Landing the bride/groom in hot water 
  3. Speaker rambling on 
  4. Getting the name of the bride/groom wrong
  5. Speaking too quietly or muttering
  6. Making rude jokes 
  7. Using too many clichéd or recycled jokes 
  8. Revealing secrets 
  9. Talking too quickly
  10. Offending the mother of the bride
  11. Not thanking a key person (bride/groom/parents of the bride/groom)
  12. Including too many jokey insults 
  13. Criticising the organisation/arrangements of the day 
  14. Reading notes off a mobile phone 
  15. Including anecdotes that ‘you had to be there’ to appreciate

 

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The Winning Wedding Speech Formula

In response to the findings, Pimm's etiquette expert, Sarah Drew, has offered her top 10 tips to nailing each speech:

  1. Keep it short – the perfect wedding speech lasts no longer than 10 minutes.
  2. Include anecdotes and personal stories. These are an essential component of a quality speech.
  3. Make sure your speech celebrates and includes both newlyweds, not just the one you know well.
  4. Use the couple’s new titles of husband or wife or Mr or Mrs as this is a simple, warming reminder of why you have all congregated.
  5. Do not wing it – take the time to give it your best shot as this opportunity doesn’t come about that often.
  6. However, leave a small space free to provide spontaneous observations about the day.
  7. If you’re telling an amusing anecdote, make sure you don’t upset either the bride or groom.
  8. Don’t forget to thank the parents, bridesmaids, ushers, or any other key wedding party members.
  9. Speak slowly and project your voice towards the back of the room.
  10. Finally, enjoy it! This can be one of the best moments in a wedding, so make the most of it.

Elly Martin, Pimm’s senior brand manager, said: “With wedding season upon us, it’s clear we’re in need of a little help when it comes to drafting the perfect tribute to that special couple on their wedding day. Hopefully our top tips will help wedding speeches across the country sparkle this summer, as no one wants to hear about the groom on his stag do again…”